I Am Harvey Milk Will Feature Composer Andrew Lippa and Laura Benanti in San Francisco

By Adam Hetrick
April 1, 2013

Tony Award-nominated composer Andrew Lippa will star as late gay rights pioneer Harvey Milk in his new oratorio I Am Harvey Milk, which will receive its world premiere with the San Francisco's Gay Men's Chorus in June. Tony Award winner Laura Benanti will also be featured.



Big Fish producer Bruce Cohen, Robb Nanus and Jessica Leventhal produce the work that features original music and lyrics by Lippa (Big Fish, The Wild Party, The Addams Family, jon & jen) and utilizes some of Milk's actual words for the text.

Noah Himmelstein, who assistant-directed the Broadway revival of Golden Boy and the new musical The Bridges of Madison County, will stage the two performances of I Am Harvey Milk June 27-28 at the Nourse Auditorium in San Francisco. The work is a SFGMC commission.

Following the San Francisco premiere, the work will be made available for choruses to perform across the U.S. 

Lippa will portray Milk, the first openly-gay man to hold public office in California, along with Benanti (Gypsy, Women on the Verge) as the soprano soloist and the 300-member SFGMC. Dr. Timothy Seelig will conduct the oratorio that has orchestrations by August Erksmoen and will be accompanied by the Bay Area Rainbow Symphony.

According to SFGMC, "I Am Harvey Milk weaves the story of Harvey Milk's life – from boyhood to his rise as the first openly gay man to hold public office in California to his assassination. Part choral work, part theater piece, I Am Harvey Milk is an emotional celebration of an American icon."

For tickets visit sfgmc.org.