I Am Harvey Milk, With Andrew Lippa and Laura Benanti, Premieres in San Francisco June 26
By Adam Hetrick
Tony Award-nominated composer Andrew Lippa stars as late gay rights pioneer Harvey Milk in his new oratorio I Am Harvey Milk, which receives its world premiere June 26 with the San Francisco's Gay Men's Chorus. Tony Award winner Laura Benanti is also featured.
Lippa (Big Fish, The Wild Party, The Addams Family, jon & jen) penned original music and lyrics for the piece that utilizes some of Milk's actual words for the text.
Lippa portrays Milk, the first openly-gay man to hold public office in California, along with Tony Award winner Laura Benanti (Gypsy, Women on the Verge) as the soprano soloist; they are joined by the 300-member SFGMC. Dr. Timothy Seelig conducts the oratorio that has orchestrations by August Erksmoen and accompaniment by the Bay Area Rainbow Symphony.
Noah Himmelstein, who assistant-directed the Broadway revival of Golden Boy and the new musical The Bridges of Madison County, stages the three-performance engagement that is presented June 26, 27 and 28. The work is a SFGMC commission.
Big Fish producer Bruce Cohen, Robb Nanus and Jessica Leventhal produce the work. I Am Harvey Milk has video and projection design by Andrew Lazarow.
Following the San Francisco premiere, the work will be made available for choruses to perform across the U.S.
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.
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