A Free Triumph

PlayBlog   A Free Triumph
Tin Pan Alley Theatre Company is making a bit of Portland theatre history by offering the Northwest premiere of the 1997 Tony-nominated Broadway musical, Triumph of Love — which featured Tony winner Betty Buckley and Academy Award winner F. Murray Abraham — free of charge.

Artistic director David Ruben, who co-stars, told Playbill.com, "We have decided because of the economy to go completely free on all of our productions with a request for individuals to pay only what they will on behalf of the theatre company so we can offer such luxuries in the future."

Triumph, which is based on the Marivaux play of the same name and features a book by James Magruder, music by Jeffrey Stock and lyrics by Susan Birkenhead, will play the Oregon venue Aug. 7-22. The cast also includes Audrey Voon as the princess, Portland actor Christopher Mullens and Chicago-based guest artists Maia Diaz, Neil Stratman, Melina Rey and Tony Lopez .

"The decision to produce free theatre was a hard one to make," managing director Natalie Boccumini told Playbill.com. "In this economy, people are not willing to take any risk, and many theatre companies that have been thriving for 50-plus years have had to close their doors because they cannot get people in the seats. Our hope is by providing this opportunity, people will realize that the arts — especially musicals — are always something worth taking a risk for."

About the production, director Scott Susong said, "Marivaux is hot. It is great to attack a traditional period piece in an intellectually sexy way. I have admired James Magruder's musical adaptation since its original pre-Broadway run at Baltimore’s Center Stage in the mid-1990s. It is vital, relatable and verbally wild, and it is a pleasure to have James suggesting cuts and advising me and the actors via Facebook."

Book writer Magruder added, "If a free TOL can help build future audiences in Portland for all musicals, then it's a win-win. As Che sings to Evita, 'Get 'em while they're young, Eva, get 'em while they're young.'" For tickets visit Tin Pan Alley Theatre.

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