Performances began February 14 at Playwrights Horizons for the New York City premiere of Michael Friedman and Daniel Goldstein's Unknown Soldier. Directed by Trip Cullman and choreographed by Patrick McCollum, the musical is the final work by the late Friedman to premiere in New York.
In Unknown Soldier Margo Seibert stars as Ellen, a woman who’s inherited her grandmother’s home—and with it, a clue that her understanding of her family and of herself are incomplete.
Rounding out the cast are Kerstin Anderson (My Fair Lady, The Sound of Music) as Lucy Lemay, Zoe Glick (Frozen, Les Misérables) as Young Ellen, Erik Lochtefeld (The Light Years, King Kong) as Andrew, Oscar winner Estelle Parsons (Miss Margarida’s Way, August: Osage County) as Lucy Anderson, Thom Sesma (The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui, Sweeney Todd) as Doctor, and Perry Sherman (Fun Home, Burn All Night, Amélie) as Francis.
Unknown Soldier follows Ellen Rabinowitz, who, in 2003, finds herself back in her inherited childhood home in Troy, New York, where she was raised by her resentful grandmother Lucy, who recently passed. Cleaning it out, she discovers a mysterious photograph of an anonymous soldier, returned from battle in WWI, tucked away in a box of keepsakes. The musical unravels a delicate tangle of family lore, as Ellen chases the extraordinary story that unlocks her history—and charts her future.
With a book and lyrics by Goldstein, and music by Friedman, Unknown Soldier is scheduled through March 29.
The ensemble is made up of James Crichton (Jasper in Deadland, Peter and the Starcatcher), Emilie Kouatchou (Oklahoma!, Sweeney Todd), Jay McKenzie (Beautiful), and Jessica Naimy (Ink, Honeymoon in Vegas).
The creative team includes scenic designer Mark Wendland, co-costume designers Clint Ramos and Jacob A. Climer, lighting designer Ben Stanton, sound designer Leon Rothenberg, projection designer Lucy Mackinnon, hair and wig designer J. Jared Janas, co-orchestrator Marco Paguia, music director Julie McBride, music coordinator Tomoko Akaboshi, and stage manager Lisa Ann Chernoff.
Unknown Soldier received its world premiere at the Williamstown Theater Festival.