The new opera adaptation of Intimate Apparel officially opens Off-Broadway at Lincoln Center Theater's Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater January 31, after beginning performances January 13. Two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Lynn Nottage pens the libretto, based on her play of the same name, with music by Ricky Ian Gordon and direction by Bartlett Sher.
Intimate Apparel had begun previews February 27, 2020, but was interrupted by the pandemic closures before it officially opened.
The story centers on Esther, a seamstress in turn-of-the-century New York, who sews corsets and ladies' undergarments. Her own search for love leads to a letter-writing relationship, to an unhappy marriage, and finally to a recognition of her own self worth. The role of Esther is performed by Kearstin Piper Brown at Tuesday through Saturday evening performances and Sunday matinees, and Chabrelle Williams at Wednesday and Saturday matinee performances.
The cast also includes Justin Austin, Errin Duane Brooks, Chanáe Curtis, Adrienne Danrich, Jesse Darden, Arnold Livingston Geis, Christian Mark Gibbs, Tesia Kwarteng, Anna Laurenzo, Barrington Lee, Jasmine Muhammad, Naomi Louisa O'Connell, Kimberli Render, Adam Richardson, Krysty Swann, Indra Thomas, and Jorell Williams.
The production features sets by Michael Yeargan, costumes by Catherine Zuber, lighting by Jennifer Tipton, sound by Marc Salzberg, projections by 59 Productions, music direction by Steven Osgood, and choreography by Dianne McIntyre. Theresa Flanagan is the Stage Manager and casting is by The Telsey Office.
Nottage's play Intimate Apparel ran Off-Broadway at Roundabout Theatre in 2004 with Tony-, Oscar-, and Emmy-winner Viola Davis in the role of Esther.