Kushner and Sendak's Brundibar and Comedy on the Bridge Graduate to Yale Rep

News   Kushner and Sendak's Brundibar and Comedy on the Bridge Graduate to Yale Rep
Following a run at Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Tony Kushner and Maurice Sendak's New York-bound operas Brundibar and Comedy on the Bridge begin performances at Yale Repertory Theatre, Feb. 10.
Henry DiGiovanni in Comedy on the Bridge/Brundibar.
Henry DiGiovanni in Comedy on the Bridge/Brundibar. Photo by Kevin Berne

Tony Taccone (bridge & tunnel) directs the co-production between his company, Berkeley Rep, and Yale Rep. The New Haven, Connecticut stint at the University Theatre opens Feb. 16 for a run through March 5. The double bill then plays in New York City at The New Victory Theater (April 26-May 21).

Joe Gallagher has appeared on Broadway in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Off-Broadway in Summer of '42. Other credits include The Cripple of Inishmaan, The Last Night of Ballyhoo, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Balm in Gilead, Putting it Together and Alice Eat Your Words.

He stars in Brundibar as the titular sinister organ-grinder opposite youngsters Aaron Simon Gross (A Stoop on Orchard Street) and Devynn Pedell (The People Garden) as Pepicek and Aninku, respectively, the brother and sister who try singing in town to help their ailing mother. Geoff Hoyle (The Lion King, Mr. Fox) also appears as The Baker and The Dog.

Youmans — who played Doctor Dillamond in Broadway's Wicked — stars in Comedy on the Bridge about a group who are trapped between two opposing armies on a bridge. He appears with Anjali Bhimani (Bombay Dreams, Metamorphoses), Henry DiGiovanni (17 Reasons Why, Dreamlandia), Matt Farnsworth (Thoroughly Modern Millie, The Who's Tommy), Angelina Reáux (Wall to Wall Sondheim) and Martin Vidnovic (Brigadoon, Here Lies Jenny) who fill the many roles which include a young couple, a businessman and his wife, and a baffled schoolmaster.

The youth ensemble includes Malka Alexandra Berro, Nathalya Rose Bey, Celina M. Burgueño, Helena M. Burgueño, Christina Celone, Melissa Anne DeChello, Charlotte Dillon, Sophie Dillion, Jordyn Rakel DiNatale, Risa Duff, Meaghan Ashley Elliot, Garrett Michael Erff, Abby Mae Erwin, Mark Esposito, Emma E. Gannon-Salomon, Deanna Giulietti, Madison Hayes, Daniel Matthew Humphrey, Delaney Louise Jordan, John Jorge, Eliza-Lynne Kanner, Miranda Card Lampke, Caroline B. Lellouche, Alexander Marmor, Nicholas Marmor, Russell Moore, Rishi Mutalik, Gianna Michelle Petrillo, Talvin Anton Rodgers, Jamaal Sancho, Samantha Solomon and Ashlee Woods. Euan Morton (Taboo) originated the title role of Brundibar in this production for its debut at California and will return for the New York run.

"Both shows are a testament to the creative power of human beings," according to Kushner, "even in dark times, to turn ugliness into music." Actors will appear in both works of the approximately 95-minute, intermissionless production that will also features a chorus of 29 local school children.

Kushner and Sendak — who created the namesake 2003 children's picture book — reteam on the one-act opera take on Brundibar and the duo's other adaptation Comedy on the Bridge which features a libretti by Kushner adapted from Adolf Hoffmeister and Vaclava Klimenta Klicpery, music by Hans Krasa and Bohuslav Martinu with production design by Sendak ("Where the Wild Things Are").

The design team assembled to create the magical, storybook universe also includes Kris Stone (scenic), Robin I. Shane (costume), Don Holder (lighting), Rob Milburn and Michael Bodeen (sound). Greg Anthony serves as musical director and conductor.

Tickets are available through each venue as follows:

  • Yale Rep's University Theatre, 222 York Street in New Haven, CT - (203) 432-1234 or at www.yalerep.org
  • New Victory Theater, 209 West 42nd Street in New York, NY - (646) 223-3020 or www.newvictory.org
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