Play Depicting Bach and His Fellow Organists Opens Off Broadway

Classic Arts News   Play Depicting Bach and His Fellow Organists Opens Off Broadway
It's a battle on the keys for one of the best bench spots in Germany when the Off Broadway staging of Itamar Moses' Bach at Leipzig—starring Boyd Gaines, Richard Easton, Jeffrey Carlson, and others—begins today.

The New York Theatre Workshop presents the production directed by Pam MacKinnon at its downtown stage. Official opening night is slated for November 14 for the run through December 18.

Moses pens the farce, set in Germany in 1722, which finds six organists pitted against Bach and each other to get the best gig in town: organmaster at Leipzig. The work is inspired by actual events.

The starry cast features Jeffrey Carlson (Manuscript, Taboo) as Johann Martin Steindorf, Richard Easton (The Rivals, Noises Off) as Georg Friedrich Kaufmann, Michael Emerson (Hedda Gabler, Gross Indecency) as Georg Balthasar Schott, Boyd Gaines (Twelve Angry Men, Contact) as Johann Friedrich Fasch, Reg Rogers (Miss Julie, The Dazzle) as Georg Lenck and Andrew Weems (The Green Bird, Cymbeline) as Johann Christoph Graupner.

The design team includes David Zinn (scenic), Mathew J. LeFebvre (costumes), David Lander (lighting), and John Gromada (sound). C.A. Clark serves as production stage management.

Bach at Leipzig made its premiere at the Milwaukee Repertory Theater last season. Faber & Faber recently published the work, featuring a preface by scribe Tom Stoppard, to coincide with the NYTW production. Playwright Moses has also authored the plays Outrage, Celebrity Row, and The Four of Us and is currently at work on commissions for Playwrights Horizons, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Wilma Theater, and Manhattan Theatre Club.

Director MacKinnon staged the world premiere of Edward Albee's Peter and Jerry: Homelife and The Zoo Story at Hartford Stage and has directed his The Goat or, Who is Sylvia? (at the Alley Theatre and Vienna's English Theatre) and The Play About the Baby (Goodman Theatre and Philadelphia Theater Company). She previously directed workshops of Bach at Leipzig at New York Stage and Film as well as NYTW and a workshop of Moses' The Four of Us at San Francisco's A.C.T.

The New York Theatre Workshop 2005-06 season will continue with Jo Bonney directing Will Power's The Seven—a large-scale hip-hop musical adaptation of Aeschylus' Seven Against Thebes—starting January 17, 2006. Two more productions—to play in spring 2006—are still under consideration.

Tickets to Bach at Leipzig at New York Theatre Workshop, 79 East 4th Street, (between Second Avenue and Bowery), can be purchased by calling (212) 239-6200. For more information, visit

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