Vigoda and Milburn's New Musical Is One of Two World Premieres by City Theatre in PA

News   Vigoda and Milburn's New Musical Is One of Two World Premieres by City Theatre in PA
Artistic director Tracy Brigden of Pittsburgh's City Theatre announced four titles — including two-world premiere commissions and one special engagement — as part of the troupe's 2008-09 season.

Two more subscription-series shows and dates will be announced in the coming weeks.

Academy Award winner Eric Simonson returns with his new play commissioned by City Theatre to celebrate Pittsburgh 250 — the city's 250th anniversary. Speak American, written and directed by Simonson, is set in 1904 Pittsburgh in an English language class for newly immigrated steelworkers. It "explores heritage, pride, and the meaning of home."

The musical, Long Story Short, with book, music and lyrics by Brendan Milburn and Valerie Vigoda, based on the play An Infinite Ache by David Schulner, is the season's other world-premiere commission, to be directed by Brigden. Milburn and Vigoda penned songs to the cult hit musical Striking 12.

"GrooveLily bandmates and married couple Brendan Milburn & Valerie Vigoda set the story of another couple, Hope and Charles, to a hip contemporary score in this musical romance which follows the pair from first kiss, through a lifelong relationship, to a surprising finale," according to City Theatre.

(The show was developed earlier this year in a retreat workshop by TheatreWorks in California.) Also in 2008-09, the resident Pennsylvania Equity company devoted to contemporary voices will stage Conor McPherson's acclaimed London and Broadway play, The Seafarer, directed by Brigden; and The Brothers Size by Tarell Alvin McCraney.

The latter, seen at The Public Theater, is set in a car repair shop in the Louisiana bayou, where Ogun Size is a hardworking mechanic. "His brother, Oshoosi Size, is just out of jail and happily aimless," according to City Theatre. "When Oshoosi's ex-con buddy Elegba shows up, the Size boys clash in this sharply funny and emotional new play about the bond between brothers."

City Theatre will also present a special holiday engagement of Sister's Christmas Catechism by Maripat Donovan. "Just like Santa and credit card bills, it wouldn't be the holidays without Sister's Christmas Catechism. Sister is as cute as the angel on your tree, but there's a little devil in her too. Add audience members onstage dressed like barn animals and you have the perfect holiday comedy."

Production dates have not been announced. For more information call (412) 431-2489 or visit


City Theatre's current production is Charlayne Woodard's Flight through April 6. "In a magical ring of light, the fables and rhythms of Africa soar in Charlayne Woodard's play with music set on a Savannah plantation," according to the company. "Embellished with dancing and song, these tales about the gift of flight will provide inspiration for the entire family…"

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