Far From Heaven
Music by Scott Frankel
Lyrics by Michael Korie
Based on the Focus Features/Vulcan Productions motion picture written & directed by Todd Haynes
Choreography by Alex Sanchez
Directed by Michael Greif
Cathy Whitaker seems to be the picture-perfect wife and mother in 1957 suburban Connecticut. But roiling beneath the surface, secret longings and forbidden desires cause her world to unravel, with incendiary consequences. With a lush score that is both jazz-inflected and hauntingly lyrical, Far From Heaven is a powerful story of romance, betrayal, and intolerance, as a woman grapples with her identity in a society on the verge of upheaval.
J.B. Adams - Morris Farnsworth etc.
Marinda Anderson - Esther etc
Nancy Anderson - Eleanor
Elainey Bass - Sarah
Quincy Tyler Bernstine - Sybil
Justin Scott Brown - Chase etc.
Alma Cuervo - Mona Lauder etc.
Korey Jackson - Gus etc.
Isaiah Johnson - Raymond
Jake Lucas - David
James Moye - Stan etc.
Kelli O'Hara - Cathy
Steven Pasquale - Frank
Julianna Rigoglioso - Janice
Sarah Jane Shanks - Doreen/Connie etc
Tess Soltau - Nancy etc.
Mary Stout - Mrs. Leacock etc.
Victor Wallace - Dick etc.
Scenic Designer Allen Moyer
Costume Designer Catherine Zuber
Lighting Designer Kenneth Posner
Sound Designer Nevin Steinberg
Production Stage Manager Judith Schoenfeld
Projection Design Peter Nigrini
Wig & Hair Design David Brian Brown
Orchestrations Bruce Coughlin
Music Director Lawrence Yurman
Music Coordinator John Miller
Far From Heaven was commissioned, developed, and produced through the Playwrights Horizons Musicals in Partnership Initiative, with leadership support from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
Generous support was provided by The Laurents / Hatcher Foundation, the Stacey & Eric Mindich Fund for New Musicals at Playwrights Horizons, and Joanne & Daniel C. Smith.
Additional support provided by the National Fund for New Musicals, a program of National Alliance for Musical Theatre, Cathy & Stephen Weinroth and other generous contributors.
Playwrights Horizons’ 2012/2013 season productions are generously supported by the Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.
Photos by Zack DeZon.
Note: Understudies may substitute for listed players. An announcement will be made prior to the performance, if any casting substitutions will occur.
Why Far From Heaven? Michael Korie: In New York, it’s always the right time for a musical about repressed homosexuality, spousal abuse, and racial politics. Now is particularly the right time because in a stealthy way it’s about today. My goal is to create musicals about the America we live in but without making it obvious. The audience at first believes it’s seeing a period piece. Then the realization creeps up, ‘Oh, this all still happens!’
The guidelines of our literary department state that we do not accept dramatic adaptations from other sources, except for musicals. As a writer’s theater, we often find the authorial voice becomes commingled or overshadowed by the originating writer in straight adaptations. But the form of the musical theater is essentially synthetic (made, not observed) and depends on the collaborative synergy of its creators to come into being. The best musicals find their originality and their voice through transformation. It usually behooves the creators to steer clear of widely known or beloved novels or films where an audience might have firmly held preconceptions about the source. Musicals based on somewhat more obscure sources usually provide the creators more artistic leeway.
There seems to be a modern complaint about musicals today that you can’t throw a stone down Broadway without hitting a marquee for a show adapted from a recent hit film. As often as not, these productions are seen as a quick fix for the instant marketing and branding of commercial enterprises rather than original shows. However, adaptation in musicals is nothing new, and people have been turning to other sources for a very long time. What’s often overlooked is that the process of adaptation, at its best, finds ways to expand the form of the musical and deepen the manner in which these stories explore our essential humanity.
“It was a simpler time” rings the mantra of the Greatest Generation when reflecting upon the American 1950s. Enshrined in our memories by iconic shows like “Leave it to Beaver” and “I Love Lucy,” the 1950s housewife has assumed an almost mythical presence in our cultural consciousness, lamenting an easier time of economic prosperity when neighbors greeted one another in their driveways, kids played stickball in the streets till dusk and the idyllic June Cleaver eagerly awaited her husband’s return from work with a plate of piping hot dinner in her carefully manicured hand.