Michael Greif

Playwrights Horizons: Grey Gardens, Spatter Pattern by Neal Bell. Recent credits include LaChiusa and Pearson's Giant (Public Theater/Dallas Theater Center); Tony Kushner's Angels in America (Signature Theatre) and The Intelligent Homosexual's Guide... (The Public/Signature); The Winter's Tale and Romeo and Juliet (Delacorte Theater). On Broadway he directed the Pulitzer Prize winning musicals Next to Normal (also at Second Stage/Arena) and Rent (also at NYTW, 1996; NWS, 2011) and Grey Gardens, receiving Tony nominations for each, and Never Gonna Dance. Michael received Obie Awards for Machinal, Rent, and Jessica Hagedorn's Dogeaters. Angels in America received the 2011 Lortel Award for Best Revival (As of May 2013).

 Photo by Zack DeZon


More Reviews


Far From Heaven

An exclusive look at scenes from the Playwrights Horizons production of FAR FROM HEAVEN, featuring original music by Scott Frankel, lyrics by Michael Korie.


Tim Sanford and Scott Frankel, Richard Greenberg, and Michael Korie

Tim: When I went to the closing night of Grey Gardens on Broadway, I ran into you, Rich, near the lobby. You seemed kind of excited, for you, albeit slightly abashed to have waited until the last night. When Scott told me years later that he was working with you, it tickled me to think that maybe I’d witnessed the seed of this collaboration planted. RG: I really liked Grey Gardens, and it wasn’t long after that Scott suggested we work together.


An Interview with the Creators of Far From Heaven

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!’


Tim Sanford on Far From Heaven

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.


The American Voice: A Brief History of Adaptation

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.


Backstory: Running in Sirk-les

“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.