Plays include The Assembled Parties, Take Me Out, The House in Town, The Violet Hour, The Dazzle, Three Days of Rain, Hurrah at Last, Night and Her Stars, The American Plan, Life Under Water, The Author's Voice (As of May 2013).
Photo by Zack DeZon
SCOTT FRANKEL was nominated for Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle awards for his work on Grey Gardens, which ran at Playwrights Horizons before transferring to Broadway in 2006. He has also written the music for Finding Neverland (UK premiere, 2012), Happiness (Lincoln Center Theatre commission), Doll (Ravinia Festival, Richard Rodgers Award) and Meet Mister Future, all with lyricist Michael Korie. Frankel is the recipient of the ASCAP Foundation Richard Rodgers New Horizons Award and the Frederick Loewe Award. He was the 2011-2012 Frances and William Schuman Fellow at The MacDowell Colony and a graduate of Yale University. (As of May 2013)
Photo by Zack DeZon
Grey Gardens (Playwrights Horizons, Broadway, OCC Award); Finding Neverland (Curve Theatre, England); The Grapes of Wrath (Minnesota Opera, Carnegie Hall, L.A. Walt Disney Concert Hall), Harvey Milk (San Francisco Opera, Houston Grand Opera, NYCO); Doctor Zhivago (Lyric Theatre, Sydney, upcoming NY); Happiness (LCT); Doll (Ravinia Festival, Chicago); Hopper's Wife (Long Beach California Opera); Kabbalah (BAM Next Wave Festival); Where's Dick? (Houston). This is his fifth collaboration with Scott Frankel. Korie serves on the council of The Dramatist Guild Fellows Program and teaches lyric writing at Yale. Awards include the Edward Kleban Award, Jonathan Larson Foundation Award, ASCAP Richard Rodgers New Horizons Award (As of May 2013).
Photo by Zack DeZon
Kelli O'Hara is one of the best performers in musicals today. The sense of hope that pulses in her voice breaks your heart.
—Ben Brantley, New York Times
A smart, sophisticated, perfect vehicle for Kelli O'Hara's soaring voice and endearing stage presence, with an elegant diversity of music by Scott Frankel. Michael Korie's thoughtful lyrics sensitively express turbulent inner emotions. Richard Greenberg’s book accurately depicts the artificial tenor of the times. Michael Greif and his design team have created a fluid, visually compelling production, enhanced by Catherine Zuber's gorgeous costumes.
Both Steven Pasquale and Isaiah Johnson have Broadway-big talents that are thrilling to watch.
—Adam Markovitz, Entertainment Weekly
Heaven-sent. A gorgeously lush and evocative score. Scott Frankel and Michael Korie easily top their Tony-nominated work from Grey Gardens. Their songs are given the deluxe treatment from Playwrights Horizons.
—Elisabeth Vincentelli, NY Post
A haunting, uncommonly serious contemporary musical. The ravishingly beautifu score evokes Leonard Bernstein. Michael Greif's direction of the actors is faultless.
—David Rooney, Hollywood Reporter
A rare commodity: a rich, operatic, tightly integrated post-Sondheim score. There hasn’t been a score like this since The Light in the Piazza.
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.
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.