Queen of the Mist
|Queen of the Mist|
Original Off-Broadway Cast Recording
|Music||Michael John LaChiusa|
|Lyrics||Michael John LaChiusa|
|Book||Michael John LaChiusa|
|Awards||2012 Outer Critics Circle Award Outstanding New Off-Broadway Musical|
Queen of the Mist is a musical with music, lyrics and book by Michael John LaChiusa. Queen tells the story of Annie Edson Taylor. Produced by Transport Group Theatre Company, the musical opened Off-Broadway in 2011.
The musical was the inaugural show of Transport Group's 20th Century Project. The musical premiered Off-Broadway at The Gym at Judson on November 6, 2011 and closed on December 4, 2011. The musical received positive reviews.
Cast and crew
The musical was directed by Jack Cummings III, with musical director Chris Fenwick, choreographer Scott Rink, assistant choreographer Megan Kelley, set design Sandra Goldmark, costume design Kathryn Rohe, lighting design R. Lee Kennedy, sound design Walter Trarbach, assistant set design Aaron Sheckler, assistant light design Robert Eshleman, orchestrations Michael Starobin, and wig design Paul Huntley. The band consisted of David Byrd Marrow (French horn), Chris Fenwick (keyboard 1), Susan French (Violin), Martha Hyde (woodwinds), Jeffrey Levine (bass), Mark Mitchell (keyboard 2), and Anik Oulianine (cello.
The cast starred Mary Testa (Annie Edson Taylor), D. C. Anderson (A New Manager), Stanley Bahorek (Mike Taylor), Theresa McCarthy (Jane), Julia Murney (Carrie Nation), Andrew Samonsky (Mr. Frank Russell), and Tally Sessions (Man with his Hand Wrapped in a Handkerchief).
The musical was made possible by major support by the Shen Family Foundation.
In the early 1900s, in western New York State, at Niagara Falls, Anna Edson Taylor is a 63-year-old teacher. Needing money, she decides to become the first woman to go over Niagara Falls, and designs her own barrel. She is helped by her manager, Frank Russell. "Navigating both the treacherous Falls and a fickle public with a ravenous appetite for sensationalism, this unconventional heroine vies for her legacy in a world clamoring with swindling managers, assassins, revolutionaries, moralizing family, anarchists, and activists. Convinced that there is greatness in her and determined not to live as ordinary, she sets out to battle her fear and tempt her fate."  The score incorporates turn-of-the-century themes. Anna attempts to take advantage of her fame on the lecture circuit, but that does not last. Anna dies in a nursing home at age 82, a pauper.
Ben Brantley of The New York Times said the show "moves forward with a steady, fixed intensity that makes it feel as if it never moves forward at all". Steven Suskin of Variety said LaChuisa "developed a reputation for shows that are more esoteric than involving", but that Queen "breaks the pattern", and also noted that the score was "intelligent" and "tuneful". Aubry D'Arminio writing for Entertainment Weekly referred to the show as "beautifully odd".
- Hetrick, Adam. "John LaChiusas 'Queen of the Mist' With Mary Testa Extends Off Broadway" Archived May 29, 2014, at the Wayback Machine. playbill.com
- The Queen of the Mist Archived 2015-05-25 at the Wayback Machine. Internet Off-Broaday Database, accessed May 25, 2015
- Brantley, Ben. "Theater Reviews. Obsessed With Taking the Plunge" The New York Times, November 7, 2011
- "Queen of the Mist Program" transportgroup.org, accessed September 28, 2015
- Suskin, Steven. "Legit Review. Queen of the Mist " Variety, November 6, 2011
- D'Arminio, Aubry. Queen of the Mist ew.com, November 10, 2011