Friday, June 22, 2018 (8pm)
Saturday, June 23, 2018 (2:30pm)
Saturday, June 23, 2018 (8pm)
275 Hayes Street
San Francisco, CA 94102
To cap off Season 40, we bring back Andrew Lippa — composer of the seminal work “I Am Harvey Milk” that we world premiered in 2013 — for a monumental new commission about the history of the LGBTQ movement, titled “Unbreakable.” Working with Lippa are Academy Award-winners Dustin Lance Black (Milk, When We Rise) and Bruce Cohen (Milk, American Beauty, Big Fish), and playing the lead roles will be Andrew Lippa himself and fellow Broadway star Lisa Vroman, soprano.
This new musical presents an historical arc to our experience as LGBTQ people over the last century, illuminated by four LGBTQ characters drawn from real life—two men, and two women – who, along with the chorus, will guide the audience through the evening. No other work has focused on just one story of our community for each of 12 decades – performed in chronological order.
In Andrew’s own words:
“Unbreakable” is a musical chronology of the gay experience in America since 1900. Told decade by decade, “Unbreakable” explores gay stories you may not know through the power of the words and music of celebrated composer Andrew Lippa and the voices of the world-famous San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus. Stories like Harvard’s “Secret Court” of 1920 which sought to purge the university of gay students and faculty; a celebration of the life of transgender and gay activist Sylvia Rivera; gay conversion therapy; and others.
“Unbreakable” starts by asking the question “Who are you?” and ends by reminding us that “Good Things Take Time”: Progressivism; democracy; love; educating a child; building trust; curing disease. All good things take time and, if we are to survive, we must face all things by bending, by working together and by being “Unbreakable”.
The 70-plus minute work is in the style of a modern musical theater piece, utilizing multiple genres and told in four scenes. Andrew is a master storyteller, and he has researched unique stories of LGBTQ history that will weave together the themes of awareness and activism. Some of these stories include:
- Jane Adams – the first woman to win a Nobel Peace Prize in 1931 and an open lesbian activist
- Lem Billings, JFK's best friend - a closeted gay man seated at the side of the most powerful man on Earth
- AIDS and its impact on a generation
- Sylvia Rivera and the transgender community she nurtured
The work will conclude reminding the audience to keep fighting because “Good Things Take Time.” As hard as it is for us to be patient, the work seeks to illuminate decades of setbacks and progress in this country, and urge the audience forward. The entire work will be a large cinematic look at how we got where we are today.
The world premiere will be directed by Robert Kelley, long-time Artistic Director of TheatreWorks in Palo Alto. The multimedia is being created by Andrew Lazarov. The piece is accompanied by a 10-piece chamber ensemble. The premiere will take place in conjunction with San Francisco Pride on June 22 and 23, 2018 at Nourse Theater in San Francisco.
Tickets on sale in mid-April 2018.