Broadway Theatre, (4/21/2015 - 5/10/2015)

First Preview: Mar 27, 2015
Opening Date: Apr 21, 2015
Closing Date: May 10, 2015
Total Previews: 26
Total Performances: 23

Category: Musical, Drama, Original, Broadway
Setting: Russia in the first decades of the twentieth century.

Opening Night Production Staff

Theatre Owned / Operated by The Shubert Organization (Philip J. Smith: Chairman; Robert E. Wankel: President)

Produced by Anita Waxman, Tom Dokton, Latitude Link, Chase Mishkin, Ted Hartley/RKO Stage, Chunsoo Shin, Margo & Roger Coleman, Pelican Group, J. Todd Harris, Corcoran Productions, Conrad Prebys & Debbie Turner, Parrothead Productions, Adam Silberman, Ahmos Hassan, Lisa & Bill Glenn, Carl-Henric Louise & Johan Svanberg, The Goldiner Group/Caroline Lieberman, Wasserman Shaw, Bruce D. Long and La Jolla Playhouse; Produced in association with Stage Entertainment, Broadway Across America, Grove Entertainment, The Shubert Organization (Philip J. Smith: Chairman; Robert E. Wankel: President), Tom McInerney, Joan & Irwin Jacobs, Susan Polis Schutz, Tilted Windmills, The Stanford Group, Jim & Judy Harpel, John & Bonnie Hegeman, Itai Shoffman & Sar Inbar, Dark Style Agency, Kelvingrove Ventures, Stephanie Torreno/Eugenie & Keith Goggin, Rao Makineni/Jessica Green, David T. Loudermilk/Cheryl Lachowicz, Robert & Debra Gottlieb/ Sharon Azrieli, Halloran Entertainment/Lyubov' Productions, Lois Weiner & Dr. Robert Weiner/Carl Pate, Andy Tavel/Shelley-Quagline, Federman Ryan/Samajaca Productions and Denise Rich and John Frost

World premiere of ZHIVAGO produced by La Jolla Playhouse (Christopher Ashley: Artistic Director; Michael S. Rosenberg: Managing Director)

Book by Michael Weller; Music by Lucy Simon; Lyrics by Michael Korie and Amy Powers; Based on the novel by Boris Pasternak; Music orchestrated by Danny Troob; Music arranged by Eric Stern; Musical Director: Ron Melrose; Produced with permission of Warner Bros.Theatre Ventures, Inc. and Turner Entertainment Co.; Orchestrations for "Ashes and Tears" and "Nowhere to Hide" by Steve Margoshes; Additional orchestrations by Ned Ginsburg, Louis King and David Siegel

Directed by Des McAnuff; Choreographed by Kelly Devine; Associate Choreographer: Matthew Steffens

Scenic Design by Michael Scott-Mitchell; Costume Design by Paul Tazewell; Lighting Design by Howell Binkley; Sound Design by SCK Sound Design; Projection & Video Design by Sean Nieuwenhuis; Hair and Wig Design by Charles G. LaPointe; Make-Up Design by Joe Dulude, II; Associate Scenic Design: Brett J. Banakis; Associate Costume Design: China Lee; Associate Lighting Design: Ryan J. O'Gara; Co - Sound Design: Walter Trarbach and Andrew Keister; Associate Video Design: Christian DeAngelis; Associate Hair Design: Liz Printz; Associate Makeup Design: Brandalyn Fulton; Moving Light Programmer; Christopher Herman

Executive Producer: Junkyard Dog Productions; General Manager: Alchemy Production Group and Carl Pasbjerg & Abbie M. Strassler; Management Consultant: Aruba Productions and Ken Denison; Company Manager: Barbara Crompton

Production Manager: Juniper Street Productions; Production Stage Manager: James Harker; Stage Manager: Kelly A. Martindale and Gary Mickelson

Musical Supervisor: Ron Melrose; Conducted by Rick Fox; Music Contractor: John Miller; Associate Conductor: Matt Gallagher; Flute/Piccolo/Alto Flute: Brian Miller; Oboe/English Horn: Alexandra Knoll; Bb Clarinet/ Eb Clarinet/ Clarinet in A/Bass Clarinet: Liam Burke; Trumpet/Flugelhorn/Piccolo Trumpet: Matt Gasiorowski; French Horn: Michael P. Atkinson; Trombone/Bass Trombone: Nathan Mayland; Concert Master: Bryan Hernandez-Luch; Violin: Héctor O. Falcón, Rachel Handman and Thomas Kim Carney; Cello: Deborah Assael-Migliore and Anja Wood; Bass: Ray Kilday; Percussion/Drums: Ron Tierno; Percussion: Bill Hayes; Harp: Stacey Shames; Keyboard: Matt Gallagher and Logan Medland; Musical Coordinator: John Miller; Keyboard Programmer: Randy Cohen; Music Copying: Anixter Rice Music Service; Associate Keyboard Programmer: Taylor Williams, Tim Crook and Jeremy King

Special Effects Design by Greg Meeh; Aerial Effects Design: Paul Rubin

Fight direction by Steve Rankin; Casting: Tara Rubin Casting; Press Representative: Polk & Co.; Strategic Marketing: On the Rialto; Advertising: Serino Coyne; Digital Advertising & Marketing: 87AM; Marketing: Serino Coyne; Associate Fight Director: Shad Ramsey; Fight Captain: Denis Lambert; Dance Captain: Julius Sermonia; Dramaturg: Allison Horsley; Dialect Coach: Stephen Gabis; Vocal Coach: Katie Agresta Studios; Photographer: Matthew Murphy

[See More]

Opening Night Cast

Kelli BarrettLara Guishar
Lora Lee GayerTonia Gromeko
Tom HewittViktor Komarovsky
Tam Mutu
Broadway debut
Yurii Zhivago
Paul Alexander NolanPasha Antipov/Strelnikov
Jacqueline AntaramianAnna Gromeko
Sophia GennusaYoung Lara
Jonah HalperinYoung Yurii
Jamie JacksonAlexander Gromeko
Ava-Riley MilesYoung Tonia
Wendi BergaminiStepka
Heather BottsEnsemble
Melody ButiuKubarikha
Josh CanfieldLiberius
Briana Carlson-GoodmanOlya
Julian CihiNikolai Nikolayovich
Bradley DeanQuatermaster
Michael Brian DunnMarkel
Drew FosterTusia
Secretary of Tribunal
Robert HagerYanko
Ericka HunterEnsemble
David McDonaldGints
Joseph MedeirosMischa
Pilar MillhollenMrs. Guishar
Gary MilnerPriest
Spencer MosesIlya
Julius SermoniaEnsemble
Jacob SmithEnsemble
Jesse WildmanYelenka

Swings: Kira Guloien and Denis Lambert

Standby: Ashley Brooke (Katarina, Sasha, Young Lara, Young Tonia, Young Yurii)

Understudies: Wendi Bergamini (Anna Gromeko), Heather Botts (Lara Guishar, Tonia Gromeko), Josh Canfield (Pasha Antipov/Strelnikov), Briana Carlson-Goodman (Lara Guishar, Tonia Gromeko), Bradley Dean (Yurii Zhivago), Drew Foster (Pasha Antipov/Strelnikov), David McDonald (Viktor Komarovsky) and Gary Milner (Alexander Gromeko)


music by Lucy Simon; lyrics by Michael Korie and Amy Powers

ACT 1 Sung By
Two Worlds
(lyrics by Michael Korie and Amy Powers)
Komarovsky's ToastKomarovsky, Tonia, Alexander, Anna and Guests
Who Is She?Yurii
It's a GodsendPasha and Students
When the Music PlayedLara
Who Is She? (Reprise) Yurii
Watch the MoonYurii and Tonia
Forward MarchGints, Pasha, Liberius, Yanko and Soldiers
Somewhere My LoveNurses
NowYurii and Lara
Forward March (Reprise) Gints
Blood on the SnowPasha, Soldiers and Nurses
Komarovsky's LamentKomarovsky
Yurii's DecisionYurii
In This HouseAlexander, Tonia, Yurii and All
ACT 2 Sung By
Women and Little Children/He's ThereLara and Women
No Mercy at AllStrelnikov
In This House (Reprise) Alexander
Love Finds YouYurii, Lara, Komarovsky, Strelnikov and Tonia
Nowehere to HideLiberius and Partisans
It Comes as No SurpriseTonia and Lara
Ashes and TearsYurii, Liberius and Partisans
Watch the Moon (Reprise) Tonia
On the Edge of TimeLara and Yurii
Now (Reprise) Yurii
Blood on the Snow (Reprise) Soldiers
FinaleKatarina, Lara, Yurii and All


AP: "Broadway's 'Doctor Zhivago' Is Bombastically Silly"

The folks behind the new Broadway musical "Doctor Zhivago" promise it is "sure to steal your heart." They apparently hope to do so by bludgeoning you into unconsciousness and then cutting you open with a scimitar.

Visually beautiful but one-dimensional, the show that opened Tuesday at the Broadway Theatre is breathless and bombastic to the point of silly, undercutting not only the novel by Boris Pasternak but also some really wonderful actors in Tam Mutu and Kelli Barrett, and what could have been a memorable score by Lucy Simon.

Director Des McAnuff is apparently of the belief that all his actors need to constantly sprint, slide or go full-out insane to really illustrate PASSION. The stage is tilted at an insane angle to showcase his use of fire and snow and ice and blood. Nearby, in another theater, "Les Miserables," another flag-waving tale of revolution, looks absolutely subtle in comparison.

"Doctor Zhivago" is the tale of five intertwined lovers set during final days of Czarist Russia and the 1917 Revolution. It is epic, indeed, but here the epic nature seems just an excuse for adding flashy elements.

Will someone kindly tell the projection designer that it's not necessary to project a massive photo of Lara when she's ALREADY onstage? And will someone please tell the prop guy in charge of weapons that the rifle discharges are so loud that they're triggering snowfall that's supposed to fall from the rafters later in the show? Oh, and one actress' attempted decapitation may have been a touch unnecessary on top of the several executions, group hangings and spilled guts.

Book writer Michael Weller thinks the audience need to be spoon-fed history in huge chunks, and so has used a shovel. And his characters are ridiculously flimsy: Zhivago is so noble your teeth will ache and the bad guys so cruel they almost twirl moustaches.

Weller also has forced the cast to speak in a sort of Epic Russian. A sample: "The White Army will hunt down these savages and drench their cursed Red Flag of revolution in their own treacherous blood!" What this show needs isn't a Doctor Zhivago, it's a script doctor.

Lyrics by Michael Korie and Amy Powers aren't much better, apparently also drinking from the same overwrought cup: "Blood on the snow!/The blood of the martyrs/Spilled for the dream/Of a new world regime!" Simon's melodies are lovely — "It Comes as No Surprise," ''When the Music Played" and "Watch the Moon" are achingly good — but struggle under the weight of such blunt words. ("Somewhere My Love," or "Lara's Theme," from the 1965 film has survived the jump to the stage.)

Michael Scott-Mitchell's sets are pretty nifty, including a clever motif of piled-up chairs and the giving the illusion of space with several arches, though his train is really just a raised girder, an incongruous sight since much of the rest is an attempt to be faithful to the period.

Howell Binkley bathes the stage in an epic grayness while the heroes get godlike light. Costume designer Paul Tazewell pulls us back into winter with heavy coats, fur hats and dark clothes, except for Lara, who gets to wear blue. (Was he worried we wouldn't be able to spot her?)

Mutu and Barrett bravely give it their all and are utterly perfect as the star-crossed lovers. He is actually understated in a show that is anything but, and captures the inner turmoil of a forbidden love. Barrett's soprano is gorgeous and she is a worthy Lara, bewitching as a woman both tortured and strong.

Tom Hewitt is also good as the slippery Komarovsky and he, surprisingly, emerges rather likable by the end, but Paul Alexander Nolan very nearly falls into parody as he careens from wide-eyed revolutionary to cold-blooded psycho in a leather coat.

But pulling anyone back from the brink is not something McAnuff does naturally. One actor in "Doctor Zhivago" fake-vomits onstage after a bout of drinking and athletic Cossack dancing, and after almost three hours of this highly choreographed mess, you might want to, too.


New York Daily News: "'Doctor Zhivago' review: Musical based on Boris Pasternak novel of love and war on Broadway"

Broadway's “Doctor Zhivago” is an epic miss.

Based on the acclaimed Boris Pasternak novel, this miscalibrated musical is yet another attempt to bottle page-to-stage lightning a la “Les Miserables.”

But electricity doesn’t zap. Not much does in this nearly three-hour show, which has been in the works for almost two decades, set against the bloody upheaval of the Russian Revolution of 1905 and World War I.

Michael Weller’s adaptation relies on supertitles to situate us in the sprawling narrative. The score by composer Lucy Simon and lyricists Michael Korie and Amy Powers resonates with occasional Russian-inflected melodies and lots of ardent power ballads. Respectable, but unremarkable, songs hang like wallpaper. The famous song “Somewhere My Love” is sung by optimistic nurses.

Des McAnuff’s direction is another issue. Unlike “Jersey Boys,” which he moves with near-cinematic smoothness and urgency that complements the Four Seasons’ story, in “Doctor Zhivago,” he fails to convey what matters most — intimacy. The outsize passion of the star-crossed Yuri Zhivago, a married aristocrat doctor and poet, and Lara, the wife of a revolutionary who inspires his verse, is the soul of this tale. Intimacy is gobbled up in broad strokes and ill-conceived sets and projections.

We do understand that they’re separated by revolution, as well as by Yuri’s wife Tonia (Lora Lee Gayer), Lara’s husband Pasha (a very good Paul Alexander Nolan) and the lecherous Komarovsky (Tom Hewitt), who’s had a thing for Lara since she was a girl. We don’t get enough of what’s fueling their passion. Or why his writing is so important.

On film in 1965, the luminous Julie Christie and Omar Sharif captured the eroticism and ache of romantic repression of people desperately in love through tight close-ups and eyes filled with desire. That’s all but lost here. As Yuri, London stage star Tam Mutu sings with a manly ardor and has a cleft chin deep as the Volga River. As the staunch Lara, Kelli Barrett’s vocals are bright and clear. They’re likable together but no fire. Without the inferno, the “Doctor” remains in guarded condition.

New York Daily News

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