Let’s Go Out Tonight: ‘Usher’ — August 20, 2008
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OUT OF THEIR MINDS Among the many new works in the New York International Fringe Festival is “Usher: The Musical,” a creative riff on Edgar Allan Poe’s short story “The Fall of the House of Usher,” written by a recent graduate, scored by a current undergraduate, and directed by an MFA candidate at Yale University. The musical made its premiere at Yale’s Off-Broadway Theater this past February. Molly Fox wrote and produced the musical, while Sarah Hirsch wrote the original score. As the old story goes, James Cleary (Casey Breves), arrives at the Usher estate to paint the portrait of his friend Roderick (Ben Wexler), who is dying of a strange disease that heightens all his senses to an unbearable degree. Upon arrival, James discovers that his childhood love and Roderick’s twin, Madeleine (Claudia Rosenthal), is also suffering from this disease — and that the Ushers happen to have a depraved streak. Ms. Fox and director Becca Wolff, of the Yale School of Drama, take a modern stance on the play, making Madeleine an assertive figure, and including such collegiate elements as a cappella singing.
7 p.m., Michael Schimmel Center for the Arts at Pace University, 3 Spruce St., between Gold Street and Park Row, 212-346-1715, $15.
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