Tony Award-winning Hadestown director Rachel Chavkin will return to Broadway next season with the musical Lempicka, with a pre-Broadway West Coast premiere this spring at La Jolla Playhouse in California, the producers announced today.
Based on real-life artist Tamara de Lempicka, who fled Russia after the Revolution and survived Nazi-occupied Paris, the musical features book and lyrics by Carson Kreitzer, music by Matt Gould and choreography by Raja Feather Kelly.
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Lempicka had its world premiere at Williamstown Theatre Festival in 2018, where it was chosen by The New York Times as a Critics’ Pick.
Producing will be Greg Nobile and Jana Shea of Seaview Productions and Jenny Niederhoffer, who announced the pre-Broadway and Broadway plans today.
The production’s description of the musical is as follows:
“Amidst the violence of the Russian Revolution, a young painter named Tamara de Lempicka and her aristocrat husband are forced to abandon their luxurious lifestyle and flee to the dubious safety of Paris. Relying on her raw talent and relentless ambition, Tamara claws her way from penniless refugee to in-demand portraitist, earning a place among Parisian high society. Her world is upended once again when she meets Rafaela, a free spirit from the city slums, who introduces Tamara to a new world of decadence and passion. Torn between her new muse and her husband, fighting to leave her mark on an ever-changing world, Tamara must discover the depths of her own strength to survive.
The creative team for Lempicka includes Riccardo Hernandez (scenic design), Anita Yavich (costume design), Bradley King (lighting design), Nevin Steinberg (sound design), Cian McCarthy (orchestrations), Remy Kurs (music supervision), and Peter Duchan (creative consultant).
Casting will be announced in the coming weeks.
In The Times review of the Williamstown staging, critic Ben Brantley said the musical needed “tightening and polishing,” but compared it favorably to Evita, saying the Lempicka is “an exciting new work” and “delivers a surprising, intricately shaded portrait of an artist as a conflicted woman.”
Hadestown, the Chavkin-directed Anaïs Mitchell musical that won the 2019 Tony Award for Best Musical after opening last spring, is one of last season’s few unqualified commercial successes. The show routinely sells out the Walter Kerr Theater, with seats going for a strong $200+ average. For the week ending Oct. 13, Hadestown posted its best-yet weekly gross of $1.5M.