Shaw Sings!

Encompass Mainstage Production 2008:
SHAW SINGS! June 19 – 22
In association with Opera Index
Fully Staged Performances with Orchestra

Composer Philip Hagemann teams up with George Bernard Shaw in two of his most fascinating looks at literary inspiration and passion.

Mara Waldman will conduct and Nancy Rhodes will direct.

Set designer Charles Townsend Wittreich, Jr.; Costume designer A. Christina Giannini and Lighting designer Christopher Creevy.

The Dark Lady
of the Sonnets

Who really wrote Shakespeare’s plays?*
In this historical comedy
Shaw solves the mystery!

George Bernard Shaw, having once stated that he
“wanted to dig up Shakespeare’s bones,
so that he could throw rocks at them,”

Elizabeth I (Hai-Ting Chinn)
Shakespeare (Matthew Pena)
And the Dark Lady (Deborah Lifton)

As a romantic threesome to prod the monarchy
to create a National Theatre.

Perchance, the Anglophile purist
Will find the piece more
Hysterical than Historical!

*The Beefeater (Andrew Cummings) helps.
How many clues can you find?

Passion, Poison
and Petrifaction

or The Fatal Gazogene

Husband (Ross Benoliel) poisons
Wife’s Lover (Luke Grooms)

Wife (Deborah Lifton) repents
Husband administers antidote
The Butler (Justin Sherwood) spies
The Maid (Darcy Dunn) cries

The Landlord (Andrew Cummings) sighs
The Doctor (Matthew Pena) arrives and
The Police (Dominic Inferrera) investigates

Where is the body?

And what did Bill Bailey really do
With a fine tooth comb?

Not for the faint of heart
You may die laughing!!


The New YorkTimes

Music Review
The Zany Spirit of Shaw, Adapted Into Operas

Published: June 21, 2008

George Bernard Shaw wrote his short, fanciful play “The Dark Lady of the Sonnets” for a performance in 1910 in support of establishing a national theater to honor Shakespeare. Here Shaw puts a royal twist into the mystery surrounding these love poems: To whom were they directed? In another short work, “Passion, Poison and Petrifaction, or the Fatal Gazogene,” Shaw gleefully skewers the murderous mayhem and convoluted plot turns of Shakespearean drama.

The composer Philip Hagemann saw operatic potential in these two inventive comedies. He adapted librettos from Shaw’s texts and combined them into an evening of one-act operas, “Shaw Sings!” The adventurous Encompass New Opera Theater presented the New York premiere of “Shaw Sings!” on Thursday night at Symphony Space. The simple, colorful production, directed by Nancy Rhodes and conducted by Mara Waldman, played to a nearly full house.

Click here to read the full review at the New York Times website

Shaw Sings