International City Theatre kicks off its 2011 “Season of Romantic Adventures” January 21 with the West Coast premiere of a musical about loving life, loving thinking, loving making art and loving love. Loving Repeating: A Musical of Gertrude Stein, adapted from Stein’s writings by Tony Award winners Stephen Flaherty and Frank Galati, explores the writer’s capricious love affair with language, self expression, and her lifelong companion, Alice B. Toklas. caryn desai [sic] directs and Darryl Archibald is musical director.
Cheryl David will star as Gertrude Stein with Shannon Warne playing “young Gertrude” and Melissa Lyons Caldretti as Stein’s lifelong companion, Alice B. Toklas. Also in the cast, playing multiple roles, are Carly Bracco, Leland Burnett, Jay Donnell, Allison Eberly and Tyler Milliron.
“Flaherty’s distinctive score breaks new ground in musical theater, illuminating Gertrude Stein’s world and bringing fresh perspective to her poetic texts. The music evokes diverse spirits of eras past, including Victorian parlor tunes, vaudevillian songs, and even opera, paying homage to Stein’s deep love of the way American language perpetually changes to reflect the voices of the people.
“It’s a perplexing, exhilarating, hilarious, and emotionally giddy musical that is as unique as Stein herself. In his author’s note, Frank Galati writes that Loving Repeating “explores the tender links between the artistic projects of a poetic genius and the loving relationship at the center of her life.”
The musical follows Stein from her student days in the late 19th century to the height of her artistic era in Paris as one of the “lost generation,” a term she coined referring to those who came of age between the two world wars. She and her celebrated circle of artists, writers, and thinkers, including Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, T.S. Eliot, Ernest Hemingway, and her beloved “wife” Alice B. Toklas, changed the way contemporary artists see the world and express themselves.
“This is not your ordinary, linear story,” confirms desai. “It’s all poetry, words and music. Stein was so fortunate that Alice did everything for her and allowed her to just create, think and write. Her influence on so many well-known artists was profound.”
Loving Repeating performs 8pm Thursday, Friday and Saturday and 2 pmSunday through February 13. Tickets are $37 on Thursday and $44 on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, except opening night which is $55 and includes a reception with the actors following the performance. Call 562-436-4610 or visit www.InternationalCityTheatre.org.
International City Theatre is located in the Long Beach Performing Arts Center at 300 E. Ocean Boulevard in Long Beach.
Send questions, comments and suggestions to [email protected]