Original off-Broadway poster
|Music||Michael John LaChiusa|
|Lyrics||Michael John LaChiusa|
|Book||Michael John LaChiusa|
|Basis||La Ronde |
by Arthur Schnitzler
|Productions||1994 Off-Broadway |
2001 West End
2019 Off-West End
Hello Again is a musical with music, lyrics and book by Michael John LaChiusa. It is based on the 1897 play La Ronde by Arthur Schnitzler (also titled Reigen). It focuses on a series of love affairs among ten characters during the ten different decades of the 20th century.
Adaptation and plot
LaChuisa's musical adaptation follows the structure of Schnitzler's original material closely, often replicating fragments of his dialogue, detailing a daisy chain of sexual encounters and love affairs among ten characters in ten scenes. His innovation, however, was to set each scene of the musical in a different decade of the 20th century and in a non-chronological order, allowing for a huge variety of musical style and pastische ranging from opera to 1970s disco while simultaneously introducing musical and lyrical echoes throughout to tie all the characters and their experiences together. He also altered the gender of Schnitzler's "Little Miss" to the sexually ambiguous "Young Thing" to introduce a homosexual element into his century of sexual congress.
Highlights of the score include "I Got A Little Time", "Tom", "Safe", "The One I Love", "Mistress of the Senator" and "The Bed Was Not My Own".
The musical premiered Off-Broadway at the Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater (at Lincoln Center) on December 30, 1993 in previews and closed on March 27, 1994, after 101 performances. Directed and musically staged by Graciela Daniele the show was much in the vein of Stephen Sondheim's Sunday in the Park with George in that the staging was like a classic painting coming to life. It received eight Drama Desk Award nominations including Best Musical, three for LaChiusa (Outstanding Book of a Musical, Music and Lyrics categories), two for Daniele (Choreographer and Director categories) and nominations for actors Judy Blazer, John Cameron Mitchell and Donna Murphy. The original cast album was released in 1994 by RCA Victor.
The musical received its professional European premiere in 2001 at London's Bridewell Theatre, as part of a series of musicals introducing the works of the next generation of major American musical theatre writers. It was directed by the theatre's co-Artistic Director Clive Paget with musical direction by Christopher Frost with a cast that featured Jenna Russell, Matt Rawle, Charles Shirvell and Nigel Richards. There were minor changes made to the score in this production as well as a substantial rewrite to "Scene 8" (The Writer and the Actress) overseen by the composer.
In 2007, the musical received a controversial showing by The Satori Group at The Hustler Sound Stage, a building in Cincinnati that was once the headquarters for Hustler magazine, when publisher Larry Flynt was a local celebrity during the 1970s.
Also in 2007, "Hello Again" premiered in Germany, at the Akademietheater im Prinzregententheater Munich. The production was directed by Silvia Armbruster with musical direction by Philip Tillotson, and the text was translated by Roman Hinze.
In May 2008, it was given its Scandinavian premiere in Gothenburg and Borås in Sweden in a production directed by Vernon Mound with musical direction by Derek Barnes. The production used the revisions made for the London version and the text was translated by Fredrik Fischer and Linnea Sjunnesson together with members of the cast.
The Transport Group presented the first New York City revival, opening on March 19, 2011 through April 3. This production features new orchestrations by Mary-Mitchell Campbell and was staged non-traditionally in a raw space in SoHo by Jack Cummings III.
"Hello Again" was revived at the Union Theatre, London, opening in September 2019. This new production was directed by Paul Callen, musical direction and orchestrations by Henry Brennan, choreography by Genevieve Leeney, costume design by Reuben Speed, lighting design by Ben Bull, production photography by Mark Senior, casting by Adam Braham, and produced by Sasha Regan with associate producer, Maison Kelley.
Scenes and musical numbers
- The Whore and the Soldier - Hello Again
- The Soldier and the Nurse - Zei Gezent / I Gotta Little Time / We Kiss
- The Nurse and the College Boy - In Some Other Life
- The College Boy and the Young Wife - Story of My Life
- The Young Wife and the Husband - At the Prom / Ah Maein Zeit / Tom
- The Husband and the Young Thing - Listen to the Music
- The Young Thing and the Writer - Montage / Safe / The One I Love
- The Writer and the Actress - Silent Movie
- The Actress and the Senator - Rock With Rock / Angel of Mercy / Mistress of the Senator
- The Senator and the Whore - The Bed Was Not My Own / Hello Again (Reprise)
The stage musical has been adapted to film, which is directed by Tom Gustafson and written by Cory Krueckeberg. Filming began in December 2015 and had a limited release in the United States on November 8, 2017.
- Richards, David. "Review/Theater; Would-Be Lovers Find Little but Sex In an Endless Dance",The New York Times, January 31, 1994
- Halliburton, Rachel."The Bridewell Theatre Company: 'Hello Again' " Archived 2011-06-06 at the Wayback Machine thisislondon.co.uk, March 20, 2001
- Gardner, Lyn.Hello Again | Bridewell Theatre, London" guardian.co.uk, March 23, 2001
- Hello Again citybeat.com
- Jones, Kenneth. "Alan Campbell, Max von Essen, Elizabeth Stanley Among Interlocking Lovers in NYC 'Hello Again'" playbill.com, January 11, 2011
- "Transport Group, 'Hello Again' Listing" Archived 2011-01-10 at the Wayback Machine transportgroup.org, accessed January 21, 2011
- Brantley, Ben. "Web of Love, Explicitly Woven in Shades of Anguish" The New York Times, March 20, 2011
- Yap, John. "Review: Hello Again at The Union Theatre" londonboxoffice.co.uk, September 2, 2019