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Hello Again is 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.

The musical was first produced off-Broadway in 1993 in a production directed and choreographed by Graciela Daniele. Since then it has been seen in London and Sweden.

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".

Production history

The musical had its off-Broadway premiere at the Mitzi E.marker Newhouse Theatermarker (at Lincoln Centermarker) 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. 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.

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.

Cast lists

1993 Original off-Broadway cast


2001 London cast
  • The Whore - Ellen O'Grady
  • The Soldier - Matt Rawle
  • The Nurse - Golda Rosheuvel
  • The College Boy - Mark Stobbard
  • The Young Wife - Jenna Russell
  • The Husband - Charles Shirvell
  • The Young Thing - Dominic Brewer
  • The Writer - Michael Cahill
  • The Actress - Anita Louise Combe
  • The Senator - Nigel Richards


2008 Scandinavian cast
  • The Whore - Lena Näslund
  • The Soldier - Jonas Schlyter
  • The Nurse - Hilde Traetteberg
  • The College Boy - Mikael Lundin
  • The Young Wife - Mari Haugen Smistad
  • The Husband - Tore Norrby
  • The Young Thing - David Inghamn
  • The Writer - Johan Ringström
  • The Actress - Maria Camilla Karlsson Stavland
  • The Senator - Lennart Eriksson


2008 Australian Cast
  • The Whore- Lisa Callingham
  • The Soldier- Vincent Hooper
  • The Nurse- Liz Stiles
  • The College Boy- Keene Fletcher
  • The Young Wife- Katrina Retallick
  • The Husband- Matt Young
  • The Young Thing- Gareth Keegan
  • The Writer- Zach Curran
  • The Actress- Sigrid Langford-Shirf
  • The Senator- Nathan Carter


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)


References

  1. Richards, David. "Review/Theater; Would-Be Lovers Find Little but Sex In an Endless Dance",The New York Times, January 31, 1994
  2. http://www.citybeat.com/cincinnati/article-3062-hello-again.html


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