Andrew Lippa’s Harvey Milk Concert Coming to NYC

by Mark Kennedy
Thursday May 22, 2014
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Harvey Milk in his camera store in San Francisco in 1977.
Harvey Milk in his camera store in San Francisco in 1977.  (Source:AP Photo)

A concert piece about Harvey Milk by Tony Award nominee Andrew Lippa that made its world premiere last summer in San Francisco is coming to New York, and it is bringing Kristin Chenoweth along with it.

Producers said Thursday that "I Am Harvey Milk" will have its New York premiere Oct. 6 at Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall as part of a one-night-only benefit to help provide arts education for at-risk youth. The director will be Noah Himmelstein.

Lippa, who wrote the music and lyrics for Broadway’s "The Addams Family" and "Big Fish," will play Milk in the work, which is part choral and part theater. He and Chenoweth will be backed by the Orchestra of St. Luke’s and the 120-member All Star Broadway Men’s Chorus.

Tickets start at $40, with premium seats starting at $500. Money raised will go to create the Harvey Milk Arts Fund at the Hetrick-Martin Institute, the nation’s largest and oldest LGBT youth services organization.

Milk became one of the first openly gay men elected to public office in the United States when he won a seat on the board of supervisors in 1977, inspiring a generation of activists with his uncompromising call for gays to come out.

He was assassinated at City Hall, along with Mayor George Moscone, more than a year later. His life became the subject of the 2008 Oscar-winning film "Milk." Thursday celebrates his birthday and the United States Postal Service is launching a Harvey Milk commemorative stamp.

Lippa’s 12-movement work begins when Milk is 11 years old and then offers a song for each month in his tenure on the board of supervisors. The work is non-chronological and impressionistic, even including a song sung from the point of view of the bullet that killed Milk.

Chenoweth, whose TV credits include "The West Wing," ’’The Good Wife" and "Pushing Daisies," was last on Broadway in the 2010 revival of "Promises, Promises." She is due to return to Broadway early next year in the stylish screwball musical "On the Twentieth Century."

Copyright Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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