Dr. Selavy's Magic Theatre
Composer: Stanley Silverman
Librettist: Richard Foreman
Other Artistic Personnel: Richard Foreman, Director; Stanley Silverman, Conductor; Duane Mazey, Production Stage Manager;
Original Cast: Denise Delapenha as Fortune Teller, Mary Delson as Female Pirate, Jessica Harper as Rock Singer, George McGrath as Dr. Selavy, Steve Menken as Doctor With Most Hair, Jackie Paris as Little Girl, Ron Faber/Barry Primus as Patient, Ron Schlee as Shortest Male Doctor, Amy Taubin as Shortest Female Doctor
Premiere Date: August 12, 1972
Producing Company: Lenox Arts Center
Description: Inspired by the surrealistic vision of Marcel Duchamp, the scenario involves the supposed cure of a "patient" in an extremely nutty insane asylum. A patient of Dr. Selavy (pronounced C'est la vie) goes through a series of five fantasy scenes and in the end is cured of an illness. The illness is never identified. The absurdist, pop-art comedy has been described as "in the tradition of Artaud, Beckett, and the Committee to Reelect the President...as if executed by Marcel Duchamp, Soupy Sales, Mack Sennett, Busby Berkeley, the cast of Hair, Julius Monk, and Sigmund Freud."
Reviews: Musical America, 3-73, p. 27; The New York Times, Donal Henahan, 8-20-72; The New York Times, Clive Barnes, 11-24-72; The New York Times, Stephen E. Rubin, 12-17-72; The New York Times, Harold C. Schonberg, 1-21-73; The New York Times, John Rockwell, 2-8-76; The New York Times, Mel Gussow, 1-27-84.
Length: 01:05
Orchestration: 4 instrumentalists
Musical Style: Absurdist pop-style; a collection of Broadway musical parodies-show biz tunes, Kurt Weill, etc., including parodies of Handel oratorio and Bellini bel canto writing. There is no dialogue in the opera. The music ranges from rock to ballad to nursery song.
Contact: Score is available from the composer. Contact BMI
Phone: 212-586-2000
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