Preludes OFF-BROADWAY REVIEWS

Photo: Tina Fineberg
  • NY TIMES

  • Opening Night:
    June 15, 2015
    Closing:
    August 2, 2015

    Theater: Claire Tow Theater / 150 West 65th Street, New York, NY, 10023

    Synopsis: 

    World premiere! From the creators of Natasha, "Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812", "Preludes" is a musical fantasia set in the hypnotized mind of Russian composer Sergei Rachmaninoff. After the disastrous premiere of his first symphony, the young Rachmaninoff suffers from writer’s block. He begins daily sessions with a therapeutic hypnotist, in an effort to overcome depression and return to composing.

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  • NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW OF Preludes

    ‘Preludes,’ a Hypnotist Tries to Get Rachmaninoff to Make Music Again

    Ben Brantley

    June 15, 2015: Writer’s block turns out to be a lot more inspiring than you could ever have imagined — and sad and stirring and gloriously fun. In “Preludes,” which opened on Monday night at the Claire Tow Theater at Lincoln Center, Dave Malloy makes beautiful music out of a composer’s three years of creative silence. The suffering young artist in this case is one Sergei Rachmaninoff (1873-1943), the Russian whose late-Romantic compositions summon thoughts of crashing waves beneath skies illuminated by fireworks. You’ve probably heard his music, even if you’ve never set foot in a concert hall. And you may have been transported, embarrassed or repelled by its intensity of feeling. Rach, as our hero is known, is well aware of this possible variety of responses, and it paralyzes him. When “Preludes” begins, in Moscow in 1900, memories of the hostile reception to his first symphony in 1897, performed disastrously under the baton of a drunken conductor, still grip him in a stranglehold. So Rach (a fabulous Gabriel Ebert, with Or Matias as his expressive, piano-playing alter ego) spends his days doing pretty much nothing but massaging an open wound. The opening song of this show — conceived by Mr. Malloy with its director, Rachel Chavkin — is a catalog of the empty hours of his typical day. And anyone who’s ever felt guilty about killing, instead of seizing, time will feel the full sting of Rach’s self-flagellation.

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