Mastodon Update: Wagner Goes On Broadway: Comedy "My Parsifal Conductor" - The Wagnerian

Update: Wagner Goes On Broadway: Comedy "My Parsifal Conductor"

Written By The Wagnerian on Thursday 30 August 2018 | 4:05:00 pm

EDIT: We had the opportunity to catch up with the author just prior to the play's premiere. We should be publishing this in the next few days. An interesting read that throws some more light on this production and its intentions. 

We are not too sure what to make of this story, but here goes anyway. In November,  playwright, Allen Leicht will premiere, if not on Broadway then at least off, his comedy play "My Parsifal Conductor". According to the production company, The Directors Company, the play is based on the premise that, "musical genius Richard Wagner and his ever-faithful wife Cosima, find themselves in a moral, political and musical dilemma when King Ludwig II of Bavaria insists that Hermann Levi, the son of a rabbi, conduct Wagner's final masterpiece, Parsifal"

So, it seems to start with a myth that is not only untrue (and oddly perpetuated by the antisemitics of the Bayreuth Circle post his death) but, as Laurence Dreyfus (see this link as an example), among others, have pointed out, is highly implausible. However, it is a comedy, and even the best fiction will alter the truth for dramatic effect, Peter Shaffer's Amadeus for example. So with that in mind:

Cosima spends her last night on earth reliving her past and contemplating her after-life. In this comedic and imaginative take on the real-life events, Hermann Levi causes Cosima & Wagner to try to control their anti-Semitic views.

My Parsifal Conductor will feature Eddie Korbich as Wagner, Claire Brownwell as Cosima, Geoffrey Cantor as Levi, Carlo Bosticco as Ludwig, Logan James Hall as Nietzsche, Alison Cimmet as Dora and Jazmin Gorsline as Carrie/Sophie.

My Parsifal Conductor will feature set design by Harry Feiner, costume design by Gail Cooper-Hect, lighting design by Paul Hudson, sound design by Andy Evan Cohen and projection design by Tim Donovan/Bravo Media.

Tickets for My Parsifal Conductor are available through

September 25 - November 3: Tuesday-Thursday at 7:30PM; Friday-Saturday at 8PM; Matinees on Saturday at 2PM and Sunday at 3PM.

Eddie Korbich (Wagner) Original Broadway casts of A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder, A Christmas Story (Santa), The Little Mermaid (Scuttle), The Drowsy Chaperone (George-Drama Desk nomination), Breakfast at Tiffany's, After the Night and the Music (Keith), Wicked, Seussical, Carousel (Mr. Snow-LCT) and Sweeney Todd (Tobias-Circle In The Square). Off-Broadway credits include Assassins, Godspell, The Gifts of the Magi, Flora, The Red Menace, A Little Night Music, Eating Raoul and Taking a Chance on Love (Obie Award). Mr Korbich has appeared on over 25 original cast albums. He appeared regionally in The Gamester (St. Louis Rep), Dracula (North Shore) and 3hree (Ahmanson). His film and television credits include "Blue Bloods", "Elementary", "The Mysteries of Laura", "Law & Order", "Deadbeat", "The Deuce"; Jennifer 8 and Quiz Show. Eddie loves doing cartoon voices and has been a series regular on "Doug", "Pinky Dinky Doo" and "PB & J Otter."

Claire Brownwell (Cosima) is thrilled to make her Directors Company debut. Credits include: Broadway & National Tour: The 39 Steps; Off-Broadway: Indian Ink; Off-off: Came Tumbling After, Hamlet: A Version; Regional Theatre: Barrington Stage, Shakespeare Theatre Company, Hartford Stage: Boeing Boeing! (Connecticut Critics Circle Award), American Conservatory Theatre, Pioneer Theatre Company, La Jolla Playhouse, Seattle Rep; Television: Inside Amy Schumer, The Knick, Jessica Jones. Member of The Actors Center. MFA American Conservatory Theatre.

GEOFFREY CANTOR (Levi) graduated magna from Amherst, and trained at NTI and the Central School in London. Theatre credits include: Side Man (Broadway); Warren Leight's Sec 310, Row D, Seats 5&6; Dinner with Friends; Death of a Salesman; Julie Taymor's Titus Andronicus; Saturday Sunday Monday; Talley's Folly; Romeo and Juliet ; Lone Star. Best known as Ellison in "Daredevil and The Punisher". Other TV credits include Netflix's "Maniac" with Emma Stone and Jonah Hill, "The Tick," "Bull," "Madam Secretary," "House of Cards," "Blacklist," "The Americans," "Damages," "Sopranos," and "Law & Order". Film: Hail, Ceasar! Hot Air, Man on a Ledge, Fair Game, and Public Enemies. Geof won the earbud award for his narration of the audiobook The Family. He is the Chief Creative Consultant for Rethink The Conversation and lives in New Jersey with his lovely wife Cathleen and their two amazing kids, Benjamin (SVA '16) and Talia (Dickinson '19).

CARLO BOSTICCO (Ludwig) is overjoyed to be making his royal Off-Broadway debut after having worked in the most disparate parts of the globe. Carlo's credits include the Olivier-Award winning production of La Bohème (OperaUpClose), From Stage to Screen and Back Again (West End), Tremont in Jerry Springer the Opera (Edinburgh Festival), Pirelli in Sweeney Todd (Edinburgh Festival), Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet (Teatro Stabile di Verona, Italy), Dante in Behind Closed Doors (Theatre 80, NYC) and Luna in Hedgepig Races (The Brick, Brooklyn).Carlo is also a writer and composer. He recently performed excerpts of his upcoming musical Chasing Icarus with the Symphony Orchestra of Guiyang, China. He provided additional lyrics for Travels with my Aunt by Broadway veterans George Styles and Anthony Drewe. TV: "Conquering Fears." IG: carlobosticco

Logan James Hall (Nietzsche) A few favorite credits include: Thomas Novacheck in Venus In Fur at the Fulton Theater (awarded best actor award BWW) and Ken in RED also at The Fulton; Ethan Kane in Sex With Strangers at Vermont Stages; Jason Posner in WIT at North Carolina Theater Center; Jim O'Connor in The Glass Menagerie at The Pioneer Theater Co.

Alison Cimmet (Dora) Broadway: Amelie; She Loves Me; The Mystery of Edwin Drood; Bonnie & Clyde; Baby, It's You!; A Tale of Two Cities. NYC/Regional favorites: Lady Capulet in Romeo and Juliet (Westport Country Playhouse); Viola in Twelfth Night (Prince Music Theater); John Guare's 3 Kinds of Exile (world premiere, Atlantic Theater); My Wonderful Day (Two River Theater); Party Face (City Center II). Film: The Big Sick, Chasing Taste. TV: "Younger," "The Good Fight," "Bull," Deadbeat." Brown University graduate.

Jazmin Gorsline (Carrie/Sophie) recently performed the role of Christine Daae in Andrew Lloyd Webber's Love Never Dies in Hamburg, Germany. Other credits include the Cameron Mackintosh National Tour of My Fair Lady, Carnival! at The Kennedy Center, and in regional productions of She Loves Me (Amalia), Beauty and the Beast (Belle), Hello, Dolly! (Irene), Fiddler on the Roof (Hodel), Guys and Dolls (Sarah Brown), Carousel (Julie Jordan), and The Light in the Piazza (Clara). She holds a Masters degree in Vocal Performance from Eastman School of Music.

ALLAN LEICHT is a multiple EMMY Award, Writers' Guild Award, Christopher Award-winning writer of television movies, including most notably, Adam, starring Daniel J. Travanti and JoBeth Williams, and Lady in a Corner, starring Loretta Young and Brian Keith (NBC); several comedy series, including Kate and Allie (CBS), and The Thorns (ABC) in collaboration with Mike Nichols; dramatic series, most notably, Mariah (ABC); and daytime dramas Ryan's Hope and One Life to Live. As a director, he brought William Golding's comedy, The Brass Butterfly, to the New York stage, starring Sam Waterstonand Paxton Whitehead, as well as many regional theater productions. His musical, The Adventures of Friar Tuck, for which he wrote book and lyrics, premiered at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center. He produced Rashi, A Light after the Dark Ages, a video production starring Leonard Nimoy and Sir Paul Scofield and Rambam, The Story of Maimonides with Mr. Nimoy and Armand Assante. Allan divides his time between New York and Jerusalem, where he recently appeared as an actor in Shakespeare's Henry V. He is married to actress and designer Renee Lippin Leicht and they have three children and two grandchildren.

Robert Kalfin has directed more than 500 productions and workshops of new plays, musicals and the classics in venues on Broadway, Off-Broadway, in major American regional theaters, in Europe, the Middle East and as far abroad as Siberia. He is the founder of New York's Chelsea Theatre Center, which has won five Tony Awards, 21 Obie Awards and four Tony Nominations. Soon to celebrate the 60th Anniversary of his first professional New York production, Mr. Kalfin recently staged The Property at The Harold Clurman Theater. Broadway credits include Strider, Happy End (starring Meryl Streepand Christopher Lloyd), Yentl (starring Tovah Feldshuh), Truly Blessed, a Celebration of Mahalia Jackson; and as Chelsea Co-Producer of Harold Prince's production of Candide. He directed the television production of The Prince Of Homburg starring Frank Langellafor PBS Great Performances "Theatre in America" Series. He has served as Artistic Director for the Chelsea Theatre Center, the Cincinnati Playhouse-in-the-Park and the Pirate Playhouse on Sanibel Island and on the Boards of the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers and Theater Communications Group.. In 2015, he was honored with the "Legend of Off-Broadway" Off-Broadway Alliance Award. Mr. Kalfin attended Alfred University and has his M.F.A. degree in Directing from the Yale School of Drama. His notable contributions to the American Theatre scene are detailed in Chelsea on the Edge. He recently completed his guide-book for young directors, Making it Safe to be Unsafe and has two new musicals in the works.