Contact

A dance musical devised by Susan Stroman and John Weidman. The original Broadway production opened on 30 March 2000 and was directed and choreographed by Susan Stroman. The production closed on 1 September 2002, running for a total of 1010 performances.

Synopsis and Musical Numbers

This groundbreaking work began performing at a smaller theater, the Mitzi E. Newhouse, in September 1999 and subsequently moved to the larger Vivian Beaumont Theater for an open-ended run in March 2000. Contact received many of the major theater awards of the season, including the Tony Award for Best Musical. The show is also notable because it is the first show that Susan Stroman has both choreographed and directed. In the fall of 1998, LCT’s Artistic Director André Bishop invited Ms. Stroman to develop a new musical of her own. By February of 1999, she and Mr. Weidman had come up with a script for what is now the second act of CONTACT, which they developed in a workshop setting with a group of actors and dancers. In June 1999, a second workshop was held to create what is now the show’s first act. In September 1999, performances began at the Newhouse for what was then dubbed “a dance play”. The evening consists of three thematically-linked short stories told mostly through dance. In each story, the central character expresses a longing to make a romantic connection.

Story #1: “Swinging,” has as its source an 18th-century painting by Jean-Honoré Fragonard set in a bucolic forest clearing, where a beautiful young woman soars on a swing while two men look on. In Stroman and Weidman’s version, they are a servant and his master vying for the young lady’s affection. The Rodgers and Hart song “My Heart Stood Still”, as recorded by jazz violinist Stéphane Grappelli, provides the aural bed for this sexy romp in the French countryside.

Story #2: “Did You Move?” takes place in 1954 in Queens, New York at an Italian restaurant. The heroine is a soft-spoken woman trapped in a loveless marriage, who tries to escape her verbally abusive husband through a series of romantic and comic fantasies. Imagining herself a prima ballerina, she dances with the headwaiter, the busboys and the restaurant’s other customers to the grand melodies of Tchaikovsky, Grieg and Bizet.

Story #3: “Contact” is set in present-day New York, and is the story of Michael Wiley, a wildly successful advertising guy in his 40s who is wildly suicidal about his personal life. He is mysteriously drawn to an after-hours club in Manhattan’s meat-packing district, where he tries to engage a beautiful young woman in a yellow dress who keeps appearing and then disappearing into the crowd of sinuous couples swing-dancing to the music of Benny Goodman, The Beach Boys, Robert Palmer, Dion, and The Squirrel Nut Zippers.

Mini Gallery

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Purchases from Amazon.com

From left to right above: 1. Contact Original Broadway Cast Recording CD. 2. A Class Act Original Broadway Cast Recording CD. 3. Urinetown Original Broadway Cast Recording CD. 4. Bat Boy Original Off-Broadway Cast Recording CD. 5. The Producers Original Broadway Cast Recording CD.

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