Far From Heaven

Off-Broadway Premiere, 2013
Playwrights Horizons
Preview Production, 2012
Williamstown Theatre Festival

Book by Richard Greenberg
Music by Scott Frankel
Lyrics by Michael Korie

Directed by Michael Greif
Scenic design by Allen Moyer
Costume Design by Catherine Zuber
Lighting Design by Kenneth Posner
Sound design by Nevin Steinberg
Orchestrations by Bruce Coughlin
Music Direction by Lawrence Yurman

With Kelli O’Hara, Steven Pasquale,
Isaiah Johnson, Nancy Anderson

National Productions
Porchlight Music Theatre
Chicago, 2016

SpeakEasy Stage Company
Boston, 2014


“As the music swells in orchestrator Bruce Coughlin’s gorgeous tribute to Nelson Riddle, Cathy suggests Raymond ask her to dance. It’s an electrifying moment, drawing together all the best powers of the musical theater and all the particular threads of this unusually fine example of the genre. [Far From Heaven] is full of the pleasures of a century’s worth of song, not used as pastiche, but as characterization of the individuals and their normative milieu. The score is completely fresh, often heartbreakingly lovely, and sometimes terrifying… Well, there’s not much like Far From Heaven in recent musicals at all. The singular achievement of Far From Heaven is to have turned so much seriousness—so much fury and pain—into so much songwriting beauty.”

–Jesse Green, Theater Critic, New York Magazine

Far From Heaven is actually pretty close to heavenly. It’s smart, sophisticated, and a perfect vehicle for Kelli O’Hara’s soaring voice and endearing stage presence. The transporting, potent show has an elegant diversity of music by Scott Frankel. Thoughtful lyrics by Michael Korie sensitively express the characters’ turbulent inner emotions…A dark aura of repressed sensuality alternates with scenes of suburban placidity. Quiet introspective numbers are mixed with fuzzy, funny ones like ‘Marital Bliss,’ a cocktail fueled discussion by women about how often they have sex. A would-be romantic vacation in Miami features a wonderful, Latin-tinged nightclub number as closeted gay men exchange longing glances during ‘Wandering Eyes.’ Difficult emotional journeys are beautifully rendered in Far From Heaven, and the musical is profoundly effective.”

–Jennifer Farrar, Associated Press,  June 2, 2013

“The most important part of any musical is the score. And Far from Heaven — about prejudice and repressed desire in 1957 Connecticut — boasts a gorgeously lush and evocative score. Composer Scott Frankel and lyricist Michael Korie easily topped their Tony-nominated work from Grey Gardens. The songs are not just well-crafted, but tuneful, too:  You’ll leave with the haunting ‘The Only One’ firmly lodged in your head. One song in particular, ‘Tuesdays, Thursdays’ captures Cathy’s disillusion as she looks back on her perfect world. ‘Promises I put my faith in,’ she sings, her heart crumbling.”

–Elisabeth Vincentelli, New York Post,  June 3, 2013

Far From Heaven is far from your typical Broadway musical. Much of it is sung through, at times verging on operatic. And who better to articulate this off-kilter, angst-ridden drama than the Tony-nominated team from Grey Gardens. The piece is a sharply observed study of midcentury norms…Homosexuality is a disease to be cured and ‘Negroes’ must be kept in their place. Conformity, repression, and prejudice abound…The plaintive, jazz-inflected score illuminates dark corners of the characters’ souls.”

–David Kennerley, Gay City News,  June 3, 2013

“A profound and beautiful new musical…The music, lyrics and book are also stars of Far From Heaven. The show is nearly an opera with music often played under the small amount of dialogue. The melodic and sometimes jazzy songs are a vehicle for the story and they also convey character. The transition between dialogue and lyrics is seamless. The audience listened carefully to the lyrics because they are so revealing and insightful. The lyric, melodic songs allow Kelli O’Hara’s strong, nearly operatic soprano voice to soar.”

–Nancy Salz, The Berkshire Review,  July 24, 2012



Further Reading

Boston Globe Interview

Advocate: Best NY Theater of 2013

New York Times Arts & Leisure

Opera News