The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk is a remarkable Klezmer* musical by Daniel Jamieson and Ian Ross and is being staged at Rodef Shalom congregation.
*Klezmer is a style of folk music that draws upon the traditions of Ashkenazi Judaism and Eastern European folk traditions. The term “klezmer” combines the Hebrew words for a vessel (“kley”) and melody (“zemer”).
The Quantum Theater production is Directed and Choreographed by Gustavo Zajac, with Music Direction by Douglas Levine. The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk (The Chagall Musical) is based on the love story of artist Marc Chagall and his poet wife, Bella. Their relationship is memorialized in countless of his paintings. The fantasy fairytale takes its name from the Lithuanian city where Chagall was born in 1887.
“There are few more vivid evocations of how it feels to fall for someone than in Chagall’s ecstatic paintings of his wife.” – Daniel Jamieson.
On whimsical sets, Marc and Bella are the picture of romance, floating over a Russian village or the Eiffel Tower. Although they are often seen flying on canvases, in life, they sloughed through some of the most devastating years of Jewish history, navigating pogroms, the Russian Revolution, and the Holocaust.
The two-person show stars Dan Mayhak as Marc. He was most recently seen in Front Porch Theatricals’ production of Merrily We Roll Along and previously in their Falsettos, A Man of No Importance, Grey Gardens, and Violet from Front Porch. The Pittsburgh actor has also appeared in shows from Throughline Theatre Company, Stage Right, Pittsburgh Musical Theater, and Split Stage Productions.
Zanny Laird plays Bella. Laird has led a successful acting career on and off the silver screen. Since beginning her professional career at nine, Zanny has spent over 25 years in film, television, and theater in Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York. She has appeared with the Pittsburgh CLO and Pittsburgh Shakespeare in the Parks and was an Associate Director for PMT’s Jesus Christ Superstar.
The creative team brings together some of the Quantum’s favorite artists: Scenic Designer Stephanie Mayer-Staley, Lighting Designer Andrew Ostrowski, Costume Designer Grzegorz Labuda, Projection Designer Peter Brucker, and Sound Designer Anthony Del Grosso.
The show is paired with Violins of Hope Greater Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh’s exhibition of instruments rescued from the Holocaust. Each instrument has a unique and emotional history that tells the story of perseverance and hope, unfortunately they are too delicate to be played live in the show.
To set the stage before opening night, Quantum will host a symposium on Tuesday, October 17 from 7-9pm at Rodef Shalom Congregation. During this special evening, speakers will survey Marc Chagall’s works, examine the challenging time during which he lived, and explore the historical devastation of the Holocaust and how lessons of history resonate inside the contemporary issues of equality, tolerance, and hope. Speakers include Sandy Rosen, Chair, Violins of Hope Greater Pittsburgh; Kathy Keinholz, Art Historian, Docent Coordinator, The Carnegie Museum of Art; and Barbara Burstin, History Professor and Author, University of Pittsburgh.
TICKETS AND DETAILS
Performances are at Rodef Shalom Congregation from October 28th to November 26th, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday at 8pm with Sunday matinees at 2pm.
Tickets are available at: https://quantumtheatre.my.salesforce-sites.com/ticket#/events/a0S6S00000ad4RBUAY
There are numerous pre and post-show events with details and dates here: https://www.quantumtheatre.com/vitebsk/