Text Paul Rudnick
Direction Christopher Ashley

2003/04 Season

January 16, 2004—April 4, 2004

Read Synopsis

Two NYTW favorites, playwright Paul Rudnick and director Christopher Ashley (who memorably collaborated on The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told in 1998), team up for the premiere of Valhalla, a comic and affecting look at two disparate and passionate individuals both searching for a life of operatic beauty. King Ludwig II was the real-life 1860’s ruler known as “The Mad King of Bavaria” – madly in love with Wagnerian opera and remembered for dotting the Teutonic countryside with ornate castles. Ludwig’s aesthetic passions are redoubled through James Avery, a dangerously precocious 1940’s teenager marooned amidst the brown wallpaper and pink chenille bedspreads of Dainsville, Texas. Rudnick, with his trademark wit, intertwines Ludwig’s and James’s adventures in sex, war, glory, and architecture, and movingly charts the consequences of their obsession with the extraordinary.

NYTW has been working with Paul Rudnick and Christopher Ashley on the development of Valhalla for several years, including numerous readings of the play and a November 2002 workshop as part of NYTW’s Jonathan Larson Lab.

Scenic Design Thomas Lynch
Costume Design William Ivey Long
Lighting Design Kenneth Posner
Original Music and Sound Design Mark Bennett
Choreography Daniel Pelzig
Stage Manager Sarah Bittenbender
Assistant Stage Manager Erika Timperman

with Scott Barrow, Candy Buckley, Sean Dugan, Peter Frechette, Samantha Soule and Jack Willis