Lyric Stage continued its 21st season with four special concert performances of Sigmund Romberg, Oscar Hammerstien II, Otto Harbach and Frank Mandel’s THE DESERT SONG.
January 23, 24 & 25 @ 8:00 PM
and January 26 @ 2:30 PM
Carpenter Performance Hall at the Irving Arts Center
3333 N. MacArthur Blvd
Irving, TX 75062
Under the baton of Lyric Stage’s music director Jay Dias, this concert presentation featured the 35-piece Lyric Stage Orchestra, a cast of 40, and was the first since the original 1926 Broadway production to feature Hammerstein II, Harbach and Mandel’s original book.
The original Broadway book of THE DESERT SONG was deemed too racy, and it was sanitized prior to a Broadway revival in 1946. The original 1929 film became illegal to view or exhibit in the United States due to its pre-Hollywood Production Code content which included sexual innuendo. Keeping with Lyric Stage’s mission of restoring American musicals, maestro Dias discovered the original 1926 script at the Schubert Archives and this script will be used for these four special concert performances.
The popularity of BEAU GESTE, THE SON OF THE SHIEK and other stories romanticizing Arab North Africa in the mid 1920’s inspired composer Sigmund Romberg and book writer/lyricist Oscar Hammerstein II, Otto Harbach and Frank Mandel to write their 1926 operetta THE DESERT SONG. The writers based their operetta on the 1925 uprising of the Riffs, a group of Moroccan fighters, against French colonial rule. At the same time, Lawrence of Arabia, and tales of his aiding of native guerrillas, was very popular.
Lyric Stage’s concert presentations of THE DESERT SONG featured Christopher J. Deaton in the duel role of The Red Shadow / Pierre, Kristen Lassiter as Margo, the object of his affections, and, supplying the vaudeville comedy, were Andy Baldwin and Daron Cockerell. Featured in the cast were Brian Mathis, Jonathan Bragg, James Williams, Daniel Saroni, Emily Ford, and Abi Abel, with Russell Batchelor, Carlee Cagle, Noelle Chesney, Vicki Dean, Corrie Donovan, Parker Fitzgerald, Brendon Gallagher, Martin Guerra, Whitney Hennen, Doug Henry, Brett Hurt, Johnny Lee, Jackie Lengfelder, Hunter Lewis, Gerard Lucero, Delynda Johnson Moravec, Mark Oristano, Ben Phillips, Julie Rhodes, Mark Rios, Dustin Simington, Kimberly Smith, Scott Sutton, Jessica Taylor, Jenny Tucker, Jason Villarreal, Christopher Wagley, Natasha Wells, Aaron C. White and Katie Moyes Williams.