Off-Broadway: Gabriel Kahane – »February House« (2012)

»In the early 1940s, a group of artists — among them writer Carson McCullers, composer Benjamin Britten, poet W.H. Auden, author Paul Bowles and burlesque celeb Gypsy Rose Lee — participated in an experiment in communal living in a ramshackle Brooklyn brownstone home at 7 Middagh St.
It’s the subject of the musical “February House,” receiving its world premiere at New Haven’s Long Wharf Theatre, opening Feb. 22. After the show finishes its run March 18, it moves to off-Broadway’s Public Theater where it opens in May.«

It’s the music that makes the magic in «February House” (…)
What saves »February House« from annoying gaucheness and pretension is the obvious affection that its creators feel for their subjects. This show suggests a sweet collection of fans’ notes, set to music that is something more than that. As a lyricist, Mr. Kahane, a singer-songwriter who eludes pigeonholes, may hardly be on a level with Auden, three of whose poems he courageously uses as the basis for songs.
But the music he writes artfully captures the spirit of the years in which «February House” is set. The style of his music, performed by a wonderful onstage band, might be described as sentimental modernism, both lyrical and tense, delicate and harsh. It’s the sound of the age of anxiety, echoing through the voices of artists who can’t avoid feeling its tremors. [Ben Brantley, The New York Times]

- Public Theater
- Gabriel Kahane


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