January 4 - February 19, 2017
Audrey Skirball Kenis Theater
Written & Performed by†Benjamin Scheuer
Directed by†Sean Daniels
Los Angeles Premiere
“GO! Scheuer’s persuasive melodies and gravelly intensity deliver a cathartic power elevated by song that remains the uniquely thrilling hallmark of the best musical theater.”†– LA Weekly “Scheuer plays guitar as if he invented the instrument: fearlessly, idiosyncratically, effortlessly.”†– Los Angeles Times “The Lion is the year’s first must-see production! Scheuer’s melodies are as catchy as tunes get, his lyrics alternately clever and poignant.”†– StageSceneLA.com “A mesmerizing performer and musician…you can't help but be drawn onto his pain, joy, and disappointment.”†– BroadwayWorld.com “The Lion is funny and sad, heartbreaking and life-affirming all wrapped into a folksy package.”†– TheaterMania.com “Spellbinding! The best musical I've seen this year!”†– The Huffington Post “Wondrous…revelatory…incredibly entertaining!”†– San Francisco Gate “Scheuer’s style of composing and performing exhibits flashes of jazz, bluegrass, Dylan, Jeff Buckley, maybe even a little Morrissey in its lyrical mix of the whimsical and the achingly personal.”†– San Diego Union Tribune
The Lion, the Drama Desk Award-winning piece written and performed by Benjamin Scheuer, has redefined the genre of musical theater. Scheuer tells, sings, and plays the turbulent story of his family and his own brush with mortality, with his supporting cast of six guitars. “A mesmerizing guitarist,” Scheuer’s "songs are awfully well-constructed; there’s a hint of Paul Simon in Scheuer’s easy, knowing lyrics and disciplined musicianship,” says The Washington Post. The New York Times says Scheuer “gets to the heart of the matter” in this celebrated autobiographical show. Like its hero, The Lion roars.
BENJAMIN SCHEUER (Writer/Performer)
Benjamin Scheuer is the recipient of a Drama Desk Award, a Theatre World Award and London’s Off West End Award for Best New Musical. The official cast recording “Songs from The Lion” (produced by Geoff Kraly) is available on iTunes, CD and vinyl. Animated music videos for Scheuer’s songs “The Lion,” “Cookie-tin Banjo,” “Weather The Storm” and “Cure” (all directed by Peter Baynton) have won prizes at the Annecy Film Festival, the British Animation Awards, the Encounters Film Festival and Buenos Aires’ ExpoToons Film Festival. With photographer Riya Lerner, Scheuer is co-creator of the photography book Between Two Spaces, from which 50% of proceeds go to the Leukemia/Lymphoma Society (betweentwospaces.com). Scheuer has toured with Mary Chapin Carpenter and has performed at venues including the Royal Albert Hall in London and Lincoln Center in New York. He has been a writer-in-residence at the Goodspeed Theatre, the Weston Playhouse and the Johnny Mercer Songwriting Workshop, and has been commissioned by the Williamstown Theatre Festival. Scheuer lives in New York City. BenjaminScheuer.com, Instagram/Twitter: @BenjaminScheuer
SEAN DANIELS (Director)
Sean Daniels has directed at Manhattan Theatre Club (The Lion, Drama Desk Award and Theatre World Award, nominated for Lucille Lortel and Outer Critics Circle), Lynn Redgrave Theater (NYC), The Kennedy Center (Washington, D.C.), St. James (West End, London - The Lion, winner of Best New Musical), Actors Theatre of Louisville, The Old Globe, Arena Stage, Portland Center Stage, Geva Theatre, Playmakers Rep, A.C.T., Cleveland Play House, Milwaukee Rep, Alliance Theatre, California Shakespeare Theater, Dad’s Garage Theatre Company, Swine Palace, Neo-Futurists, Aurora Theatre Company, Crowded Fire Theater and the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Daniels has been named “one of the top fifteen up and coming artists in the U.S., whose work will be transforming America’s stages for decades to come” and “one of seven people reshaping and revitalizing the American musical” by American Theatre magazine. His direction and shows have won “Best Play” and “Best Director” in multiple cities. He is currently the Artistic Director of the Merrimack Repertory Theatre. He previously served as the Artist-At-Large for Geva Theatre Center and spent four years at the Tony Award-winning Actors Theatre of Louisville as the theater’s Associate Artistic Director (where he directed 17 productions including five Humana Festivals). Daniels is the former Associate Artistic Director/Resident Director of the California Shakespeare Theater and before that spent a decade as the Artistic Director and Co-Founder of Dad’s Garage Theatre Company in Atlanta. He has developed new work with the Eugene O’Neill Theatre Center, Ars Nova, PlayPenn, The Lark, PlayLabs, New York Stage and Film, Asolo Rep, Goodspeed Opera, Weston Playhouse, Bay Area Playwrights Festival and Magic Theatre, and was the first American director asked to attend the Baltic American Playwrights Conference in Hiiumaa, Estonia. He would love to hear from you @seandaniels.