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  Musical Theater  


Music for Plays



I. Musical Theater 

 THE PEARL - a musical theater piece (2012)


Music by Louis Rosen

Book and Lyrics by Arthur Perlman,

based on the John Steinbeck novella, “The Pearl"


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 a musical theater piece


  Music by Louis Rosen

Lyrics and Libretto by Thom Bishop and Louis Rosen


 Premiere: Goodman Theater (Mainstage), 1991, directed by Robert Falls

 Revision Premiere: Greenwich Street Theater, Off-Broadway, 1997


    "Goodman’s ‘Night’ pulses with passion. ... 'Book of the Night' flashed like a comet in Monday’s world premiere. … The bold new work by composers and lyricists Thom Bishop and Louis Rosen grips the imagination and storms the senses…." Chicago Sun-Times  


“...this new musical is a truly remarkable accomplishment in a genuinely dazzling production …. music of beauty and power….” Chicago Tribune


“The show’s music, a rich collection of complex choral pieces and moody arias …” Wall Street Journal 


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a new musical 


Music & Lyrics Adaptation by Louis Rosen

 Book by Louis Rosen, Arthur Perlman and Charlotte Maier

 Based on writings of Robert Louis Stevenson


   Premiere: Melting Pot Theater Off-Broadway, directed by Lori Steinberg choreographed by Robert La Fosse



  “...a magical, powerful subtle work about nature and dreaming and pain. … ‘A Child’s Garden’ shows the essentials—imagination, creativity, a wise feel for life.” NY Post  Read more.


  “Louis Rosen’s score is charming, tender and homespun… ‘A Child’s Garden’ … is brought to life with taste and grace.” Time Out NY.  


“A Child’s Garden is a delightful musical romp..." The Brooklyn Paper

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   a one-act musical (1983)


   Music and Lyrics by Louis Rosen

 Book by Alan Rosen

 Based on the play by A. A. Milne


 Premiere: Ann Arbor Summer Arts Festival, 1989, directed by Arthur Masella






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II. Music for Plays 


 Louis has written song and instrumental scores for thirty productions on Broadway, Off-Broadway (Lincoln Center Theater, New York Shakespeare Festival, Central Park, The Public Theater, The Acting Company, Circle Rep) and at major Regional theaters around the country (The Guthrie Theater, Minneapolis; Goodman Theater, Chicago; Washington, D.C.'s Shakespeare Theater; Seattle Repertory Theater; New Haven's Long Wharf Theater; McCarter Theater in Princeton; Boston's Huntington Theater, and many more.)


 a few favorites are ...




Written and Directed by James Lapine

(Based on the 1959 memoir by Moss Hart)


Vivian Beaumont Theater at Lincoln Center

Recipient of five Tony Award nominations including Best Play (James Lapine) and Best Actor (Tony Shalhoub)

Filmed for Live at Lincoln Center. Broadcast Premiere: November 13, 2015





by Bertolt Brecht, translation by Haniff Kureishi


 Shakespeare Theatre, Washington, D.C., directed by Michael Kahn, 1993. (Eleven songs.)


 “Ordinarily you don’t walk out of “Mother Courage and Her Children” humming a tune. But you just might after listening to Louis Rosen’s newly commissioned score at the Shakespeare Theater’s current production…. Rosen has managed to retain both the hard-edged, thoroughly unsentimental tone of this great play and to infuse his songs with melodically memorable passages, bracing rhythms and a real sense of what each character is about…. There’s a definite emotional payoff.” Washington Post Profile. Read complete profile ... 

   “...musically effective…. Louis Rosen’s songs for Brecht’s anti-war masterpiece mostly shunned the temptation of grabbing Kurt Weill’s Brechtian style. The Chaplain for instance...got a crucifixion song brimming with a musical fire…. A freshly imagined, musically seasoned epic." New York’s Village Voice





  by William Inge



Roundabout Theater, Broadway, directed by Scott Ellis, choreographed by Susan Stroman, 1994

  (Three Dances and additional music)


  “Susan Stroman’s choreography to Louis Rosen’s simple, evocative music, is striking.” NY Daily News

   “From Louis Rosen [Ellis] got the right, ingenuous music.” NY Magazine




  by Moliere

  World-Premiere Translation by Richard Wilbur



Long Wharf Theatre, New Haven, CT; directed by Doug Hughes, 2000

(Instrumental score)


 “...The strolling four-man band...punctuates the action with clever Klezmeresque original music by Louis Rosen.” NY Times

   “Louis Rosen’s music is an important part of the production, which opens with three musicians wandering onstage and tuning up. They are joined by actor Horne as a drummer and eventually launch into a jaunty, deliberately out-of-tune overture. Throughout, the musicians punctuate and underscore the play with a score that ranges from woozy waltz to lugubrious funeral march….” Variety

Read more…




  by William Shakespeare



New York Shakespeare Festival, Delacorte Theater in Central Park, directed by Michael Maggio, 1989  

  (Instrumental score)


  “Maggio’s staging is powerful, Louis Rosen’s background score splendid…. If only the better plays were this solidly done.” NY Daily News




  by Bertolt Brecht

  Translation by Adrian Hall and James Schevill



 Goodman Theatre, directed by Robert Falls, 1986

  (four songs, two dances, vocal interludes and instrumental score)


 “Louis Rosen’s original music...consistently gives the play the clear forcefulness it demands.” Chicago Tribune

  “Much credit should go to...the pulsing dynamic score by Louis Rosen whose pungent songs are reason enough not to miss Galileo.” Chicago Reader

  To read two profiles and more reviews ...



 Go to the Music for Plays page for a list of all productions and press quotes ...

  or to the Press Archive Main Page for links to all profiles and reviews for Louis'  music for plays.