Marlowe (musical)

Marlowe (musical)

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Marlowe is a musical
Musical theatre
Musical theatre is a form of theatre combining songs, spoken dialogue, acting, and dance. The emotional content of the piece – humor, pathos, love, anger – as well as the story itself, is communicated through the words, music, movement and technical aspects of the entertainment as an...

 with a book by Leo Rost, lyrics by Rost and Jimmy Horowitz, and music by Horowitz. Despite a claim in the Playbill
Playbill is a monthly U.S. magazine for theatregoers. Although there is a subscription issue available for home delivery, most Playbills are printed for particular shows to be distributed at the door...

that "the story of this drama is essentially true and accurate," much of it is a fiction
Fiction is the form of any narrative or informative work that deals, in part or in whole, with information or events that are not factual, but rather, imaginary—that is, invented by the author. Although fiction describes a major branch of literary work, it may also refer to theatrical,...

alized account of the life of Elizabethan
Elizabethan era
The Elizabethan era was the epoch in English history of Queen Elizabeth I's reign . Historians often depict it as the golden age in English history...

A playwright, also called a dramatist, is a person who writes plays.The term is not a variant spelling of "playwrite", but something quite distinct: the word wright is an archaic English term for a craftsman or builder...

 Christopher Marlowe
Christopher Marlowe
Christopher Marlowe was an English dramatist, poet and translator of the Elizabethan era. As the foremost Elizabethan tragedian, next to William Shakespeare, he is known for his blank verse, his overreaching protagonists, and his mysterious death.A warrant was issued for Marlowe's arrest on 18 May...


While the plot refers to his rebellious
Rebellion, uprising or insurrection, is a refusal of obedience or order. It may, therefore, be seen as encompassing a range of behaviors aimed at destroying or replacing an established authority such as a government or a head of state...

Clergy is the generic term used to describe the formal religious leadership within a given religion. A clergyman, churchman or cleric is a member of the clergy, especially one who is a priest, preacher, pastor, or other religious professional....

 views, the main focus is on Marlowe's romantic relationship with Emelia Bossano, a woman he supposedly lured away from William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare was an English poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon"...

. Other historical
History is the discovery, collection, organization, and presentation of information about past events. History can also mean the period of time after writing was invented. Scholars who write about history are called historians...

 figures who put in an appearance are Richard Burbage
Richard Burbage
Richard Burbage was an English actor and theatre owner. He was the younger brother of Cuthbert Burbage. They were both actors in drama....

, Matthew Parker
Matthew Parker
Matthew Parker was Archbishop of Canterbury from 1559 until his death in 1575. He was also an influential theologian and arguably the co-founder of Anglican theological thought....

, Ingram Frizer
Ingram Frizer
Ingram Frizer, died August 1627, was an English gentleman and businessman of the late 16th and early 17th centuries who is notable for killing playwright Christopher Marlowe in the home of Eleanor Bull on 30 May 1593...

, and Queen Elizabeth I
Elizabeth I of England
Elizabeth I was queen regnant of England and Ireland from 17 November 1558 until her death. Sometimes called The Virgin Queen, Gloriana, or Good Queen Bess, Elizabeth was the fifth and last monarch of the Tudor dynasty...


In keeping with the general rock music
Rock music
Rock music is a genre of popular music that developed during and after the 1960s, particularly in the United Kingdom and the United States. It has its roots in 1940s and 1950s rock and roll, itself heavily influenced by rhythm and blues and country music...

 tone of the score, neither the set nor costume design
Costume design
Costume design is the fabrication of apparel for the overall appearance of a character or performer. This usually involves researching, designing and building the actual items from conception. Costumes may be for a theater or cinema performance but may not be limited to such...

s (miniskirt
A miniskirt, sometimes hyphenated as mini-skirt, is a skirt with a hemline well above the knees – generally no longer than below the buttocks; and a minidress is a dress with a similar meaning...

s, Day-Glo
Blacklight paint
Blacklight ink or blacklight-reactive Ink is ink that glows under a black light, a source of light whose wavelengths are primarily in the ultraviolet. The paint may or may not be colorful under ordinary light...

 tights and silver lamé
Lamé (fabric)
Lamé is a type of fabric woven or knit with thin ribbons of metallic yarns, as opposed to guimpé, where the ribbons are wrapped around a fibre yarn. It is usually gold or silver in color; sometimes copper lamé is seen. Lamé comes in different varieties, depending on the composition of the other...

Jumpsuit originally referred to the utilitarian one-piece garments used by parachuters/skydivers, but has come to be used as a common term for any one-piece garment with sleeves and legs.-Use:...

s) suggested the show was a period piece
Period piece
-Setting:In the performing arts, a period piece is a work set in a particular era. This informal term covers all countries, all periods and all genres...

, although the action is set in 1593.

The Broadway
Broadway theatre
Broadway theatre, commonly called simply Broadway, refers to theatrical performances presented in one of the 40 professional theatres with 500 or more seats located in the Theatre District centered along Broadway, and in Lincoln Center, in Manhattan in New York City...

 production was directed and choreographed by Don Price. After eight previews, it opened at the Rialto Theatre on October 12, 1981 and ran for 40 performances. The cast included Patrick Jude as Marlowe, Lisa Mordente
Lisa Mordente
Lisa Mordente is an American actress, singer, and dancer.Born in New Hyde Park, New York to choreographer and television director Tony Mordente and actress/dancer Chita Rivera , Mordente made her Broadway debut opposite Alexis Smith in the short-lived 1978 musical...

 as Emelia, John Henry Kurtz as Burbage, Raymond Serra as Parker, Robert Rosen (who later performed under the pseudonyms OZN and Robert Ozn
Robert Ozn
Robert Ozn , New York City born producer, screenwriter recording artist and actor, best known for being the vocal half of 80s synth pop duo EBN-OZN solo act, Dada Nada, and for his later work as co-producer and co-writer with Colin Greene of the human-rights themed feature film I Witness starring...

) as Frizer, and Margaret Warncke as the Queen. Mordente was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical.

In his review in the New York Times, Frank Rich
Frank Rich
Frank Rich is an American essayist and op-ed columnist who wrote for The New York Times from 1980, when he was appointed its chief theatre critic, until 2011...

described Marlowe as "a wholly ridiculous show that is much more fun to sit through than many merely mediocre musicals . . . If Marlowe isn't quite a classic of its kind, that's a matter of size, not content. Tacky-looking and sparsely populated, this show lacks the Titaniclike splendor and expenditure of Broadway's all-time fabulous wrecks."

Song list

Act 1
  • Prologue
  • Rocking the Boat
  • Because I'm a Woman
  • Live for the Moment
  • Emelia
  • I'm Coming 'Round to Your Point of View
  • The Ends Justify the Means
  • Higher Than High
  • Rocking the Boat (Reprise)

Act 2
  • Prologue
  • Christopher
  • So So I (Ode to Virginity)
  • Two Lovers
  • The Funeral Dirge
  • Live for the Moment (Reprise)
  • Emelia (Reprise)
  • Can't Leave Now
  • Christopher (Reprise)
  • The Madrigal Blues

External links=