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DTC’s ‘Fortress Of Solitude’ Opening In New York

by Jerome Weeks 13 Oct 2014 11:08 AM

The musical tried out last March at the Dallas Theater Center. Now it’s in previews at the Public, and The New York Times has a big feature on it.


Kevin MamboKevin Mambo in the Dallas Theater Center’s Fortress of Solitude. Photo: Karen Almond

The New York Times ran a feature in its Sunday arts section on Fortress of Solitude, the musical that tried out at the Dallas Theater Center last March.  The adaptation of Jonathan Lethem’s best-selling novel about growing up with comic books and African-American music in a racially-charged 1980s Brooklyn is currently in previews at the Public Theater.

Although the New York production is called the show’s “world premiere,” judging from the NYT story and the online info, the production has the exact same line-up of creatives and on-stage talent, including Tony-winner Andre de Shields and Kevin Mambo, above, who gave a stellar vocal performance as Barrett Rude Junior, a soul singer-songwriter who has Marvin Gaye’s drug and marital problems but not his mega-success. The Times story concentrates on composer Michael Friedman, whose artistry was the show’s strongest element: He succeeded in finding fresh ways to evoke, echo, absorb and emulate music as different as early ’80s funk, punk, disco and rhythm-and-blues and put it all to work to tell Lethem’s story as a stage musical.