First Lady Suite
Book, music and lyrics by Michael John LaChiusa
Public Theatre Off-Broadway - 15 December, 1993 (15 perfs)
opened March 9, 2002 at the Blank Theatre and enjoyed an extended run to April 28, 2002
Four chamber pieces, ranging from riotously funny to hauntingly lyrical focusing on celebrated first Ladies and the people surrounding them.
The first piece, the staccato, yet. hauntingly lyrical Over Texas, takes place aboard Air Force One on November 22nd, 1963. Mary Gallagher the First Lady's personal secretary, and Evelyn Lincoln, personal secretary to, the President, are trying to relax as they fly into Dallas. Mary, exhausted by the lifestyle, is coaxed into napping by the cool, collected, Evelyn. Mary's dreams become portentous nightmares as they are haunted by a. ghostly Jackie and an eerie Lady Bird.
The brassy, bouncy Where's Mamie? takes place in Ike and Mamie's bedroom at the White House, yet quickly turns into a time-travel fantasy as Mamie, melancholic and alone on her birthday, is paid a visit by Marian Anderson. Marian whisks Mamie off to Algiers to confront Ike about his affair with his driver, Kay Summersby, and warn him of the racial strife he'll face later in life as president.
The comical Olio presents Margaret Truman at a recital trying her best to sing as she's constantly, hilariously, being upstaged by First Lady Bess.
The final piece of the Suite, the melodic Eleanor Sleeps Here, is a heart rending examination of the relationship between Eleanor Roosevelt and Lorena Hickok as they're being flown over Washington by Amelia Earhart.
Ensemble of 1 man and 6 women playing 13 women and 1 man.