The Fortress of Solitude (musical)

The Fortress of Solitude is a musical with music and lyrics written by Michael Friedman, and a book by Itamar Moses adapted from The Fortress of Solitude by Jonathan Lethem.[1]

The Fortress of Solitude
Fortress of Solitude promo art public.jpg
Off-Broadway promotional art
MusicMichael Friedman
LyricsMichael Friedman
BookItamar Moses
BasisThe Fortress of Solitude
by Jonathan Lethem
Productions2012 Poughkeepsie
2014 Dallas
2014 Off-Broadway


According to The Public Theater's website, "The Fortress of Solitude is the extraordinary coming-of-age story about 1970s Brooklyn and beyond — of black and white, soul and rap, block parties and blackouts, friendship and betrayal, comic books and 45s. And the story of what would happen if two teenagers obsessed with superheroes believed that maybe, just maybe, they could fly."[2][3]


The musical premiered at Vassar College and New York Stage and Film's Powerhouse Theatre, as a part of the Martel Musical Workshops (concert readings of works-in-progress), opening on June 29, 2012 and closing July 1, 2012. The show was directed (and originally conceived) by Daniel Aukin, with Kyle Beltran, Alex Brightman, John Ellison Conlee, André De Shields, Carla Duren, Santino Fontana, Brandon Gill, Conlin Hanlon, Rebecca Naomi Jones, Jahi Kearse, Meghan McGeary, Lauren Molina, and David St. Louis.[4]

The Dallas production at Dallas Theater Center opened on March 7, 2014 and closed on April 6, 2014. The show was directed by Daniel Aukin, set design Eugene Lee, lighting design Tyler Micoleau, costume design Jessica Pabst, sound design Robert Kaplowitz, projection design Jeff Sugg, wig design Leah J. Loukas, choreography Camille A. Brown, musical director Kimberly Grigsby, orchestrations John Clancy & Matt Beck. The band was composed of Grigsby (conductor, keyboard 2), Alex Vorse (associate music director, keyboard 1, keyboard programmer), Joe Lee (guitar), Peggy Honea (bass), Mike Drake (drums), Jorge Ginorio (Latin percussion), Pete Brewer (reeds), Cathy Richardson (viola/violin), and Larry Spencer (trumpet/Fleugelhorn/piccolo trumpet). The cast included Kyle Beltran, Etai Benshlomo, Patty Breckenridge, Adam Chanler-Berat, Nicholas Christopher, André De Shields, Jeremy Allen Dumont, Carla Duren, Alison Hodgson, Jahi Kearse, Traci Lee, Kevin Mambo, Alex Organ, Britton Smith, Akron Watson, and Juson Williams.[5]

The Off-Broadway production opened on September 30, 2014 (previews), officially on October 22 at The Public Theater, a co-production with the Dallas Theater Center. The show is directed by Daniel Aukin with choreography by Camille A. Brown. The cast includes Ken Barnett, Kyle Beltran, Adam Chanler-Berat, André De Shields, Carla Duren, Rebecca Naomi Jones, Jahi Kearse, Kevin Mambo, Malaiyka Reid, Noah Ricketts, David Rossmer, Conor Ryan, Kristen Sieh, Britton Smith, Brian Tyree Henry, Akron Watson, Alison Whitehurst, and Juson Williams.[6] The show closed on November 16, 2014.

Characters and original castEdit

The original Off-Broadway characters and cast:

Character Vassar College (2012) Dallas (2014) Public Theatre (2014)
Abraham Ebdus John Ellison Conlee Alex Organ Ken Barnett
Mingus Rude Kyle Beltran
Dylan Ebdus Santino Fontana Adam Chanler-Berat
Barrett Rude Senior Andre De Shields
Barrett Rude Junior Brandon Gill Kevin Mambo
Marilla Carla Duren Traci Lee Carla Duren
Robert Woolfolk David St. Louis Nicholas Christopher Brian Tyree Henry
Arthur Lomb Alex Brightman Etai Benshlomo David Rossmer
Lala / Abby Rebecca Naomi Jones Carla Duren Rebecca Naomi Jones
Raf / Henry / Desmond / Jared/ Timothy Jahi Kearse
Radio Guy / Mike / Gabe Conlin Hanlon Jeremy Allen Dumont Conor Ryan
Rachel Ebdus/ Mrs. Lomb Meghan McGeary Patty Breckenridge Kristen Sieh
Skater Girl / Liza Lauren Molina Alison Hodgson Alison Whitehurst
Subtle Distinction Britton Smith, Akron Watson, Juson Williams
Swing Stephanie Duret, Malaiyka Reid, Noah Ricketts

Musical numbersEdit

Source: CurtainUp[7]

Awards and nominationsEdit

Original Off-Broadway productionEdit

Year Award Ceremony Category Nominee Result
Drama Desk Awards[8] Outstanding Music Michael Friedman Nominated
Outstanding Lyrics Nominated
Outer Critic's Circle Awards[9] Outstanding New Off-Broadway Musical Nominated


  1. ^
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ Staff. "The Verdict: Critics Review the New Musical 'The Fortress of Solitude' at The Public", October 23, 2014
  4. ^ "Powerhouse Schedule"
  5. ^ The Fortress of Solitude
  6. ^ The Fortress of Solitude
  7. ^ Sommer, Elyse. "Review. The Fortress of Solitude", October 17, 2014
  8. ^ Cox, Gordon (May 31, 2015). "'Hamilton,' 'Curious Incident' Top the 2015 Drama Desk Awards (FULL LIST)". Variety. Retrieved August 29, 2019.
  9. ^ Cox, Gordon (May 11, 2015). "Incident' Wins Big". Variety. Retrieved August 29, 2019.

External linksEdit