It is with great joy that we conclude McCarter’s 2009-2010 Theater season with the American premiere of Take Flight. This stirring new musical intertwines the stories of the Wright Brothers, Amelia Earhart, and Charles Lindbergh, capturing the American soul and the uniquely human drive to overcome even the most insurmountable of obstacles.
Take Flight is the culmination of an extended collaboration between three giants of the theater–Academy Award-winning composer David Shire (Norma Rae), Tony Award-winning lyricist Richard Maltby, Jr. (Ain’t Misbehavin’), and Tony Award-winning librettist John Weidman (Assassins)–resulting in some of the most gorgeous and accomplished composition for the American musical theater in recent memory.
Over the past two years, McCarter has served as an artistic home for these inspired collaborators to delve deeply into the structure and the storytelling of the musical. The three stories that make up Take Flight are inspired by and based on historical fact, but Maltby, Shire, and Weidman, along with director Sam Buntrock (Tony Award nominee for the recent Broadway production of Sunday in the Park with George), have added their own sense of imagination and theatricality to these quintessentially American stories. As a result, Take Flight has become a deeply compelling theatrical investigation into the nature of ambition, obsession, exploration, and artistry. An examination of the power and determination of the great pioneers of American aviation, Take Flight leads us to wonder: what does it take to achieve the impossible, and what are the costs of trying? What is it that inescapably drives some to continue to struggle, even when all hope is gone?
I am thrilled that you’re here to see this astounding and important new piece of American musical theater, giving you the opportunity to reflect anew on the soaring spirit of American ingenuity.