Intimate Apparel will start performances at Lincoln Center Theater's Mitzi Newhouse Theater on Jan. 13, 2022. Check back for information on Intimate Apparel tickets on New York Theatre Guide.
Lincoln Center Theater originally scheduled Lynn Nottage's Intimate Apparel to be performed as part of the 2020-2021 season, but the show was postponed due to the pandemic. However, this new work from the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright will now be brought to life in spring 2022. The opera production of Intimate Apparel is inspired by Nottage's 2003 play of the same name, which won best Off-Broadway play at the Outer Critics Circle Awards.
The Intimate Apparel opera is set in 1905, when a single African American woman named Esther moves to New York to pursue a job as a seamstress and gain independence. She's nonetheless eager to fall in love, however, and she finds herself being affectionate toward the Orthodox Jewish man who sells her fabric. Any courting between them is forbidden, and they'll both be ridiculed by their respective communities. Eventually, they get married, but can they love each other, or does the romance fizzle out? The story, which first appeared in Nottage's original play, is inspired by the life of Nottage's great-grandmother.
Lynn Nottage is a two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright for her works Sweat and Ruined, and her other plays include By the Way, Meet Vera Stark, Crumbs from the Table of Joy, and Clyde's, which is premiering on Broadway two months before Intimate Apparel premieres off Broadway. About the 2016 Broadway production of Sweat, New York Theatre Guide said, "Ms. Nottage’s writing is so clear and precise that she makes her points quickly."
Intimate Apparel makes history as the first opera to be commissioned by Lincoln Center Theater. Nottage's libretto comes together with an original score by Ricky Ian Gordon, whose work includes My Life With Albertine, which starred Kelli O'Hara. The score for Intimate Apparel incorporates a variety of genres that are time-appropriate for 1900s New York — expect a mixture of ragtime, music hall, and cakewalk. LCT resident director Bartlett Sher, who has helmed such LCT productions as My Fair Lady, South Pacific, and Oslo, directs the production.
Check back to see when tickets will be on sale for Intimate Apparel off Broadway.
Set in turn of the century New York, Intimate Apparel tells the story of Esther, a lonely, single African-American woman who makes her living sewing beautiful corsets and ladies’ undergarments. Seeking love and romance, Esther embarks on a letter writing relationship with a mysterious suitor laboring on the Panama Canal, and realizes that only her self-reliance and certainty of her own worth will see her through life’s challenges.