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Preview: Bridge of Roses

February 7–March 2 at Alleyway Theatre

Composer Giovanna Albani


alleyway.com, 852-2600


Music: Giovanna Albani and Daniele Maugeri

Lyrics: Daniele Maugeri

Book: Marco Tringali and Daniele Maugeri
English dialogue adaptation: Neal Radice
English lyrics adaptation: Doug Brandt

Director: Neal Radice

Cast: Emily Yancey, Kim Piazza, Tim Goehrig, Ben Caldwell, Jeremy Catania, Amy Feder, Roger Griffiths, Andrew Zuccari, Meghan Cobham, Roger VanDette, Heather Reed, Caoimhe Krueger


An international collaboration from Italy, the United Kingdom, and the United States presents the world premiere of Bridge of Roses, a symphonic rock musical set in 1990s Sarajevo. Star-crossed lovers, a Muslim and a Serb, challenge the forces of politics, bigotry, and war in Bosnia. The show came to Alleyway once the creators hit the Internet to find a theater that produced new work.


“The Italian authors were literally searching the world for a theater producer who would accept their creation and shepherd it through adaptations and rewrites,” says Alleyway artistic director Neil Radice, who received the play in 2016. “Bridge of Roses is the authors’ first musical and they accepted that development was expected. The musical went through numerous rewrites and, though the authors attempted a translation from Italian, it was necessary for me to adapt and edit the dialogue into serviceable English. A lyricist working in London did the same to the show’s lyrics. However, at that point in 2017, the show still needed reshaping, so we went about putting the material into a formal musical theatre structure. I convinced the authors that their original concept of a very large cast could be reconceived by letting talented actors play many roles. They let me ‘recast the characters’ and introduce a bit of multimedia. By the time I was ready to announce the 2018-19 season, Bridge of Roses was finished and ready to go into rehearsals.” 


Developing new work with out-of-town playwrights is nothing new for Radice, so having them in another country didn’t feel much different. “It’s all about email,” he notes. “The language difference was a little bit of a challenge. A musical is likely to involve multiple talents. In this case, there are two Italians who composed the music and wrote the lyrics and another who wrote the book, plus a Brit who adapted the lyrics and an Italian-American from Buffalo who adapted the dialogue. More hands in the pot makes it take a little longer to get a tasty stew.”


  Radice met the authors on a recent trip to Italy and describes them as “wonderful, ambitious people who I learned to love.” Alleyway will be providing travel and accommodations for the three to come to Buffalo for an entire month to partake in the full rehearsal process through opening. “I’m confident they want it produced everywhere,” he says, “but I think—no, I know—their dream is Broadway.”


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