A Radiant World Premiere Musical at Paper Mill Playhouse

Although retired since 2014, I still relish opportunities to teach, write, and share opinions.
A New Musical: The Great Gatsby is now onstage at the jewel of New Jersey, The Paper Mill Playhouse, until November 12, 2023. A New Musical: The Great Gatsby is based upon the classic novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald, with Book by Kait Kerrigan, Music by Jason Howland, and Lyrics by Nathan Tysen. Mr. Howland is also in charge of Musical Supervision, Orchestrations, and Arrangements. Dominique Kelley is the Choreographer, Daniel Edmonds is the Music Director of the large, live orchestra, and it is Directed by Marc Bruni.
A New Musical: The Great Gatsby is physically beautiful to behold. Scenic Design by Paul Tate dePoo III is glorious, Costumes by Linda Cho are beautiful, Lighting by Cory Pattak is startling, and the Sound Design by Brian Ronan will knock your socks off. The Choreography by Dominique Kelley is magnificent, hot, and absolutely amazing. At one point, several dancers leave the stage to do a quick change into tap shoes! Unbelievable.
F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby has a history of being a banned book in the United States for some time. According to many, especially the Baptists, it is unfit reading for schools and libraries. 
In short, the story goes that in 1917, Jay Gatsby met the dazzling, wealthy Daisy Fay, and slept with her before going off to fight in World War I. While he was away, Daisy married wealthy Tom Buchanan, who was of old and respectable money. In the musical, we have Daisy innocent, with her father intercepting Gatsby’s letters. The untouchably rich Tom Buchanan has been a serial philanderer, and now sleeps with Myrtle Wilson, mechanic and bootlegging middleman George Wilson’s wife. Gatsby has made millions and built a fabulous pleasure palace across from the Buchanan estate, throwing wild parties, much to Tom Buchanan’s chagrin. Gatsby, however, is seen as a parvenue, and is not respected, but tolerated. The story continues in Manhattan and Long Island in 1922, but if you’ve not read the novel, or seen one of the films, you will not know the tragedies which lie ahead, and you will not get any more information here to spoil the drama.  
Many may recall the celebrated 1974 film starring the international beauty, the incandescent Mia Farrow as Daisy. Robert Redford was Gatsby, and Bruce Dern, Tom Buchanan. In A New Musical: The Great Gatsby, we have celebrated stars of stage, screen and television. 
Jeremy Jordan is Jay Gatsby; Noah J. Ricketts is Nick Carraway; John Zdrojeski is Tom Buchanan; and Eva Noblezada is Daisy Fay Buchanan. All are excellent actors and singers. According to Google, Gatsby is about 30, Daisy is 26, and Tom 30, if set in 1925, so here they are all three years younger. 
Noah Berlatsky wrote in The Atlantic, May 13, 2013, that Gatsby was queer, while Neal Braverman also wrote about the same time that The Great Gatsby was “de-gayed” for film. They produce some compelling evidence to substantiate their claim. For example, in the novel Gatsby spent the night with Nick, and Gatsby often found women distasteful. Here we see nothing of the sort. The man-hating Jordan Baker (played beautifully by Samantha Pauly) appeared to be a lesbian golf star in the novel (and therefore attracted to the gay-seeming Nick), but here she saw how Daisy was abused by Tom, and turned off by marriage. 
In all, A New Musical: The Great Gatsby is a gripping visual and musical extravaganza, with amazing stagecraft and acting, singing and dancing. 
A New Musical: The Great Gatsby will be at Paper Mill Playhouse until November 12. Next will be Fiddler on the Roof, Dec. 6-Jan. 7, After Midnight, Jan. 31-Feb. 25, and more. For tickets and information call 973-376-4343, or 

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