BILLINGS, MT —Alberta Bair Theater kicks off its 2019-20 season with Sylvia Milo’s award winning one woman play The Other Mozart, the true, untold story of Nannerl Mozart the prodigy keyboard virtuoso and composer who was Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s older sister, on Saturday, September 14 with both a 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. performance at Petro Theatre on the campus of MSU Billings.
“The show must go on,” says Incoming ABT Board Chair Ron Yates. “We are committed to our mission of bringing the excitement of the performing arts to Big Sky Country—even while our beloved, historic theater is under construction.”
Described by the New York Times as “strikingly beautiful,” The Other Mozart, set in and on a magnificent 18-foot dress, is based on facts, stories and lines pulled directly from the Mozart family’s humorous and heartbreaking letters. With the opulent beauty of the dress and hair design, the sweet smell of perfume and the clouds of dusting powder rising from the stage, The Other Mozart is a multi-sensual experience that transports the audience into a world of outsized beauty and delight –of overwhelming restrictions and prejudice where, finally, this other Mozart tells her story. Period style movement creates a world of elegance through balletic gestures, reverent court bows, and fan language.
Along with music composed by her famous brother and Marianna Martines (a Viennese female composer who inspired Nannerl), the play features original music by Nathan Davis and Phyllis Chen – featured composers of the Mostly Mozart Festival at Lincoln Center, BAM and the International Contemporary Ensemble – for the instruments Nannerl knew intimately such as clavichords, music boxes and bells, as well as teacups, fans, and other ordinary objects that might have captured her imagination.
The Other Mozart was developed at the Cherry Lane Theatre in NYC under the direction of Isaac Byrne. The play repeatedly returned to Austria at the invitation of the Mozarteum Foundation and Mozarteum University in Salzburg. It had a critically acclaimed Off-Broadway run at the HERE Arts Center in New York City and continues touring internationally in several languages. It was presented at Toronto University and in Munich at the Pasinger Fabrik and at the St. James Theatre in London to critical acclaim.
The Other Mozart was nominated for the 2015 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Sound Design in a Play and the 2015 Off Broadway Alliance Award for Best Solo Performance. The play was nominated for eight New York Innovative Theatre Awards: Outstanding Solo Performance – Sylvia Milo, Outstanding Director – Isaac Byrne, Outstanding Costume Design – Magdalena Dabrowska & Miodrag Guberinic, Outstanding Set Design – Anna Sroka, Outstanding Sound Design – Nathan Davis, Outstanding Original Music – Phyllis Chen & Nathan Davis, Outstanding Original Full-length script – Sylvia Milo and Outstanding Premiere Production of a Play – winning Outstanding Solo Performance and Outstanding Original Music.
The production features music composed by Nathan Davis and Phyllis Chen with additional music by Marianna Martines and Leopold and Wolfgang A. Mozart. Sound design by Nathan Davis. Period style movement directed by Janice Orlandi. Costume design by Magdalena Dabrowska (dress) and Miodrag Guberinic (pannier / corset sculpture), with dress concept by Anna Sroka and hair design by Courtney Bednarowski. Lighting design by Joshua Rose.
The Other Mozart is sponsored locally by BestWestern ClockTower Inn/Stella’s, ABC6/Fox4 and MY105.9. Tickets, $37 and $20 for students with valid I.D., may be purchased at the ABT Ticket Office, now located in the ABT executive offices located at 2722 Third Avenue North in Downtown Billings, by phone at 406-256-6052 and online at AlbertaBairTheater.org. Processing fees are applied to phone and website sales. This event is a part of NorthxNorthwest, a cultural collective presented by Billings Cultural Partners September 12-22.