The world premiere of Revenge Song: A Vampire Cowboys Creation begins previews February 4 at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles. The musical by Qui Ngyuen (Vietgone, Poor Yella Rednecks) follows the real-life 17th century French opera singer and swordswoman Julie d’Aubigny as she goes on a journey of self-discovery during a particularly tumultuous time in history.
The story begins with young Julie, who at the age of 14 disguised herself as a boy to work in the stables of Count Louis de Lorraine (the horseman to King Louis XIV) where she trained to fence and fight. After discovering that Julie was in fact a girl, Louis brings her into the main house for his own nefarious purposes. Among the events Julie experiences as she grows older are: meeting her best friend and lover Albert in a duel; rescuing her girlfriend from a convent by a combination of grave robbing, body switching, and arson; attending a ball and causing an uproar after kissing a woman in public; and escaping execution by fleeing to Paris to become an opera singer.
Margaret Odette (Much Ado About Nothing at The Public Theater’s Shakespeare in the Park) stars as d’Aubigny with Noshir Dalal, Beth Hawkes, Tom Myers, Amy Kim Waschke, and Eugene Young portraying multiple characters in the cast. The Robert Ross Parker-directed musical features original songs by Shane Rettig with lyrics by Nguyen. The piece was created with Vampire Cowboys, Nguyen’s theatrical company that develops works with a comic book feel on stage.
The creative team for the production is comprised of scenic and lighting designer Nick Francone, costume designer Jessica Shay, sound designer Rettig, projection designers Kaitlin Pietras and Jason H. Thompson, puppet Designer David Valentine, music director Ryan O'Connell, choreographer Stacy Dawson Stearns, fight directors Maggie Macdonald and Tim Brown, production stage manager Ross Jackson, assistant stage manager Lizzie Thompson, and casting director Phyllis Schuringa.
This play was commissioned as part of the Geffen Playhouse's New Play Development Program and developed in part with CalArts Center for New Performance and with assistance from the Orchard Project.