The Fortress of Solitude
The Fortress of Solitude is a musical with music and lyrics written by Michael Friedman, and a book by Itamar Moses adapted from The Fortress of Solitude by Jonathan Lethem.
According to The Public Theater’s website, “The Fortress of Solitude is the extraordinary coming-of-age story about 1970s Brooklyn and beyond — of black and white, soul and rap, block parties and blackouts, friendship and betrayal, comic books and 45s. And the story of what would happen if two teenagers obsessed with superheroes believed that maybe, just maybe, they could fly.” 
The musical premiered at Vassar College and New York Stage and Film’s Powerhouse Theatre, as a part of the Martel Musical Workshops (concert readings of works-in-progress), opening on June 29, 2012 and closing July 1, 2012. The show was directed (and originally conceived) by Daniel Aukin, with Kyle Beltran, Alex Brightman, John Ellison Conlee, André De Shields, Carla Duren, Santino Fontana, Brandon Gill, Conlin Hanlon, Rebecca Naomi Jones, Jahi Kearse, Meghan McGeary, Lauren Molina, and David St. Louis.
The Dallas production at Dallas Theater Center opened on March 7, 2014 and closed on April 6, 2014. The show was directed by Daniel Aukin, set design Eugene Lee, lighting design Tyler Micoleau, costume design Jessica Pabst, sound design Robert Kaplowitz, projection design Jeff Sugg, wig design Leah J. Loukas, choreography Camille A. Brown, musical director Kimberly Grigsby, orchestrations John Clancy & Matt Beck. The band was composed of Grigsby (conductor, keyboard 2), Alex Vorse (associate music director, keyboard 1, keyboard programmer), Joe Lee (guitar), Peggy Honea (bass), Mike Drake (drums), Jorge Ginorio (Latin percussion), Pete Brewer (reeds), Cathy Richardson (viola/violin), and Larry Spencer (trumpet/Fleugelhorn/piccolo trumpet). The cast included Kyle Beltran, Etai Benshlomo, Patty Breckenridge, Adam Chanler-Berat, Nicholas Christopher, André De Shields, Jeremy Allen Dumont, Carla Duren, Alison Hodgson, Jahi Kearse, Traci Lee, Kevin Mambo, Alex Organ, Britton Smith, Akron Watson, and Juson Williams.
The Off-Broadway production opened on September 30, 2014 (previews), officially on October 22 at The Public Theater, a co-production with the Dallas Theater Center. The show is directed by Daniel Aukin with choreography by Camille A. Brown. The cast includes Ken Barnett, Kyle Beltran, Adam Chanler-Berat, André De Shields, Carla Duren, Rebecca Naomi Jones, Jahi Kearse, Kevin Mambo, Malaiyka Reid, Noah Ricketts, David Rossmer, Conor Ryan, Kristen Sieh, Britton Smith, Brian Tyree Henry, Akron Watson, Alison Whitehurst, and Juson Williams. The show closed on November 16, 2014.
Characters and Original Cast
The original Off-Broadway characters and cast:
|Character||Vassar College (2012)||Dallas (2014)||Public Theatre (2014)|
|Abraham Ebdus||John Ellison Conlee||Alex Organ||Ken Barnett|
|Mingus Rude||Kyle Beltran|
|Dylan Ebdus||Santino Fontana||Adam Chanler-Berat|
|Barrett Rude Senior||Andre De Shields|
|Barret Rude Junior||Brandon Gill||Kevin Mambo|
|Marilla||Carla Duren||Traci Lee||Carla Duren|
|Robert Woolfolk||David St. Louis||Nicholas Christopher||Brian Tyree Henry|
|Arthur Lomb||Alex Brightman||Etai Benshlomo||David Rossmer|
|Lala / Abby||Rebecca Naomi Jones||Carla Duren||Rebecca Naomi Jones|
|Raf / Henry / Desmond / Jared/ Timothy||Jahi Kearse|
|Radio Guy / Mike / Gabe||Conlin Hanlon||Jeremy Allen Dumont||Conor Ryan|
|Rachel Ebdus/ Mrs. Lomb||Meghan McGeary||Patty Breckenridge||Kristen Sieh|
|Skater Girl / Liza||Lauren Molina||Alison Hodgson||Alison Whitehurst|
|Subtle Distinction||Britton Smith, Akron Watson, Juson Williams|
|Swing||Stephanie Duret, Malaiyka Reid, Noah Ricketts|
Awards and Nominations
The play received 2015 Drama Desk nominations for Outstanding Music (Michael Friedman) and Outstanding Lyrics (Friedman). 
- Staff. “The Verdict: Critics Review the New Musical ‘The Fortress of Solitude’ at The Public” playbill.com, October 23, 2014
- “Powerhouse Schedule” vassar.edu
- The Fortress of Solitude dallastheatercenter.org
- The Fortress of Solitude publictheater.org
- Sommer, Elyse. “Review. The Fortress of Solitude“ curtainup.com, October 17, 2014
- Gans, Andrew. “Drama Desk Nominations Announced; ‘Hamilton’ Tops the List” playbill.com, April 23, 2015