Named one of Time Magazine’s Top Ten Musicals and Plays of 2011, and receiving 11 Drama Desk Award nominations, Death Takes A Holiday joins Yeston’s score with a haunting Book by Thomas Meehan and Peter Stone based on a 1928 Italian play. The musical is, in fact, about life – the dear sweet preciousness of life that is all the more poignant for being so transitory, for having inevitably to end too soon. Set in the early 1920’s, shortly after WW One, “Death” takes human form (as a young Russian Prince, Nickolai Sirki) and visits a Duke’s family villa in Northern Italy for a 3-day weekend, because he finally wants to know why men love and cling to life so much, and why they fear him so.
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Miraculously, nobody dies during his visit (he’s on vacation!), and he falls in love with the Duke’s beautiful daughter Grazia – an exultant girl standing up in a speeding car at the beginning of the musical, crying out to her new fiancé to drive faster, a lovely young woman so vibrantly imbued with the thrill of life that she is, in her excitement, a moth drawn too close to the fascinating flame of death.
And, ultimately, the show exults in the mysterious power of love that sustains us all through the ever-diminishing number of days each of us has left. Old love, young love, unrequited love, ethereal love, romantic love – the musical is about all of them.
“Yeston brilliantly amalgamates this subject with his soaring melodies to offer the catharsis theatre-goers need – this musical masterpiece personifies what it is to be human.” – Bill Kacer, Cross Theatre
“The presiding genius of this musical adaptation is composer/lyricist Maury Yeston whose lush operetta-like scores make him the heir to Jerome Kern’s crown among the current crop of Broadway writers.” – Michael Arditti, Sunday Express
Nominated for 11 Drama Desk Awards, including Best Score, Book, and Musical