By Holli Harms

A woman surviving not only the onslaught of the 1917 Russian Revolution, losing her way of life and her family’s, she then becomes a victim of the destruction of her homeland by the ravages of WWI. Lempicka and her small family, her infant daughter, and husband, flee Russia and create a new life on foreign soil, Paris. Her husband, Tadeusz Lempicki (Andrew Samonsky), once of the Russian aristocracy, finds himself leveled to searching for a job, an actual JOB. She, Lempicka (Mariand Torres), had dabbled in painting with a ferocious fervor in Russia but now is only told again and again by her husband to stop with her play and be the wife and mother she must be. However, Paris in the 1920s, whispers in her other ear that she is allowed to become an artist and to thrive in her body.

Lempicka is the true story of a female artist trying to find her greatness in a male-dominated war-ridden world. Of how she excels, breaks barriers and expectations, and finds lust and love in the female contour she sensationally represents on canvas, all the while parenting her daughter and herself pushing the boundaries of the art of the female body, and basking in the Parisian 20’s post-war sexual freedom.

I was at the Wednesday, April 17th matinee where I and the rest of the sold-out house were informed by Matt Gould himself that the lead character, Lempicka herself, would be performed not by the wonderful Eden Espinosa, but by her cover Mariand Torres. No one freaked out. No one left. We were all there to witness the telling of the story of Lempicka, knowing that theater is a truly collaborative human creation and not set on one individual. All stayed and applauded the excitement we were about to be a part of in watching the understudy not only perform the part for the first time in front of an audience as this complicated woman Lempicka but also being her first time on the actual stage. When told we were the first to welcome Torres we – all – went berserk. Cheering and stamping and clapping her on. When Torres appeared and sang her opening number the place went mad. And for good reason, her voice, her presence – starlight.

Photo by Matthew Murphy and Evan Zimmerman

The entire cast is star-worthy. Andrew Samonsky wonderfully plays Lempicka’s broken, once-wealthy husband trying to deal with the loss of everything. Zoe Glick, as her daughter desperate for her mother’s love and attention, is the embodiment of innocence lost to a world war. Amber Iman, as the woman Lempicka paints again and again and loves with intensity, is stunning. Her voice is a prolific powerhouse! Her soulful timbre will have you on your feet screaming for more! As will George Abud, Beth Leavel, Natalie Joy Johnson, and Nathaniel Stampley.

Carson Kreitzer and Matt Gould’s book, music and words are phenomenal! Every song received not just applause but thunderous support. This is the musical every artist will want to be a part of and every audience member will be talking about. Commanding, towering songs that take your breath and demand your attention and a story that is staggering and sexy.

Rachel Chavkin’s directing of Lempicka, with its stunning leads and marvelous ensemble, scene design and lighting that lift and enhance the story, and fabulous choreography, is a must-see. Its focus is on a woman, all women, the form of women, the strength and tenacity, the love and heartache. It is brilliance personified!

The New Broadway musical, LEMPICKA Book, Lyrics and Original Concept by Carson Kreitzer, Book and Music by Matt Gould, directed by Rachel Chavkin

With: Eden Espinosa, Amber Iman, Andrew Samonsky, George Abud, Natalie Joy Johnson, Beth Leavel, Zoe Glick, Nathaniel Stampley, Mariand Torres

Ensemble: Mariana Torres, Holli’ Conway, Alex Aquilino, Lauren Blackman, Stephen Brower, Kylie Brown, Veronica Fiaoni, Abby Matsukaka, Michael Milkanin, Jimin Moon, Mary Page Nance, Khori Michelle Petinaud, Julio Rey, Simone Rose, Nicholas Ward and Beth Leavel

Creative Team: directed by Rachel Chavkin, Music Supervisor & Arrangements by Remy Kurs, Choreography by Raja Feather KellyScenic Designer Riccardo Hernandez, Costume Designer Palom Young, Lighting Designer Bradley King, Sound Designers Peter Hylenski and Justin Stasiw, Production Designer Peter Nigrini, Hair & Wig Designer Leah J. Loukas, Makeup Designer Kirk Cambridge-Del Pesche, Creative Consultant Peter Duchan, Music Director Charity Wicks, Orchestrator CIan McCarthy, Music Contractor Kristy NORter,

HOW TO ORDER To book tickets online, CLICK HERE.
BY PHONE Call Telecharge at 212-239-6200

Lempicka at Longacre Theatre, 220 West 48th Street, Between Broadway and 8th Avenue
New York NY 10036

Running time: 2 hours and 30 minutes including one 15-minute intermission