A new musical that was originally developed at Edgartown’s Vineyard Arts Project (VAP) opened recently at an Off-Broadway theater in New York City.
“Invisible Thread” blends African beats and a world pop score in telling the real-life story of a young gay man’s life-changing trip to Uganda and his subsequent efforts to help a group of impoverished African children.
In 2010, the musical’s co-creators, Matt Gould and Griffin Matthews, were among the first participants in the VAP’s “New Writers/New Plays” residency and performance series. They spent a month on the Island, arriving with nothing but an idea and the bare bones of a show.
During their residency, the co-creators fleshed out the show and wrote a number of the songs. They presented their initial efforts to an audience for the first time at the VAP rehearsal space/theater. VAP founder/director Ashley Melone was impressed enough to sign on as the show’s producer, and in 2014, the completed show had its world premiere at the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge. (At the time, the musical was titled “Witness Uganda.”)
During the summer of 2014, Mr. Gould and Mr. Matthews returned to Martha’s Vineyard to present a few of the show’s songs to a VAP audience.
Now the musical, directed by Tony Awardwinner Diane Paulus (“Pippin,” “Porgy and Bess,” “Hair”), is enjoying a two-month run at Second Stage’s Tony Kiser Theater in New York City’s Theater District. Second Stage recently purchased the Broadway venue the Helen Hayes Theater, which will be dedicated exclusively to producing the work of living American playwrights.
The show stars Mr. Matthews and a cast of 17 other actor/singers.
It is likely that “Invisible Thread” will soon make its way to Broadway. From now until the end of the year, audiences have the chance to be among the first to see this lively new show, which CBS described as “an awesomely powerful musical that will thrill you to the bones.”
“Invisible Thread” at the Tony Kiser Theater, 305 West 43rd Street, through Dec. 27. For tickets and more information, visit 2st.com.