Written by Charles M. Barras
Adapted and Directed by Joshua William Gelb
New Music Arrangements and Compositions by Alaina Ferris and Justin Levine

Kate Weber (left), Alaina Ferris (middle), Steven Ratazzi (right). Photo by  Kelly Stuart .

Kate Weber (left), Alaina Ferris (middle), Steven Ratazzi (right). Photo by Kelly Stuart.

"...A sort of redemptive love letter to theater history, faithful in a minimalist way to the promise of their subtitle: “An Original Magical and Spectacular Musical Drama.” With live music (played mainly by members of the eight-person cast) that is often arrestingly lovely, it is fluent in the stage language of then and now. "
-The New York Times

A year after the Civil War ended, on September 12, 1866, The Black Crook opened at Niblo’s Garden on Broadway and Prince Street in New York City. The show featured a melodrama about a painter who sells his soul to a Sorcerer and mashed together dance numbers by a Parisian ballet troupe set to popular music. It ran a whopping five hours, boasting 100 performers and was the beginning of Broadway as we know it. 

In September 2016, The Black Crook returnd to its downtown roots to celebrate its 150th anniversary at Abrons Arts Center, marking the rumored birth of the American Musical. With new tex and new songs, a team of only eight actor / musician / dancers will perform the full 1866 musical and bring the biggest of all American spectacles into the tiniest of spaces. From Broadway to East Broadway, 150 years later, The Black Crook returns!


Abrons Arts Center
September 17th-October 7th, 2016



Writer: Charles M. Barras
Director: Joshua William Gelb
Arrangements and Additional Compositions: Alaina Ferris and Justin Levine

Featuring: Randy Blair, Alaina Ferris, Lizzie Hagstedt, Steven Rattazzi, Jessie Shelton, Christopher Tocco, Kate Weber, and Merlin Whitehawk

Music Director: Alaina Ferris
Artistic Producer: Moe Yousuf
Choreographer: Katie Rose McLaughlin
Costume Designer: Normandy Sherwood
Lighting Designer: Bradley King
Scenic Designer: Carolyn Mraz
Sound Designer: Matt Stine
Stage Manager: Elena Chapman
Technical Director / Production Manager: Aaron Minerbrook
Assistant Director / Associate Stage Manager: Sam Silbiger
Dramaturgy & Additional text: Dan O’Neill

Photos by Kelly Stuart


New York Times
Critic's Pick
September 27th, 2016

Village Voice
Critic's Pick
September 21st, 2016

New Yorker
Goings On About Town

Stage Buddy
September, 22nd, 2016

Culture Catch
September, 26th, 2016