Skylight Music Theatre presents I Hear America Singing

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Audience Guide

Audience guide coming soon!

Skylight Music Theatre presents…

I Hear America Singing

Written & Directed by Daron Hagen
Featuring original songs and arrangements of various composers by Daron Hagen

Synopsis Summary

I Hear America Singing was written by Daron Hagen expressly for Skylight. The new Broadway musical blends show tunes, arias, and art songs by Hagen as well as his musical re-interpretations of American folk tunes. The folk tunes, which date from the Civil War era to WWI have been given new lyrics written by Hagen that help to forward the show’s story. Some of the songs also contain lyrics from the poems of William Blake, A. E. Houseman, Gertrude Stein and traditional ballads.

The show’s story concerns three old Julliard school chums — a composer named Robbie, a singer named Roger, and Roger’s ex-wife, a singer named Rose. They reunite at Robbie’s request to perform for financial backers a revised version of I Hear America Singing, a musical that, two decades earlier, established Robbie’s career on Broadway. Roger’s alcoholism has stalled his career and ended his marriage; now he’s living with his ailing mother in Milwaukee. Based in Chicago, Rose has been performing on the road for years. She’s thinking about changing her life. Robbie lives in Manhattan on the Upper West Side (where the show takes place). Robbie, who is “between hits,” views this show as his comeback. Rehearsing, the three reminisce, debate the past, and experience epiphanies that the composer describes as “revolutions of the heart”.  “This revolution,” Robbie tells them, “consists of reconnecting with your earlier selves, embracing personal reinvention, and rekindling old love.” The show’s score does the same thing by taking old songs and making them new, and providing new songs that revisit old tropes.

Presented by special arrangement with Burning Sled Music.

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Who’s Who

Directors & Designers

Stage Director Daron Hagen
Music Director Robert Frankenberry
Scenic Designer Lisa Schlenker
Costume Designer Barry Link
Lighting Designer Ryan Bertelson
Assistant Director Kelly Turner


Character Actor
Robbie Robert Frankenberry
Rose Carol Greif
Rodger Rick Pendzich