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Intimate Apparel Opera to Be Recorded for Great Performances on PBS

The new work is currently in its final week at Lincoln Center's Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater.

Kearstin Piper Brown and Naomi Louisa O'Connell share a scene as Esther and Mrs. Van Buren in Lynn Nottage's Intimate Apparel at Lincoln Center's Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater.
(© T. Charles Erickson)

The new opera Intimate Apparel, based on Pulitzer Prize winner Lynn Nottage's play of the same name, will be recorded for Great Performances. The March 3 and March 5 evening performances will be seen in a future broadcast on PBS as part of #PBSForTheArts – a multiplatform campaign that celebrates the arts in America.

Intimate Apparel, with music by Ricky Ian Gordon, a libretto by Nottage, and direction by Bartlett Sher, was developed by Lincoln Center Theater and the Metropolitan Opera as part of the Met/LCT New Works Program. The broadcast version of Intimate Apparel is a production of Lincoln Center Theater and the Metropolitan Opera in association with the WNET Group.

The cast of Intimate Apparel features Justin Austin, Errin Duane Brooks, Kearstin Piper Brown, Chanáe Curtis, Adrienne Danrich, Jesse Darden, Arnold Livingston Geis, Tesia Kwarteng, Anna Laurenzo, Barrington Lee, Jasmine Muhammad, Naomi Louisa O'Connell, Adam Richardson, Kimberli Render, David Morgans Sanchez, Krysty Swann, Indra Thomas, Chabrelle Williams, and Jorell Williams.

Set in turn of the century New York, the opera tells the story of Esther (Kearstin Piper Brown), a lonely, single African-American woman who makes her living sewing beautiful corsets and ladies' undergarments. Seeking love and romance, Esther embarks on a letter-writing relationship with a mysterious suitor laboring on the Panama Canal and comes to realize that only her self-reliance and certainty of her own worth will see her through life's challenges.

In his review, our chief critic, Zachary Stewart, wrote, "Intimate Apparel in its new musical form is allowed to keep its delicacy while also cutting enough seams to let its content soar to the rafters.''

Intimate Apparel has choreography by Dianne McIntyre, sets by Michael Yeargan, costumes by Catherine Zuber, lighting by Jennifer Tipton, sound by Marc Salzberg, projections by 59 Productions, casting by The Telsey Office, and music direction by Steven Osgood. Theresa Flanagan is the stage manager.

The show's limited run ends this Sunday, March 6.