Libretto byLynn Nottage
Directed byBartlett Sher
Running Time: Approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes, with one intermission
“A KNOCKOUT! A joy to hear!"— Jesse Green, The New York Times, January 31, 2022
New York Times Critic's Pick
Our beautiful new opera, INTIMATE APPAREL, was three weeks into previews and had hit its stride when we had to shut down so abruptly in March 2020. The show had been bringing audiences to their feet nightly, cheering for the moving performances and for the joy of hearing Lynn Nottage’s story and Ricky Ian Gordon’s music in our intimate space. Opening Night was just ten days away! We knew we had to find a way to bring the show back. And now, after this unimaginably long wait, we are delighted to tell you that INTIMATE APPAREL will return to the Newhouse this winter to continue its run!
The show is part of The Met/LCT Opera/Musical Theater Commissioning Program and it’s the first to be done at LCT. And although we have, of course, done sung-through musicals before, this is our first opera! It is directed by one of our Resident Directors, Bartlett Sher, who directed My Fair Lady most recently for us, among so many LCT favorites.
INTIMATE APPAREL, set in 1905 in turn of the century New York, tells the story of Esther, a lonely, single African-American woman who makes her living sewing beautiful corsets and ladies’ undergarments. There is warm affection between her and the Orthodox Jewish man who sells fabrics to her, but any relationship between them, even a touch, is completely forbidden. Seeking love and romance, Esther eventually embarks on a letter-writing relationship with a mysterious suitor laboring on the Panama Canal. When he moves to New York they embark on an unhappy marriage, leading Esther to realize that only her self-reliance and certainty of her own worth will see her through life’s challenges.
More than ever, we can’t wait to see you back at Lincoln Center Theater!