MARIE CHRISTINE at the Vivian Beaumont Theater was the last new Broadway musical of the millennium. What better way to have ended the 20th century and welcomed the 21st? MARIE CHRISTINE is a large-scale show with a cast of 30 and 17-piece orchestra which engages the timeless themes of forbidden love, racism, sexism and political ambition. Loosely derived from Medea, MARIE CHRISTINE reimagines the Greek legend as an American fable. Set in New Orleans and Chicago in the 1890s, this is a tragic tale of a passionate young black woman and her all-consuming love for a white sea captain. Because of its period setting and grand sweep, it may be tempting for some people to compare it to works like Porgy and Bess or Show Boat, but MARIE CHRISTINE is very much a contemporary work, pushing forward the edges of the art form of musical theater. Graciela Daniele had developed MARIE CHRISTINE through a series of readings and workshop presentations. She devised a seamless staging which allows the story to unfold fluidly, building on Michael John LaChiusa's impressive score which blends a variety of cultures and musical styles, including New Orleans-style jazz, ragtime, French art song and African percussion. Equally exciting was the return to Lincoln Center Theater of three-time Tony Award winner Audra McDonald in the title role of Marie Christine. Please note: due to the extraordinary vocal demands of the role—Marie Christine is on stage for most of the show—at Wednesday and Saturday matinees the title role was played by Sherry Boone.