American Classic is revisited in new Syracuse Stage Production


By Craig Thornton

Alive with a soundscape of 18 authentic sea chanteys and performed by an ensemble of nine, this highly physical adaption cuts to the core of Melville's searing narrative and plays with the fury of a Nantucket sleigh ride. A young man seeks adventure on a whaling vessel and finds himself a pawn in an obsessive pursuit of vengeance that threatens death and destruction for all.

 Adapted for the stage by Julian Rad from the book by Herman Melville, with lyrics adapted from the traditional, Moby Dick is directed by Peter Amster, whose previous Syracuse Stage credits include Alfred Hitchcock’s The 39 Steps, This Wonderful Life and The Fantasticks. Moby Dick runs October 10—November 4 in the Archbold Theatre at Syracuse Stage, 820 East Genesee Street. Tickets range $30-$51 for adults and $18 for age 18 and under. Tickets are available at the Syracuse Stage Box Office, 315-443-3275 or

 Sponsors for Moby Dick are Lockheed Martin, Pomco Group and Alliance Bank. The media sponsors are WAER and WCNY. Syracuse Stage season sponsors are The Post-Standard and Time Warner Cable.

 Julian Rad’s adaptation of Moby Dick premiered in New York City in 2003. The work received critical acclaim, praised for its spare yet faithful treatment of Melville’s 1851 novel. Rad’s Moby Dick was the first Off-Off Broadway play ever to be nominated for a Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Play, an award typically reserved only for Broadway and Off-Broadway shows.

 A “play with music,” the adaptation includes 18 authentic sea chanteys sung mostly a capella. “The show’s songs sound glorious,” noted “They range from stirring to heartbreaking and they have a unique, muscular beauty. Best of all, they are woven throughout the play in the most natural ways.”

 The sea chanteys mentioned throughout Melville’s book “became something I grabbed onto and gravitated towards,” said Rad. “Music is such a wonderfully creative device, especially in the theatre, where it gives us an opportunity to build the action.”


Saturday, December 10, 2016
, Watertown, NY

On Demand

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