“Maybe no one’s ever gone,” sings the cast of “Triangle,” a new musical receiving its premiere this week at Lyric at the Plaza. It’s a sentiment that offers a glimmer of hope to the people who lost loved ones in the 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire.
Part of Lyric Theatre’s commitment to the staging of new works, “Triangle” features music by Curtis Moore and lyrics by Thomas Mizer. Their story alternates between 1911 and 2011, a device that allows the show’s characters to create connections through time.
For anyone who lived through the 1995 Murrah Building bombing, this piece takes on even greater resonance. And while the musical’s setting might seem emotionally harrowing, it’s simply the framework for parallel love stories that unfold a century apart.
Brian (Adam Halpin) is a doctoral student in chemistry who meets Ben (Dallas Lish), a young man researching the 1911 fire. Lish also plays Vincenzo, the Triangle Factory foreman who finds himself drawn to Sarah, a Jewish seamstress (Megan McGinnis).
Societal norms prevent the 1911 characters from establishing a meaningful relationship, while a century later, Brian’s family issues inhibit him from seeking a similar connection. Both illustrate the obstacles people face in their pursuit of love.
Sarah works side by side with Theresa (Jennifer Teel), a confident young woman who also happens to be Vincenzo’s sister. Sarah is relieved that her income will help provide for her pregnant sister Chaya (Sharon Rietkerk) but is reluctant to work on the Sabbath.
The factory boss (Adam Heller) is an uncompromising bigot whose only concern is meeting quotas. Rietkerk also doubles as Brian’s sarcastic colleague Cynthia, and Teel alternates as their boss Dr. Zimmerman.
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When: 7:30 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 8 p.m. Friday, 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday (A1-5)
Where: Lyric at the Plaza, 1725 NW 16
Information: 524-9312 or www.lyrictheatreokc.com