Theater of the First Amendment to Present ‘Lift: Icarus and Me’

Posted: December 20, 2005 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

bird in sky image

Audiences of all ages will become airborne in “Lift: Icarus and Me,” a new musical inspired by the myth of the high-flying Icarus and set in East Texas to the music of ragtime, rodeos and Texas Swing.

This Theater of the First Amendment (TFA) world premiere, from the renowned creative team of Mary Hall Surface and David Maddox, was co-commissioned by George Mason’s Theater of the First Amendment and the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center at Maryland. The production opens at Mason’s Harris Theater on Thursday, Jan. 19, and runs through Feb. 5.

The setting is the dusty, somewhat lawless, unsettled dunes of East Texas at the turn of the last century. The audience meets a young man who inherits the legacy of Icarus’ daring and the genius of Daedalus. Lenny discovers his wings and learns life lessons in an adventurous production featuring carnival barkers, wild West shows, hot air balloon flying, the wiles of a head-turning pretty girl on a swing and more – all set to a rollicking, Western swing-inspired, fiddle driven, two-steppin’ score by David Maddox.

“Lift: Icarus and Me” features TFA returnees Dwayne Nitz, Sherri Edelen, Jenna Sokolowski and Richard Pelzman. Jennifer Timberlake, Kurt Boehm, Bryant Sullivan and Evan Casey round out the cast. The creative team includes scenic designer Tony Cisek, costume designer Kate Turner-Walker, lighting designer Dan Covey, choreographer Dan Joyce and properties manager Linda Evans.

The music is performed by a live, five-piece combo featuring Jon Carroll on piano, Steve McWilliams on guitar, Bob Spates on violin, Ralph Gordon on bass and David Lopez on drums.

This production is made possible in part by a grant from the Virginia Commission for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Mary Hall Surface and David Maddox previously collaborated on “Sing Down the Moon,” “Mississippi Pinocchio” and “Perseus Bayou” for TFA.

Performances of “Lift: Icarus and Me” are Thursdays and Fridays at 8 p.m.; Saturdays at 2 and 8 p.m.; and Sundays at 4 p.m. (Feb. 5 at 2 p.m.) Tickets are $30 on Fridays and Saturdays and $25 for all other performances. Tickets for children 12 and under are half price. Charge by phone at 703-218-6500 or visit

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