“Before we had the subprime mortgage crisis or the dot com bust, Holland had the Tulip craze of 1636, the first recorded financial bubble. Six strangers in an Amsterdam hash bar recall this seedy story of love, sex, money, and power, as the story shifts seamlessly between both time periods,” is how Arden explains the plot line.
But, what we interpret that to mean is a bunch of greedy bastards getting high and ripping people off by selling and trading pretty flowers.
Now, doesn’t that sound thrilling?
The music and lyrics are all by Barrymore Award winner Michael Ogborn, the former Arden composer for Baby Case, his provocative musical about the Lindbergh baby kidnapping, which won him his Barrymore. Ogborn says the music in Tulipomania reminds him of his start as a composer.
“The score is contemporary in sound, structure and arrangement with harmonic underpinnings of 17th-century music and folk ballad forms, along with influences from Turkey and Afghanistan where the tulip was first discovered. This story gives me the opportunity to return to the themes I began exploring as a young composer: greed, forgiveness, redemption — and how one man’s actions profoundly affect those around him and history itself,” Ogborn says in production notes.
The curtains will open on the F. Otto Haas Stage in this world-premier production tonight with Arden cast members including Billy Bustamante (Waiter), Jeff Coon (Owner), Ben Dibble (Painter), Joilet F. Harris (Woman), Adam Heller (Man), andAlex Keiper (Young Woman) all taking the stage.
As you can imagine, Arden is asking that no child younger than 15 attend due to the depictions of casual drug use.