Love, seduction, decadence and murder. DOMA Theatre Company partners with Requiem Media Productions, LLC to present the world premiere of a new musical based on Oscar Wilde’s classic novel, “The Picture of Dorian Gray.” Dorian’s Descent, with book by Chris Raymond, Marco Gomez and Michael Gray, lyrics by Marco Gomez and Chris Raymond, and music by Chris Raymond, opens May 30 at the MET Theatre with Gomez directing, Raymond providing musical direction/orchestrations, and choreography by Cate Caplin.
Artist Basil Hallward, inspired by the exceedingly beautiful and enigmatic Dorian Gray, paints a portrait of his young muse that turns out to be his masterpiece. As Basil and the hedonistic aristocrat Henry Wotton discuss the portrait’s future, Dorian’s inhibitions fall away as if manipulated by an unearthly force.
“It’s a wild, magical and mysterious story, and the themes are so relevant in today’s image-obsessed culture,” says Raymond. “The score draws on many influences, including classic Broadway, opera and modern dance music. The large cast provides rich, complex vocal harmonies throughout the show.”
“We stayed very close to the source material in terms of the story and tried to incorporate Wilde’s language wherever possible,” explains Gomez, who just received the LA Weekly award for “Direction of a Musical” for last season’s Dreamgirls. “Our biggest challenge was the internal nature of Dorian’s conflict in the novel, which we needed to open up and dramatize. We created a character, the “Demon,” played by the wonderful Toni Smith, that helps make sense of Dorian’s personality change.”
Michael D'Elia stars in the title role, with Jeremy Saje as Basil, Kelly Brighton as Henry, Cassandra Nuss as Sibyl, Lauren Hill as Madeleine, Toni Smith as the Demon, Tony Graham as James and Michelle Holmes as Margaret. Rounding out the ensemble are Johanna Rose Burrell, Kevin Corsini, Robert Glen Decker, Andrew Diego, Tony Dooley, Jillian Eatson, Kia Dawn Fulton, Timothy Hearl, Lauren Hill, Susan Huckle, Mike Irizarry, Michael Liles, Garret Riley, Jenny Torgerson, Tiffany Williams and Lindsay Zana.
The award-winning design team for Dorian’s Descent includes set designer John Iacovelli; lighting designer Jean-Yves Tessier; sound designer Julie Ferrin; and costume designer Michael Mullen (LADCC and LA Weekly awards for Doma's Dreamgirls). Makeup is by Karen Sanchez; props design is by Hallie Baran; production manager is Gabrieal Griego; and Mike Abramson and Dolf Ramos produce.
DOMA Theatre Company has carved a name for itself by presenting large-scale, Broadway-style musicals in a small intimate setting at Hollywood’s MET Theatre. DOMA’s production of Dreamgirls garnered rave reviews including a Los Angeles Times “Critic’s Choice,” was named “Musical of the Year” at the LA Weekly awards, and received multiple Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle awards including “Outstanding Revival.”
Dorian’s Descent runs Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 3 p.m. from May 30 through July 20 (dark July 4). Tickets range from $30–$34.99; seniors and students with ID pay only $20. The MET Theatre is located at 1089 N. Oxford Ave., Los Angeles CA 90029. For reservations, call (323) 802-4990 or go to www.doriansdescent.com .