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The Blueprint Specials

presented as part of The Public Theater’s Under The Radar Festival
Jan 6 – Jan 11, 2016

In the summer of 1944, engulfed by a war spread across three continents, the US Army made a foray into some unlikely territory: producing Broadway-style musicals. Created by a Who’s Who of 20th century American entertainers, including composer Frank Loesser and choreographer José Limón, these remarkable artifacts were designed for soldiers to put on in the field as a way to boost morale. Now, Waterwell is excavating and reviving them as a collaboration between civilian artists and Veterans. Tuneful, subversive, and disarmingly witty, the Blueprint Specials offer a fresh and surprising look at the intersection of conflict and culture. The Blueprint Specials will be seen for the first time since World War II on the hangar deck of the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum.

Starring Tony nominees Laura Osnes (Cinderella, Bonnie and Clyde) and Will Swenson (Hair).

  • Adapted and Directed by Tom Ridgely
  • Music & Lyrics principally by Frank Loesser
  • Book principally by Arnold M. Auerbach
  • Original choreography by José Limón
  • Music Director Sonny Paladino
  • Choreography by Patrick McCollum
  • Scenic & Costume Design by Andrea Lauer
  • Lighting Design by Greg Goff
  • Choreography in the style of José Limón by Colin Connor
  • Executive Producer Arian Moayed
  • Producer Victor Hurtado


Get your tickets here.


This heavily abridged and re-sequenced version of William Shakespeare’s greatest tragedy imagines the action shifted to early 20th century Persia on the eve of World War I and weaves in excerpts of Farsi translations throughout, revealing an extraordinary resonance between two distant cultures and letting us hear Hamlet as never before.

  • Created by Waterwell
  • Adapted from the play by William Shakespeare
  • Directed by Tom Ridgely
  • Starring Arian Moayed as Hamlet


A “live movie musical” adaptation of Sophocles’ Ajax.

Turning Texas Blue

Kirsten is the youngest state senator in Texas history and is about to announce her candidacy for governor. All she has to do is take care of that little green card marriage she agreed to in college – and convince the state’s biggest political donor her administration will be good for business. If only they both hadn’t shown up on the same day…as well as a writer and photographer from the Times. Can she toe the middle line? Be all things to all people? Keep everyone from falling in love with her gardener? Turning Texas Blue is a farce about the all-too-real insanity around debates over immigration, gay rights, north and south, red and blue.

  • Created by Waterwell
  • Written by Jennifer Joan Thompson
  • Directed by Tom Ridgely

The Last Year in the Life of Martin Luther King

An all new theatrical event about one of America’s most loved and misunderstood figures. Taking inspiration from the legendary speeches, interviews and private notes of Martin Luther King, the obscured history of his last days shines with new meaning in this surprising new musical. Featuring an exuberant score of rock, soul and blues, The Last Year in the Life adds shading and nuance to King’s towering legend. Although he was known for non-violence, this urgent rendering of his final year reveals the fiery fortitude beneath Dr. King’s stormy quest for peace.