FLASHBACK FRIDAY: Tony winner Idina Menzel and her now fianc? Aaron Lohr performing the title song in the Off Broadway NY Premiere of Michael John LaChiusa’s 2005 See What I Wanna See at The Public Theater.

SEE WHAT I WANNA SEE is a dark, powerful, risqu?, dramatic, and intense playlist of 3 one act stories in 2 acts (almost like Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick’s 1966 musical THE APPLE TREE) all dealing with theme of people choosing what to believe and the truth. They are all based on short Japanese stories.

In the musical, both acts open up with Ry?nosuke Akutagawa’s story of the medieval Japanese lovers KESA AND MORITO (telling their sides of their romance story).

The first act is based off on Akira Kurosawa’s R SHOMON (inspired by Akutagawa’s IN A GROVE) set in a Police integration in 1951 room where a murder has just taken place in Central Park. You hear different variations of the story from the witnesses. The ending is a cliffhanger.

The second act is entitled GLORYDAY (based on Akutagawa’s THE DRAGON). It’s set in Central Park present day following a priest with a spitfire communist and atheist aunt who gives him the idea to create a lie that God will be coming into Central Park. The ending is interesting to see how a lie can become the truth.

SEE WHAT I WANNA SEE was originally developed in 2004 at the Williamstown Theatre Festival in Massachusetts. It originally stared Tony winner Audra McDonald, Henry Stram, Michael C. Hall, Tom Wopat, and Tony nominee Mary Testa. The show did really well, it was brought over to New York City for it’s OFF BROADWAY premiere at the Public Theatre in 2005. The cast featured Tony winner Idina Menzel, her now fianc? Aaron Lohr, Tony nominee and Marc Kudisch. In addition Stram and Testa reprised their roles. The show was nominated for 8 Drama Desk Awards including OUTSTANDING MUSICAL. Today, SEE WHAT I WANNA SEE has been performed in Colleges and Regional Theatres worldwide.

How cool is it to see Idina get engaged to another one of her co-stars? How incredible is this show?

Idina Menzel’s first N.Y. show after “Wicked” was “See What I Wanna See,” off-Broadway at the Public Theater in late 2005. Words and Music by Michael John La…

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