Evangeline is acknowledged to be the country's first musical hit written by Americans (1874). It played in various theaters for over thirty years. The Comic Opera Guild's revival will mark the show's 150th anniversary. Presented in semi-staged concert form, the show is a comic parody of the original Longfellow poem of the same name. As did the original, the show follows the misfortunes of Evangeline, who overcomes transportation to a distant land to marry the love of her dreams. The show, by E. Everett Rice and J.C Goodwin, is unique among musicals in that its dialog is entirely in verse. The music is jolly and tuneful, returning the audience to the carefree joy of the 19th century.
The show will be in the cozy Riverside Arts Center, where all seats provide close sight lines and sound. David Troiano conducts the cast of 25, led by soprano Rosanne Lee as Evangeline and tenor Dean Joyce as her lover Gabriel. This production will add to the 68 early Broadway shows restored by the Comic Opera Guild, by far the most of any company. The performance will result in the first complete recording of the show.