High Fidelity

Music and Lyrics by Philip Seward
A musical farce in two acts freely adapted from Chekhov and Shaw

Cast: 2M/2W  •  Instrumentation: Chamber Orchestra  •  Duration: 2 hrs. 10 min.

Playing out from May to December of the year 1900 in the Chicago area, High Fidelity concerns the widowed Aurora Wentworth and her visiting cousin Georgina Livingston who receive visitor Theodore Bumpass and his ward, Henry Apjohn, on a warm day in May. Aurora resists the men’s intrusion, but Ted forces his way into her home to collect a debt owed him by her deceased husband, Nicholas. While Georgina and Henry encounter each other outside, Aurora and Ted argue inside about money, then about how women and men treat one another. As their argument escalates, Georgina and Henry are pulled inside and Henry is instantly smitten with Aurora. As Aurora and Ted challenge one another to a duel, Ted at last realizes he has met a woman he could love. Enraged, Aurora insists they fight and a gunshot rings out as the first act ends.

The second act begins with the foursome on the way to Chicago to arrange for Ted and Aurora’s wedding in Grant Park. Henry is disillusioned that he cannot be united with his love, while Georgina plots how to regain his attention — and capture his affections. In an effort to convey his feelings, Henry begins to compose songs to Aurora. She toys with his attention until Georgina discovers the songs and takes them to Ted. As Ted and Georgina return home, Aurora and Henry panic and try to determine how to explain the music. An argument develops between the four of them, escalating once again to a duel during a spring storm as the piece comes to a comedic end.

High Fidelity sets out to make music move at the tempo of theatrical farce. The result is a hilarious mixture of music, theatre and an absurd battle of the sexes flying by at a lightening pace!

Previous Productions: Merkin Hall, NYC • Chicago Humanities Festival • Theatre Building Chicago

Recording Samples:  Another Day • Men? Faithful?! • Could I Shoot Him?