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Aisle Say on the Square: Diplomacy through the Service Entrance

Aisle Say on the Square: Diplomacy through the Service Entrance


A married couple, officers of the Norwegian government, witness first hand the ravages of war in the Middle East and return home determined to do something about it. They set about both confronting and manipulating the system to create a “back door channel” for peace talks between the Israeli government and the Palestine Liberation Organization. Which led to the famous and controversial Oslo accord, which of course didn’t create piece…but built the first, however precarious, bridge.

As drama, it provides the best kind of material, a background story that no one knows, that exists behind the foreground story that most with a sense of contemporary world events know; and the resultant play, Oslo, has been written by the arguable (but not very) best contemporary American playwright for the job, J.T. Rogers, whose specialty is turning historical chapters into a theatrical page turners. With a splendid cast, under the direction of Bartlett Sher, Oslo’s maneuvers and negotiation provide all the suspense of a high tension thriller.

Oslo is at the Mitzi Newhouse Theatre in Lincoln Center.



David Spencer is an award-winning composer-lyricist, lyricist-librettist, author and musical theatre teacher. He has written music and lyrics for the Richard Rodgers Development Award-winning musical The Fabulist, which also contributed to his winning a Kleban lyrics award and several Gilman & Gonzalez-Falla Theatre Foundation grants. He is also lyricist-librettist for two musicals with composer Alan Menken: Weird Romance (WPA 1992, York 2004) and The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz, which had its sold out, extended world premiere in Montreal in Summer 2015; cast album release soon. He made his professional debut in 1984 with the English Adaptation of La Bohéme at the Public Theatre; and he has since written music and lyrics for Theatreworks/USA’s all-new, award-winning Young Audience versions of The Phantom of the Opera (1996) and Les Misérables (1999) (book and direction for both by Rob Barron). Currently he is writing book, music and lyrics for a musical based on the iconic Russian novel The Golden Calf. Spencer’s published books are the Alien Nation novel Passing Fancy (Pocket, 1994), The Musical Theatre Writer’s Survival Guide (Heinemann, 2005, a regularly reprinted industry standard) and the script of Weird Romance (Samuel French, 1993). He is on faculty and teaches at the BMI-Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop and has taught at HB Studio, the Workshop Studio Theater and Goldsmith’s College in London. His primary professional affiliations are BMI, The Dramatists Guild and The International Association of Media Tie-in Writers.

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