THE LEHMAN TRILOGY (Arden): A play in three acts

Written by Italian novelist Stefano Massini and adapted by Ben Power, The Lehman Trilogy is a tale about cotton, Civil War, commodities, finance, and wealth told through the story of three brothers and the company they found. It begins when Henry Lehman comes to America in 1844 and opens a dry goods store in the South where he is joined by his two brothers. By 1858 they have moved operations to New York City and started Lehman Brothers, Inc., which in time becomes a large investment bank. The story moves on to 1867, to 1887, to 1891, to 1929 and the Wall Street crash. In business for 158 years, the company, which weathered the depression and moved into finance when others failed, was derailed by the subprime mortgage crisis and filed for bankruptcy in 2008.

With the Arden’s color-blind casting the three Lehman brothers, Henry (Scott Greer), Emanuel (Charlie DelMarcelle), and Mayer (Akeem Davis), look quite different from each other. One of the three Lehman brothers is Black and two are white. Sometimes the male actors play women, sometimes children. We’ve all been watching these outstanding actors perform, some for several years. Scenic/video designer,  Jorge Cousineau’s huge projection wall is truly amazing. Nothing is ever easy, and the cast spent over 200 hours in rehearsal.

Despite the play’s lengthy three hours, including two short intermissions, even with more tell than show, the audience loved it, as evidenced by the rollicking extended applause at the close.

[Arden Theatre Company, 40 N 2nd Street] March 7–April 7, 2024;

Cast: Akeem Davis, Charlie DelMarcelle, Scott Greer, Adam Howard, Gabe Moses, Kevin Naddeo
Producing Artistic Director: Terrence J. Nolan
Assistant Director: Casie Girvin
Scenic/video Designer: Jorge Cousineau
Lighting Designer: Krista Smith
Costume Designer: Asaki Kuruma
Original Music, Sound: Christopher Colucci
Stage Manager: Lindsey Connolly
Managing Director: Amy L Murphy
Associate Director: Jonathan Silver

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