by Jim and Ruth Bauer
Choreographed by Chase Brock
Directed by Will Pomerantz


Second Stage Theatre




“Exotic and playful, suffused with empathy, this “Flower” blooms with a haunting beauty … Graham Rowat gives Mr. O mystery and dignity, while three “ghost players” serve as his assistants. Joseph Medeiros, Julia Osborne, and Aaron Serotsky dart about stylishly and execute Chase Brock’s quirkily effective choreography with precision (I particularly loved an icy, regimented Charleston danced by a grieving black-clad Maria). Like Hans Richter’s films, the Bauers’ musical is an experiment more likely to influence than enter the mainstream. But if you’re up for an adventure, this exhilarating show more than fits the bill.”

– Back Stage (Critic’s Pick)


“I just had one of the greatest artistic experiences of my entire life. A musical called The Blue Flower, by Jim and Ruth Bauer. It’s beautiful and weird and thrilling and powerful and incredibly original, as if Kurt Weill and Jacques Brel were still alive and decided to write a new rock musical. It’s one of those shows that’s so stylized, so specific in its physicality, and director Will Pomerantz and choreographer Chase Brock have created some of the most intense, most interesting, most beautiful staging I’ve ever seen.”

– The Bad Boy of Musical Theatre


“The catchphrase “a new musical” is hardly descriptive of “The Blue Flower,” the work by Jim Bauer and Ruth Bauer at Second Stage; There are songs, story, actors and an eight-piece band, but none of them are used in a traditional manner. This is an adventurous, one-of-a-kind and perhaps unforgettable affair; as such, it is likely to thrill a specialized audience while baffling patrons who wander in unsuspectingly. Piece is quite as starting as “The Adding Machine” or “Hedwig and the Angry Inch,” although it might better be described along the lines of Tom Stoppard’s “Travesties” or Woody Allen’s “Zelig.”

– Variety


“The Blue Flower is a wondrously dreamy Dada-era-invoked new musical, a beautifully incremented multi-media confluence of truth and fantasy, art and history. It is a sensorial treat. Staged as a living collage of human intimacy and abstracted expressionism, it was conceived and composed by married-to-each-other collaborators Jim Bauer (music and lyrics) and Ruth Bauer (book). The Blue Flower is a revelation of artistic resources and execution. Pomerantz’s direction and staging, enhanced by the choreography of Chase Brock, serves both the passive and passionate sections of the musical. The scenes of war, including Franz’s death on the battlefield, are as disturbing and vivid as is the decadent, liquor and cocaine-fueled party that serves to fracture the relationship between Max and Hannah. Although there is an irrefutable bridge of expressionism that defines the mise-en-scene of this adventurous musical, there is a decided homage paid by the design team to Hoch to incorporate her Dada-influenced style particularly as a creator within the collage and photomontage school of graphic art. The extraordinary way the Bauers and their collaborators have literally, figuratively and symbolically configured life, love and art into a stunningly expressionistic musical collage is quite a feat, one that gives their musical its most notable distinction.