The Hubbard Hall Theater Company in Cambridge, New York has plucked a gem to fill their May calendar with its fresh production of Peter Shaffer’s five time Tony Award-winning Amadeus directed by Jeannine Haas. The 1984 film of the same name won best picture. The stage version premiered on Broadway in 1980 with Sir Ian McKellen as Salieri, Tim Curry as Mozart, and Jane Seymour as Constanze. It ran for 1,181 performances.
Amadeus is a fully absorbing story that is pure drama, and wonderfully funny at times, but still a highly fictionalized account of the of the lives of the composers Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Antonio Salieri. First performed in 1979, Amadeus is inspired by a short 1830 play by Alexander Pushkin called Mozart and Salieri. It depicts the maddening rivalry between Antonio Salieri, the most successful composer in Mozart’s 18th century Vienna, and Mozart, the poverty-stricken genius whose work would entirely erase that of Salieri.
The play begins forty years later, long after the death of Mozart, as Salieri seethes with ineffectual jealousy and claims to be the man who murdered “the Creature.” The play is a rollicking ride back and forth in time, full of dazzle, irreverence, a hilariously pompous court and the best music ever made.