Play about Leonard Bernstein

Last Updated: Thursday, February 22, 2007 | 3:58 PM ET

A new play by Martin Julien to premiere at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa this March will examine the life of charismatic maestro Leonard Bernstein.

The Unanswered Question, with veteran actor Tom McCamus in the role of Bernstein, will premiere March 8 at the NAC, with previews beginning March 5.

Bernstein, a talented pianist who became the first American conductor to receive worldwide acclaim, was also a prolific composer who wrote West Side Story, Candide and On the Town.

Julien, an actor turned writer, has set the play in 1976, the year Bernstein left his beautiful wife, Chilean actress Felicia Montealegre, to live with a male lover.

“The piece examines the life of a wildly influential musician who must come to terms with his own nature and mortality in the face of both a radically changing society and a profound personal crisis,” Julien says in his notes on the play.

Julien says his background as an actor — he played  Cornell Tremble III in Allen Cole’s The Wrong Son at the NAC last year — affects his style of writing.

CBC Arts

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