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Life is what you feel,
Till you can't feel at all.
Life is where you fly and fall.
Running for the shelter,
Naked in the snow;
Learning that a tear drops
Anywhere you go;
Finding it's the mud
That makes the roses grow.
But that's the only choice you know!

          — Zorba

It's 1924, on the Greek island of Crete, and you're about to go on a wild, whirlwind tour of the passions of the human heart. For the vagabond philosopher Zorba, every minute of life must be lived as if death were around the corner, with no time to be wasted, raising his eyes to the Crete sky, spreading open his arms, and kicking out his feet as if he could surely ascend to heaven if he worked enough at it.

New Line continues its 26th season with ZORBA, the rarely produced gem from the legendary songwriting team, John Kander and Fred Ebb, who brought us Cabaret, Chicago, Kiss of the Spider Woman (all of which New Line has produced), The Scottsboro Boys, The Visit, Woman of the Year, Steel Pier, The Act, etc., and from bookwriter Joseph Stein (Fiddler on the Roof, The Baker’s Wife, Rags).

ZORBA is a rowdy, high-energy, deeply emotional fable about learning to live life out loud, based on the famous 1946 novel Zorba the Greek by Nikos Kazantzakis, its 1964 film version, and also letters that Kander and Ebb found from the real-life Zorba.

The cast of New Line’s ZORBA includes Kent Coffel as Zorba, Dominic Dowdy-Windsor as Nikos, Margeau Steinau as Madame Hortense, Lindsey Jones as the Leader, Ann Hier as the Widow, with Mara Bollini, Colin Dowd, Sarah Dowling, Evan Fornachon, Omega Jones, William Pendergast, Kimi Short, and Sara Rae Womack. The show will be directed by Scott Miller and Mike Dowdy-Windsor, with music direction by Sarah Nelson, choreography by Robin Michelle Berger, scenic and lighting design by Rob Lippert, costume design by Sarah Porter, and sound design by Benjamin Rosemann.

Originally conceived and directed in 1968 by the legendary Harold Prince, the story opens in a bouzouki parlor in Greece where a group has gathered to tell stories. They introduce us to Zorba, his philosophy of living life to the fullest, and a very dramatic, emotional, tragic, but life affirming encounter with a young man and with love.

Clive Barnes wrote about the show in the New York Times, “From beginning to end this is a musical with exquisite style and finesse. Director Hall Prince calculates his efforts like a Mozart. Prince has learned the principle of the musical as a gesamtumskwerk, the Wagnerian ideal of theatrical unity where every part plays its role in the whole.” John Chapman wrote in the Daily News, “Zorba is magnificent – a great work of musical theatre.” The show was nominated for eight Tony Awards, including Best Musical, and was nominated for a New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Musical.

ZORBA contains adult content.

  Want to explore more? We recommend:>

The show's original cast album, the script, and the vocal selections

The original novel and the film

The original Broadway cast of Zorba on The Tonys

Artistic director Scott Miller's background and analysis essay

A 1968 review of Zorba by college student Frank Rich for the Harvard Crimson