A story 150 years in the making! Eliza Haycraft, after falling prey to the wiles of an itinerant salesman, was banished by her family and shunned by her community. She single-handedly paddled a canoe down the Missouri River to St. Louis where, uneducated and lacking any skills she turned to the only profession left to women like her-prostitution. By the end of the Civil War, she was owner of a chain of brothels and other prime real estate and the richest woman in the city, if not the state. Playwright and composer Colin Healy has adapted her story into an exciting new musical that celebrates her legacy. Through her three simple rules- respect, pay up front and consent- she built an empire of love that also served to protect vulnerable women, war widows and orphans. An early feminist, she had little use for men especially those men of means who frequented her establishments but refused to recognize her in "polite" society. Despite this, newspapers of the day reported that over 5,000 people attended her funeral.
This is Healy's fifth produced musical and his most ambitious so far. Featuring a cast of seven accompanied by a live band, the musical finds its roots in St. Louis jazz and blues. Commissioned by Bluff City Theater as the final production on our 2019 season dedicated to exploring the American experience, Madam is a catchy, upbeat story complete with subtle mysteries and a few surprises.
Nine performances only, from August 15 to 24; tickets are just $27 for adults, $15 for students and youth. Group rates are available for parties of 10 or more attending the same performance.