A clown is torn between saving his own life and the lives of countless others in Ancient Rome.
Told with the distinct voice of Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt (The Fantasticks andI Do! I Do!), the tragically triumphant tale of Philemonis the pair's most adventurous Broadway venture yet.
In the third-century Roman Empire, Cockian the clown finds himself face-to-face with a rigid Commander who sentences him to death. In a particularly sticky situation, the Commander grants Cockian life... on one condition: he must impersonate the secretly executed Christian leader, Philemon, to obtain information that would enable the Roman Empire to capture and execute more Christians. Valuing his life, Cockian does the Commander's bidding. His traipse into espionage, however, becomes much more than a means to survive and shows Cockian what it means to love.
With its minimal cast, orchestra and production requirements,Philemon capitalizes on the intimacy, imagination and mythic quality that characterizes this writing team's astounding body of work. This gem of a piece can captivate audiences in any venue; from the cozy black box to the massive music hall.