I am a critically-acclaimed director and choreographer specializing in new musicals.
I have developed musicals centered on music by
pop singer / songwriter P!nk and Pete Townshend of The Who,
and collaborated with David Bowie’s pianist Mike Garson
on a rock musical adaptation of The Happy Hooker.
Full productions of new musicals include….
…That’s MISS FITS to YOU! which the New York Times called “a musical extravaganza…a glittering paean to a polygender counterculture”…
…Me & Caesar Lee by Pat Holley, set in the world of 1980s R&B, starring two time Tony nominee Ernestine Jackson…
…and indie pop musical Andru’s Head, which the Times cited for its “blithe humanism.”
But new musicals aren’t all I do! I’m versatile, directing opera, a few play revivals, and many new dramatic works.
I directed Spanish composer Enrique Granados’s opera Goyescas with an exciting new opera company Bare Opera, in only its second professional production in New York City, its first being its Metropolitan Opera debut in 1916. This bohemian opera was inspired by the lush paintings of Goya, and this new production was influenced by the vibrant urban landscape of 1980s Madrid, and was choreographed by my frequent collaborator Liz Piccoli.
George Grella of New York Classical Review said: “What Bare Opera did have is ideas, craft, and some highly talented and skilled performers…Jonathan Warman’s direction subtly but clearly defined differences in values between the pairs, setting the majismos’ self-conscious outsider stance against Fernando and Rosario’s restrained forbearance…Structured in three tableaux, with an Intermezzo and Interlude that provided for more excellent dancing, the staging was sympathetic to the underlying haunted quality of Granados’ original composition.”
I directed the critically acclaimed New York Premiere of one of Tennessee Williams most wildly creative late plays, Now the Cats With Jewelled Claws, starring Mink Stole and Everett Quinton. The production opened the 50th Anniversary Season at The Club at LaMaMa ETC. Conversations in a restaurant between two socialite women friends, a roughed up pregnant waitress, two young gay hustlers with pink leather jackets emblazoned with “The Mystic Rose”, and a lecherous, prophetic restaurant manager. Apocalyptic, funny, musical, physical, wild, futuristic, shamanistic.
The reviews for Now the Cats were fantastic! Here are some samples:
“The director, Jonathan Warman, has encouraged a flamboyant presentational style that emphasizes coherence over flair.”
– Jason Zinoman, New York Times
“Thanks to the imagination of director Jonathan Warman and his enthusiastic cast, it makes for an outrageously entertaining 50 minutes…Warman mixes Williams’ diverse elements skillfully, letting them jostle gently about, feeding rather than fighting each other.” – Erik Haagensen, Backstage
“Fearlessly directed by Jonathan Warman, who fully embraces the play’s grotesque beauty.” – Brandon Voss, The Advocate
“Thanks to the surehanded staging from director Jonathan Warman and a fine cast, this mere squib of a play provokes both laughs and thought.” – Andy Probst, Theatermania
“Warman more than matches the piece’s phantasmagorical style…Warman elicits exquisite performances from his cast that are at once real and larger-than-life.”
– Heather J. Violanti, New York Theatre
Jonathan Warman (Director / Choreographer) New York Theatre: New York premiere of Tennessee Williams’s Now the Cats with Jewelled Claws (La MaMa ETC, featuring Mink Stole and Everett Quinton), Me & Caesar Lee (new musical, TBG Theatre, featuring two-time Tony nominee Ernestine Jackson), Goyescas (Bare Opera), That’s MISS FITS, to YOU! (new musical, also choreographer, Soho Playhouse), Andru’s Head (new musical, NeoNeo Theatre), Quit the Road, Jack (Theatrelab), Struck / Break (Emerging Artists Theatre), American Fabulous (NeoNeo Theatre), Kitchenette (Theatre Row Studio Theatre), Groupies (Cherry Lane Studio), In Loco Parentis (4th Street Theatre), Love in the Time of Chlamydia (Hard Sparks), The Women of the Mahabharata (eyeBLINK). International: Dreams Reoccurring (Clubul CFR, Iasi, Romania; Nu Festival, Timisoara, Romania), Break (Dublin Gay Theatre Festival). Regional: Heads (Omaha Magic Theatre), The Strangest Kind of Romance (immersive, site-specific production, Provincetown Tennessee Williams Festival; Omnova Theater, Columbus, Mississippi; Theatre Sewanee, Tennessee), Struck/Break (New Orleans Fringe Festival), Rogan Gosh (Star of the East, Omaha), Mad Forest, Hamletmachine (University of Nebraska at Omaha). Proud member of SDC. He has served as Artistic Director of NeoNeo Theatre Company.