February House, the musical

In 2012, Julian was invited to play the central role of George Davis in the new musical February House, the first commission in 20 years from New York’s legendary Public Theater. Composed by Gabriel Kahane, written by Seth Bockley and directed by Davis McCallum, February House was adapted for the stage from the book of the same name by Sherril Tippens and tells the remarkable, true story of a ramshackle Brooklyn Heights brownstone that housed such cultural luminaries at W.H. Auden, Benjamin Britten, Carson McCullers and Gypsy Rose Lee in the late 1930′s and early 1940′s. This remarkable rotating roster of literary and musical legends was curated and cultivated by the strangely forgotten George Davis, writer, editor and talent whisperer, for whom the house was a kind of professional last stand.

With his gliding falsetto and runaway panache, Mr. Fleisher makes George Davis the inarguable, indelible hero of the household.” wrote the New York Times in their review of the World Premier which began it’s life at The Long Wharf theater in New Haven. The Hartford Currant raved “Not since “Sunday in the Park with George” does a musical so dazzlingly explore the role of art, artists and the “real” world in which they live with such creativity, intelligence and heart. Julian Fleisher anchors the evening with his special brand of charisma,” and the New Haven Theater Blog wrote ” …applaud the casting of Julian Fleisher as George—he has the bonhomie, the knowing looks, the den-mother coddling, the grade-school teacher cheer, the man-of-the-world theatricality, the self-deprecating humor of a man with a great idea and the personality to pull it off. He’s so vividly rendered you believe he might walk off the stage and, if you’re lucky, invite you to a Forties soiree—and you would go with him most anywhere. Fleisher’s singing voice is less than overpowering, but his songs in the show are the kind that make you lean forward and listen. He’s a major strength of this production. You would be glad of the chance to spend time with him even if his housemates weren’t famous writers.

The original cast recording of February House, produced by the composer, is available here: Check out the following samples: