Past Event

Sep 20—Oct 05, 2015

Ernest Shackleton Loves Me

“THE MOST WILDLY INSPIRING theatrical undertaking thus far this season.”

— Joyce's Choices

Kat is a stressed-out single mom trying to make it as a working artist. After her son’s absentee father takes off on tour with a Journey cover band, Kat is fired from her day job as a video game composer and stays up for 36 hours straight. On an insomnia induced whim, she logs onto a dating website where she is contacted by none other than the legendary arctic explorer, Ernest Shackleton!

Drawn to Kat’s innovative musical compositions, Shackleton invites her to join him on an Antarctic quest. Together, the two embark on Shackleton’s famous 1914 expedition, facing epic trials and tribulations as they conquer new horizons and forge a cross-time love affair for the ages.

Complete with quirky original songs and a dazzling multimedia set, Ernest Shackleton Loves Me is a new, geeky, high-tech musical adventure about how a little strength and determination can help us overcome any odds.




Emerson Paramount Center
559 Washington Street, Boston, MA 02111


Sep 20, 2015 - Oct 05, 2015


90 minutes, no intermission

Ages 14+

Performed in Hungarian with English supertitles.


Audio Described Performance
Sat, Oct 03 2:00 pm

American Sign Language Interpreted Performance
Sun, Oct 04


Presented with special arrangement by:

Matthew Kwatinetz

Book by:

Joe DiPietro

Music by

Brendan Milburn

Lyrics by

Valerie Vigoda

Directed by

Lisa Peterson

Musical Direction by

Ryan O’Connell


Valerie Vigoda and Wade McCollum

Valerie Vigoda

Valerie Vigoda is a classically trained musician who has toured the world with Cyndi Lauper (opening for Tina Turner and Cher), Joe Jackson and the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. She founded GrooveLily (originally The Valerie Vigoda Band) in 1994, with the critically acclaimed CD “Inhabit My Heart.” Valerie is a 2009 winner of the ASCAP Foundation Richard Rodgers New Horizons Award, as well as a two-time winner of the Jonathan Larson Award for Excellence in Writing for the Theatre.

Joe DiPietro

Joe DiPietro is a Broadway veteran who was nominated for a 2012 Tony for Nice Work If You Can Get It and won Best Book and Best Score Tony Awards for Memphis, which was also awarded the 2010 Tony Award, Drama Desk Award and Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Musical. His other shows include All Shook Up; I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change (the longest running musical revue in Off-Broadway history); The Toxic Avenger and The Thing About Men (both winners of the Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Off-Broadway musical).

Brendan Milburn

Brendan Milburn is an accomplished record producer and has done a lot of arranging for GrooveLily. Seth Rogovoy wrote: “Milburn is a deft pianist, his nimble finger work doing double-duty as the band’s bassist and provider of its harmonic foundation, delivered with the jazzy sophistication of Steely Dan’s Donald Fagen and the rock and roll theatrics of Billy Joel.” Brendan’s music and lyrics have, and will, be featured in a number of off and on Broadway shows. He’s always on the lookout for new projects and productions to add to his credits.

Wade McCollum

Wade McCollum originated the role of Shackleton at both the world premiere in Seattle and more recently at George Street Playhouse. Broadway: Wicked-the witch’s father, first national tour of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert as Tick/Mitzi, Jersey Boys -Norm. Other favorite roles include: The Velociraptor of Faith in the off-Broadway musical Triassic Parq, Prior in Angels in America, Dracula in Steven Dietz’s Dracula, Puck in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Crumpet in The Santaland Diaries, the Emcee in Cabaret (Dallas Fort Worth Critics Circle Award for Best Actor), Charlotte in I Am My Own Wife, Batboy in Batboy the Musical and Hedwig in Hedwig and the Angry Inch for which he garnered Backstage’s Garland Award and the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Actor and Ovation award for best musical. While in Los Angeles, Wade originated the role of Woody in Milburn/ Vigoda’s Toy Story: the Musical in several workshops for Disney. Wade can currently be seen on the popular BroadwayWorld Web series Submissions Only.


“Ernest Shackleton Loves Me chases a delightfully impossible dream.”

“A deliriously lighthearted love story”

“The musical defies cynicism and revels in its celebration of ‘full-fledged optimism.’”

The Boston Globe

“THE MOST WILDLY INSPIRING theatrical undertaking thus far this season”

“Valerie Vigoda…attacks the electric violin and percussion like a wild woman”

“I was moved by the blinding can-do optimism of it all and was on my feet applauding with the rest of the audience.”


Joyce's Choices

“The technological elements amplify the inherent theatricality of the surreal nature of Ernest Shackleton Loves Me”

“[Shackleton’s] inspirational messages come through loud and clear.”

Broadway World

“It’s immersive and mercurial, and a little bit like you imagine a play by performance artist and musician Laurie Anderson might be.”

“Ice packs crush ships, puppies die, heroes find themselves trapped with snowstorms sweeping, and all sorts of dire things happen — but nobody on this stage is ready to give up.”

Edge Media Network

“Wildly quirky in its contemporary style and tone, “Ernest Shackleton Loves Me” is an intrepid new musical”

“Packs plenty of history, adventure and exhilarating songs into a mere 90 minutes.”

New York Times

“The most delightful new musical in many a season”

Talkin' Broadway