Show History



Gertrude Stein was an American author who lived from 1874 to 1946. Despite being less well known in her lifetime than friends and contemporaries, such as Picasso, she is now remembered as a creative, innovative writer in American literature. One of her most famous works was The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas, Toklas being her life partner. Loving Repeating, according to composer, Stephen Flaherty, "follows the life, the loves and creative spirit of Gertrude Stein as seen through her relationship with Alice B. Toklas. Every word in the piece is [by] Stein. It's taken from a variety of texts: poems, speeches, letters, journal entries. All of the words are by Stein, except the very, very end of the piece where the final monologue is Alice B. Toklas' words about the end of Gertrude Stein's life." Director, Frank Galati, adapted the piece in part from a 1934 lecture that Stein delivered at the University of Chicago.


Loving Repeating began at Northwestern University in 2003, where it was developed under the title, A Long, Gay Book. Galati was a theatre professor there at the time.

Loving Repeating then premiered in Chicago in 2006 as a co-production and co-presentation by About Face Theatre and the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA). It ran at the MCA from February 14 through March 12.

The next major production was done by the International City Theatre in Long Beach, California, at the Long Beach Performing Arts Center. The show ran from January 21, 2011, through February 13, 2011.

Cultural Influence

  • A cast recording featuring the original Chicago cast was released on January 9, 2007.
  • A published edition of the script, credited to Frank Galati as a dramatic adaptation of Gertrude Stein's work, came out in August of 2009.


  • Galati and Flaherty had previously collaborated on the Tony Award-winning Ragtime before coming together to work on Loving Repeating.
  • Loving Repeating is the only full-length, professionally produced musical that Stephen Flaherty has written without his frequent lyricist partner, Lynn Ahrens.
  • The original creative team for the About Face Theatre production of Loving Repeating included choreographer, Liza Gennaro, and music director, Thomas Murray. The original cast featured Chicago veteran, Cindy Gold, as Gertrude Stein, Jenny Powers as Alice B. Toklas and Christine Mild as the young Gertrude Stein.