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Belfry’s production of The Lehman Trilogy a masterwork

A dazzling story of ambition, success, greed and collapse
Michael Shamata produces The Lehman Trilogy at the Belfry. (Courtesy Belfy Theatre)

It’s 1844 and a young man from Bavaria stands on a New York dock, dreaming of his new life in a new world. He’s joined by his two brothers and Heyman, Mendel and Meyer, the Lehman brothers, embark upon a journey that will see them rise from obscurity to prominence.

One hundred sixty-three years later, the firm they established - Lehman Brothers - spectacularly collapsed into bankruptcy, triggering the largest financial crisis in history.

In brief, that’s the story behind the Belfry Theatre play, The Lehman Trilogy.

Michael Shamata, Belfry’s artistic director and the director of The Lehman Trilogy, described his excitement when he first read the play.

“I knew immediately that it had to be seen on our stage,” said Shamata. “This is a stunning high-wire act. A wild ride that takes us from a tiny store in Alabama to a Wall Street juggernaut; from small-town enterprise to full-on moral corruption.”

The play, which won the 2022 Tony Award for Best Play, features Brian Markinson, Nigel Shawn Williams, and Celine Stubel in the lead roles as the Lehman brothers and their sons and grandsons as the story navigates the Civil War, the Great Depression, and generations of ethical dilemmas.

It is an epic journey, an epic play, and a theatrical tour de force.

Written by Italian novelist and playwright, Stefano Massini, the three-act play has been translated into 24 languages and has enjoyed huge success, opening in London and moving on to Broadway. It’s been highly praised by critics around the world.

The actors are required to move seamlessly from character to character and, while it does require a certain unspoken agreement between the actors and the audience to let imagination rule the day, the results are well worth the required suspension of disbelief.

The play runs from April 23 to May 19 and tickets are available at