THE STORY: VALHALLA intertwines two stories: the life of Ludwig of Bavaria, the 1880s Mad King responsible for building a series of storybook castles inspired by Wagnerian operas, and the fictional adventures of James Avery, a wild Texas teenager of the 1940s. These two iconoclasts are tracked from childhood through their deaths, and while they embody separate eras, they are ultimately revealed as time-traveling soul mates. The play explores questions of beauty and madness, as both Ludwig and James pursue lives of operatic passion, bringing them in contact with such diverse figures as a high-school quarterback, the prettiest girl in Dainsville, Texas, most of the characters of Lohengrin and princess Sophie, who declares herself ""the loneliest humpback in Europe."" VALHALLA is a comic epic, confronting the price to be paid for wanting, and getting, everything you dream of.
""You can be sure that a winsomely wicked bon mot will fly by every minute or so."" - NY Times. ""Paul Rudnick's most ambitious and?his strongest work yet."" - The New Republic. ""?a dizzy, brisk diptych that connects 19th-century Bavaria to 1940s Texas in a unified field theory of gayness."" - Time Out NY. ""?a juggling act skillful enough to revive vaudeville."" - Village Voice. ""If, as Paul Rudnick contends, 'opera is music gone mad,' what's it called when a giddy profusion of one-liners achieves the lunatic rhythm of music?"" - NY Newsday. ""Quips fall with the regularity of autumn leaves."" - Associated Press.