Henson-Conant'Hip harpist' Deborah Henson-Conant perforns in Arlington Heights in 2022.

UPDATED April 27: Its book, music and lyrics created by Grammy-nominated playwright/composer Deborah Henson-Conant of Arlington, the allegorical fantasy "The Golden Cage" is set to begin streaming for free at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 27. The public may see the premiere for free through May 1 at GoldenCageMusical.com. 

In an email message April 27, Henson-Conant made these additional recommendations for access at no charge: “The place to watch it for free is at the musical’s website, GoldenCageMusical.com – or this link may be easier: https://bit.ly/TGC-FREE. Folks can also watch it free right on YouTube: https://youtu.be/Rjl1fsRcp88.”

Streaming Musicals, the online stage platform, announced that the elaborate live stage video recording will continue streaming on-demand after May 1, with tickets available for $19.99 for purchase and $4.99 for a 72-hour rental.

The production is directed by R. Lee Kratzer with a cast of two: Christopher Isolano and Maddie Allen.

To watch a trailer, click here >> 


A news release said that the show is about a glorious, mythical cage that’s irresistible from the outside and inescapable from the inside.The play tells the story of two creatures who meet on either side of its bars.

Boris, half-man and half-bird, is stranded on the outside after a lifetime searching for the cage. Alphea, trapped on the inside, is a melodramatic diva who longs for freedom yet fears the outside world -- and can’t remember how she got trapped in the cage.

According to the news release, in this work, lyrical musical theater meets operetta meets song cycle; the poignant new musical comedy reflects the cages in which we trap ourselves and demonstrates that the only way we can emerge is through connection to each other.

“Its universal subject matter, sophisticated music and whimsical characters make the show one for multigenerational audiences to see together. Imagine chasing something your whole life only to find out it’s someone else’s hell,” creator Henson-Conant said. “'The Golden Cage' is about self-created traps of isolation and blind achievement -- and the power of human connection to set us free.”

Henson-ConantHenson-Conant throughout her career has combined stories and music in multiple genres: narrated concerts,  song cycles, one-person musicals, operettas and musicals.

Her full-length music special “Invention & Alchemy,” in collaboration with the Grand Rapids Symphony, appeared on PBS stations throughout the United States and received a Grammy nomination for Best Classical Crossover Album.

She has performed and premiered her works internationally with orchestras and venues including Pittsburgh Symphony, Baltimore Symphony, Tacoma Symphony, Buffalo Philharmonic, Chicago Humanities Festival, Kennedy Center, Boston’s Lyric Stage and Central Square Theater.

Her TEDx talk chronicles the development of the harp that’s named after her, the “DHC” body-harp – an instrument that enables one to become a single performing unit with an electric harp

She said the new work is a parable based on her own life in which powerful creative ambition was in constant conflict with an almost obsessive desire to hide. Details can be found by visiting hipharp.com. Visit GoldenCageMusical.com to view the premiere and for additional information.

The collaboration with Streaming Musicals follows an awarding-winning soundstage production filmed in front of live audiences at the CreateTheater New Works Festival at NYC’s Theatre Row in 2022, where the production won awards for Best Actor, Best Musical Score and Most Innovative Production. 

This news announcement was published Sunday, April 23, 2023, based on a news release from Arlington resident Deborah Henson-Conant, and was updated Thursday, April 27, 2023, with additional methods of temporarily seeing the production free of charge.