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During the 1999-2000 season, two of LaChiusa's large-scale musicals premiered on Broadway: Marie Christine and The Wild Party. Marie Christine, a retelling of the Medea myth set in 19th-century Louisiana, starred Audra McDonald and attracted controversy due to its grim subject matter and demanding score--The New York Times reported that "even the formidable and classically trained McDonald could sing it only six times a week, rather than the standard eight."Marie Christine closed after 42 performances; LaChiusa later said that the show "in my mind should have been performed for three performances.... Only three. It's huge, and it's intensely difficult".The Wild Party was based on the 1928 poem of the same name by Joseph Moncure March and starred Toni Collette, Mandy Patinkin, and Eartha Kitt. The Wild Party struggled commercially; after receiving seven Tony nominations but failing to win a single one, producers closed the show. For both Marie Christine and The Wild Party, LaChiusa received Tony nominations for Best Book of a Musical and Best Original Score.
In 2003, Little Fish, an uncharacteristically cheerful one-act musical for LaChiusa, based on two short stories by Deborah Eisenberg, premiered Off-Broadway. The show's failure sent LaChiusa into a funk; he recalled, "I went, 'My God, they don't want the hard stuff and more challenging material here in this city from me. They don't want something nice and fun, either. What am I supposed to do?'"
In August 2005, LaChiusa published an article in Opera News that disparaged several successful, upbeat Broadway musicals of the 2000s, among them The Producers and Hairspray, which LaChiusa dubbed a "faux-musical". He continued, "Instead of choreography, there is dancing. Instead of crafted songwriting, there is tune-positioning. Faux-musicals are mechanical; they have to be. For expectations to be met, there can be no room for risk, derring-do or innovation." The article caused a great deal of controversy and provoked shocked responses from several of LaChiusa's colleagues, who saw it as an attack.
In October 2005, LaChiusa's musical See What I Wanna See, based on the stories "In a Grove," "The Dragon," and "Kesa and Morito" by Ry?nosuke Akutagawa, opened Off-Broadway at the Public Theater and closed on December 4, 2005. LaChiusa was nominated for Drama Desk Awards for Outstanding Music and Outstanding Lyrics.
Queen of the Mist is a musical adaption of the story of Annie Edson Taylor, the first person to survive going over Niagara Falls in a barrel. Commissioned by Off-Broadway theatre company the Transport GroupQueen of the Mist received a developmental lab in fall 2010, and opened in November 2011 at The Gym at Judson. With direction by Jack Cummings III and choreography by Scott Rink, the musical stars Mary Testa and Julia Murney.
LaChiusa's work, Nine Fathers of Ariel, is "a dance musical which centers on a mother's effort to provide her son with good fathering in the face of a war-obsessed world". It had a 29-hour private industry reading on April 5, 2014. It was a co-collaboration with Ellen Fitzhugh, with Graciela Daniele directing and musical direction by Mary Mitchell Campbell. The cast included Tonya Pinkins, Marc Kudisch, Malcolm Gets, Telly Leung, Bryce Ryness, Darius de Haas, Stanley Bahorek, Sydney James Harcourt, Ashley Robinson, Casey Robinson, and Hayley Feinstein.
LaChiusa's musical First Daughter Suite premiered Off-Broadway at the Public Theater on October 6, 2015 (previews), and was directed by Kirsten Sanderson. He stated about the work: "While he didn't want to fully imitate First Lady Suite, LaChiusa felt that the new piece could be an extension of the earlier piece. It would not, however, be a sequel." The musical looks at the women in the lives of Presidents Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush. The women are: Patricia Nixon, played by Barbara Walsh and daughters Tricia played by Betsy Morgan and Julie played by Cassie Levy; Rosalynn Carter, played by Rachel Bay Jones and Amy Carter played by Carly Tamer; Betty Ford played by Alison Fraser and Susan Ford played by Betsy Morgan; Patti Davis played by Cassie Levy and mother Nancy Reagan, played by Alison Fraser; and Barbara Bush played by Mary Testa and daughter-in-law Laura played by Rachel Bay Jones.
Little Fish in Concert at Joe's Pub (July 10, 2006);
Concert that featured music from Bernarda Alba and other LaChiusa scores as well as a Little Fish CD Release party ; Alice Ripley and Lea DeLaria, appeared at Joe's Pub (September 8, 2008);