Why Is Eartha Kitt Trying To Kill Me?: A Love Story


One-act opera by composer Jeffrey Dennis Smith and librettist David Johnston, based on Johnston’s one-act comic monodrama about a mysterious – and unlikely – murder suspect.

Written for tenor Keith Jameson, the opera is a tour de force love story and mad scene all in one, as a man shares his bizarre confession concerning the fate of a hot, young, art world star.

Smith’s score blends elements of jazz with an edgy contemporary sound, creating an energy that propels the story forward. His music evokes the vivid experiences of the lead character, bringing the audience along for the ride—even though we never leave the interrogation room.

Electronic Press Kit available here.

The score by Jeffrey Dennis Smith is vibrant and rhythmic, but most impressive in how it shades the emotions of the libretto.

-MD Theatre Guide

…smartly appropriates operatic conventions in a manner that is simultaneously ironic and earnest.  The obsessive passions of our main character are shown to be delusional, even rather ridiculous—and yet the beauty of the music and the poetry of the lyrics also make his love noble and compelling. 

-Murder Most Queer

an operatic gem, and the talents assembled for the production have encased this most entertaining work in pure gold.

-DC Theatre Scene

…a deft blend of jazz, Broadway and Minimalism with hints of torch song. As the opera unfolded, the score became a character unto itself, representing elements synonymous with the Big Apple: vehicular traffic jams, the daily urban grind and even the laundromat.

-Washington Classical Review

the savory, full of sharp edges score of composer Jeffrey Dennis Smith, libretto by David Johnston, and some wily direction by Sam Helfrich take an audience through a monodrama as a marvelously winding confessional.

-DC Theater Arts


Trailer including interviews by Mark Campbell, Cori Ellison, Lawrence Edelson, Shawn Milnes and David Johnston.



Full Performance: