Allan Harris, Michael Lanning, et al. Set for CROSS THAT RIVER Reading, 1/26

Theatre-Aspen-20010101

Theatre Aspen is holding a private reading of the new musical Cross That River on Thursday, January 26th, in New York City. The musical is subtitled "a new musical about the black west" with a book by Allan & Pat Harris and Andrew Carl Wilk and music and lyrics by Allan Harris (based on an original story by Allan & Pat Harris).

The reading will be directed by two-time Tony Award nominee Randal Myler (Ain't Nothin' But the Blues), who also wrote Love, Janis and Hank Williams: Lost Highway. Cross That River stars three-time winner of the New York Nightlife Award for "Outstanding Jazz Vocalist," vocalist and composer Allan Harris. The cast also features Michael Lanning (Bonnie and Clyde, Civil War), Michael Genet (Fences), Ashley Blanchet (Memphis), Randy Aaron (9 to 5), Virginia A. Woodruff (The Color Purple, Smokey Joe's Café), Catherine Brookman (Hair), Charles E. Wallace (Smokey Joe's Café) and Tony Perry (Off Braodway's "Oprah Winfrey Presents").

Artistic Director Paige Price said "We're very excited to bring all these artists into the room to work with Allan. Cross That River is a story about the West and we plan to open our summer season with the show in 2013. Cowboys aren't a demographic we see in the theater too often, so maybe this'll get them off the ranch!"

A former Associate Artistic Director at the Denver Center, Myler has directed at the Kennedy Center, Arena Stage, New Victory (NYC), BAM, Dallas Theater Center, Alley Theater, Geffen Playhouse, Seattle Rep, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Cincinnati Playhouse and many others.

Allan Harris is a vocalist, producer, composer, guitarist, songwriter, actor and educator. A main-stay in concert halls, theaters, major music festivals and jazz clubs around the world, he has been a guest performer with Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, at Carnegie Hall, The Kennedy Center, with Country Music Star Vince Gill and with Stevie Wonder. He has performed for President Clinton, Jessye Norman and Sophia Loren.

Producer Patricia Harris has been directing the careers of music artists since 1994, as well as producing numerous music series for organizations like, Sotheby's and concerts at BB Kings Blues Club, Joe's Pub, Birdland, Tribeca Performing Arts Center, the Blue Note, and a lecture/concert series entitled Lush Life, the works of Billy Strayhorn with Allan Harris and David Hajdu, author of the biography "Lush Life."

Cross That River debuted at the O'Neill Theater in July 2008, and was the recipient of the Chamber Music America ResidenCy Grant. The musical was originally presented in the 2009 New York Musical Theatre Festival, directed by Wilk and featuring choreography by Tony-Award winner Donna McKechnie. Last summer, Cross That River had a further developmental reading at the O'Neill Theatre Center Cabaret Conference, under Artistic Director Michael Bush.

Theatre Aspen just received three Denver Post Ovation Award nominations, for Sandy Duncan, Julia Foran and Aaron Rhyne. In 2009, Theatre Aspen was awarded the Henry Award for "Outstanding Regional Theatre" and Alison Luff won the Denver Post's Ovation Award for Best Supporting Actress.

Theatre Aspen will announce the upcoming season lineup February 1st, 2012. For more information, please visit www.theatreaspen.org.

Photo Credit: Genevieve Rafter-Keddy

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