Bruce Vilanch Set to Lead Developmental Reading of I HAD A BALL on 7/24

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Bruce Vilanch Set to Lead Developmental Reading of I HAD A BALL on 7/24

UnsungMusicalsCo. (UMC) continues its 2014 developmental reading series at The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center with a special presentation of I Had a Ball, the 1964 Coney Island musical comedy with a book by Tony Award winner Jerome Chodorov (Wonderful Town) and a score by Stan Freeman & Jack Lawrence. The reading, directed by Ben West (Unsung Carolyn Leigh, The Fig Leaves Are Falling, Make Mine Manhattan), will be held Thursday, July 24 at 2:30 PM in the Bruno Walter Auditorium.

The reading will star Emmy Award winner Bruce Vilanch (Hairspray, "Hollywood Squares"), in the role originated by comedian Buddy Hackett. The cast will also include Natalie Venetia Belcon (Matilda,Avenue Q), with additional casting to be announced shortly. The score has been newly arranged by musical director Fran Minarik (Unsung Carolyn Leigh, At Home Abroad).

I Had a Ball is a vibrant, colorful confection following the delightfully eccentric denizens of Coney Island and the feisty fortune-teller who singlehandedly sets off a series of raucous romantic entanglements. Sparks fly, love blossoms, and hilarious hijinks ensue in this bright and brassy entertainment!

The I Had a Ball reading will be presented on Thursday, July 24, 2014 at 2:30 PM at the Bruno Walter Auditorium of The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts (111 Amsterdam Avenue, between 64th and 65th Streets). Admission is free and seating is on a first-come, first-served basis.

For more information, please visit: www.UnsungMusicals.org.

UMC's 2014 developmental reading series is made possible with the support of the Mary Duke Biddle Foundation and the Max and Victoria Dreyfus Foundation. The series will continue December 5 at The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts with a reading of a show to be announced which will be directed by Drama Desk nominee Igor Goldin (Yank!, With Glee).

UnsungMusicalsCo. (UMC) is a New York-based not-for-profit production company dedicated to the preservation of musical theatre through the revitalization and presentation of obscure but artistically sound works. Focusing primarily on overlooked projects from the Golden Age of musical theatre (1931-1971), UMC treats each property as a new musical thereby providing a unique collaboration between the artists of today and those of the past. Founded in 2009, recent UMC projects include Unsung Carolyn Leigh, a sold-out, critically acclaimed concert for Lincoln Center's American Songbook; critically acclaimed, newly conceived productions of Make Mine Manhattan and The Fig Leaves Are Falling; a starry concert production of At Home Abroad with Bruce Vilanch, Julie Halston, Christine Pedi, Noah Racey, Liz Larsen and KT Sullivan; world premiere concerts of Gatsby, Caesar's Wife and Nothing is Forever; and the critically acclaimed New York Int'l Fringe Festival production of How Now, Dow Jones. UMC also recently launched its unsung concert series with Unsung Jimmy Van Heusen hosted by Tony Award nominee Tom Wopat. Devoted also to researching, assembling and ultimately preserving rare musical material for future generations, UMC is receiving its own collection in the Billy Rose Theatre Division of the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center, where the company's developmental reading series is also in residence at the Bruno Walter Auditorium. www.UnsungMusicals.org

Photo Credit: Walter McBride / WM Photos

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