Jenny Powers, Max von Essen and More Included in UnsungMusicalsCo.'s 2014 Season
UnsungMusicalsCo. (UMC) just announced its 2014 season, which will launch on April 5 at 8pm with Unsung Carolyn Leigh, a special evening produced forLincoln Center's American Songbook at the Stanley H. Kaplan Penthouse. Starring Obie Award winner Donna Bullock (Ragtime, A Class Act), Rachel de Benedet(Catch Me if You Can), Drew Gehling (Jersey Boys, On a Clear Day), Autumn Hurlbert (Legally Blonde), Drama Desk nominee Jenny Powers (Donnybrook!,Happiness), Megan Sikora (Curtains) and Max von Essen (Evita), the concert, showcasing songs by the Tony- and Grammy-nominated lyricist of Peter Pan and Little Me, is created and directed by Ben West (The Fig Leaves Are Falling, At Home Abroad, Make Mine Manhattan). Tickets, priced $30-$50, are now on sale.
Celebrating her enduring legacy of smart, sophisticated and often sexy songwriting, Unsung Carolyn Leigh highlights the legendary lyricist's little-known works, including several jazz-infused items from her acclaimed 1969 Gatsby score, a cut song from How Now Dow Jones, and two numbers written with Marvin Hamlisch for the original, unproduced version of Smile. Eight dynamic performers, a sizzling trio of musicians and over twenty melodic gems color the intimate evening, which also features rare audio clips from two of Ms. Leigh's original demo recordings.
The 2014 season will continue with a workshop production of a new revue: The Passing Show. Hard-boiled Broadway agents, tap-happy temps, and star-crossed in-laws raise a racket in this outrageous fun-fest filled with an exciting nod to the British music hall, a reality competition send-up and all-new material! Borrowing its name from what is considered the first American revue, UMC's developing work blends past and present, putting a contemporary spin on the classic form with brand new material by Obie Award winner Jeff Bowen ([title of show]), Sam Carner & Derek Gregor (Unlock'd), Rick Hip-Flores, Phoebe Kreutz, Sam Salmond, Drama Desk nomineesJoshua Salzman & Ryan Cunningham (I Love You Because) and Emmy Award winner Bruce Vilanch ("Hollywood Squares"), as well as one dance item from the 1916 British music hall revue The Bing Boys Are Here, and three trunk songs by the Academy Award-winning team of Jimmy Van Heusen & Sammy Cahn (Skyscraper,Walking Happy). UMC will present 5 performances only June 26-29 at MTC Creative Center. Tickets, priced $15, are now on sale.
UMC will also present the world premiere of Up in Arms!, a new musical by Tony Award winner Frank Loesser (Guys and Dolls) and Emmy Award winner Arnold Auerbach ("The Phil Silvers Show"). Conceived and directed by West as a 1940s U.S.O. show, the new musical utilizes original material written by Auerbach and Loesser for their World War II army revues, as well as additional unpublished material written by Auerbach during his years in service.
UMC will continue its unsung concert series later in the year at 54 Below with Unsung Bob Merrill, showcasing songs by the Tony-nominated writer of Funny Girl,Carnival! and New Girl in Town; and the first of a three-part event honoring Tony Award-winning lyricist Dorothy Fields, Unsung Dorothy Fields, Vol. 1: The Coleman Years, which will focus on rare material from her three Cy Coleman collaborations (Sweet Charity, Eleanor, Seesaw).
UMC's developmental reading series at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts will begin May 22 with the hit 1926 musical comedy Peggy-Ann with book by Herbert Fields, music by Richard Rodgers and lyrics by Lorenz Hart. The series will continue on July 24 with the 1964 Coney Island musical comedy I Had a Ball starring Emmy winner Bruce Vilanch (Hairspray), with book by Jerome Chodorov and music and lyrics by Stan Freeman and Jack Lawrence. Drama Desk nomineeIgor Goldin (Yank!) will direct a third title to be announced.
Additional performers, dates and creative teams will be announced shortly. For more information, please visit: www.UnsungMusicals.org.
Photo Credit: Walter McBride / WM Photos