Matthew Hydzik and Janine DiVita Will Turn Back Time in BENJAMIN BUTTON THE MUSICAL Reading at York Theatre Company

Matthew Hydzik and Janine DiVita Will Turn Back Time in BENJAMIN BUTTON THE MUSICAL Reading at York Theatre CompanyThe York Theatre Company, dedicated to the development of new musicals and the preservation of musical gems from the past, as part of its acclaimed Developmental Reading Series, will present the staged reading of the new musical Benjamin Button The Musical with music by Natalie Tenenbaum (More Stars Than There Are in Heaven), and book and lyrics by Brett Boles ("From Broadway With Love: A Benefit Concert for Sandy Hook" on PBS) for three performances only, on Monday, January 30, 2017 at 7:00 p.m. and Tuesday, January 31, 2017 at 2:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. at The York Theatre Company at Saint Peter's (619 Lexington Avenue, entrance on East 54th Street, just east of Lexington Avenue).

Directed by Stephen Nachamie (Broadway's She Loves Me), and with music direction by Natalie Tenebaum, the 12-member cast will feature Matthew Hydzik (Side Show) as Past Benjamin and Janine DiVita (The Mystery of Edwin Drood) as Claire, with Cole Burden (The Bridges of Madison County) as James, Sean McDermott (Miss Saigon) as Roger, Zachary Sayle (Newsies) as Contemporary Benjamin, and Julius Thomas III (The Scottsboro Boys) as Roy. Rounding out the cast are Mark DiConzo (Priscilla Queen of the Desert), Karen Elliott (LES MISERABLES), Badia Farha (Sistas: The Musical), James LaRosa (The Addams Family), Bernard Scahill (Beauty and the Beast), and Mia Scarpa (Hello, Dolly!). Sarah Jane Schostack will read stage directions.

Benjamin Button's story, based on the legendary short story by F. Scott Fitzgerald, is one of adventure, love, and the search for a place in the world. Aging backwards is a blessing and a curse for Benjamin; although he grows younger and more fit with each passing year, he struggles to nurture personal relationships as he literally grows apart from everyone he loves. Spanning eighty years, from WWII through the early 2000s, Benjamin ultimately learns that it is, in his words, "never too late, or in my case, too early, to be whoever you want to be."

Natalie Tenenbaum (music) is the recipient of the 2012 BMI Harrington Award and the 2013 Jean Banks Award. Brett Boles (book/lyrics) wrote the book, music, and lyrics to Foreverman, which premiered at NYMF and received the New World Stages Development Award.

The creative team includes Assistant Director Donald Garverick, Production Stage Manager Bernita Robinson, and Assistant Stage Manager Cyrille Blackburn.

The readings are open to the public with a $10.00 advance reservation fee for each reading (Complimentary for York Theatre's Plus Members; $5 for York Theatre Members). Reservations can also be made on the day of the reading (pending availability) for a suggested $5.00 donation in person at the box office.

The York's Developmental Reading Series presents over 30 readings and workshops of new musicals by emerging and established authors throughout the year, a vital part of the writing process. The strong commitment to developing new work is an important part of what makes the York unique in the musical theatre community. The series serves as an incubator for shows to be considered for Mainstage productions, thus serving the York's unique mission of taking new musicals through the complete development process to full production. Projects developed through the series have included Broadway's Avenue Q and In Transitand the York's Cagney and Mark Felt, Superstar.

York Theatre Company offers the York! Membership Program, an exclusive membership package for as low as $75.00-with elite benefits that includes a 30% discount on tickets to York Theatre Productions, exclusive member pre-sale opportunities, 50% off on all lobby concessions, 20% off on all lobby merchandise, in addition to special member-only receptions. The York also offers a York Plus! Membership Program with additional perks, including complimentary tickets to Mainstage productions and invites to several VIP-only presentations throughout the season.

For additional information, visit www.yorktheatre.org.

The York Theatre Company is the only theatre in New York City-and one of very few in the world-dedicated to developing and fully producing new musicals and preserving neglected, notable shows from the past. For over four decades, York's intimate, imaginative style of producing both original and classic musicals has resulted in critical acclaim and recognition from artists and audiences alike. Under the guidance of Producing Artistic Director James Morgan since 1997, the York has focused on new musicals in its Mainstage Series-most of them world, American, or New York premieres-by some of the field's most esteemed creators, and has also helped launch the careers of many talented new writers. Over 35 cast recordings from York Theatre Company productions are now available on CD, including its acclaimed revival of Closer Than Ever (2013 Off-Broadway Alliance Award for Best Revival); commercial transfers of such York premieres as The Musical of Musicals (The Musical!), Souvenir (Tony Award Nomination for actress Judy Kaye), and Jolson & Company, and revivals of Pacific Overtures and Sweeney Todd (four Tony Nominations including Best Revival) have all showcased the importance of the York and its programs. Recent hits have included Rothschild and Sons, Plaid Tidings and Cagney, currently playing to sold-out houses at the Westside Theatre starring Robert Creighton as James Cagney and the original York Cast.

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