Michael Feinstein & BJ Ward Set for York's THE MARSHALL BARER PROJECT, 6/10
The York Theatre Company celebrates the great American lyricist Marshall Barer (Once Upon a Mattress) with a special concert event, The Marshall Barer Project, a musical tour through the life, career and mind of a man whose songs are shimmering jewels from the American Songbook. Starring BJ Ward with special guest Michael Feinstein. Directed by Gordon Hunt, The Marshall Barer Project will play two performances only on Tuesday June 10, 2014 at 5:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. The York Theatre Company at Saint Peter's (Citicorp Building, entrance on East 54th Street, just east of Lexington Avenue).
Marshall Barer, an author, songwriter and singer, was an eccentric, witty, mercurial character. who wrote songs, and later special material for nightclub performers. In the early 50s he met Yale alumnus Dean Fuller, and they contributed words and music to the revues Once Over Lightly (1955, Zero Mostel, Jack Gilford, Sono Osato), New Faces Of 1956 (Tiger Haynes, Inga Swenson, and future British stage star Maggie Smith), and the 1957 Golden Jubilee edition of The Ziegfeld Follies, starring Beatrice Lillie. Barer and Fuller, with Jay Thompson, were also credited with the book for the 1959 musical Once Upon A Mattress ('Shy', 'Song Of Love', 'Happily Ever After', 'Very Soft Shoes', 'Many Moons Ago', 'Yesterday I Loved You', 'In A Little While'), also featured Barer's witty lyrics, beguiling music by Mary Rodgers, and introduced actress-comedienne Carol Burnett to Broadway. In 1966, he worked with Mary Rodgers again on The Mad Show. In the same year he formed a lyrical partnership with Fred Tobias for Pousse-Café ('Someone To Care For', 'Thank You, Ma'am', 'Let's', 'My Heart Is A Stranger'). Jazz legend Duke Ellington composed the music for this adaptation of Heinrich Mann's novel, "Professor Unrath", which starred Theodore Bikel. He continued 'gleefully to mate his lyrics' to the melodies of Vernon Duke, David Shire, and David Ross - along with William Roy, Michel Legrand, J. Fred Coots, and Leroy Anderson, among numerous others. From the 70s onwards Barer interpreted his own works, and parodied those by others, in cabaret, and that is the milieu in which his often acerbic but always entertaining songs still surface from time to time. One particularly appealing item, 'On Such A Night As This' (with Hugh Martin), was featured on Andrea Marcovicci Sings Movies (1988). He was active until just before his death in 1998, which occurred some two years after he received the 1996 ASCAP Richard Rodgers Award.
Tickets are priced at $75, and $100 (includes a special reception at 6:30 p.m.) and are available by calling (212) 935-5820, or in person at the box office at the York Theatre at Saint Peter's (Citicorp Building, entrance on East 54th Street, just east of Lexington Avenue), Monday through Friday (12:00 -6:00 p.m.).
For additional information, please visit the website at www.yorktheatre.org.
The York Theatre Company is the only theater 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 neglected 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 exclusively 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 The York Theatre Company productions are now available on CD, and commercial transfers of such York premieres as The Musical of Musicals (The Musical!), Souvenir, Jolson & Company, and its acclaimed revivals of Closer Than Ever (2013 Off-Broadway Alliance Award for Best Revival), Sweeney Todd and Pacific Overtures have all showcased the importance of the York and its programs.