Charles Strouse, Leslie Lee's MARTIN to Open Off-Broadway Tomorrow


MARTIN, a new musical by legendary composer/lyricist Charles Strouse and bookwriter Leslie Lee, will be presented Off-Broadway by the Negro Ensemble Company, with performances beginning this Wednesday, October 19th. The limited engagement is set to run through October 30th at the Kraine Theater, 85 East 4th Street (between Second & Third Ave.) Under the direction of Jeffrey B. Moss and choreographed by Barbara Siman, the cast of MARTIN features Gilbert Glenn Brown, Dameka Hayes, Heather Massie, Kyle Minshew, Tony Perry, Raena White, and Curtis Wiley. The Musical Director is Skip Brevis.

MARTIN recounts DR. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s faltering journey from defiant teenager to leader of an improbable nonviolent bus boycott, which ultimately set the tone for the civil rights movement. In this new musical, Dr. King is stunned and disappointed that students from an urban high school, named after him, have little idea who he and his colleagues were in the civil rights movement. He takes them through his struggles with racism as a youth in Atlanta, his embrace of Mahatma Gandhi's peaceful means of protest, and the Montgomery bus boycott, where segregation on buses was declared illegal by the United States Supreme Court.

Charles Strouse is the Tony Award-winning composer of Broadway's Annie; Bye Bye Birdie; Applause; Golden Boy; "It's a Bird...It's a Plane...It's Superman"; All American; Mayor; Charlie and Algernon; Rags; and Nick & Nora. His film scores include Bonnie and Clyde, There Was a Crooked Man, The Night They Raided Minsky's, and All Dogs Go to Heaven. TV: All in the Family ("Those Were the Days"). Strouse has also written numerous orchestral works, chamber music, piano concertos and opera. Founder of the ASCAP Musical Theatre Workshop, Charles Strouse is the recipient of three Tony Awards, two Grammys, an Emmy, Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein Awards. He is a member of the Theatre Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame, and his book Put on a Happy Face is in its fourth printing.

The playing schedule for MARTIN will be Wednesday through Saturday evenings at 7:30 PM, with matinees Saturday and Sunday at 3 PM. Tickets are $18 and are available through (212) 279-4200 .

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