F. Michael Haynie, Karen Mason Among Reading Cast for David Reiser's New Musical JONI

A developmental reading of JONI, a new musical by David Reiser (writer of Any Other Way, Walker in Babylon), was presented this week at Shetler Studios in Manhattan.

Among new additions to the previously announced company, via a photo of the cast list from the event, were F. Michael Haynie (Jasper in Deadland), Karen Mason (A Christmas Story, The Musical, Wonderland, Mamma Mia!) and Virginia Cavaliere (In the Heights tour).

They joined Christy Altomare (Mamma Mia!), who played the title role of JONI, an 18-year-old idealistic freshman in college still living at home with her widowed father.

Gina Rattan (Matilda, NBC's Peter Pan) directed the readings, which also featured Kathryn Boswell (Gigi), Preston Truman Boyd (On The Twentieth Century, Bullets Over Broadway), Stephanie Gibson (Cinderella), Isabel Keating (It's Only A Play, Spider-Man), Emily Kron, Michael McCormick (Chaplin, Elf, Curtains), Asa Somers (Next To Normal), Theo Stockman (American Idiot, Hair) and Josh Tolle. (Casting by Lindsay Levine/Tara Rubin Casting.)

Ever since her mother died in a drunk driving accident twelve years ago, JONI has spent her life in the shadow of Dad's overcompensating over-protection and is desperately searching to find her own identity and independence. When the anniversary of her mother's death conflicts with JONI's only chance to get into a sorority, Dad forbids JONI from leaving the house, but JONI steals Dad's car and runs away. Over the course of a wild weekend, JONI must learn the value of home before she finds herself in much deeper trouble on campus than she ever found with her father; and Dad must learn to see relationships in a new way before he loses the only person he has left to love.

The reading was music directed by Dana Haynes (A Night Like This, Wyatt) and produced by Emily Hammond Cook (The Public Theater) with Tony LaPlaca (Disgraced, Beaches) as a Producing Consultant.

A concert of songs from the show will also take place later this week, Thursday, August 27, at 9:30PM at 54 Below. Tickets for the concert available at www.54below.com/artist/the-songs-of-david-reiser.

Photo Credit: Walter McBride

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