Jonathan Pearson and Joseph Trefler to Present New Musical at Fresh Fruit Festival

By: Jul. 15, 2014

Jonathan Pearson and Joseph Trefler, the musical theatre songwriting team behind "The End of The World"-one of William Finn's favorite cabaret songs of 2013-will premiere The Unusual Engagement of Chester Pringle on Friday, July 18 at 7 p.m. and Sunday, July 20 at 4 p.m. at The Wild Project during the Fresh Fruit Festival.

The Unusual Engagement of Chester Pringle is a farcical coming out story. Set in 1920, New York City, Mrs. Pringle is excitedly preparing her son Chester's engagement party to Olivia Farnsworth. However, Chester has been having a secret love affair with the family's butler, Marden. Chester desperately wants to preserve his relationship with Marden, but fears that calling off the engagement and revealing his true identity will ruin his relationship with his mother forever.

"We are so thrilled to have this piece be a part of the Fresh Fruit Festival," said Pearson. "It's important for us to highlight the contributions the LGBTQ community has made to musical theatre while showcasing very real situations we face everyday-even in a fun and humorous way of what we imagine it might be like to come out in 1920."

"We wrote this show for all of us who've had to come out to our family and friends and the very real fears we face," Trefler added.

Loosely based on the 1920 play Fourteen by Alice Gerstenberg, this new one-act musical features Patty Nieman as Mrs. Pringle, Matt Leisy as Chester Pringle, and Adam Rennie as Marden. It also features book and lyrics by Jonathan Pearson, music and lyrics by Joseph Trefler, (both graduates of New York University's Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program), direction and set design by Ryan Haase, musical direction by Scott Christian, costumes by Nicholas Staigerwald and hair and makeup by Danielle Robinette.

The World Premiere of The Unusual Engagement of Chester Pringle runs at The Wild Project, 195 E. 3rd Street, New York City, 10009, from June 18 to 20, 2014. Performances are Friday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 4 p.m. as part of the Fresh Fruit Festival. Tickets are $18 (Free for current AEA members with card). For tickets and more information, please visit

The Fresh Fruit Festival is presented by All Out Arts to celebrate the LGBTQ community's unique perspective, creativity & diversity, and to build links between the LGBTQ artistic communities, be they local or international.


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