Julie Benko, Ben Fankhauser & More Announced for the York's BAR MITZVAH BOY
The Jule Styne Celebration Continues! The York Theatre Company (James Morgan, Producing Artistic Director; Evans Haile, Executive Director), dedicated to the development of new musicals and the preservation of musical gems from the past, has announced the cast of the rarely-seen musical Bar Mitzvah Boy, with music by Jule Styne, lyrics by Tony and Oscar winner Don Black (Sunset Boulevard), and book by Jack Rosenthal (Yentl), as adapted by David Thompson (The Scottsboro Boys), the second of three shows in the Winter 2018 Musicals in Mufti Series celebrating the work of composer Jule Styne.
Performances are set to begin Saturdayafternoon, February 10, 2018 for 11 performances only through Sunday, February 18, 2018 at the York Theatre Company at Saint Peter's (entrance on East 54th Street, just east of Lexington Avenue). Opening Night is Sunday evening, February 11, 2018 at 7:00 p.m.
Directed by Annette Jolles (Mark Felt, Superstar!), and with music direction by Darren R. Cohen (Man of La Mancha at Barrington Stage), the eight-member cast will feature Julie Benko (Fiddler on the Roof) as Lesley Green, Neal Benari (Aida) as Rabbi Sherman, Ned Eisenberg ("Law and Order: SVU") as Victor Green, Ben Fankhauser (York'sSaturday Night) as Harold, Tim Jerome (The Phantom of the Opera) as Grandad, Peyton Lusk (Falsettos) as Eliot Green, Casey Watkins (A Christmas Story) as Denise, and Lori Wilner (A Catered Affair) as Rita Green.
Based on Rosenthal's award-winning 1976 BBC1 teleplay of the same name, Bar Mitzvah Boy is a bittersweet musical comedy about a young Jewish Londoner who runs away from the Bar Mitzvah into which his parents have poured their efforts and their money. Looking at the adult world, Eliot Green doubts if he can cope with being a part of it. Rosenthal's hysterical story of a family's anxious build up to their only son's Bar Mitzvah will resonate with many Jewish families, but this classic tale speaks loudly for any important family occasion-whatever the religion. Originally produced at Her Majesty's Theatre in the West End in 1978, Bar Mitzvah Boy is composer Jule Styne's only musical written expressly for London, and this presentation marks the New York premiere of a new version first presented in London in 2016, with a book adapted by David Thompson and new songs with lyrics by Black, using previously unheard Styne melodies.
The creative team includes Graham Kindred (Lighting Designer) and Kevin Maloof (Production Manager). The Production Stage Manager is Shanna Allison with Assistant Stage Manager Chris Steckel. Casting director is Geoff Josselson, CSA.
The York Theatre Company's acclaimed Musicals in Mufti series of musical theatre gems, performed in a simply-staged, book-in-hand concert format, is celebrating its twenty-second historic year of shows from the past that deserve a second look. Mufti means "in street clothes, without the trappings associated with a full production."
Bar Mitzvah Boy will play the following 11-performance schedule- First Week: Saturday at 2:30 p.m. & 8:00 p.m., Sunday at 2:30 & 7:00 p.m. Opening; Second Week: Wednesday at 7:00 p.m., Thursday at 2:30 p.m. and 7:00 p.m., Friday at 8:00 p.m., Saturday at 2:30 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. and Sunday at 2:30 p.m.
The Winter 2018 series concludes with the 1961 Broadway musical Subways Are for Sleeping with music by Jule Styne and book and lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green, suggested by the book by Edmund G. Love. Originally produced by David Merrick, Subways tells the tale of Angie, a reporter sent to get the scoop on a segment of NYC society-a group of well-dressed homeless people sleeping in the New York subway system-that lives by their own rules. Going undercover, Angie learns how the carefree other half lives and begins to see there might be another way to experience the world. Subways Are for Sleeping is perhaps best known for an infamous publicity stunt in which Merrick invited New Yorkers with the same names as some of the prominent theatre critics at the time, using their favorable reviews in a print ad. Stuart Ross (Enter Laughing)will direct, with music direction by David Hancock Turner (Desperate Measures). Performances begin Saturday afternoon, February 24, 2018 for 11 performances only throughMarch 4, 2018.
Currently onstage at The York Theatre Company is the first production in the series of three shows the Winter 2018 Musicals in Mufti Series celebrating the work of composer Jule Styne: the 1968 Tony Award-winning Best Muscial Hallelujah, Baby! with music by Jule Styne, lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green, and book by Arthur Laurents. Directed by Gerry McIntrye, making his Mufti directing debut, and with music direction by David Hancock Turner, the cast features Stephanie Umoh as Georgina and two-time Tony Award nominee Vivian Reed as Momma, with Jennifer Cody as Mary et al., Randy Donaldson as Tap, Bernard Dotson as Tip, Latoya Edwards as Chloe et al., Michael Thomas Holmes as Hutchinson et al., Jarren Muse as Clem, and Tally Sessions as Harvey. The limited engagement concludes Sundayafternoon, February 4, 2018 at 2:30 p.m.
"We are delighted to feature the work of Jule Styne in our latest Mufti series, and to be working with Margaret Styne on putting it all together," says York's Producing Artistic Director James Morgan. "Jule is one of the true leading lights of the Golden Age of Broadway and, while we have done a number of his shows in the series (Fade Out, Fade In, the original version of Hallelujah, Baby!, and Darling of the Day twice-both times to sold-out houses), this is the first time we have dedicated an entire series to this master composer."
In addition, The York Theatre Company will present an evening of song celebrating the composer's further catalog with a special cabaret, The Music of Jule Styne, conceived and music directed by Ron Abel (Me and Ella; Hazel, A Musical Maid in America) set for Tuesday, February 13, 2018 at 7:00 p.m.
Single tickets are now on sale for the Winter 2018 Musicals in Mufti series and priced at $45 (Weekdays and Saturday nights), and $50 (Weekend matinees). York Member single tickets are priced at $31.50 (all performances). Single tickets for the cabaret The Music of Jule Styne are priced at $30. Tickets be purchased online at www.yorktheatre.org, by calling (212) 935-5820, or in person at the box office at The York Theatre Company at Saint Peter's (Entrance on East 54th Street, just east of Lexington Avenue), Monday through Friday (12:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.).
For additional information, please 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. Almost 40 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 New York premieres have included Marry Harry, A Taste of Things to Come, Rothschild & Sons, and Desperate Measures which just completed a three and a half month extended run. The critically acclaimed musical Yank!, which received its Off-Broadway debut at The York in 2010, recently opened to rave reviews in London, and the hit musical Cagney, which received its York premiere in 2015 and subsequently transferred to The Westside Theatre for over 15 months, has just concluded a limited engagement in Los Angeles.
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