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Krystal Joy Brown, Claybourne Elder, Capathia Jenkins & More to Lead UMC's Reading of PEGGY-ANN, 5/22

UnsungMusicalsCo. (UMC) will launch its 2014 developmental reading series at The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts with a special presentation of Peggy-Ann, the hit 1926 musical comedy with a book by Tony Award winner Herbert Fields (Annie Get Your Gun) and a score by the legendary songwriting team of Richard Rodgers & Lorenz Hart (Pal Joey, On Your Toes). The reading, directed by Ben West (Unsung Carolyn Leigh, The Fig Leaves Are Falling, At Home Abroad), will be held Thursday, May 22 at 2:30 PM in the Bruno Walter Auditorium.

The Peggy-Ann cast will feature include Whitney Brandt, Krystal Joy Brown (Motown, Big Fish), Claybourne Elder (Venice, Bonnie & Clyde), Rebecca Faulkenberry (Spider-Man, Rock of Ages), Nick Gaswirth (A Christmas Story), Drama Desk nominee Capathia Jenkins (Newsies, Stairway to Paradise), Leigh Ann Larkin (A Little Night Music, Gypsy), Matthew Patrick Quinn, Lance Roberts (Act One, Sister Act), Nick Verina (Follies), and Kristen Beth Williams (Top Hat, Anything Goes). Musical direction and arrangements are by Fran Minarik (Unsung Carolyn Leigh, At Home Abroad).

Set almost entirely within a razzle-dazzle dream teeming with crazy characters and harebrained happenings, Peggy-Ann is a frothy delight that follows a young, charmingly idealistic Peggy Barnes as she journeys after the love of her life and quickly gets swept up in the bright lights of Broadway, the spirited high seas, and the steamy clubs of Havana!

Doug Reside, Digital Curator at The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, will moderate a post-reading discussion with Bruce Pomahac, Director of Music at the Rodgers and Hammerstein Organization, and Ben West, artistic director of UnsungMusicalsCo.

The Peggy-Ann reading will be presented on Thursday, May 22, 2014 at 2:30 PM at the Bruno Walter Auditorium of The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts (111 Amsterdam Avenue, between 64th and 65th Streets). Admission is free and seating is on a first-come, first-served basis.

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UMC's 2014 developmental reading series is made possible with the support of the Mary Duke Biddle Foundation and the Max and Victoria Dreyfus Foundation. The series will continue July 24 at The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts with a reading of the 1964 musical comedy I Had a Ball featuring Emmy Award winner Bruce Vilanch ("Hollywood Squares," Hairspray).

UnsungMusicalsCo. (UMC) is a New York-based not-for-profit production company dedicated to the preservation of musical theatre through the revitalization and presentation of obscure but artistically sound works. Focusing primarily on overlooked projects from the Golden Age of musical theatre (1931-1971), UMC treats each property as a new musical thereby providing a unique collaboration between the artists of today and those of the past. Founded in 2009, recent UMC projects include Unsung Carolyn Leigh, a sold-out, critically acclaimed concert for Lincoln Center's American Songbook; critically acclaimed, newly conceived productions of Make Mine Manhattan and The Fig Leaves Are Falling; a starry concert production of At Home Abroad with Bruce Vilanch, Julie Halston, Christine Pedi, Noah Racey, Liz Larsen and KT Sullivan; world premiere concerts of Gatsby, Caesar's Wife and Nothing is Forever; and the critically acclaimed New York Int'l Fringe Festival production of How Now, Dow Jones. UMC also recently launched its unsung concert series with Unsung Jimmy Van Heusen hosted by Tony Award nominee Tom Wopat. Devoted also to researching, assembling and ultimately preserving rare musical material for future generations, UMC is receiving its own collection in the Billy Rose Theatre Division of the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center, where the company's developmental reading series is also in residence at the Bruno Walter Auditorium.

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