Menken & Spencer's THE APPRENTICESHIP OF DUDDY KRAVITZ Slates Developmental Reading at York Theatre Company

Menken & Spencer's THE APPRENTICESHIP OF DUDDY KRAVITZ Slates Developmental Reading at York Theatre Company

The York Theatre Company, dedicated to the development of new musicals and the preservation of musical gems from the past, as part of its acclaimed Developmental Reading Series, will present the staged reading of the new musical The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz, with book and lyrics by David Spencer (The Fabulist), music Alan Menken (Little Shop of Horrors), and based on the novel by Mordecai Richler, for two performances only Monday, December 11 at 2:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. at The York Theatre Company at Saint Peter's (619 Lexington Avenue, entrance on East 54th Street, just east of Lexington Avenue).

The readings are open to the public with a $10.00 advance reservation fee for each reading (Complimentary for York Theatre's Plus Members; $5 for York Theatre Members). Reservations can also be made on the day of the reading (pending availability) for a suggested $5.00 donation in person at the box office.

Directed by Evan Pappas (Liberty), and with music direction by Annbritt duChateau, the cast will feature Marie-Pierre de Brienne (The Sound of Music) as Yvette Durelle, Sam Rosenthal (Beauty and the Beast) as Mr. Cohen and Michael Esposito II (Spring Awakening) as Irwin Shubert with Lincoln Clauss (Burn All Night) as Duddy Kravitz, Daniel Marcus (Urinetown) as his father Max Kravitz, James Judy (Into the Woods) as his uncle Benjy Kravitz, Gerry Vichi (Something Rotten) as his grandfather Simcha Kravitz, Brennan Caldwell (Baghdaddy) as his brother Lenny Kravitz, Jim Brochu (Zero Hour) as Peter John Friar, Ray Bokhour (Chicago) as Jerry Dingleman, Jeff Irving (Sweeney Todd) as Virgil Roseboro, Savannah Frazier (Amazing Grace) as Linda Rubin, George Merrick (Honeymoon in Vegas) as Moe/Hugh/Thomaz/Calder/Mickey, and Tracy Sallows (The Audience) as Mrs. Cohen/Mother.

Based on the literary classic-which also inspired the 1974 film starring Richard Dreyfuss, The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz is set on the streets of 1950s Montreal and the countryside of St. Agathe. Ambitious, spiky, and relentlessly driven, Duddy Kravitz is on the cusp of adulthood and hustling to climb the social ladder. Obsessed with his grandfather's maxim that "a man without land is nobody" and desperate to prove himself, he risks making his name at the expense of those he loves; it all comes down to choosing what kind of man he's going to be.

The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz was originally produced in June 2015 at the Segal Centre for Performing Arts (Artistic and Executive Director: Lisa Rubin; General Manager: Jon Rondeau).

The York's Developmental Reading Series presents over 30 readings and workshops of new musicals by emerging and established authors throughout the year, a vital part of the writing process. The strong commitment to developing new work is an important part of what makes the York unique in the musical theatre community. The series serves as an incubator for shows to be considered for Mainstage productions, thus serving the York's unique mission of taking new musicals through the complete development process to full production. Projects developed through the series have included Broadway's Avenue Q and In Transit and the York's Cagney.

For additional information, visit www.yorktheatre.org.

ABOUT THE ARTISTS:

Alan Menken's music and lyrics have become an integral part of the fabric of our lives since his first works were produced nearly 40 years ago. His stage musicals include Little Shop of Horrors, Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid, Newsies, and Aladdin. Song and score credits for film musicals include The Little Mermaid, Beauty and The Beast, Newsies, Aladdin, Pocahontas, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Hercules, Enchanted, Tangled and Sausage Party. His chart topping songs have included "Beauty and the Beast," "A Whole New World," "Colors of the Wind" and "Go the Distance." Winner of the 2012 Tony and Drama Desk awards for his score for Newsies, he has won more Academy Awards than any other living individual (four Oscars for Best Score and four for Best Song). His other awards include eleven Grammys (including Song of the Year for "A Whole New World"), seven Golden Globes, London's Evening Standard and Olivier Awards, the Outer Critics Circle Award, and the Drama Desk Award. Other notable achievements include induction into the Songwriters Hall of Fame and a Billboard number one single ("A Whole New World") and number one album (Pocahontas). In 2001 he received the distinction of being named a Disney Legend. In 2010 he received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

David Spencer is an award-winning composer-lyricist, lyricist-librettist, author, and musical theatre teacher. He has written music and lyrics for the Richard Rodgers Development Award-winning musical The Fabulist (book by Stephen Witkin, from the novel by John Vornholt) which also contributed to his winning the Kleban Award for lyrics and several Gilman & Gonzalez-Falla Theatre Foundation grants. He is also lyricist-librettist for two musicals with composer Alan Menken: Weird Romance (WPA 1992, York 2004) and The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz. Spencer made his professional debut in 1984 with the English adaptation of La Bohéme at The Public Theater, and he has since written music and lyrics for Theatreworks/USA's all-new, award-winning young audience versions of The Phantom of the Opera and Les Misérables (book and direction for both by Rob Barron). Currently he is writing book, music, and lyrics for a musical based on the iconic Russian novel The Golden Calf. Spencer's published books are the "Alien Nation" novel Passing Fancy (Pocket, 1994), The Musical Theatre Writer's Survival Guide (Heinemann, 2005, an industry standard that has remained in print since its publication), and the script of Weird Romance (Samuel French, 1993). He is on the steering committee and teaching faculty of the BMI-Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop.

Evan Pappas (Director). Off-Broadway: Liberty, Wonderful Town, DuBarry Was a Lady, What Will People Think? Regionally; The Color Purple, Sister Act (Arts Center of Coastal Carolina) Kiss Me Kate, Evita, West Side Story, The Daughter of the Regiment (Opera North), 7 Brides for 7 Brothers (SF Critics Best Production Award, and Best Director nomination), Funny Girl (SF Critics Director nomination) Lucky Stiff (Arizona Broadway Theatre), Murder for Two, My Way (Depot Theatre), Carousel, A Man of No Importance (Montclair State University), West Side Story (Santa Fe College), Some Place Like Home (Best Director Award, Soundbites Festival, NYC), Broadway Babes (Covent Garden), Assoc. Director on Being Sellers (59E59), Moscow (Samuel French One-Act Festival), Parallel Lives (Theatre for the New City), Daily Sounds (Finalist in Strawberry Festival), among others. As an actor he has starred on and off-Broadway in My Favorite Year, Parade, Putting It Together, A Chorus Line, I Can Get It for You Wholesale, Café Society Swing, etc., and on London's West End in Follies and Merrily We Roll Along.

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, currently on stage. 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 original York Theatre/Off-Broadway cast of the hit musical Cagney, which received its York premiere in 2015 and subsequently transferred to the Westside Theater for over 15 months, has just concluded a limited engagement in Los Angeles.


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