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Stephanie D'Abruzzo, Christine Pedi and Stephanie Umoh to Star in JERRY'S GIRLS at York Theatre Company

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Jerry's Girls

Light the Candles! Get the Ice Out! Blow the Bugle! The York Theatre Company, dedicated to the development of new musicals and preserving musical gems from the past, has announced Tony Award-nominee Stephanie D'Abruzzo (Avenue Q), Christine Pedi (NEWSical the Musical), and Stephanie Umoh (Ragtime) will lead the parade of the special Summer 2017 Musicals in Mufti presentation of the hit Broadway revue Jerry's Girls.

With music and lyrics by Jerry Herman and concept by Larry Alford, Wayne Cilento, and Jerry Herman, featuring the greatest songs for women from such immortal musicals as Mame, Hello Dolly!, Milk and Honey, Mack and Mabel, A Day in Hollywood/A Night in the Ukraine and La Cage Aux Folles, Jerry's Girls will be directed by York favorite Pamela Hunt (Berlin to Broadway with Kurt Weill), with music direction by Eric Svejcar (Marry Harry).

The limited engagement of Jerry's Girls will play 11 performances only, August 5 - 13, 2017 at The York Theatre Company at Saint Peter's (619 Lexington Avenue, entrance on East 54th Street, just east of Lexington Avenue). Opening Night is Sunday evening, August 6, 2017 at 7:00 p.m.

Jerry's Girls is a captivating tribute to that all-American master of song, Jerry Herman, which brings the larger-than-life women of his shows center stage: matchmaker Dolly Gallagher Levi of Hello, Dolly!, exuberant Auntie Mame Dennis of Mame, the benignly eccentric Countess Aurelia of Dear World, screen legend Mabel Normand of Mack and Mabel, and the flamboyant ZaZa of La Cage Aux Folles. It affectionately celebrates his special gift for writing songs that capture the true spirit of the American musical theatre. The all-female cast reminds us of how Jerry Herman has given voice to some of the most iconic show-stoppers ever written for Broadway. A winner of Tony, Grammy, Olivier, and Drama Desk Awards, Jerry Herman is truly the master tunesmith of our time.

After an initial nightclub run and a successful national tour, Jerry's Girls was presented on Broadway at the St. James Theatre in 1985. It was directed by Larry Alford and choreographed by Wayne Cilento and starred Broadway legends Dorothy Loudon, Chita Rivera, and Leslie Uggams. "A brilliantly lively and scintillating evening," said The New York Times. "Warm, witty, lively and terrific!" stated The Associated Press. "A show of tremendous musicality and great wit," declared Variety.

James Morgan, York's Producing Artistic Director, said, "After our sold-out presentations of Dear World and Milk and Honey in the Mufti Series earlier this year, we decided that nothing would make the world happier than an entire evening spent with Jerry's Girls. It's the perfect summer escape!"

The York Theatre Company's acclaimed Musicals in Mufti series of musical theatre gems, performed in a simply-staged, book-in-hand concert format, celebrates 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."

Continuing summer events at The York include the ongoing lobby exhibition "SCENIC DESIGNS BY James Morgan: A Rather Random Retrospective Celebrating 40+ Years at The York Theatre Company and Elsewhere." All works in the exhibit are available for purchase and to be autographed.

News of past shows that premiered at The York Theatre Company: the critically acclaimed musical Yank, which received its Off-Broadway debut at the York in 2010, has just opened to rave reviews in London. And, it was recently announced, the original York Theatre/Off-Broadway cast of the hit musical Cagney, which received its New York premiere in 2015 and subsequently transferred to the West Side Theater, will begin performances in the fall in Los Angeles.

ABOUT THE ARTISTS:

Stephanie D'Abruzzo is best known for her Tony-nominated debut performance as Kate Monster and Lucy The Slut in the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical Avenue Q. In addition to her Tony nomination, she also received a Theatre World Award, a special Outstanding Ensemble & Puppet Artistry Award from the Outer Critics Circle, and a 2003 Drama Desk nomination for her work in Avenue Q's Off-Broadway run. Other NY credits include Academia Nuts, Greed: A Musical for Our Times, Love and Real Estate, Tomfoolery, The Mad Show, It Must Be Him, Stuffed and Unstrung, Don't Say Another Word, Plaisir D'Amour, Austentatious, Kiss and Makeup, I Love You Because, Carnival! (Encores!), Encores! 10th Anniversary Bash, and the Theatreworks/USA limited NYC run of If You Give a Mouse a Cookie and Other Story Books, and as a Muppet Cookie in "Sesame Street's" brief cameo segment as part of the Public Works' production of The Winter's Tale. Her vocal performances are captured on the Grammy-nominated Original Broadway Cast Album of Avenue Q, the original cast recordings of Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Musical and I Love You Because, and the live benefit recording of Avenue Q Swings. Stephanie made her Carnegie Hall debut with the New York Pops in Skitch Henderson's New Faces of 2004. She performed in two star-studded concerts honoring Stephen Sondheim's 75th birthday in 2005: Children and Art: Stephen Sondheim's 75th Birthday Gala and Stephen Sondheim's 75th: the Concert at the Hollywood Bowl. She made her solo cabaret debut at the famed jazz club Birdland in 2005, and has also performed at Caroline's, the Town Hall, and Feinstein's/54 Below. Television credits include her prime-time debut sans puppet as the guest star of the much-remembered musical episode of the NBC series "Scrubs," and returned twice during its brief ABC run, as a cameo in "My Finale", and as a Muppet patient in "My ABC's" (featuring characters from "Sesame Street"). Stephanie is in her 24th season as a Muppet Performer on the Emmy-winning "Sesame Street," where she has lent her talents to a variety of one-off characters (including the short-lived semi-regulars Curly Bear, Lulu, and Elizabeth). In Season 46, she inherited the role of Prairie Dawn from the great Fran Brill. On the new Netflix series "Julie's Greenroom," she plays Peri and serves as puppeteer captain. In June 2015, Stephanie Launched "Chimpy and Pansy," a very short, very ridiculous 9-episode stop-motion animated series, for which she was entirely responsible. She has produced and edited several video compilation reels for the Jim Henson Legacy's screening series and assisted in editing many presentations for the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria, NY. She also co-produced and co-edited all of the exhibit reels in the new Henson wing at Atlanta's Center for Puppetry Arts. In addition, she shot, wrote, produced, and edited video content and original music (and provided all of the vocals) for Below the Frame, a Facebook Live show broadcast from the Muppet Lounge at "Sesame Street," and hosted by Matt Vogel.

Christine Pedi, the "lady of a 1000 voices," can be seen using quite a few of them (Oprah, Joan Rivers, Fran Drescher, Paula Deen, etc.) in the hilarious Off-Broadway revue NEWSical the Musical. She first discovered her talent for multiple personalities (Ethel Merman, Angela Lansbury, Bernadette Peters, etc.) through her long association with the legendary Off-Broadway revue Forbidden Broadway, having performed in companies all over the world including London's West End, Japan, Los Angeles, NYC, Singapore, and Detroit. She received a Drama Desk Award nomination for her work in Forbidden Hollywood (Liza, Rosie Perez, Judi Dench, Sharon Stone, etc.), as well as LA Ovation and NAACP Awards. On Broadway, she recently played Mama Morton (yes just one character...all night) in Chicago. Her Broadway debut was in Little Me with Martin Short and Faith Prince, directed by Rob Marshall, and she played several peculiar callers (again with the voices) opposite Liev Schreiber (well not opposite...she was in the basement of the Longacre Theatre talking into a microphone while he was acting and smoking on stage but it was dynamic) in Eric Bogosian's Talk Radio, directed by Robert Falls. She is the daily host of Sirius/XM Radio's "On Broadway" channel, playing music of the stage and screen and interviewing showbiz legends (Mon-Fri 9am-3pm, ch. 72). On Saturdays, she and the "aMAHzing" Seth Rudetsky co-host "Dueling Divas." Christine recently hosted the Tony Awards telecast in Times Square. Off-Broadway, she played the title role in Miss Abigail's Guide to Dating, Mating, and Marriage and has appeared in several of The A Train Plays, The 24 Hour Plays, Project Shaws (On the Rocks, Fannie's First Play, In Good King Charles's Golden Days), and A Broadway Diva Christmas, and performed the coveted (yes, COVETED!) Jo Anne Worley track in The Mad Show at the York Theatre. Her cabaret show Great Dames has won the New York Bistro and Nitelife Awards and has played NYC, Los Angeles, London, South Africa & beyond. There's No Bizness Like Snow Bizness her holiday show has been a seasonal staple in NYC for the past 5 years. She's performed in that "cutie patootie" John McDaniel's Cabaret Corner on the "The Rosie O'Donnell Show" and sung in many major NYC venues including Birdland, Feinstein's/54 Below, the Iridium, Feinstein's at the Regency, the Metropolitan Room, the Algonquin, the Laurie Beechman, Avery Fisher Hall, Don't Tell Mama...and the QE2...AND she's performed for President and Mrs. Clinton (playing a singing Hillary!)

Stephanie Umoh Broadway: Falsettos, Ragtime (Theatre World Award). At the York, she has appeared in Falling for Eve and the Musicals in Mufti presentations of The Show Goes On by Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt and Dragons by Sheldon Harnick. Other New York theatre credits include Amber Street, Pregnancy Pact, and Clyde'n'Bonnie. Regional: Sister Act (Marriott Theatre), Les Misérables (Casa Mañana), Luck Be a Lady (Asolo Rep), The Color Purple (Milwaukee Rep), Pal Joey (Syracuse Stage), Jesus Christ Superstar (Pittsburgh CLO), Aida (Drury Lane Theatre), Johnny Baseball (ART), Hair (Connecticut Rep), A Christmas Carol (McCarter), The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin, Zanna, Don't! (SpeakEasy Stage). Film: Big Words. TV: "NYC 22." Education: BFA, Boston Conservatory.

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. Over 35 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 Cagney, which transferred Off-Broadway to the Westside Theatre with the original York cast and ran for over 500 performances; it opens soon in Los Angeles.

Photo Credit: Walter McBride


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