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York Theatre Company Announces Next Line-up For Developmental Reading Series

The award-winning York Theatre Company (James Morgan, Producing Artistic Director) announces six new titles as the next offerings in its acclaimed Developmental Reading Series. As always, these readings are open to the general public and admission is free, but reservations are required and can be obtained by e-mailing Reading Series Coordinator Jeff Landsman at jlandsman@yorktheatre.org or calling 212-935-5824 x24.

Based on a story by Isaac Bashevis Singer
Book and Lyrics by Mark Waldrop, Music by Bradford Ross
Thursday, July 9, 2009 • 3 PM

The cast of Luck will feature Renee Allen (Company), Stanley Bahorek (...Spelling Bee), Jane Blass (Glimpses of the Moon), Scott Davidson (Hairspray), Jeff Essex (Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, National Tour), Tony-Award nominee John Herrera (The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Off-Broadway's In the Heights), Christine Pedi (Talk Radio), Tony-Award winner Faith Prince (Guys and Dolls, The Little Mermaid, A Catered Affair), Christina Sivrich (Grease), Gordon Stanley (Cabaret), Stephanie Umoh (Hair, Connecticut Repertory) and Darryl Winslow (Avenue Q).

In this fractured folktale, Mazil and Shlimazel, the spirits of Good Luck and Bad Luck, make a bet to determine who is the most powerful. Along the way, matters become complicated by a hapless young man, the princess he loves, a crafty prime minister, a superstitious nurse and a lion on the loose.

Currently, reservations for Luck are on wait-list status. Names can be added to the wait-list via phone, email or at the door and seats will be offered as extra space permits, following the order in which reservations were received.

Book by Reyn Guyer and Jeff Harrington
Music by Jeff Harrington; Lyrics by Reyn Guyer
Tuesday, July 14, 2009 • 3 PM

A violent crime affects more than just the victim in the original musical drama Spirits, where six people are drawn together one night to try and break a cycle of violence and revenge.

Breath and Imagination
The Story of Roland Hayes
Book by Daniel Beaty
Thursday, July 16, 2009 • 7:30 PM

Before there was Marian Anderson, there was Roland Hayes --the first world-renowned African-American classical vocalist. Breath and Imagination is a play with music that chronicles the inspirational journey of how this pioneer started by singing spirituals in church and ended up singing before kings and queens in Europe.

Exit Music
Music by James Merillat; Lyrics by Dick Pasqual
Book by Dick Pasqual & James Merillat
Based on the short story, "Me and the Girls" by Noël Coward
Thursday, July 23, 2009 • 3 PM

In the years before World War II, a fictional song-and-dance troupe, "George Banks and the Bombshells," toured throughout Western Europe. George reflects upon his time with the group and with his one long-term lover while staying at a hospice in the Alps. Based on one of the only Coward stories to feature an openly gay protagonist, Exit Music examines the complicated life of a performer in this witty and heartfelt original musical.

One of Us

A Musical Based on the Life of Post-impressionist Artist, Suzanne Valadon
Book by C.F. Balducci
Music and Lyrics by Carmel Owen
Monday, July 27, 2009 • 7:30 PM

Infused with the spirit of the Gay Nineties, One of Us is tempered by the melancholy of a young woman's heartbreak and her struggle to achieve recognition in a highly competitive man's world. The story explores how Marie-Clementine Valadon beat all odds and transformed herself into the internationally acclaimed artist now known as Suzanne Valadon.

The York Theatre Company was nominated for five 2009 Drama Desk Awards, four 2009 Lucille Lortel Awards, two Outer Critics Circle Awards and two Drama League Awards for its productions of Enter Laughing, The Musical and My Vaudeville Man! last season. York Theatre Company is one of the only companies in the city committed to developing and producing new Musical Theatre Works and rediscovering musical gems from the past. Winner of a special Drama Desk Award for developing and producing new musical theatre, York's intimate, imaginative style of producing both original and classic musicals has resulted in critical acclaim and recognition from artists and audiences alike for almost four decades. Under the guidance of Artistic Director James Morgan since 1997, the York has focused exclusively 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.

Each year, York's Developmental Reading Series presents between 30 to 40 readings and workshops of new musicals by emerging and established authors, all free of charge and open to the public. Producing Artistic Director James Morgan says, "These readings give writers a unique opportunity to get audience feedback while a show is still in progress and gives audiences an active role in the creative process." York's productions of Souvenir and The Musical of Musicals (The Musical!) were first developed in the Developmental Reading Series, where the Tony Award-winning Broadway hit Avenue Q also made early appearances. The Developmental Reading Series is made possible in part through a generous donation from The Dorothy Strelsin Foundation.

The York Theater Company
619 Lexington Avenue
New York, NY 10022


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