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York's Conversations with John Kenrick Begin Sept. 9

Utilizing the political themes of the York Theatre's current production of Asylum: The Strange Case of Mary Lincoln, now in previews, internationally recognized musical theatre authority John Kenrick will continue his "Musical Conversations" discussion series at York with four appropriate topics.

On Saturday, September 9th at 5:00 PM, the topic of Kenrick's discussion will be "Of Thee I Sing: The Presidency in Musicals," following the matinee (2:30 PM) performance of Asylum. "Years before TV's West Wing, musical theatre was taking audiences into the White House for intimate glimpses of our Commanders-in-Chief and their families. From the satirical (Ziegfeld Follies) to the poignant (First Lady Suite), we will take a look at this long-popular trend."

On Sunday, September 17th at 1:00 PM, Kenrick will discuss "George & Ira Gershwin," prior to the matinee (3:00 PM) of Asylum.  Their Of Thee I Sing spoofed presidential politics and became the first musical ever to win the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. "We will explore how these beloved native New Yorkers conquered Tin Pan Alley, Broadway and Hollywood with their double dose of creative genius."

On Sunday, September 24th at 5:30 PM, he will discuss "George M. Cohan" following the matinee (3:00 PM) of Asylum.  "He played FDR in the hit musical I'd Rather Be Right, but his flag-waving career had already made him a patriotic show business legend.  This discussion will pick up where the wonderful film Yankee Doodle Dandy leaves off, and tell the full story behind 'The Man Who Owned Broadway.'"

On Saturday, September 30th at 5:00 PM, Kenrick will talk about George S. Kaufman," following the matinee (2:30 PM) of Asylum.  "For three decades, he was Broadway's most successful playwright, and his long roster of successes includes contributions to many hit musicals – including both Of Thee I Sing and I'd Rather Be Right.  We will discover the life and career of this eccentric theatrical genius."

As an expert on musical theater history, Kenrick has been interviewed by A&E Biography, BBC TV and Radio, British TV4, The Discovery Travel Channel, The London Observer, National Public Radio, Newsday, The Dallas Daily News and the Chicago Sun Times, among others. John's musings on musical theater and film have appeared in various publications, including The New York Times.

In addition to the John Kenrick talks, on Sunday, September 10th, following the 3 PM matinee, there will be a post show talk featuring the creative team of Asylum.  Anyone in attendance at this performance is invited to stay for the event at no extra cost.    

Call (212) 935-5824 x21 for reservations. All "Musical Conversation" tickets are $10 at the door, or just $5 if you buy a full-priced ticket to Asylum. York Theatre Company is located in Saint Peter's Theatre at 54 Street, just east of Lexington.

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