CHRISTMAS EVE IN DIKANKA - A Musical Adaptation of a Ukrainian Story to Have Industry Reading

Readings will take place at Pearl Studios on Monday, December 11 at 3:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.

By: Nov. 22, 2023
CHRISTMAS EVE IN DIKANKA - A Musical Adaptation of a Ukrainian Story to Have Industry Reading

Judith Manocherian LLC, in association with Multicultural Sonic Evolution and Theatre Now New York, will present two industry readings of Christmas Eve in Dikanka, a new musical with book, music and lyrics by Kit Goldstein Grant, adapted from the story by Ukrainian novelist Nikolai Gogol (1809-1852). Seeking interest for a developmental production and licensing, two readings will be staged at Pearl Studios, 500 Eighth Avenue, Studio 304 (between 35th and 36th Streets), New York, NY 10018 on Monday, December 11 at 3:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.

Rachel Klein directs a cast of five to be announced shortly. Music direction by Henco Espag.
It’s Christmas Eve in Dikanka, and a blacksmith must find fancy shoes like those worn by the Czarina in the next few hours or lose the heart of his lady love. But when the Devil comes to town, will he give up his soul for a sole? And what will he do about his mother, who is a promiscuous witch? No really, an actual witch. This loosely adapted take on Nikolai Gogol’s story sets the show in a meta-theatrical universe which combines a Ukrainian 19th century absurdist tone and a modern sensibility, plus a lotta slapstick.


Kit Goldstein Grant (Book, Music, Lyrics): Podcast: Micro-Face (NPR’s Planet Money podcast); International: The Nose (Anex Theater Productions, South Africa). NYC: The Giant Hoax (Theater Row, Indieworks Theatre Co.); The Nose (Master Theater, MITF); The Commuters (Indieworks Theatre Co., Strawberry One-Act Festival, voted Audience Favorite), Where Angels Fear to Tread (The Players Theater, Moxie Arts); The Wrong Box (Theatre for the New City). School Tours: The Mermaid of Edam, It’s Raining Tamales!, King Midas, The Emperor and the Nightingale, Androcles and the Lion (Schenectady Theater for Children). Publications: It’s Raining Tamales! (YouthPLAYS). Kit has studied at Juilliard, the BMI Musical Theatre Writing Workshop, Union College, and she holds a M.M. in Composition from Brooklyn College. She is also a teaching artist, and the founder of Paper Kite Arts. Kit is a member of ASCAP, the Dramatist’s Guild, Composer’s Collective, and Theatre Now New York's Musical Writers Lab -

Rachel Klein (Director) Off-Broadway: The Gospel According to Heather (Theatre 555; starring Katey Sagal); Red, Roses, Green Gold (Minetta Lane Theatre/ft. the music of the Grateful Dead); Around the World in 80 Days (The Davenport Theatre); The Anthem (Lynn Redgrave Theatre). Selected NYC: Tink! (NYMF); More Than All the World (Theatre for the New City); Circus of Circus (The House of Yes). Selected Regional: The Suffragist (Gallagher Bluedorn Theatre; starring Nancy Opel), Dead Certain (composer: Air Supply's Graham Russell); 54 The Musical (House of Independents; starring MJ Rodriguez and Frankie Grande). Charity: Ms. Klein directed the charity roast of Michael Musto raising funds for the Callen Lorde Community Health Center, featuring Rosie O'Donnell, Bruce Vilanch, and Jinkx Monsoon. Ms. Klein is a founding member of Iconoclast Theatre Collective, guest teaching artist at Fordham University, serves on the New Musical Screening Committee for NAMT, directed Double Double for Bite Sized Broadway (ft. Richard Kind) and was the Director/Showrunner of the audio series The World to Come (ft. Adrienne Barbeau). More Info:

Henco Espag (Music Director) hails from South Africa, and is an active composer, arranger, orchestrator, conductor, accompanist, music/artistic director and pedagogue. Henco has served as faculty/staff for the Musical Theatre Department at Westminster College of the Arts and is currently faculty at St. Peter’s University. He served as music director for Surflight Theatre for two years, and is currently artistic director for the Queer Big Apple Corps Symphonic Band, a 120-member symphonic band; and music/choir director for Judson Memorial Church by Washington Square Park. The band premiered a co-arrangement by Henco of “Lift Every Voice And Sing” with soloists from the Tony award winning Broadway revival of Porgy and Bess and will premiere his percussion ensemble arrangement of O Hanukkah, O Hanukkah at the December 9th concert at Symphony Space. Henco also works as music director in collaboration with ASL Artists and was a part of two Broadway Signs productions at the Triad Theatre with Broadway’s, Russell Harvard. Henco was the composer and sound designer for the ASL, LGBTQIA+ musical short film "Disconnected" through Hearts Productions (released 2021). He is the composer for the musical Pompeii Rising with collaborators Andi Lee Carter and Briana Harris. The show had a sold out concert performance this past August at Judson Memorial Church. Henco’s other compositions have been widely performed, including most recently featured on Yamaha Pianist, James Adler’s Album “Homages and Remembrances.” B.Mus - Berklee College of Music and MFA – Tisch School of the Arts @ NYU.

Judith Manocherian (Producer). Broadway: Pictures from Home, The Great Society, The Prom (Drama Desk), The Lifespan of a Fact, and Once On This Island (Tony). Off-Broadway: Fern Hill, Smart Blonde, R.R.R.E.D., and Goldstein. Film: “Coast,” “A Call to Spy” and “No One Called Ahead” (Amazon Prime). Podcast: “Bite-Sized Broadway,” Season One (12 Awards/Spotify), and Season Two (Fall 2023).

Yui Kitamura (Producer) is a versatile composer who writes classical music, musicals, and music for dance shows. Ms. Kitamura’s original compositions and arrangements have been performed in more than 20 countries in the world at such venues as New York’s Lincoln Center and Joe’s Pub, Berlin’s Akademie der Künste, Kiev’s National Catholic Cathedral, and Tokyo’s Sumida Triphony Hall and Suntory Hall. She has collaborated with many artists including the world renowned bassist Gary Karr, a former concertmaster of Metropolitan Opera Orchestra Elmira Darvarova, musicians of the New York Philharmonic. In 2020, her original composition "A Bird and a Hawthorn Tree" was featured in the CD album "Music From Five Centuries: 17th - 21st" released by Affetto Recordings. She is a co-founder and Artistic Director of Multicultural Sonic Evolution (MuSE). She has worked in many productions such as the New York Chamber Music Festival (Symphony Space, 2021) as the associate producer, in Ebizo Ichikawa XI's Grand Japan Theater (Carnegie Hall, 2016) as a Japanese and English bilingual press/media personnel and graphic designer, and in many other productions as a photographer, ticket sales executive manager, orchestrator, librarian, operation manager, etc. She holds Bachelor and Master of Music degrees in composition from The Juilliard School and a Master of Fine Arts from New York University’s Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program at the Tisch School of the Arts. She teaches piano, music composition and theory privately.

Multicultural Sonic Evolution's mission is "to better the world with the power of music." Through its annual programming, MuSE collaborates with artists from various disciplines and backgrounds in hopes of sharing classical and popular forms of music with the public. By drawing on the founders' Juilliard School training and their personal experiences as musicians and educators, the founders of MuSE both support and advance the evolution of music-making in modern society. MuSE also supports artists from other fields such as dance and theatre who value the musical component of their work. MuSE further nurtures development by commissioning new works from contemporary composers and artists. IG: multiculturalsonicevolution
Theatre Now New York's Musical Writers Lab is a community of writing teams formed in 2019 who meet bi-weekly to work on the development of new musicals through Lab presentations, sharing their process and offering support. Lab members benefit additionally from Theatre Now services including developmental productions, publishing and licensing. This is a highly skilled, active, and collaborative group focused on embracing and fostering the diversity of musical theatre styles, forms, and creators.

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