Developmental Readings of BORDELLO THE MUSICAL Set For This Week

The presentations, by invitation only, will take place on Thursday, February 29 and Friday, March 1.

By: Feb. 27, 2024
Developmental Readings of BORDELLO THE MUSICAL Set For This Week
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 The York Theatre Company will present developmental readings of Bordello, The Musical, with book by Barbara Bellman and Joan Ross Sorkin, music by Emiliano Messiez, lyrics by Barbara Bellman, music direction by Steven Gross and directed by Will Pomerantz. The presentations, by invitation only, will take place on Thursday, February 29 and Friday, March 1. These presentations are part of The York Theatre Company’s Developmental Reading Series. General Management by Hillel Friedmanfrom Evan Bernadin Productions. Executive Producer is Rashad Chambers.

Synopsis: Set in the colorful world of Buenos Aires in 1920 and inspired by historical events surrounding Raquel Liberman, Bordello is the story of a Polish immigrant who is forced into prostitution and risks everything to bring an international Jewish sex-trafficking ring to justice. This never-been-told-before tale of love and bravery has a musical theatre score that incorporates tango, klezmer and other sounds of the period.

Cast: Dana Aber, Harrison Bryan, Emily Brockway, Ellie Biron, Alison Cimmet, Omar Cepero-Lopez, Cicily Daniels, Ryan Duncan, Jamie LaVerdiere, Jillian Louis, Benjamin Magnuson, Samantha Massell, Shereen Pimentel, Cheryl Stern, Pablo Torres, and Eric Van Tielen. Stage Manager is Michael Wizorek.


Barbara Bellman (Co-Book, Lyrics) is an author, playwright, lyricist, librettist, producer, brand strategist and co-founder and president of MusiColab, an organization dedicated to helping Philadelphia artists share their works-in-progress. Barbara earned a Master of Fine Arts from Stony Brook University, and a Master of Fine Arts from Tisch Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program. She is a member of the BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop, The Dramatists Guild and a graduate of the Commercial Theatre Institute. Her musicals and plays Bordello, The Wine Cellar, The Word Police, Words Fail Me, Flirting After Fifty, Game On, Those People, Date Night and Steadfast have been in literary journals (The Southampton Review) or recognized/performed in festivals such as the O’Neill New Works Festival (2-time Semi-Finalist), Broadway Bound (Finalist), DC SWAN Festival, Philadelphia Playwrights Center Festival, Anne B. Zornio Musical Theatre Festival, CreateTheatre, Manhattan Repertory Theatre, Triad Theatre, and Emerging Artists Theatre Festival.

Emiliano Messiez (Music) is a Latin Grammy Nominee '23, and a composer and pianist originally from Argentina and based in New York City. With a very versatile and personal sound, he is the composer of The Guava Tree (2021), Casa Alfonsa (2022) and The City Dog and the Prairie Dog(2023), all musicals commissioned by the Creede Repertory Theater in Colorado, and he is the arranger and orchestrator of Ghost in the Machine and Mommy Moon, both musicals by Janine Robledo. He is the founder and director of the Tango Orchestra "Típica Messiez" and he is the pianist of the show Forever Tango. Emiliano is educated in classical music, jazz, tango, rock and Latin American rhythms, and he has performed all around the world in venues such as The Lincoln Center, The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City and The Houston Opera Theater in Texas.

Joan Ross Sorkin (Co-Book): Musicals: Isabelle and The Pretty-Ugly Spell: Vital Theatre, Actors’ Playhouse (Winner, National Children’s Theatre Festival), NYMF (Outstanding New Family-Oriented Musical); Dandelion: Playhouse on Park (5 CT Broadway World noms.); BLACK SWAN Blues (York reading); Monet: CAP21 Writer’s Residency (Florence Gould grant, French Consulate, York readings); Go Green!: NY Children’s Theatre Festival; In The Theatre (York readings); The Real McCoy: CAP21 Blackjacks Festival, Conservatory Show; NEO (Emerging Lyricist, York). Plays: (mis)Understanding Mammy: The Hattie McDaniel Story (Drama Desk nom., Capathia Jenkins), Chicago Humanities Festival, Jefferson Playhouse, Schoolhouse Theater; others NYC/regionally; This Is Serious (Best-Play-of-the-Year nom., Theatermakers Studio). Opera: Strange Fruit, Long Leaf Opera, Harlem School of the Arts/NYCity Opera (concert), NYCity Opera VOX; The Reef: Pellicciotti Prize Finalist, Berkshire Opera Festival workshop (upcoming); White Witch: Symphony Space, Salem State University, Roulette (concert). Member: Dramatists Guild, BMI Musical Theatre Workshop, ASCAP, Opera America, Pres., York Theatre

Will Pomerantz (Director) has directed and developed new plays and musicals with such theatres as The Guthrie, American Repertory Theatre, 2nd Stage, Playwrights Horizons, The Public Theatre, Hartford Stage, New York Theater Workshop, The Signature Theatre, The Kennedy Center, Soho Rep, The Williamstown Theatre Festival, The Studio Theatre, and The Mark Taper Forum. He has directed world premieres by such playwrights as John Guare, David Auburn, Craig Lucas, Kia Corthron, David Lindsay-Abaire, Stephen Belber, Noah Haidle, and Linda Cho. Will is currently Associate Artistic Director for Bay Street Theater, where he has directed The Last Night Of Ballyhoo, Ragtime, and his newly envisioned production of Evita. As playwright, his scripts include both plays and books for musicals, including This Side of Paradise, For The Last Time and About Love, which have been produced in New York and regionally. Will is very excited to be working with The York once again, where he directed Vanities, The Musical, last season.

Steven Gross (Musical Director/Vocal and Musical Arranger) has worked on Broadway, Off-Broadway, the West End and internationally as a music director, conductor, pianist, sub and vacation conductor. He is a Lortel Award nominee for Best Musical for his adaption of The Pirates of Penzance at the South Street Seaport. He also works extensively as a classical conductor and has appeared with many national and international opera companies, symphony orchestras and festivals. Steven has collaborated on new musicals with award-winning composers, including Benny Andersson & Bjorn Ulvaeus, Cy Coleman, David Friedman, Zina Goldrich Mark Hollmann and Rupert Holmes, and has five musicals and operas in development with premieres scheduled in the ’24, ’25 and ’26 seasons.

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