Rodgers & Hammerstein's PIPE DREAM Opens Musical Theatre West's Reiner Staged Reading Series

Rodgers & Hammerstein's PIPE DREAM Opens Musical Theatre West's Reiner Staged Reading SeriesMusical Theatre West's (MTW) Reiner Staged Reading Series (RRS) returns for its final season, with its premiere performance of Rodgers & Hammerstein's Pipe Dream, Sunday, September 17, 7pm at the Beverly O'Neill Theater, located at the Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center. Tickets are now on sale online at www.musical.org, by visiting the MTW West Ticket Office, or by calling (562) 856-1999, ext. 4.

Advance general admission tickets for each performance are $27. Seating is general admission with early admission for season subscribers. Season subscriptions for all five Reiner Staged Reading Series performances are available for $140. This season's lineup includes Once Upon a Mattress (Sunday, November 17, 2017), Louisiana Purchase (Sunday, February 11, 2018), Do Re Mi (Sunday, June 3, 2018), and The Most Happy Fella (Sunday, August 19, 2018).

The Reiner Staged Reading Series' performances bring to the stage some of Broadway's classics and forgotten gems, presented concert-style. Using minimal sets and costumes, but featuring the full script and score, the Reiner Staged Reading Series is a perfect way to celebrate the whole spectrum of musical theatre, while discovering some new favorite songs and shows. The shows are performed in their entirety with the scores performed by a live orchestra.

Pipe Dream, Rodgers & Hammerstein's seventh project together, premiered in 1955. A musical adaptation of John Steinbeck's novels Cannery Row and Sweet Thursday, the show was unsuccessful, but provided a score true to the heart of the dynamic musical team. Set in Monterey, California, the drifters and the dropouts of Cannery Row spring to life in an uncommon story of love and hope. When Suzy, a homeless girl is picked up for stealing food, she is taken in by Fauna, a big-hearted madam. While working in her establishment, known as the Bear Flag Café, she meets Doc, a carefree marine biologist and soon romance is in the air. The show illuminates the stories of these two outcasts who, although seamy and degraded, are infinitely capable of the same needs and emotions as those who are more fortunate in life. The performance offers audiences to hear one of the rarely performed scores by Rodgers and Hammerstein, including the hidden gems "All at Once You Love Her," "The Happiest House on the Block" and "A Lopsided Bus."

Broadway veteran Mary Gordon Murray stars as Fauna, the madam of the Bear Flag "Café." The Tony nominated "Best Actress," for her role as Belle in Little Me, also starred in the Broadway productions of Hands on a Hardbody , Into the Woods, Coastal Disturbances, Grease, Play Me a Country Song, I Love My Wife and The Robber Bridegroom. Off Broadway she was in the original casts of The Spitfire Grill, A...My Name is Alice and The Knife, written and directed by David Hare. She has worked extensively in television, portraying Laura Bush in DC: 9/11 for Showtime and spent many years as Becky on One Life to Live. Closer to home, MTW audiences will recognize Murray from her recent ole as Mother Superior in Sister Act, Mrs. Higgins in My Fair Lady, and as Vera in the Reiner Readers Series production of Pal Joey. Pipeline is under the direction of Lewis Wilkenfeld (MTW's Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum and Musical Theatre Guild's It's a Bird, It's a Plane, It's Superman). Ryan O'Connell (MTW's Mary Poppins and Off-Broadway's Ernest Shackleton Loves Me) serves as musical director.

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