Asolo Repertory Theatre Presents YENTL, Opening 1/20

An innovative production of YENTL, with new music composition by singer-songwriter Jill Sobule, will premiere at Asolo Repertory Theatre on January 20th , 2012.

The production, directed by New York director Gordon Greenberg (Asolo Rep credits: Working and Barnum) will draw from Isaac Bashevis Singer’s original story Yentl, The Yeshiva Boy, Orthodox Judaism traditions and Singer and Leah Napolin’s script. YENTL will feature a klezmer/folk rock band within the production with all songs written by Sobule. With eight albums and two hit singles, "Supermodel" and the original "I Kissed A Girl" to her credit, Sobule can claim her place among the stellar New York singers-songwriters of the last decade. The band will feature accordionist Nancy Seibert, local musicians Carolann Evans and Joe Cerrito and the third year FSU/Asolo MFA students. Seibert’s original compositions can be heard on Grammy-winning Jimmy Sturr Orchestra’s albums.

In 19th century Eastern Europe, options for young women are few, and education is forbidden. But Yentl has been able to secretly pursue her studies, which are her life’s passion, under the tutelage of her father. After he dies, her only hope of achieving her dreams is to disguise herself as a boy. When she falls in love, Yentl must decide whether or not to reveal the truth. This show contains mature themes and brief nudity. YENTL will run January 20- April 26, previews begin January 18.

Ticket prices for previews start at $20 and all other performances start at $24. Tickets can be purchased by calling the Asolo Rep Box Office at 941.351.8000 or at “YENTL is an absolutely beautiful, fresh and immediate production of a classic story made to seem brand new. It’s beautifully staged; the music is wonderful, the acting is superb. It’s a wonderful piece of art,” said Producing Artistic Director Michael Donald Edwards, “With new music by Jill Sobule, it promises to be one of the most exciting things we do in this season.” Director Gordon Greenberg hopes to shed light on the integral subjects in the story-gender discrimination, -more-Yentl 2 transgender identities and religious schooling all while remaining true to Singer’s original script. “This production of YENTL melds a great comedic story with a quirky Klezmer score that gives it a vibrant new twist.

The show's central ideas of searching for your identity amidst the adrenaline rush of young love is timeless — and we highlight that in our musical and design language, which feel at once traditional and contemporary,” said Greenberg, “It's full of profoundly rich ideas, high octane comedy, and a great new score by pop rock singer Jill Sobule. What an exciting project this is to discover!” The cast features Chicago-based actors Hillary Clemens (Yentl/Anshel in YENTL, May Daniels in Once In a Lifetime), Andrew Carter (Avigdor in YENTL, Jerry Hyland in Once In a Lifetime) and introducing New York based guest artist Gisela Chipe (Hadass in YENTL). Repertory actors include Doug Jones (La Bête, Equus), Carolyn Michel (Deathtrap, The Imaginary Invalid) and former Producing Artistic Director Howard Millman as well as a familiar face in guest artist Jason Bradley (George Lewis in Once In a Lifetime, Boeing Boeing) and the FSU/Asolo Conservatory’s third year MFA students.

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