A SIGN OF THE TIMES to Play at New World Stages Starring Chilina Kennedy, Justin Matthew Sargent & More

The production will play New World Stages beginning March 4, 2024 following its limited four-week run at York Theatre Company.

By: Jan. 03, 2024
A SIGN OF THE TIMES to Play at New World Stages Starring Chilina Kennedy, Justin Matthew Sargent & More
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A Sign of the Times, a new musical featuring the songs of Petula Clark, Lesley Gore, Dusty Springfield, and other classic pop hits of the 1960s, will play a commercial engagement beginning March 4, 2024 following its limited four-week run from February 7-March 3, 2024 as a production of York Theatre Company (James Morgan, Producing Artistic Director; Marie Grace LaFerrara, Executive Director). The news was announced today by producer Richard J. Robin, President, Wells St. Productions LLC. A Sign of the Times begins previews February 7, 2024 in advance of a February 22, 2024 opening night at New World Stages (340 West 50th Street). Tickets are on sale now at Telecharge.com

A Sign of the Times stars Chilina Kennedy (Broadway: Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, Paradise Square) as Cindy, two-time Drama Desk nominee Ryan Silverman (Broadway: The Phantom of the Opera, Chicago) as Brian, Justin Matthew Sargent (Broadway: Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, Rock of Ages) as Matt, Akron Lanier Watson (Broadway: Hamilton, The Play That Goes Wrong, The Color Purple) as Cody and Tony Award nominee Crystal Lucas-Perry (Broadway: 1776, Ain’t No Mo) as Tanya. 

The cast also features Cassie Austin (National Tour: Hello, Dolly!), Erica Simone Barnett (Broadway: Matilda the Musical), Alyssa Carol (Broadway: Bad Cinderella), Melessie Clark (Regional: Once on This Island, Into the Woods), Jeremiah Ginn (New York: The Immersive Great Gatsby, Murder for Two), Kuppi Alec Jessop (Regional: Mamma Mia!, Legally Blonde), Lena Matthews (National Tour: Jesus Christ Superstar), Maggie McDowell (Broadway: Kinky Boots, Disaster!), J Savage (Broadway: Bad Cinderella), Justin Showell (National Tour: Hamilton; Off-Broadway: Buena Vista Social Club), Michael Starr (Broadway: Bright Star) and Edward Staudenmayer (Broadway: Girl from the North Country, Martin Short: Fame Becomes Me).  

Based on an original story by Richard J. Robin, A Sign of the Times features With a book by Lindsey Hope Pearlman (Roar!, Cassandra Complex), music supervision, arrangements and orchestrations by Joseph Church(Broadway: The Lion King, In the Heights), choreography by JoAnn M. Hunter (Broadway/London: School of Rock, London: SuperYou), and direction by Gabriel Barre (Broadway: Amazing Grace; Off-Broadway: Almost Maine, The Wild Party). 

A Sign of the Times had its world premiere at Goodspeed Musicals’ Norma Terris Theatre in 2016 and played a sold out, critically acclaimed run at the Delaware Theatre Company in 2018. Delaware News Journal called the show, “Infectious & Rocking! The funny, candy-colored musical struts across the stage with catchy songs and 1960s issues that resonate today.” The Philadelphia Inquirer said, “the electricity reverberates across the stage.” Broad Street Review raved that the show is full of, “sheer exuberance! The music never stops.” 

The year is 1965. With the country in transition – as the war in Vietnam rages on and struggles for civil rights and women’s liberation command headlines – one aspirational young woman finds herself in New York City, and ready to dive into this brave new world. In A Sign of the Times, journey back to America’s most unforgettable decade as a young photographer tries to make her way amid the changing times that defined an era. A totally original story with such classic songs as “Downtown,” “Gimme Some Lovin’,” “Rescue Me,” and “I Know A Place,” plus dozens more, A Sign of the Times explodes with the music you love, and the madness that shaped that generation – and our own.  

The creative team features set design by Evan Adamson (associate designer for The Music Man, Leopoldstadt), costume design by Johanna Pan(Broadway: assistant designer for Sweeney Todd, Hangmen), lighting design by Tony Award winner Ken Billington (Broadway: Chicago, Sweeney Todd), sound design by Shannon Slaton (Broadway: Melissa Etheridge: My Window; The Illusionists), projection design by Brad Peterson (Broadway: associate designer for Camelot, Pictures from Home) and hair, wig and makeup design by J. Jared Janas (Broadway: Purlie Victorious, Sweeney Todd). Music Director is Britt Bonney. Casting is by JZ Casting. 

About The York Theatre Company

The York Theatre Company, “Where Musicals Come to Life,” is the only theatre in New York City — and one of very few in the world — dedicated to developing and fully producing new musicals and preserving notable shows from the past. For over five decades, York’s intimate, imaginative style of producing both original and classic musicals has resulted in critical acclaim and recognition from artists and audiences alike. Under the guidance of Producing Artistic Director James Morgan since 1997, The York has focused on new musicals in its Mainstage Series — most of them world, American, or New York premieres — by some of the field’s most esteemed creators and has also helped launch the careers of many talented new writers. Over 45 cast recordings from York Theatre Company productions are now available, including its acclaimed revival of Closer Than Ever (2013 Off-Broadway Alliance Award for Best Revival). One of the signatures of The York is the Musicals in Mufti series, which triumphantly returned this August with 4 shows after 4 years. 

The York is the recipient of a special Drama Desk Award for “Developing and Producing New Musicals,” and a special Outer Critics Circle Award for “50 Years of Producing New and Classic Musicals.” Due to a flood in January 2021 in their home of 30 years at Saint Peter’s Church, The York is currently producing at The Theatre at St. Jean’s at 76th Street and Lexington Avenue. The York is currently presenting The Jerusalem Syndrome, a musical comedy of Biblical proportions. 

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BIOGRAPHIES 

Chilina Kennedy 

(Cindy) most recently played Billie Jean King in Love All by Anna Deavere Smith. Broadway: Paradise Square, Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, and Jesus Christ Superstar. Film/TV: “The 2015 Kennedy Center Honors,” With Me. Other: The Band’s Visit (International Tour), This Ain’t No Disco (Atlantic Theater Company), Mamma Mia! (1st National Tour), A Gentleman’s Guide To Love And Murder. Chilina is the composer of the new musicals Wild About You and Silk and is Artistic Producer of Eclipse Theatre Company. chilinakennedy.com

Ryan Silverman 

(Brian) has received Drama Desk and Drama League nominations for Side Show and Passion. Additional Broadway credits include Chicago, The Phantom of the Opera and Cry-Baby. Select additional credits: Into the Woods (MUNY), Camelot (The Kennedy Center), Music in the Air(Encores!); and The Most Happy Fella (New York City Opera). TV and film: “Good Fight,” “Gossip Girl,” The 5 Minarets Of New York, Sex and the City 2, “True Blood.” @ryanbsilverman

Crystal Lucas-Perry 

(Tanya). Broadway: Ain’t No Mo' (2023 Tony Award Nomination, Dorian Award), 1776 (John Adams). Off-Broadway: A Bright Room Called Day (Antonyo Award nomination), Ain't No Mo' (Lucille Lortel Award), Bull in a China Shop, Little Children Dream of God. Regional: Taming of the Shrew (Petruchio), A Sign of the Times (Tanya). TV/Film: “And Just Like That…,” Goodnight Mommy (Amazon), “Law and Order: SVU,” “The Last O.G.” Education: New York University’s Tisch Graduate Acting M.F.A. Program. @CrystalLucasPerry

Justin Matthew Sargent 

(Matt). Broadway: Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark (Peter Parker), Rock of Ages (Drew), Bonnie and Clyde (Swing).TV/Film: “Jesus Christ Superstar: Live on NBC,” “Law & Order: SVU,” “Mr. Robot,” “Delocated,” “Royal Pains,” Stormchaser, Big Exit, Apple Pie and more! Justin has performed alongside music legends like John Legend, Alice Cooper, Sara Bareilles, David Byrne, Dee Snider, REO Speedwagon, and Air Supply. Justin has also toured the country singing everything from Queen to Andrew Lloyd Webber. Thanks to Hybrid Agency and Stevie Boothe Management! Instagram @justinmsargent

AKRON LANIER WATSON 

(Cody). Most recently seen in the critically acclaimed new musical The 12 as Pete, his credits include: Broadway: The Color Purple Revival as Bobby, The Play That Goes Wrong as Trevor, Hamilton as Aaron Burr. Off-Broadway: Fortress of Solitude (Public Theater), Black No More (The New Group/Signature Theater). Regional: Mr. Holland’s Opus as Glenn Holland (Ogunquit Playhouse), Sister Act as Curtis (Paper Mill Playhouse), Dreamgirls (North Shore Music Theater), To Kill a Mockingbird (as Tom Robinson, Dallas Theater Center), The Royale (as Jay Jackson, Repertory of St. Louis). Film: Spilt Milk (as Rodney), Seasons of Gray (as Chris), Miss Juneteenth (as Bacon). TV: “Empire” (as Eric Houston, FOX), “Chicago Med” (as Trevor, NBC). Voice-over: One Piece: Heart of Gold (as Psycho P), Borderlands Pre-sequel (as Dunks Watson), The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct (as Chris Brian). “American Idol” Season 7.

Cassie Austin 

(Swing, u/s Cindy). First National: Hello, Dolly! (Irene u/s) with Betty Buckley and Carolee Carmello. Regional: MTWichita: Nice Work... (Eileen), Thoroughly Modern Millie (Dorothy), MUNY, Tuacahn, Gateway. Her sold-out solo show, “cASS FIRST” debuted at ChelseaTable+Stage last November. Love to Mom, Dad, James, HCKR, and ASOTT Team! BFA MT, BYU. cassieaustin.com. @classyaustin_

Erica Simone Barnett 

she/her (Ensemble). Proud NY native! Off-Broadway debut. Broadway/NY: Matilda (OBC), Radio City Christmas Spectacular (Kayla). Touring: Mean Girls (Ensemble). Regional: Evita at A.R.T and Shakespeare Theater Company. TV: “Broad City,” “Sesame Street,” “SNL.” Much love to CLA Partners, the Barnetts, and Leo. @ericasimonebarnett

Melessie Clark 

(Ensemble) is thrilled to be making her Off-Broadway debut in A Sign of the Times! Hailing from Pittsburgh with a B.F.A. in Musical Theatre from Point Park University, Melessie’s credits include PCLO’s Once on This Island (Mama Euralie), Into the Woods (Lucinda), Pittsburgh Public Theatre’s Two Trains Running (Risa), Little Shop of Horrors (Ronette), School Girls; Or, The African Mean Girls Play (Eloise), and Goddess (Grio Trio) at Berkeley Repertory Theatre. Instagram: @melessieclark

Jeremiah Ginn 

(Swing, Dance Captain). NYC: The Great Gatsby: The Immersive Show, Murder For Two, Anything Goes. National Tour: Anastasia, Murder For Two, A Chorus Line. Regional: Arena Stage, Goodspeed Opera House, Ogunquit Playhouse, The Muny, Cape Playhouse, NSMT, and more. Proud uncle to four.

KUPPI ALEC JESSOP 

(Ensemble) (they/he), a native of Thailand, is ecstatic to be making their Off-Broadway debut! Recent credits: Tiananmen (The Phoenix Theatre Company), Oliver! (Maltz Jupiter Theatre), Guys and Dolls (ACT of Connecticut). All my love to my family, friends, and agents (TPG). Go Blue! Insta: @kuppikruppom

Lena Matthews 

(Ensemble) is thrilled to be making her Off-Broadway debut in A Sign of the Times. Her previous credits include the National Tour of Jesus Christ Superstar, Regional; Carousel, All Shook Up. She would like to thank her dad for his endless support. @_lenamatthews 

Maggie McDowell 

(Ensemble). Broadway: Kinky Boots, Disaster!(OBC). Off-Broadway: The Marvelous Wonderettes (Missy Miller), Love Quirks(Lili), A Musical About Star Wars (Emily), Disaster! (Marianne). Regional favorites: 9 to 5 (Doralee), Annie Get Your Gun (Annie Oakley), Hello, Dolly!(Ermengarde), Grease (Marty), Disaster! (Sister Mary Downey). Thanks to her family, the ASOTT creatives, and Avalon Artist Group. Dedicated to the memory of her own Cindy, her mom. IG: @_maggie.mcdowell_maggiemcdowell.com

J Savage

(Ensemble, u/s Matt) is so excited to be part of this groovy production. Broadway: Gawain in ALW’s Bad Cinderella. Off-Broadway: David, Seesaw revival. A pandemic van-lifer, he taught preschool in Yellowstone NP to the rangers’ kids; an experience recounted in his critically acclaimed one-man show featuring original music, Farewell to the West at 54 Below and The GR42. Major thanks to the whole ASOTT team, DGRW, his family, and most importantly his partner Jared. @jasavage5

Justin Showell 

(Ensemble) is breathing in the true privilege it is to share art with his community. He knows that it’s through the efforts of many that he is seeing his dreams realized. S/O to his Parents and the mentors who have supported him! Most recent credits include Buena Vista Social Club (Atlantic Theater Company) and Hamilton (National Tour). University of Michigan ’19 BFA MT. Grateful to the Divine Maker for the gift of life. Love to all. 

Michael Starr 

(Ensemble, u/s Matt, Brian). TV/Film: Encore! (Disney+); Bad Trip (Netflix). National Tour: Bright Star. Select Regional: Old Globe, 5th Ave, Hollywood Bowl, Goodspeed, Hartford Stage, Sac Circus, Phoenix Theater, Berkshire Theatre, Disneyland, MTW, La Mirada, Tuacahn, LA Opera, SF Symphony, & more. Love to the Starrs, JZ Casting, DGRW, and his fiancée Lauren. @itsmikestarr

Edward Staudenmayer 

(Ensemble). Broadway: Wonderland, Girl from the North Country, Martin Short: Fame Becomes Me. Tours: Anastasia, The Phantom of the Opera, Anything Goes, Beauty and the Beast, The Scarlet Pimpernel, Joseph... Other: Forbidden Broadway, South Pacific, A Little Night Music, Man of La Mancha, Spamalot, Addams Family, Something Rotten, Mamma Mia!,  Pageant, 1776, On The 20th Century, Jane Eyre, Noises Off, A Room With A View, Cats. Film: A Thousand and One. Nominations: Helen Hayes, Barrymore, National Theater Award.

RICHARD J, ROBIN 

(Original Story) is the founder and president of Wells Street Productions, LLC, a Chicago-based entertainment company that creates innovative content for theatre and television. Theatrical credits include the Tony Award-winning musical Memphis. He is also president of Robin Construction Corp., which develops luxury apartments, condominiums, and senior housing in the Chicago area.

Lindsey Hope Pearlman 

(Book) is a playwright and director specializing in new plays and musicals. She received a NYSCA commission for her new musical ROAR!  Co-book writer, MacGyver the Musical.  Original plays: Lucy (EST/Sloan Commission), Viv is for Vengeance (American Playwriting Foundation Relentless Award Honorable Mention), Cassandra Complex.  Broadway: Bandstand (Assistant Director), Leap of Faith (SDC Observer).  Associate Director, SuperYou.  Selected directing: The Connelly Theater, HERE Arts Center, Mitu580, The O’Neill Theater Center and Cloud City. Drama League NY Directing Fellow.  London International School of Performing Arts, Hamilton College.  Adjunct Professor, Pace University.lindseyhopepearlman.com

Joseph Church 

(Musical Supervision, Arrangements and Orchestrations). Broadway’s The Lion King, The Who’s Tommy, Amazing Grace. Credits include In the Heights, Little Shop of Horrors (original company/tour), Sister Act, Randy Newman’s Faust, Radio City’s Christmas Spectacular. Award-winning composer/arranger in styles from popular song to musicals to serious music. Currently: composer/lyricist on Who Is Jimmy Pants?, a satire of bio-jukebox musicals, and Music of the City, a song/dance revue about urban life. Author: Music Direction for the Stage: A View from the Podium and Rock in the Musical Theatre, Oxford University Press. Professor of composition, songwriting, conducting, and piano at NYU.

JOANN M. HUNTER 

(Choreographer) Broadway: Bad Cinderella, School Of Rock (US National Tour and West End, Australia), Disaster!, On A Clear Day You Can See Forever, Broadway Bound. West End: Cinderella, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. National Tour/Regional: Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (National Tour), Ever After (Alliance Theatre), August Rush, Beatsville by Glenn Slater, A Sign of the Times, Harmony (Alliance/Ahmanson Theatre), and Marvin Hamlisch and Rupert Holmes’ The Nutty Professor directed by Jerry Lewis. UnMasked, Pump Boys and Dinettes, Grease, Oliver, and Curtains all at PMP. In development, Rock And Roll Refugee and SuperYou.

Gabriel Barre 

(Director). Broadway: Amazing Grace. Off-Broadway: The Wild Party, Summer of ’42, john & jen, and Almost, Maine.  National Tours:Amazing Grace, Pippin, and Cinderella. Regional: Memphis (original production), Billy Elliot (Goodspeed), Sweeney Todd (Goodspeed), Finian’s Rainbow (Goodspeed), and Here You Come Again (Goodspeed), which he also co-wrote. The production will be touring the UK and the West End this year. International credits: Sound of the Silk Road (China); Billy Elliot (Mexico); The Scarlet Pimpernel (Japan); and Beetlejuice, Holmes, The Legend, and Carmen(Czech Republic). Barre was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical.

EVAN ADAMSON 

(Set Design) has designed productions throughout the United States and has worked extensively abroad in Europe and Asia.  A lifelong resident of New York, he currently resides in Manhattan.  As an Associate Set Designer, he has worked on Leopoldstadt (des. Richard Hudson) and The Music Man (designer Santo Loquasto). His design of A Christmas Carolgarnered the Big Easy Award for Best Set Design in 2019. Little Shop of Horrors and Mamma Mia! were also honored with Florida's Broadway World Awards for Best Set Design in 2019 & 2018, respectively.  

Johanna Pan 

(Costume Design) is a Costume and Scenic designer. Their artistic practice is centered around decolonizing the imagination, breaking down the notions of feminized labor, and anti-racism. They continue to harbor hope for a more sustainable humankind in the face of adversity and dreams of a future filled with equity, inclusion, and diversity. MFA: NYU/TISCH, @jpandesign

Ken Billington 

(Lighting Design) has over 100 Broadway shows to his credit, including New York, New York, the original Sweeney Todd, Waitress, Sunday in the Park with George (2008 & 2017), and The Scottsboro Boys, to name a few.  His Tony-Award-winning lighting for Chicago has been seen worldwide. Other Projects: The Radio City Christmas Spectacular, Fantasmic!at Disneyland, and architectural lighting for work NYC’s 54 Below and Tavern on the Green. Ken is a member of the Theatre Hall of Fame.

Shannon Slaton 

(Sound Design) on Broadway has designed Melissa Etheridge: My Window and The Illusionists.  He has also designed more than fifty national tours including: Shrek, The Producers, Kiss Me Kate, The Full Monty, A Chorus Line, Tap Dogs, Sweeney Todd, and The Drowsy Chaperone.  Shows he mixed on Broadway include Springsteen on Broadway, Cabaret, Annie, Anything Goes, Sweet Charity, Jersey Boys, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, The Drowsy Chaperone, Spring Awakening, Fela!, Anything Goes, Annie, Legally Blonde, and Cabaret.

Brad Peterson

(Projection Design). With 59 Productions: Candide (Santa Fe Opera); Les Pêcheurs de Perles (Metropolitan Opera); Camelot (Broadway); Flying Over Sunset (Broadway); Designs for Sing Street (Boston’s The Huntington); Broadway Bounty Hunter (Off-Broadway); Associate credits: Eurydice (Metropolitan Opera); Florencia en el Amazonas (Metropolitan Opera); West Side Story (Broadway revival); Prima Facie (Broadway). 
 

J. Jared Janas 

(Hair, Wig, & Makeup Design). Broadway: Purlie Victorious, Good Night, Oscar, Sweeney Todd, Ohio State Murders, & Juliet, Kimberly Akimbo, Topdog/Underdog; How I Learned to Drive; American Buffalo; Jagged Little Pill; Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune, Getting' the Band Back Together, Bandstand, Indecent, Sunset Boulevard, The Visit, The Real Thing, Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill, Motown, Peter and the Starcatcher, The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess, All about Me. Recent Off-Broadway: Buena Vista Social Club.




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