Cast and Creative Team Announced for STARDUST ROAD at York Theatre Company

Performances are set to begin Tuesday, November 22, 2022, at 7:30PM for a limited engagement through Saturday afternoon, December 31, 2022.

By: Oct. 06, 2022
Cast and Creative Team Announced for STARDUST ROAD at York Theatre Company
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The York Theatre Company has announced the full cast and creative team for will the New York premiere of Hoagy Carmichael's Stardust Road, conceived by Susan H. Schulman, Michael Lichtefeld, and Lawrence Yurman, developed with Hoagy Bix Carmichael, and featuring music by the legendary Hoagy Carmichael. Performances are set to begin Tuesday, November 22, 2022, at 7:30PM for a limited engagement through Saturday afternoon, December 31, 2022 at The York's temporary home, The Theatre at St. Jeans (150 East 76 th Street, between Lexington and Third Avenues). Opening Night is set for Thursday, December 1, 2022, at 7:00PM.

The cast of Hoagy Carmichael's Stardust Road is Marckus Blair (Off Broadway debut), Sara Esty (Off Broadway debut), Dion Simmons Grier (Sister Act, Songs for a New World - PaperMill), Danielle Herbert (After Midnight - Broadway, Beautiful - Tour), Kayla Jenerson (Off Broadway debut), Cory Lingner (Carousel, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Broadway) and Mike Schwitter (Pippin - Broadway, Book of Mormon - Tour). Understudies are Rachel Fairbanks (Cinderella, First Wives Club - Tours), and Drew Tanabe (Off Broadway debut). Production Stage Manager is Melanie Morgan and the casting director is Michael Cassara, CSA.

Hoagy Carmichael's Stardust Road is a new musical journey that tells the story of six friends and the one man who brought them all together. The musical is told completely through the sophisticated music of Hoagy Carmichael. The seven friends weave a story of camaraderie and shifting relationships through four decades in America: the early years of ragtime, jazz and blues; the romance of New York in the 1930's; the tumultuous and uncertain years of the World War II era; and the post-war Golden Age of Hollywood -- all while walking down Hoagy Carmichael's Stardust Road.

Join The York for the New York Premiere of Hoagy Carmichael's Stardust Road. This exciting original production is conceived by Susan H. Schulman, Michael Lichtefeld, and Lawrence Yurman, developed with Hoagy Carmichael's son, Hoagy Bix Carmichael. At the helm of this new musical journey through Hoagy Carmichael's classic songs are director Susan H. Schulman and choreographer Michael Lichtefeld, who together oversaw the Broadway productions of Little Women, The Sound of Music, The Secret Garden, and the Circle in the Square/York production of Sweeney Todd. The music supervisor and arranger is Broadway maestro Lawrence Yurman (War Paint, It Shoulda Been You, On a Clear Day You Can See Forever, Grey Gardens).

James Morgan, Producing Artistic Director said, "It is heartening after these several tumultuous years to reunite with old friends Susan Schulman, Michael Lichtefeld, and Larry Yurman on Hoagy Carmichael's Stardust Road. And how great to have his son, Hoagy Bix Carmichael, overseeing this New York premiere. This first-class team will bring Hoagy's iconic songs to life for new generations to enjoy, all at The York Theatre

Hoagy Carmichael's Stardust Road will play the following performance schedule: Tuesday through Saturday at 7:30 p.m., with 2:30pm performances Saturday & Sunday. SPECIAL HOLIDAY SCHEDULE DECEMBER 20 - 31: Tuesday through Friday at 7:30pm, with 2:30pm performances Wednesday, Friday & Saturday. PLEASE NOTE: There are no performances on Thanksgiving Day, November 24, Christmas Eve evening, December 24, & Christmas Day, December 25.

York Member Early Access tickets for Hoagy Carmichael's Stardust Road are now available. Single tickets are priced at $60 - $95 (plus $4 convenience fee). York Members receive Priority Seating and Discounted Tickets. Tickets may be purchased by visiting OvationTix at or by calling the Box Office at (212) 935-5820, Tuesday - Friday 12:00PM - 5:00PM, or via email at

Senior Rush tickets are available in-person beginning one hour prior to performances for $20. Student tickets can be purchased anytime in advance at the box office during regular box office business hours. Limit one ticket per valid student ID and tickets are subject to availability. Student Rush tickets are $20. The York Theatre also offers $30 tickets for guests aged 35 years and under through the Gen York program.

COVID NOTE: For the safety of all, COVID policies established by the CDC and WHO will be strictly enforced. Full COVID policies can be found on the York Theatre Company website.

The York Theatre Company offers the York! Membership Program, an exclusive membership package for as low as $75.00-with special benefits that include up to 35% off tickets to York Theatre productions, exclusive Member pre-sale opportunities, and discounts at local restaurants and parking garages--in addition to special Member-only receptions. The York
also offers a York Plus! Membership Program with additional perks, including complimentary tickets to Mainstage productions and invites to several VIP-only presentations throughout the season. York Memberships can be purchased online at

York Theatre Company Gift Cards are available for any production during the 2021-2022 season by calling the Box Office at (212) 935-5820, Tuesday - Friday 12:00PM - 5:00PM, or via email at

For additional information, please visit


Markcus Blair is thrilled to be making his Off-Broadway debut! Markcus is a proud graduate of Syracuse University, where he studied Musical Theater! He would like to thank his family and friends for being endlessly supportive and a huge shoutout to HCKR! Without art there is no life!

Sara Esty is thrilled to make her York debut! A former soloist with the Miami City Ballet, and a Princess Grace Fellowship Award recipient for dance. Select theatre: An American in Paris (Lise Dassin - Broadway/1st National Tour), The Phantom of the Opera (Meg Giry - Broadway), Brigadoon (Jean - NYCC Encores!), A Chorus Line (Maggie - Encores!; Cassie, Cape Playhouse), Alien/Nation (Williamstown Theater Festival - Forest of Arden Co. Member). Film/TV: West Side Story (dir. Stephen Spielberg), "Fosse/Verdon," "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel". Love to BRS/Gage and my family!

Rachel Fairbanks is beyond thrilled to be a part of this extraordinary legacy. Favorites include Stardust Road at Temple Theatre, 1st National Tour of Cinderella, First Wives Club, as well as shows at NSMT and PCLO. Hoagy and Charmaine, thank you for your support and for sharing this music! Susan and Michael, thank you will never be enough. Love to my Collective #dreamteam, inner circle, family, and husband! Penn State '14, AEA @rachelgeorgea @sparkandedge

Dion Simmons Grier is a lifelong Jersey boy and recently earned his BFA from Montclair State University. He recently performed at Paper Mill Playhouse in Sister Act, Songs for a New World, and Disney's A Jolly Holiday. His other professional credits also include Nicely Nicely in Guys & Dolls and Audrey II (the voice) in Little Shop of Horrors at Theatre Aspen. He is so excited to be making his Off-Broadway debut! To God be the glory! Instagram: @DionSimmons_

Danielle Herbert is thrilled to be working at the York! TV credits: "Orange is the New Black"; "The Sinner." Broadway: After Midnight (Standby/understudy for Fantasia Barrinno, K.D Lang, Toni Braxton, Vanessa Williams, Patti LaBelle, Adriane Lenox). National Tour credits: Beautiful: The Carole King Musical. Music: back-up singer for Grammy winner Jill Scott. Regionally, Danielle has worked at Syracuse Stage, The Walnut Street Theatre, The Arden, The Wilma, The Marriott among others. For more info:

Kayla Jenerson Off-Broadway debut! National tours: A Bronx Tale (Jane), Motown the Musical (Diana Ross cover), Legally Blonde (Pilar). Selected regional: The Karate Kid the Musical (STAGES St. Louis, world premiere); Kiss Me, Kate (Marriott Theatre); West Side Story, Jesus Christ Superstar, A Chorus Line (The Ordway). Proud graduate of UW-Madison. Shout out to my agents at Avalon Artists Group. Infinite love and thanks to my three incredible parents, and to those who ground me! @kaylajenerson

Cory Lingner York Theatre Company debut! Broadway: Carousel (Enoch Snow, Jr.), Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, An American in Paris (u/s Adam), and On the Town (u/s Chip/Ozzie). Off Broadway: Once Upon a Mattress (The Jester/Astaire Award nom.) and I Married an Angel (Encores!). TV: "SNL," Tony Awards, "GMA," "Today Show." Regional Theatre: Sacramento Music Circus, The Muny, La Mirada, Transcendence Theatre Co, MTW, Lyric Theatre OKC. Social media: @corylingner

Mike Schwitter York Theatre Company debut! Most recently, Mike was seen performing throughout France as Lt. Cable in South Pacific and as Tony in Barrie Kosky's West Side Story. Broadway: Pippin (Lewis, u/s Pippin). National Tours: The Book of Mormon (u/s Elder Price), Les Misérables (u/s Marius and Enjolras.) Regional: Next to Normal (Regional Premiere, Gabe), Jesus Christ Superstar. Film/TV: BROS. Mike has also performed with dozens of symphonies in shows such as Cirque Musica and in West Side Story at the Hollywood Bowl with the LA Philharmonic, conducted by Gustavo Dudamel. For more information, visit

Drew Tanabe (he/him) is thrilled to be a part of this incredible show. Born and raised in South Florida, he studied at Northwestern before moving to NYC. Recent regional credits include Dirty Rotten Scoundrels at the Maltz Jupiter Theatre, An American in Paris at Drury Lane, and Twelfth Night at Music Theatre Wichita. Many thanks to his family and friends, Kaitlin & DGRW, and Laura for all their love and support. Gaman.


Susan H. Schulman (Co-Conceiver/Director). Broadway credits include the premiere of the Tony Award-winning musical The Secret Garden, the revival of Sweeney Todd at Circle in the Square (for which she received a Tony Award nomination for best Direction of a Musical) the revival of The Sound of Music (Tony nomination Outstanding revival), and the premiere of Little Women. For her direction of the premiere of acclaimed musical Violet, winner of the New York Drama Critics Award for outstanding musical, she received her second Drama Desk nomination. She received an Obie Award for directing Sondheim and Furth's Merrily We Roll Along at The York Theatre Company, where she previously directed Company and the initial Off-Broadway production of Sweeney Todd. Among her many national tours is Sunset Boulevard with Petula Clark. She has directed nine productions for the prestigious Stratford Festival of Canada including Fiddler on the Roof with Brent Carver. As well as her many regional credits in North America, she has directed in Denmark, the UK, and Australia. Ms. Schulman is a past president of SDC and a professor of theatre at Penn State University where she headed the MFA directing program for 12 years. She is a graduate of New York's High School of Performing Arts, Hofstra University, and the Yale School of Drama.

Michael Lichtefeld (Co-Conceiver/Choreographer) has choreographed six Broadway musicals: Little Women, The Sound of Music, The Secret Garden, Sweeney Todd, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, and Laughing Room Only. He worked Off-Broadway choreographing eight musicals and ten national and international tours. For the Stratford Festival, he has choreographed nine musicals and both directed and choreographed South Pacific and My One and Only. At the Shaw Festival he choreographed One Touch of Venus, and for Drayton Entertainment, he has directed and choreographed twelve musicals including the Canadian Premiere of Irving Berlin's Holiday Inn and this season's holiday show, Elf. For the North Shore Music Theater, he directed and choreographed Bye Bye Birdie and choreographed 42nd Street, My Fair Lady, Guys and Dolls, La Cage aux Folles, Anything Goes, Hello, Dolly!, and Mame. He has been nominated for the Independent Reviewers of New England (IRNE) Award five times for choreography and once for director. He won the IRNE for Best Choreography for Bye Bye Birdie and 42nd Street. He has also been nominated for the Drama Desk Award and three Outer Critic's Circle Awards.

Lawrence Yurman (Co-Conceiver/Music Supervisor/Arranger) is a pianist, arranger, and conductor with more than thirty years of experience on Broadway and beyond. He most recently worked as the music director and conductor of the new musical Chasing Rainbows at New Jersey's Paper Mill Playhouse. On Broadway, he was the music director of War Paint starring Patti LuPone and Christine Ebersole as well as the musical director and arranger of the revival of On a Clear Day You Can See Forever starring Harry Connick, Jr. Larry also provided similar contributions to the Broadway production of It Shoulda Been You. Additional Broadway music directing and/or conducting credits include Grey Gardens, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Side Show, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Guys and Dolls, Les Misérables, Marie Christine, and Arcadia, as well as the Radio City Christmas Spectacular. In the cabaret and concert world, he has played and collaborated with Lea Salonga, T. Oliver Reid, and Christine Ebersole in NYC, across the country, and abroad. His latest musical collaboration with Ms. Ebersole, After the Ball, has just been released. Larry has been an Adjunct Faculty member at NYU's Graduate Acting Program for over thirty years.

Hoagy Bix Carmichael (Co-Producer/Developer) is a film, television, and theatrical producer. He was an assistant for Hecht-Hill-Lancaster on such films as The Rabbit Trap, Elmer Gantry, and Separate Tables. While at WGBH-TV in Boston he co-produced many productions including "On Being Black" (15 one-hour original dramas), "Hoagy Carmichael's Music Shop," and "The Advocates." He was the managing director for "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood," the award-winning series for children. With William Wheatley, he produced The Eyes Have It, a film about the photographers at Life magazine. Theatrical productions include the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre and the musical Stardust Road. Mr. Carmichael has co-managed Hoagy Carmichael's music catalogue for thirty-five years and was the artistic producer of the Hoagy Carmichael Centennial Celebration big band 61-city tour. Along with Gregory Hines and Tony Wagg, Mr. Carmichael co-founded and chaired the American Tap Dance Foundation, which seeks to further the interests of tap dancing throughout the world. He is thrilled and thankful to see this production on the stage at the York Theatre and only wishes that his father could be sitting next to him on opening night.

The York Theatre Company 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 neglected, 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. Well over 40 cast recordings from York Theatre Company productions are now available on CD, including its acclaimed revival of Closer Than Ever (2013 Off-Broadway Alliance Award for Best Revival); commercial transfers of such York premieres as The Musical of Musicals (The Musical!), Souvenir (Tony Award Nomination for actress Judy Kaye), and Jolson & Company, and revivals of Pacific Overtures and Sweeney Todd (four Tony Nominations including Best Revival) have all showcased the importance of The York and its programs.

Recent New York premieres have included Marry Harry, A Taste of Things to Come, and Rothschild & Sons. The critically acclaimed musical Yank! received its Off-Broadway debut at The York in 2010, and subsequently to rave reviews in London-as did York's Rothschild & Sons. The hit musical Cagney received its York premiere in 2015, transferring to The Westside Theatre for over 15 months. In 2017, Desperate Measures received a total of 15 award nominations (and three wins) that included "Best Musical" from the Lucille Lortel, Outer Critics Circle, Drama Desk, and Off-Broadway Alliance and subsequently transferred across town to New World Stages. The York is the recipient of a special Drama Desk Award for "Developing and Producing New Musicals" and, more recently, a special Outer Critics Circle Award for "50 Years of Producing New and Classic Musicals." Due to a flood in their home of 30 years at Saint Peter's Church in January 2021, The York is currently producing at The Theatre at St.Jeans at 76th Street and Lexington Avenue.