Desai, Ralston, Rodriguez, Etc. Set for York's 'Bajour'
The York Theatre Company has announced casting for Bajour, with book by Ernest Kinoy and music and lyrics by Walter Marks (Golden Rainbow). Bajour is the third of the four shows in York's Summer 2007 Musicals in Mufti Series -- the York's acclaimed series of musical theatre gems in staged concert performances. The show will play July 13, 14 and 15 at the Theatre at Saint Peters (54th Street, Just East of Lexington Ave).
Bajour will feature: Talia Barzilay, Angel Desai (John Doyle's Company), Erick Devine (Seussical, Ragtime), Michael Iannucci (Fiddler on the Roof, The Colonial Theater), Don Mayo (Man of La Mancha, The Scarlet Pimpernel), Nancy McCall (Nine), Nicholas Rodriguez (Tarzan), Thom Christopher (Emmy Award for "One Life to Live," Noel Coward in Two Keys), Teri Ralston (Original Company) and Deone Zanotto (New York debut; West End's We Will Rock You, Dirty Dancing; Saturday Night Fever, Queensland Performing Arts Centre, Australia). Additional casting will be announced. It will be directed by Stuart Ross (Forever Plaid, Radiant Baby). Mark Hartman (Avenue Q) is the musical director.
Bajour is a "musical comedy based on the Joseph Mitchell short stores published in The New Yorker. A 'Bajour' is to gypsies the highest of all the arts, and refers to a con game involving separating lonely older women from their savings. The show is about an anthropology student at NYU whose doctoral study of nomadic gypsies brings her in contact with a tribal leader, who needs to raise a dowry to purchase a bride from Newark's Gypsy King for his son. Anxious to marry, this bride offers to stage a 'bajour' to help finance it but complications ensue when she targets the student's widowed mother," state press notes.
The Broadway production, directed by Lawrence Kasha and choreographed by Peter Gennaro, opened on November 23, 1964 at the Shubert Theatre, then transferred to the Lunt-Fontanne to complete its run of 232-performances. The cast included Nancy Dussault, Herschel Bernardi, Chita Rivera and Mae Questel, with Paul Sorvino, Michael Bennett, and Leland Palmer among the ensemble players. Tony Award nominations went to Dussault for Best Actress in a Musical and Gennaro for Best Choreography. The New York Times said the show was "lively and entertaining it is all done with so much speed and geniality that one might envy the careless gypsy life!"
The York Mufti presentation of Bajour follows It's a Bird It's a Plane It's a Superman and I and Albert by Charles Strouse & Lee Adams. Bajour will be followed by The Day Before Spring, July 27-29, directed by David Glenn Armstrong ((Mis)Understanding Mammy: The Hattie McDaniel Story, Plain and Fancy). All shows will play five performances only: Friday at 8 pm, Saturday at 2:30 pm & 8 pm, and Sunday at 2:30 pm & 7:30 pm. Audience discussions will follow both matinees.
In conjunction with Bajour, internationally recognized musical theatre and film authority, John Kenrick continues his acclaimed "Musical Conversations" discussion series on Tuesday, July 10th at 7:30 p.m. Admission is Free. The topic of this Conversation is "Guilty Pleasures: Cult Musical Favorites." As Mufti regulars know, many musicals that had brief runs have developed long-lasting cults of dedicated fans. Kenrick will look at some that got second chances (Candide), and others like Bajour that still await rediscovery. Kenrick's "Musicals Conversations" will take place at The Theatre at Saint Peter's (54th St., just East of Lex). Call 212-935-5824 x21 to make a reservation for this event.
For ticket information, visit www.yorktheatre.org or call 212-935-5820. The York Theatre Company in Saint Peter's Theatre is located at 54th Street Just East of Lexington.
Photo of Angel Desai by Linda Lenzi