Erin Leigh Peck Will Lead PRETTY TO THE BONE at New York Theatre Barn
New York Theatre Barn has been incubating and producing new musicals that tell untold stories for the past 10 years. Led by Artistic Director, Joe Barros, the company's 10th season of its New Works Series, features a pre-premiere of the provocative new musical Pretty to the Bone.Winner of the Jonathan Larson Award, Pretty to the Bone is a dynamic and contemporary musical, based on a true story. When fifteen-year-old Polly develops an eating disorder, a "perfect and happy" American family is shaken to the core and embarks on the emotional roller coaster ride of a lifetime. Humorous, heartbreaking and ultimately uplifting, Pretty to the Bone is about family, survival and love. Pretty to the Bone has a book by Yvonne Adrian, lyrics by Cheryl Stern (Shoes and Baggage), and music by Drama Desk Award-nominee Tom Kochan. Pretty to the Bone was previously titled Normal and it was originally produced Off-Broadway at Transport Group Theatre Company, where it was directed by Jack Cummings III. Cummings also developed the work with the writers, which also included development with Scott Elliot and The New Group.
Artistic Director Joe Barros will be at the helm of Pretty to the Bone, of which he is no stranger. Barros' first job in New York was working alongside Cummings as a production assistant on the original production of Normal. Barros says, "Working on Normal will always be a highlight of my life. It was my first job in New York, and it was the first time I was in a room learning about how new musicals are created. I am lucky that I got to be a part of that process. He went on to say that Cummings' "thoughtfulness and inventive production of Normal was powerful---and certainly ahead of its time. The experience is part of the reason that I was inspired to create a company of my own to incubate stories that challenge our perception of what a musical can be". Barros worked with the writers last year on a production of Shoes and Baggage Off-Broadway at The Cell, written by Cheryl Stern and Tom Kochan and starring Stern. This journey has come full circle, and my heart is full. Pretty to the Bone wouldn't be what it is today without Jack's passion, vision, and extraordinary production at Transport Group." Barros believes that now more than ever is an important and vital time to tell this story about women and family.
The original production starred Barbara Walsh, Adam Heller, and Erin Leigh Peck as their teenage daughter Polly. This time, Barros chose Erin Leigh Peck to play the role of Polly's mother, the role originated by Barbara Walsh.
"I'm filling some very big shoes here," says Peck. "I remember watching Barbara during the Transport Group production and feeling so blown away by her performance. But I couldn't be more excited about this. N'ormal was one of the most important shows I've worked on. Now, as the mother of a teenager myself, playing Polly's mother feels like a good fit and I'm looking at this wonderful piece with new perspective."
Pretty to the Bone will be presented on Monday, April 24, 2017 at 7pm and 9pm at The Cell (338 W 23rd St., NYC), presented alongside Ryan White, about the teenage hemophiliac who became the poster child for AIDS in the 1980s (with an all-teenage cast). Joe Barros directs (Gigi, Cagney), with music direction by Karen Dryer, and a cast that includes George Dvorsky (Closer Than Ever revival), Erin Leigh Peck (Disenchanted, I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change), Evan Ruggiero (Bastard Jones), and Sydney Shuck (Annie). Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door, and can be purchased on New York Theatre Barn's website: www.nytheatrebarn.org.
New York Theatre Barn, a Manhattan based non-profit theatre company founded in 2007, incubates, develops, and produces new musicals that tell untold stories. Our stories are inspired by the lives of real people and actual events that challenge our preconceived ideas, and promote inclusion and positive social change. In today's divisive political and social climate, we believe that now more than ever, these types of stories need to be seen and heard by more people. Theatre Barn's core program is, the New Works Series, presents bi-monthly "pre-premieres" of new musicals in the Early Stages of development. With each installment, two new musicals are showcased before a live audience and a worldwide virtual audience. Since the series' inception, the company has presented more than 350 writers in more than 80 pre-premieres, and have amassed a catalogue of more than 750 videos with 600,000+ views on our YouTube channel. For more information: www.nytheatrebarn.org.