HALLELUJAH, BABY!, BAR MITZVAH BOY & More Set for York Theatre Company's Winter 2018 'Mufti' Series
It's a Jule Styne Celebration! The York Theatre Company, dedicated to the development of new musicals and the preservation of musical gems from the past, starts the new year with its Winter 2018 Musicals in Mufti series celebrating the works of the legendary Broadway composer Jule Styne.
The series will include Hallelujah, Baby! (January 27 - February 4, 2018), Bar Mitzvah Boy (February 10 - 18, 2018), and Subways Are for Sleeping (February 24 - March 4, 2018) at The York Theatre Company at Saint Peter's (entrance on East 54th Street, just east of Lexington Avenue).
The York Theatre Company's acclaimed Musicals in Mufti series of musical theatre gems, performed in a simply-staged, book-in-hand concert format, begins its 22nd historic year of shows from the past which deserve a second look. Mufti means "in street clothes, without the trappings associated with a full production."
The York opens its Jule Styne Celebration with the 1968 Tony Award winner for Best Musical, Hallelujah, Baby! with music by Jule Styne, lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green, and book by Arthur Laurents. Hallelujah, Baby! tells of Georgina, an African-American woman on her journey to financial and social independence during the most tumultuous socio-political times in U.S. history. A chronicle of the African-American struggle for equality during the first half of the 20th century. Hallelujah, Baby! launched the career of Broadway and TV legend Leslie Uggams. The rich score includes "My Own Morning," "Talking to Yourself," and "Being Good." This presentation marks the New York premiere of the revised version that Laurents created for productions at the George Street Playhouse and Arena Stage in 2004 and 2005, with additional lyrics by Amanda Green. Gerry McIntyre (Spamilton, Choreographer) is set to direct, making his Mufti debut. Performances begin Saturday afternoon, January 27, 2018 and continue for 11 performances only through February 4, 2018.
The second show in the series is the rarely seen Bar Mitzvah Boy, with music by Jule Styne, lyrics by Tony and Oscar winner Don Black, and book by Jack Rosenthal, as adapted by David Thompson. Based on Rosenthal's award-winning 1976 BBC1 teleplay of the same name, Bar Mitzvah Boy is a bittersweet musical comedy about a young Jewish boy who runs away from the Bar Mitzvah into which his parents have poured their efforts and their money. Looking at the adult world, young Eliot Green doubts if he can cope with being a part of it. Rosenthal's hysterical story of a family's anxious build up to their only son's Bar Mitzvah will resonate with many Jewish families, but this classic tale speaks loudly for any important family occasion - whatever the religion. Originally produced at Her Majesty's Theatre in the West End in 1978, Bar Mitzvah Boy is composer Jule Styne's only musical written expressly for London, and this presentation marks the New York premiere of a new version first presented in London in 2016, with a book adapted by David Thompson and new songs with lyrics by Black, using previously unheard Styne melodies. Annette Jolles (Mark Felt, Superstar!) directs. Performances begin Saturday afternoon, February 10, 2018 for 11 performances only through February 18, 2018.
The Winter 2018 series concludes with the 1961 Broadway musical Subways Are for Sleeping with music by Jule Styne and book and lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green. Originally produced by David Merrick, Subways tells the tale of Angie, a reporter sent to get the scoop on a segment of NYC society-a group of well-dressed homeless people sleeping in the New York subway system-that lives by their own rules. Going undercover, Angie learns how the carefree other half lives and begins to see there might be another way to experience the world. Subways Are for Sleeping is perhaps best known for an infamous publicity stunt in which Merrick invited New Yorkers with the same names as some of the prominent theatre critics at the time, using their favorable reviews in a print ad. Stuart Ross (Enter Laughing) will direct. Performances begin Saturday afternoon, February 24, 2018 for 11 performances only through March 4, 2018.
"We are delighted to feature the work of the incredible Jule Styne in our latest Mufti series, and to be working with Margaret Styne on putting it all together," says York's Producing Artistic Director James Morgan. "Jule is one of the true leading lights of the Golden Age of Broadway and, while we have done a number of his shows in the series (Fade Out, Fade In, the original version of Hallelujah, Baby!, and Darling of the Day twice-both times to sold-out houses), this is the first time we have dedicated an entire series to this master composer."
Casting and further creative team members will be announced at a later date. Casting for the Mufti series is by Geoff Josselson.
Jule Styne (1905-1994) With the scores of such Broadway classics as Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Peter Pan, Bells Are Ringing, Gypsy and Funny Girl to his credit, composer Jule Styne ranks as one of the undisputed architects of the American musical theatre. Although he was born in London's East End, Styne's family moved to the United States in 1912. Young Julius showed such a talent for the piano that he had performed with the Chicago, St. Louis, and Detroit Symphonies by age 10. He developed his feel for popular music working with the jazz bands of 1920s Chicago, and as vocal coach to such 1930s Hollywood stars as Shirley Temple and Alice Faye. Teaming with lyricist Sammy Cahn in the 1940s, he created a string of Hit Parade leaders including the Oscar-winning "Three Coins in the Fountain." In addition to Cahn, Styne's collaborators include Betty Comden and Adolph Green, Stephen Sondheim, Bob Merrill, Leo Robin, and E.Y. Harburg, among many others; their combined efforts have produced such showstoppers as "The Party's Over," "Everything's Coming Up Roses," "People" and "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend." Jule Styne was elected to the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1972 and the Theatre Hall of Fame in 1981, and became a Kennedy Center Honoree in 1990. On the occasion of his 25th anniversary in show business, the following tribute was read into the Congressional Record: "The lives of Americans throughout our land, as well as the lives of people throughout the corners of the world, have been enriched by the artistry and genius of Jule Styne."
In conjunction with the Winter 2018 Musicals in Mufti series, The York will present two special multimedia presentations by Charles Troy who returns with The Creation of Gypsy and The Creation of Funny Girl, following last year's highly successful Hello, Jerry! presentation. Mr. Troy is a musical theatre historian, graphic designer, and former theatre lyricist who has created more than 50 multimedia presentations on musical theatre subjects. His unique multimedia presentations employ a seamless blend of recorded songs (with lyrics projected onscreen), original graphics, scanned photos, historic video, and extensively researched, scripted narrative to dramatize the stories behind the great creations of the American Musical Theatre. Join Charles Troy and The York Theatre Company as he takes a look at the life and career of the legendary Broadway composer Jule Styne. Presentations are scheduled, as follows: The Creation of Gypsy, Monday, January 29, 2018 and The Creation of Funny Girl, Tuesday, January 30, 2018. Both at 7:30 p.m.
In addition, The York Theatre Company will present an evening of song celebrating the composer's further catalog with a special cabaret, The Music of Jule Styne, set for Tuesday, February 13, 2018 at 7:00 p.m.
Musicals in Mufti will play the following 11-performance schedule-First Week: Saturday at 2:30 p.m. & 8:00 p.m., Sunday at 2:30 & 7:00 p.m.; Second Week: Wednesday at 7:00 p.m., Thursday at 2:30 p.m. and 7:00 p.m., Friday at 8:00 p.m., Saturday at 2:30 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. and Sunday at 2:30 p.m.
Single tickets for the Winter 2018 Musicals in Mufti series are priced at $45 (Weekdays and Saturday nights) and $50 (Weekend matinees). York Member single tickets are priced at $31.50 (all performances). Single tickets for the Charles Troy multimedia presentations are priced at $20 for each event. Single tickets for the cabaret "The Music of Jule Styne" are priced at $30.
SUBSCRIBE AND SAVE: Subscribe to a Special "Musicals in Mufti" Package and see all three Muftis for $120 (any performance package) - up to a $30 savings!
BEST SAVINGS! Become a York Member: Buy all three Muftis priced at $94.50 (any performance package) - a $55 savings. Add on ticket prices for Charles Troy events and Cabaret are priced at $15 each for York! Members and $10 each for York Plus! Members only.
Tickets for York Members only are now on sale through Friday, December 22 when they will be available to the general public, and may be purchased online at www.yorktheatre.org, by calling (212) 935-5820, or in person at the box office at The York Theatre Company at Saint Peter's (Entrance on East 54th Street, just east of Lexington Avenue), Monday through Friday (12:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.).
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 four 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. Almost 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, Rothschild & Sons, and Desperate Measures, currently on stage. The critically acclaimed musical Yank!, which received its Off-Broadway debut at The York in 2010, recently opened to rave reviews in London, and the original York Theatre/Off-Broadway cast of the hit musical Cagney, which received its York premiere in 2015 and subsequently transferred to The Westside Theatre for over 15 months, has just concluded a limited engagement in Los Angeles.