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VANITIES Set for NY Premiere at Off-Bdwy's Second Stage 6/30


Second Stage Theatre (Carole Rothman, Artistic Director; Ellen Richard, Executive Director) will conclude its 30th Anniversary mainstage season with the New York premiere of VANITIES, a new musical written by Jack Heifner, featuring music and lyrics by David Kirshenbaum, directed by Judith Ivey.

With musical staging by Dan Knechtges, VANITIES will feature Lauren Kennedy, Sarah Stiles, and Anneliese van Der Pol and will begin preview performances on Tuesday, June 30. Opening night is Thursday, July 16 at 6:30pm. For subscription or ticket information, please call the Second Stage Box Office at 212-246-4422 or visit the company's website,

VANITIES replaces the previously announced MR. AND MRS. FITCH, which has been postponed from this summer due to a scheduling conflict.

VANITIES had been scheduled to open at Broadway's Lyceum Theatre this past February. Producer Sue Frost explains, "We are very pleased that VANITIES has found a New York home at Second Stage Theatre. While our plans to open on Broadway were delayed because of the economy, the sudden opening in Second Stage's season provides a fortuitous opportunity for New York audiences to see this exciting new American musical."

VANITIES was originally produced at TheatreWorks in Palo Alto, CA in the summer of 2006. The production received two Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Awards for Outstanding Musical Production and Best Original Score, and was also showcased at the 2006 National Alliance for Musical Theatre (NAMT) Festival of New Musicals. The musical was most recently seen at Pasadena Playhouse (Pasadena, California) in August, 2008.

VANITIES spans the turbulent '60's through the late '80's and explores how important friends are as one faces life's defining moments: growing up, getting older and getting over it. VANITIES is a funny and poignant look at women who discover that, even in 30 years of rapidly changing times, the one thing they can rely on is each other.

VANITIES will feature set design by Anna Louizos, costume design by Joe Aulisi, lighting design by Paul Miller, and sound design by Tony Meola. Music Director is Bryan Perri, vocal arrangements by Carmel Dean, and orchestrations are by Lynne Shankel.

Lauren Kennedy (Mary) Broadway: Lady of the Lake in Monty Python's Spamalot, Sunset Boulevard with Glenn Close, Side Show as Daisy Hilton, and Les Miserables as Fantine. Also, Cinderella at New York City Opera. London: Trevor Nunn's revival of South Pacific as Nellie Forbush at The Royal National Theatre. Lauren starred opposite Val Kilmer in The Ten Commandments at the Kodak Theatre in Los Angeles. Most recently she starred in the pre-Broadway tryout of Lone Star Love with The Red Clay Ramblers. Other new works and premieres: Zelda Fitzgerald in Frank Wildhorn's Waiting For The Moon(LENAPE, Barrymore Award Nom. for Best Actress), The Rhythm Club (Signature Theatre, Helen Hayes Nom. for Best Actress), White Christmas, Breakfast At Tiffany's (St. Louis MUNY), Hot Shoe Shuffle (TUTS) and The Last Five Years (Northlight). National Tour: Sunset Boulevard as Betty Schaeffer. Both her new album "Here And Now" and her debut album Lauren Kennedy: Songs Of Jason Robert Brown have both received rave reviews and are available on PS Classics. Lauren is most proud of her collaboration with husband Alan Campbell, their daughter Riley.

Sarah Stiles (Joanne) recently starred in the Broadway company of Avenue Q as Kate Monster and Lucy. She also appeared in the Broadway and first national touring companies of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, and in the national tour of Titanic. She toured with Tommy Tune in the Polynesian production of Dr. Dolittle. Her Off-Broadway credits include Captain Louie (York Theater). Her regional credits include Joanne in Vanities (Theatreworks Palo Alto); Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, Estelle in The Full Monty and the Teen Girl in the world premiere of Memphis (Northshore Music Theatre); Crissy in Hair (Theatre Under the Stars); Ermengarde in Hello, Dolly! (Kansas City Starlight); Esther in Meet Me in St. Louis (Virginia Music Theatre) and Frenchy in Grease (Papermill Playhouse).

Anneliese van Der Pol (Kathy) made her Broadway debut in 2007 as the final Belle in Beauty and the Beast. She starred for six years and in 100 episodes of the popular Disney Channel show "That's So Raven" as Chelsea Daniels, Raven's best friend. Theatre credits include: Eva Peron in Evita (Buena Park Civic Theatre), Laurey in Oklahoma! (Austin Musical Theatre). Dance roles include Clara in The Nutcracker and the title role of Coppelia (Southern California Dance Theater). Recording credits include "Over It" (Disney Channel original movie "Stuck in the Suburbs"), "Circle of Life" (The Lion King Special Edition DVD), "A Dream Is a Wish Your Heart Makes" (Cinderella Special Edition DVD), "A Day in the Sun" (That's So Raven Too! soundtrack). Anneliese is also featured performing "Candle on the Water" for Walt Disney Records' Disneymania 4.

Book writer Jack Heifner's play, Vanities, ran for five years in New York and became one of the longest running and most produced comedies in off-Broadway history. He is also the author of over thirty other plays, including Patio/Porch, Natural Disasters, Running on Empty, Earth To Bucky, Bargains, Jumping for Joy, Boys' Play, Home Fires, Heartbreak, Comfort and Joy, Dwarf Tossing and China Dolls, which have been produced in New York and theaters around the world. He has also written for television and film.

Composer/lyricist David Kirshenbaum's other credits include Summer of '42 (book by Hunter Foster) at Variety Arts Theatre, Party Come Here (book by Daniel Goldfarb) at Williamstown Theatre Festival and the holiday musical Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus (book by Myles McDonnell). He is a contributing songwriter for the Disney Channel TV series, "Johnny and the Sprites." Regional: Goodspeed Musicals (CT), TheatreWorks (CA), Casa Manana (TX), Mill Mountain Theatre (VA), and the Victoria Theatre (OH). Upcoming projects include Sing Me a Happy Song (with songwriter Georgia Stitt), and an original musical with Joe DiPietro. Grants: The Jonathan Larson Foundation and the National Alliance for Musical Theatre. His songs have been recorded by such singers as Lauren Kennedy, Alice Ripley, Rachel York and Kate Shindle, and the score of Summer of '42 was recently released by JAY Records. Graduate: University of Michigan.

Director Judith Ivey is the recipient of the Tony Award and the Drama Desk Award for her portrayals in Steaming and Hurlyburly, the Obie Award for her performance in The Moonshot Tape and countless others for her stage and film work. Most recently, she was honored with the Texas Medal of Arts for Theatre. She also recently toured the U.S. in the one-woman show, Irene O'Garden's Women on Fire. Some film credits include Devil's Advocate, Washington Square, Mystery, Alaska, Brighton Beach Memoirs, Love Hurts, Compromising Positions, What Alice Found, and Flags of Our Fathers. Judith starred in four television series, the most memorable being Designing Women. Some television film credits include The Long Hot Summer, What the Deaf Man Heard (Emmy nom.), and Half a Dozen Babies. Ms. Ivey's most recent directing credit is the off-Broadway production of Secrets of a Soccer Mom. Prior to that she directed The Butcher of Baraboo (Second Stage Uptown Series), Fugue (Cherry Lane Theatre), and Southern Comforts (Primary Stages). Judith directed Bad Dates (Northlight Theatre in Chicago and the Laguna Playhouse), the acclaimed Steel Magnolias (Alley Theatre), and More with Yeardley Smith (Union Square Theatre, and the Falcon Theatre in Los Angeles). Other directing credits include Two For The Seesaw (Westport Playhouse), The Go-For-It Guy (Aspen Comedy Festival), and Soccer Moms (Fleetwood Stage).

Dan Knechtges (Choreographer). Broadway: Xanadu,...Spelling Bee, 110 in the Shade. Regional: Godspell (Paper Mill); The Boys From Syracuse (CenterStage), Vanities (TheatreWorks, CA); The Girl in The Frame (Goodspeed); The Wiz, Cats (Hangar Theatre); Mame, A Funny Thing...(Surflight Theatre); Don Giovanni (Indianapolis Opera); Carousel, West Side Story (Opera Illinois); The Mikado, HMS Pinafore (Blue Hill Troupe). TV/Film: "It's a Wonderful Night" (Fatboy Slim), Palindromes (Todd Solondz). BFA Musical Theatre, Otterbein College, member of Lincoln Center Directors Lab, SSDC. 

Founded in 1979 under the leadership of Artistic Director Carole Rothman, Second Stage Theatre produces a diverse range of premieres and new interpretations of America's best Contemporary Theatre, including Tiny Alice and Peter and Jerry by Edward Albee; The Good Times Are Killing Me by Lynda Barry; The Little Dog Laughed by Douglas Carter Beane; Little Murders by Jules Feiffer; The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee by William Finn and Rachel Sheinkin; A Soldier's Play by Charles Fuller; Afterbirth: Kathy & Mo's Greatest Hits by Mo Gaffney and Kathy Najimy; Painting Churches and Coastal Disturbances by Tina Howe; Ricky Jay and His 52 Assistants and On the Stem by Ricky Jay; Living Out by Lisa Loomer; This Is Our Youth and The Waverly Gallery by Kenneth Lonergan; Some Men by Terrence McNally; eurydice by Sarah Ruhl; Saturday Night by Stephen Sondheim; Crowns by ReGina Taylor; Uncommon Women and Others by Wendy Wasserstein; Spoils of War by Michael Weller; Before It Hits Home, Jar the Floor and Birdie Blue by Cheryl L. West; Jitney by August Wilson; Lemon Sky, Serenading Louie and Sympathetic Magic by Lanford Wilson; and Metamorphoses and The Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci by Mary Zimmerman.

The company's more than 125 citations include the 2007 Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play (Julie White, The Little Dog Laughed), 2005 Tony Awards for Best Book of a Musical (Rachel Sheinkin, ...Spelling Bee) and Best Featured Actor in a Musical (Dan Fogler, ...Spelling Bee), 2002 Tony Award for Best Director of a Play (Mary Zimmerman for Metamorphoses), the 2002 Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Body of Work, 23 Obie Awards, four Outer Critics Circle Awards, two Clarence Derwent Awards, nine Drama Desk Awards, five Theatre World Awards, 11 Lucille Lortel Awards, the Drama Critics Circle Award and 15 AUDELCO Awards.

In 1999, Second Stage Theatre opened its state-of-the-art, 296-seat theatre, designed by renowned Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas. In 2002, Second Stage launched "Second Stage Theatre Uptown" series to showcase the work of up and coming artists at the McGinn/Cazale Theatre. The Theatre supports artists through several programs that include residencies, fellowships and commissions, and engages students and community members through education and outreach programs.

Second Stage Theatre recently announced that it has acquired the right to purchase the historic Helen Hayes Theatre, located at 240 W. 44th Street. With this new home, Second Stage will be the only theater company on Broadway dedicated exclusively to the development and presentation of contemporary American theatrical productions. Second Stage will also become one of only four non-profit theater companies that own and operate theaters on Broadway. The company will continue to lease and operate their original theaters on the city's Upper West Side and in Midtown Manhattan. Programming in the Helen Hayes will begin in 2010.

For more information, please visit

VANITIES will be performed through Sunday, August 9, 2009 at Second Stage Theatre (307 West 43rd Street, just west of 8th Avenue) on the following schedule: Tuesday at 7:00pm, Wednesday - Saturday at 8:00pm, Wednesday and Saturday at 2:00pm, and Sunday at 3:00pm.

NOTE: All weekday evening performances the week of July 28 will begin at 7:00pm. Weekend curtain times remain the same.

NOTE: There will be no 2pm performance on Wednesday, July 1. The performance times for Sunday, July 5 are 2pm and 7pm. There is an added 8m performance on Monday, July 13 and no performance on Friday, July 17.
Tickets are $................ and may be purchased by phoning 212-246-4422 or 800-766-6048 or online at Patrons age 30 and under may purchase a limited number of specially-priced $30 tickets in advance. A limited number of student rush tickets are $15 and are available 30 minutes prior to curtain.

Group tickets are available by phoning 212-889-4300 or (800) 331-0472. Box-office hours are Monday, 10:00am - 6:00pm, Tuesday 10:00am - 7:00pm, Wednesday through Saturday, 10:00am to 8:00pm, and Sunday, 10:00am to 3:00pm.


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