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York Theatre Company to Host Reading of Joshua Ellis' CALL MY PUBLICIST! Next Month

The York Theatre Company, as part of its acclaimed Developmental Readings Series, presents Call My Publicist! - The Starry Education of a Broadway Press Agent, written and performed by Joshua Ellis. This premiere reading, directed by Gretchen Cryer will be presented for one-performance only on Wednesday evening, April 8, 2015 at 7:00 p.m. at The York Theatre Company at Saint Peter's (Entrance on East 54th Street, just east of Lexington Avenue). The reading is open to the public with a suggested donation of $5.00.

In Call My Publicist! - The Starry Education of a Broadway Press Agent, Joshua Ellis, who was one of the theater's top press agents, gives an insider's view of the glamorous and sometimes maddening world of The Great White Way from a vantage point the public rarely sees. With his very personal, first-hand stories, we hear from Yul Brynner, Carol Channing, Stephen Sondheim, Lena Horne, David Merrick, Jerry Orbach, Sir Trevor Nunn, Eartha Kitt, Eva Le Gallienne, Sandy Duncan, and numerous other theater greats with whom Ellis worked and learned the tricks of the trade. Among the shows he publicized are the original Broadway productions of Into the Woods, 42nd Street, Fences, The Elephant Man, The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby, Lena Horne: The Lady and Her Music, Big River, and the award-winning revivals of The King and I (Yul Brynner), Dracula (Frank Langella), Peter Pan (Sandy Duncan) and Morning's at Seven. Call My Publicist! is about a love affair with the New York theatre, and like all romances it has its share of joys and heartbreaks.

Joshua Ellis created, developed and executed the public relations for dozens of Broadway and Off-Broadway productions. Simultaneously he was the press representative for the multi-award winning Roundabout Theatre Company. For two years he did publicity for Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus and for five years was Barry Manilow's personal press agent.

Among the talents with whom he worked, in addition to those mentioned above, included Carol Channing, Stockard Channing, Eartha Kitt, Dame Angela Lansbury, Richard Gere, Denzel Washington, Dustin Hoffman, Rex Harrison, Claudette Colbert, James Earl Jones, June Havoc, Uta Hagen, Geraldine Page, Lauren Bacall, Nathan Lane, Jessica Tandy, David Bowie, Ruby Dee, Janet Gaynor, Teresa Stratas, Sir Derek Jacobi, Richard Dreyfuss, Eva Le Gallienne, Alec Baldwin, Dame Maggie Smith, John Goodman, Michael Feinstein, Eli Wallach, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Jane Alexander, Glenda Jackson, Neil Patrick Harris, Jerry Orbach, Tammy Grimes, Lynn Redgrave, Vanessa Redgrave, Blythe Danner, Richard Chamberlain, Robert Preston, Bernadette Peters, Morgan Freeman, Arthur Miller, Edward Albee, Joseph Stein, Sir Peter Hall, Harold Prince, Richard Rodgers, Jerry Herman, Charles Strouse, Stephen Schwartz, Elizabeth I. McCann and Nelle Nugent.

Ellis was on the founding Steering Committee of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, and served on that committee for five years while heading BC/EFA's public relations efforts.

Following his Broadway career he was Director of Communications at the award-winning La Jolla Playhouse in California, where he did public relations for numerous productions including the world premiere of Thoroughly Modern Millie, Matthew Broderick in How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying, the west coast premiere of Rent, and an early workshop of I Am My Own Wife .

Gretchen Cryer is an award-winning director, playwright, lyricist and actress. After a career as a Broadway actress (Little Me, 110 In the Shade, 1776), she and Nancy Ford collaborated on the Off-Broadway musical Now Is the Time for All Good Men. Cryer wrote the book and lyrics and played the lead role. Their next musical was The Last Sweet Days of Isaac, that won the Obie, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle awards. Joseph Papp produced their following musical, I'm Getting My Act Together and Taking It on the Road. Cryer again provided the book and lyrics and played the lead role, Heather. It was a hit at the Public Theatre and transferred Off-Broadway where it played over 1,000 performances. It had a successful American tour and won acclaim around the world, including an extended London run. Cryer and Ford's other collaborations include the musicals Shelter, Anne of Green Gables and Einstein and the Roosevelts. Their most recent musical, Still Getting My Act Together, premiered at the York Theatre Company in 2011. In 2013 Encores! presented a new production of I'm Getting My Act Together at New York's City Center to great acclaim. Within the theatrical community she is renown for her workshops and classes on the craft of writing and performing one-person pieces. She has gone on to direct a number of these solo-performance works.

York's Developmental Reading Series presents some 40 readings and workshops of new musicals by emerging and established authors throughout the year, a vital part of the writing process. The series serves as an incubator for shows to be considered for Mainstage productions, thus serving the York's unique mission of taking new musicals through the complete development process to full production.

The York Theatre Company is the only theater 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 neglected 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 primarily 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. Some 40 cast recordings from The York Theatre Company productions are now available on CD, and commercial transfers of such York premieres as The Musical of Musicals (The Musical!), Souvenir, Jolson & Company, and its acclaimed revivals of Closer Than Ever (2013 OffBroadway Alliance Award for Best Revival), Sweeney Todd and Pacific Overtures have all showcased the importance of the York and its programs.

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