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York Theatre Company to Present IONESCOPADE, Beginning 1/23

The award-winning York Theatre Company (James Morgan- Producing Artistic Director) will present a new production of the rarely performed Ionescopade, a "musical vaudeville," the first in an exciting roster of works for the York’s 2012 Season. Ionescopade, taken from the works of Eugene Ionesco, features music and lyrics by Mildred Kayden and was originally conceived by Robert Allan Ackerman. Ionescopade will begin performances January 23, 2012, with an official opening night set for February 2 at The York Theatre at Saint Peter’s on 54th St, just east of Lexington Avenue.

Ionescopade will be directed and choreographed by Bill Castellino, with music direction by Christopher McGovern, scenic design by James Morgan, costume design by Nicole Wee, and lighting design by Mary Jo Dondlinger. Casting is by Carol Hanzel.

Marking their year-long “Celebration of Off-Broadway," York presents a new look at this entertainment based on the works of the prolific and influential absurdist playwright Eugene Ionesco, famous for his plays The Bald Soprano, Rhinoceros, The Chairs and Exit the King (which recently enjoyed a hit revival on Broadway). Plays, playlets, and poetry by this master of the Absurd transport us into a zany musical vaudeville, where humor is the antidote to the world’s realities. Ionescopade, a musical vaudeville, premiered Off-Broadway in 1974, directed by Mr. Ackerman, and ran for almost a year at various theatres. It subsequently ran for over a year in Los Angeles directed by Mr. Castellino and has been seen around the world in various productions. In 1994 The York produced a reading featuring Ruby Dee and Barbara Feldon; the following year The Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C. presented a revival starring Lilianne Montevecchi and Ron Holgate, which was also directed by Mr. Castellino. Critics referred to the original production as “one hell of an entertainment” that “snaps, crackles and spins across the stage like a Toulouse-Lautrec version of Hellzapoppin.”

"It's very exciting to have this work come back to New York City as part of our Off-Broadway Celebration," said James Morgan, the York's Producing Artistic Director. "Ionescopade deserves a much wider life, and a recording; we hope to help it along in both respects. It is particularly meaningful to be revisiting it with composer/lyricist Mildred Kayden and director Bill Castellino, both of whom I've wanted to collaborate with for awhile."

On Thursday, December 15, 2011, The York Theatre Company (an official drop-off location for Toys for Tots) will be offering one free ticket to the 7:00 p.m. performance on January 23 to the first 100 people who donate a toy to Toys for Tots at the theatre that day. (Line may not start assembling until 11 AM in the theatre lobby. Giveaway will begin at noon when the box office opens. Toys must be new and unwrapped. One ticket per person. Additional toy donations do not count toward additional tickets.)

Casting and the full creative team for Ionescopade will be announced shortly.

The performance schedule for Ionescopade will be as follows:

From January 23 to February 4: Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 7:00 p.m.; Thursdays and Fridays at 8:00 p.m.; Saturdays at 2:30 and 8:00 p.m. From February 7 to February 26: Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 7:00 p.m.; Thursdays and Fridays at 8:00 p.m., Saturdays at 2:30 and 8:00 p.m.; Sundays at 2:30 p.m.

Tickets are $67.50 and are available online at, by calling (212) 935-5820, or in person at the box office at the York Theatre at Saint Peter’s (enter on 54th Street, just East of Lexington), Monday through Friday (12-6 PM), and are currently on sale for Ionescopade through February 26.

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. Over the past two seasons, York productions and artists have been nominated for a combined 19 Drama Desk, Lucille Lortel, Outer Critics Circle, Drama League, Off Broadway Alliance, AUDELCO and Callaway Awards (and its productions of Yank! A WWII Love Story and Enter Laughing, The Musical have both been announced for Broadway). 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 exclusively 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. Over 35 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 Sweeney Todd and Pacific Overtures have all showcased the importance of the York and its programs.

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