York Theatre Company's 'Musicals In Mufti' Series Will Celebrate The Alan Jay Lerner Centennial

By: Oct. 05, 2018
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Celebrating the centennial of Alan Jay Lerner, The York Theatre Company (James Morgan, Producing Artistic Director; Evans Haile, Executive Director), dedicated to the development of new musicals and rediscovery of musical gems from the past, is proud to announce that its acclaimed Musicals in Mufti series will celebrate the work of the legendary librettist and lyricist Alan Jay Lerner, whose hundredth birthday was August 31, 2018. The series honors one of the creators behind such classics as Brigadoon, Camelot, Love Life, and My Fair Lady.

The 2019 Winter Musicals of Mufti series celebrates Lerner with a look at three of his musicals: Carmelina (January 26 - February 3, 2019), Dance a Little Closer (February 9 - 17, 2019), and Lolita, My Love (February 23 - March 3, 2019) at The York Theatre Company at Saint Peter's (entrance on East 54th Street, just east of Lexington Avenue).

These musical theatre gems, performed in a simply-staged, book-in-hand concert format, are part of the Muftis' twenty-fifth historic year of presenting shows from the past that deserve a second look. Mufti means "in street clothes, without the trappings associated with a full production."

Opening the 2019 winter series is Carmelina, with music by Burton Lane, lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner, additional lyrics by Barry Harman, and book by Joseph Stein and Alan Jay Lerner. After previous sold-out Mufti runs in 1996 and 2006, the delightful Carmelina makes its return to The York. In a picturesque Italian village, Carmelina has raised her teenaged daughter to believe her father was an American who died heroically in World War II-all the while collecting child support checks from three American soldiers, each of whom thinks he is the girl's father. Complications arise when all three soldiers show up at the same time for a reunion. Even though the original Broadway production only ran for 17 performances, the lush Lerner and Lane score received a 1979 Tony Award nomination for Best Score. The version of Carmelina presented here is the revised version created by Joseph Stein, Burton Lane, and Lerner protégé Barry Harman for The York in 1996, then further revised for a second Mufti presentation ten years later. Performances begin Saturday afternoon, January 26, 2019 and continue for 11 performances only through February 3, 2019. Opening Night will be Sunday evening, January 27, 2019 at 7:00 p.m.

The second show in the series is the 1983 Broadway musical Dance a Little Closer with book and lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner and music by Charles Strouse, based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning play Idiot's Delight by Robert E. Sherwood. On a New Year's Eve "in the avoidable future," the guests at the grand Alpine Barclay Palace Hotel find themselves in the midst of a potential nuclear Armageddon. Against this background, a washed-up lounge singer romances a phony English aristocrat. The original Broadway cast included Len Cariou, Liz Robertson (the eighth and final Mrs. Lerner), George Rose, Brent Barrett, and Alyson Reed. After 25 previews and one opening night, the show closed abruptly. Despite its rocky history, however, this legendary piece of musical theatre history left behind a cast album revealing a score with some of Lerner's most memorable and romantic lyrics as well as some of Strouse's most sweeping and dynamic melodies. Performances begin Saturday afternoon, February 9, 2019 and continue for 11 performances only through February 17, 2019. Opening Night will be Sunday evening, February 10, 2019 at 7:00 p.m.

Closing out the popular Mufti series celebration is Lolita, My Love, with music by John Barry and book and lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner, based on the 1955 novel Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov. The musical, which originally closed in Boston in 1971, closely follows the legendary novel: a college professor named Humbert Humbert becomes fascinated by and starts to seduce his landlady's young daughter, Dolores "Lolita" Haze. The fascination quickly turns into obsession, and soon a whirlwind race across the US begins. "For this Mufti presentation, Erik Haagensen (Darling of the Day and The Day Before Spring in Mufti) has created a new script, edited together from Lerner's assorted drafts, each vastly different from the others. Haagensen has stated that "Now audiences will have a chance to hear Lolita on stage and decide for themselves what they think of this unquestionably daring musical that begins as a black comedy and ends in tragedy." Nabokov himself had said "Mr. Lerner is most talented and an excellent classicist. If you have to make a musical of 'Lolita,' he is the man to do it". Performances are set to begin Saturday afternoon, February 23, 2019 and continue for 11 performances only through March 3, 2019. Opening Night will be Sunday evening, February 24, 2019 at 7:00 p.m.

SPECIAL MUFTI SERIES EVENTS: Several events surrounding the Lerner celebration, will include a concert of classic Lerner songs, The Songs of Alan Jay Lerner, February 25, 2019, at 7:00 p.m., and two multimedia events presented by theater historian Charles Troy: The Creation of My Fair Lady set for Monday, February 4, 2019 at 7:00 p.m. and The Creation of Camelot on Wednesday, February 6, 2019 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 2019 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 Alan Jay Lerner" 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.

The York Theatre Company offers the York! Membership Program, an exclusive membership package for as low as $75.00-with elite benefits that include up to 35% off tickets to York Theatre Productions, exclusive Member pre-sale opportunities, 50% off on all lobby concessions, 20% off on all lobby merchandise, discounts at local restaurants and parking garages, in addition to special Member-only receptions. The York also offers a York Plus! Membership Program with additional perks, including complimentary tickets to Mainstage productions and invites to several VIP-only presentations throughout the season.

York Memberships can be purchased online at www.yorktheatre.org/membership, or by visiting The York Theatre Company Box Office (Citicorp Building, entrance on East 54th Street, just east of Lexington Avenue), or by calling the Box Office at (212) 935-5820 during regular business hours (Monday through Friday, 12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.).

York Theatre Company Gift Cards are available for any production during the 2018-2019 season by visiting the box office or calling (212) 935-5820, or online at www.yorktheatre.org

For additional information, please visit www.yorktheatre.org

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 almost 50 years, 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 The 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, and Rothschild & Sons. The critically acclaimed musical Yank!, which received its Off-Broadway debut at The York in 2010, recently opened to rave reviews in London as did York's Rothschild & Sons. The hit musical Cagney received its York premiere in 2015 and subsequently transferred to The Westside Theatre for over 15 months. Desperate Measures, York's hit musical from 2017, received multiple awards including "Best Musical" from The Outer Critics Circle and The Off-Broadway Alliance and reopened at New World Stages on May 3, 2018; a new block of tickets has just been released through the end of the year. Unexpected Joy, which played at The York last spring has just completed performances at London's Southwark Playhouse.