York to Present 'Enter Laughing' and 'Vaudville Man'

The YORK THEATRE COMPANY (James Morgan, Producing Artistic Director) is proud to announce two new shows to kick off its fall line-up first up will be the revival of ENTER LAUGHING, a hit from York's Musical in Mufti Series last fall and first seen on Broadway in 1976 as So Long 174th Street, starring Robert Morse. Performances begin September 3rd.

Next up beginning November 7th will be Vaudeville Man!, a new musical based on the life of legendary eccentric tap star Jack Donahue. Vaudeville Man! has its world premiere at last year's NY Musical Theatre Festival under the title, Mud Donahue and Son.  All performances will be at The Theatre at Saint Peter's (54th Street just East of Lexington Avenue).

ENTER LAUGHING has a book by Fiddler on The Roof's Joseph Stein, music and lyrics by "Taxi" creator Stan Daniels, and is based Stein's play from Carl Reiner's novel. Together, Stein and Reiner collaborated on the screenplay for the successful movie version.  Play, novel, movie and musical all tell the hilarious story of young aspiring actor David Kolowitz in 1930s New York City as he tries to free himself from overly protective parents and girlfriends, all the while struggling to meet the challenge of an immense lack of talent. Stuart Ross directs.  The cast will be announced shortly.

Joseph Stein won the Tony Award and the Drama Critics Circle Award for best musical for Fiddler on the Roof. His other musicals include Zorba (Tony nomination, Drama Critics Circle Award), The Bakers Wife (Olivier Award), Rags (Tony nomination), Irene, Juno, Take Me Along, The King of Hearts, and So Long, 174th Street. He also co-authored, with Alan Jay Lerner, the musical Carmelina and, with Will Glickman, the shows Plain and Fancy and Mr. Wonderful. His plays are Enter Laughing, Before the Dawn and (with Will Glickman) Mrs. Gibbons' Boys.

Stan Daniels won eight Emmys during his long television career, including three as co-creator and executive producer of "Taxi" and three as a writer on "The Mary Tyler Moore Show." He also wrote for The Dean Martin Show, The Bill Cosby Show and Phyllis.

Stuart Ross wrote and directed the long-running musical Forever Plaid. Stuart also created and directed its two sequels, The Sound Of Plaid, and Plaid Tidings.  Mr. Ross wrote the book and co-wrote the lyrics for the Public Theatre's Radiant Baby directed by George C. Wolfe (Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, Lucille Lortel Award nominations, Best Musical).  On Broadway Stuart co-wrote the book (with Barry Keating) to the Tony nominated musical Starmites as well as The Radio City Music Hall Easter Show. Off-Broadway he wrote A Leap Of Faith (a one-woman show for Faith Prince), The Heebie Jeebies, Not-So-New Faces, Tea With Bea and Fun With Dick And Jane: The Musical.

Following Enter Laughing will be the Off-Broadway premiere of the new musical, Vaudeville Man!, the story of a boy born to dance and the mother who fought to keep him home! Karen Murphy (featured in The Visit at Signature in Arlington) and Shonn Wiley (soon to be seen in No No Nanette at Encores!) star in a musical based on the life of legendary eccentric tap dancer Jack Donahue (played by Ray Bolger on film) and his mother—who fights to keep her son off the wicked vaudeville stage. This "Perfect Pitch Musical" (NYTheatre.com) was first seen in York's Developmental Reading Series. As Mud Donahue & Son, it was the break-out hit of last season's NY Musical Theater Festival, tap-dancing its way into the hearts of audiences and critics alike.  York and producer Melanie Herman—the team behind The Musical of Musicals (The Musical!)—reunite to bring you what Talkin' Broadway proclaimed "a tour de force."

Vaudeville Man! has a book by Jeff Hochhauser, music by Bob Johnston, and lyrics by Johnston and Hochhauser, based on Jack Donahue's  Letters of a Hoofer to his Ma.  Lynne Taylor-Corbett will direct and choreograph with Shonn Wiley serving as co-choreographer. Vaudeville Man! will have scenic design by James Morgan, costume design by David Toser, and lighting design by Jason Kantrowitz. Douglas Oberhamer will serve as Musical Director.

Karen Murphy makes a dynamic impact in every avenue of entertainment she performs: on Broadway (The Tony-Award winning 42nd Street and Titanic, A Christmas Carol at Madison Square Garden, King David at the opening of the New Amsterdam Theatre), Off-Broadway (Zombie Prom - in which she won both Dramalogue and Encore Awards, Jerry Herman's Showtune, Forbidden Broadway, L'Amour, the Merrier! and Hysterial Blindness), or her favorite - cabaret (The Rainbow Room with Steve Ross), Dramalogue award-winning Torch Goddess, and her Bistro-Award winning show for her NY debut.

Shonn Wiley's credits include recent production of Stairway To Paradise, Encores! '07; Broadway:  Dracula (Jack Seward); 42nd Street (revival); Never Gonna Dance (Workshop); Off-Broadway:  Thrill Me, On A Clear Day…(Encores!) The View From Here (cast album); Regional: Ragtime (Younger Brother, Paper Mill), Secret Garden; Little Night Music, Big River, I Love A Piano, Forever Plaid, Camille Claudel, Crazy For You; TV & film: "Guiding Light" and the upcoming feature Tiny Dancer.   Next up:  the film, Code Name: Teleforce (2008). 

Bob Johnston's and Jeff Hochhauser's credits include Anne & Gilbert, written with Jeff Hochhauser and Nancy White, based on the novels by LM Montgomery, which just completed its third summer on Prince Edward Island as well as in Ontario at the Thousand Islands Playhouse; Theda Bara & The Frontier Rabbi, written with Jeff Hochhauser was produced at the York. It has also had productions Off-Broadway, in Chicago, Hollywood, FL and at the Cohoes Music Hall in Cohoes NY.

Lynne Taylor-Corbett was nominated for two Tony Awards for direction and choreography of Broadway's Swing! and for two American Theatre Wing Star Awards for its National Tour. She also choreographed Broadway's Chess and Titanic.  Off-Broadway, she directed Theda Bara and the Frontier Rabbi, Marie Jones's Women on the Verge… at Irish Rep, "Darlene Love: Portrait of a Singer" at the Bottom Line, "20th Century Pop" at Rainbow and Stars, and directed of the Korean import, Cookin' at Minetta Lane Theatre.  She directed Your Simone at Culture Project and Natural Selection at the Fringe Festival. Her dance works have been commissioned by New York City Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, Hubbard Street Dance Company, and companies throughout the world. Her films include Footloose, My Blue Heaven, Vanilla Sky and Bewitched.

Melanie Herman began her producing career in the 1970's as founder and artistic director of The Bank – a groundbreaking off-Broadway and innovative multimedia company in Brooklyn Heights.  Among her many early credits, she served as associate producer Off-Broadway of Candaules Commissioner, which launched her commercial producing career. During her early years as an emerging producer, Ms. Herman was cited by renowned journalist Vincent Canby on the front page of the Arts and Leisure section of The New York Times, exclaiming "…Brooklyn banners waived high for the youngest producer emerging in the Broadway and off-Broadway scene!" It was at the York Theater where Ms. Herman first discovered a new, original musical comedy The Musical Of Musicals (The Musical!). After a sold-out run at The York, she re-opened it at the prestigious New World Stages, garnering unanimous critical acclaim and ran for a total of almost 2 years. Since then, it has had numerous productions across the country, with 25 additional productions slated for the near future. Most recently, Melanie successfully co-produced the West End premiere of The Musical Of Musicals (The Musical!) to unanimous raves, as well as the recent acclaimed London revival of Side By Side By Sondheim.

The York Theatre Company is located at Saint Peter's Theatre in Citigroup Center at 619 Lexington Avenue. Tickets are available now, by calling 212-868-4444. For more information, check out www.yorktheatre.org



Related Articles

More Hot Stories For You