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Maureen McVerry to Direct Moon's Oh, Kay!


Award-winning actress Maureen McVerry will direct the second musical of 42nd Street Moon's l9th season: George and Ira Gershwin's OH, KAY! (1926). This will serve as her San Francisco directorial debut, with a show she knows well. Her own portrayal of Kay in the San Francisco Shakespeare Festival production of Oh, Kay! in 1993 won her a Theatre Critics' Circle Award.

"I am so excited to reconnect with this wonderful show," McVerry stated. "OH, KAY! has an amazing Gershwin score - great up-tempo songs and gorgeous ballads. And we're doing the original, different from what I did, so it feels new and fresh. Plus, this time I don't have to worry about hitting Kay's high notes!"

"I'm so glad we've got Maureen at the helm of the show," declared Artistic Director, Greg MacKellan. "Who better to bring this 20s delight to life than the lady who was San Francisco's last Kay? I think audiences will be in for a real treat."

Set on a Long Island estate, OH, KAY! focuses on a trio of English bootleggers who land in the middle of romantic intrigue and hi-jinks at the height of Prohibition. The show previews on November 2, 3 & 4, and opens on Saturday, Nov. 5 at 6 pm. It will run through Nov. 20.

Maureen McVerry has been a firm favorite with Moon audiences, having starred in numerous productions including Pardon My English, The Student Gypsy, High Spirits, Wildcat, and Very Warm for May. She has appeared in a variety of plays and musicals throughout the Bay Area, as well as films, television shows, commercials, and industrial videos. For the past ten years she has also been directing a series of full-scale highly successful musicals (Willie Wonka, Seussical the Musical and Guys and Dolls, to name a few) at middle and high schools on the Peninsula.

OH, KAY!, with music by George Gershwin, lyrics by Ira Gershwin, and book by Guy Bolton and P. G. Wodehouse, is based on the play La Presidente by Maurice Hanniquin and Pierre Veber, with the plot revolving around the adventures of the Duke of Durham and his sister, Lady Kay. The show was named for composer Kay Swift, and the leading male character is named after her husband, Jimmy Warburg. It opened on Broadway in 1926, starring Gertrude Lawrence and Victor Moore. The dazzling Gershwin songs include the evergreen standard "Someone to Watch Over Me," "Fidgety Feet," "Clap Yo' Hands," and "Maybe."

Teressa Byrne makes her company debut in the title role of Kay. Her Bay Area credits include Rags (Rebecca Hershkowitz) at Willows Theatre, and several operatic roles with Verismo Opera and West Bay Opera. Tyler McKenna, also performing for the first time on the Moon stage, plays Jimmy Winter. He recently appeared as Brian Ogden in Dead Man's Wake with West Coast Arts Foundation and Sky Masterson in Guys and Dolls at The Mountain Play, where he has played numerous other roles.

San Francisco stage veterans Craig Jessup appears as Judge Appleton, Jackson Davis as Jansen, and Zack Thomas Wilde as Larry Potter. Others in the cast are Lisa Marie Newton, Amie Shapiro, Brian Yates Sharber and Steven Vaught. Additional 42nd Street Moon debuts are being made by Alanna Fox as Polly Ruxton, Kathryn Han as Rosie, Christina Ingram as Hilda, Erica Kimble as Billie and Skye Violet Wilson as Gilda Grant. The creative team assisting Maureen McVerry, will be Musical Director BranDon Adams, with Staci Arriaga providing choreography, and Stephanine Finander providing costumes. Lighting will be designed by Maxx Kurzunski, with sets by Ron Gasparinetti.

42nd Street Moon's 2011-12 Season, Going Places, continues with a visit to World War I England for the American premiere of THREE SISTERS (1934), by Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II. The show will run from November 30 - December 18. The first mainstage show of 2012 is set in Chicago and Miami in 1929. SUGAR (1972), with music by Jule Styne and lyrics by Bob Merrill, is based on Billy Wilder's screenplay, Some Like It Hot. SUGAR will run April 4 - 22, 2012. Finally, 42nd Street Moon journeys to Greece and Crete, for the Kander and Ebb classic, ZORBÁ (1968), which runs May 2 - 20.

42nd Street Moon's highly acclaimed series of "salon evenings" continues at the Alcazar Theatre with THE BEST OF TIMES The Jerry Herman Salon, January 26, 2012 at 7 pm. Jerry Herman's career began as Cole Porter's was ending, and his great songs include "Open a New Window," "Hello, Dolly!," "It Only Takes a Moment," "Mame," "Take Me Back," "It's Today!," "Milk and Honey," "Shalom," "I'll Be Here Tomorrow," and "I Am What I Am."

Tickets to OH, KAY! ranging in price from $20 - $50 may be purchased through the Box Office at 415/255-8207 (Tues. - Fri. from noon to 5 pm), or through the website (no order fees) <> . The Eureka Theatre is located at 215 Jackson Street.

42nd Street Moon celebrates and preserves the art and spirit of the American Musical Theatre, contributing to its evolution and continuing vitality by presenting intimate productions of "Uncommon Musicals" -- classic and rarely performed shows by the great 20th century composers and lyricists. Through productions, educational programs, and community outreach, the company is committed to increasing awareness and appreciation of the rich heritage and cultural perspective of musical theatre and its vast influence on the world stage. Since 1993 the company has staged more than 114 musicals, as well as several revues celebrating the dazzling legacy of the 20th Century's greatest musical theater composers and lyricists.

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