She's just off the bus from Kansas, and she plans to conquer Broadway.
Sound familiar? That's what the creators of a new musical, Abbey Victoria, are aiming for: An exploration of well-trod theatrical turf, with a comic spin.
Lyricist-librettist Donald Loftus and composer Andrew Sussman will see their developing show in three private industry readings in Manhattan June 28, 29 and 30. Rehearsals for the Equity-approved reading began June 10. Gary Slavin directs and choreographs, and Barbara Anselmi is musical director.
Loftus told Playbill On-Line Abbey Victoria has been extensively rewritten since a 1999 reading in New York and a non-Equity staging in Pennsylvania in 2000. The show is billed as a spoof of musical theatre conventions, focusing on a small-town girl named Henrietta Hackenbush, who names herself after a hotel in Times Square: The Abbey Victoria. Stock characters such as the yearning composer, the rube cowboy-in-the-city, the vicious director and the would-be Rockette are part of the mix.
"It's all done very tongue-in-cheek, with a lot of spoofs of other musicals in it," Loftus said. "We have every musical cliche we could think of." Loftus and Sussman previously collaborated on a musical version of Pollyanna.
Abbey Victoria's cast includes Mamie Parris, Matt Boethin, Kevin Duda, Carey Anderson, Denise Nolin, Kristoffer Lowe, Ben Masur, Dan Matheson MacDonald and Mischa Kischkum, with Rachel Allen, Molly Karlin, Robert Koutras and Jennifer Stephens.
Industry folk interested in attending the reading can call (212) 517-3486 or e-mail email@example.com.
— By Kenneth Jones