Awakening Reading, with Murney, Howard, Sullivan and Testa, Presented Jan. 11

News   Awakening Reading, with Murney, Howard, Sullivan and Testa, Presented Jan. 11 A by-invitation-only developmental reading of Awakening: A New Musical is being presented in Manhattan Jan. 11.
Julia Murney
Julia Murney

Directed by Jen Bender with musical direction by Christopher D. Littlefield, the starry cast features Julia Murney (Wicked), Lisa Howard (The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee), Patrick Ryan Sullivan (A Perfect Crime), Aaron Ramey (Curtains), Charlie Brady (The Burnt Part Boys) and Mary Testa (Xanadu). The company also includes Tiffan Borelli, Nick Cearley, Michael D. Galyon, Tim Hausmann, Carrie Love, Christine Paterson, Danny Rothman and Morgan Springer. Based on the novella by Kate Chopin, Awakening features music by J. Oconer Navarro and lyrics by Joel B. New; the duo collaborated on the show's book.

Set in 1899 Louisiana, Awakening, according to press notes, "tells the story of Edna Pontellier, a young mother of two and the wife of a successful New Orleans businessman. While the family is vacationing at a seaside resort, Edna becomes acquainted with Robert Lebrun, a younger man who sparks feelings that Edna had forgotten. When she returns to the city, Edna throws off the trappings of her old life – devotion to family, attention to societal expectations, and adherence to tradition – to explore her own wants, interests, and desires. But her independence comes with a price."

The musical was originally developed at the Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program of the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University.