The staging by Prospect Theater Company (Cara Reichel, producing artistic director; Melissa Huber, managing director) features Seattle actor Eric Ankrim in the title role of Edmund, a struggling young novelist who takes a job tutoring a sullen Manhattan girl. Meredith Bull (a one-time Annie in a national tour) is Sweetie, his pupil; Gayton Scott (Broadway's Gypsy) is Sweetie's mother, Esther; Richard Pruitt (Off-Broadway's Bat Boy) plays Sweetie's father, Richard; Rafael Fetta and Lucy Sorensen are Sean & Hildegarde, figments of Edmund's imagination.
The Tutor is directed by Sarah Gurfield. Ray Fellman music directs, Christine O'Grady is the choreographer, Nick Francone designs the sets, Naomi Wolff is the costume designer, Aaron J. Mason is the lighting designer and Jeffrey Yoshi Lee is the sound designer.
Authors Maryrose Wood (book and lyrics) and Andrew Gerle (music) are three-time winners of the Richard Rodgers Award (administered by the American Academy of Arts and Letters) for The Tutor, which was originally developed when they were writers-in-residence at the Eugene O'Neill Music Theatre Conference.
Prospect's Cara Reichel told Playbill.com, "It is Prospect Theater Company's mission to make connections between theatre's past and its present, in order to build its future. We believe The Tutor is a wonderful example of this meeting of elements — blending the un-ironic, emotional sincerity of good, old-fashioned musical theatre with smart, funny, believable characters who are struggling with problems relevant to a modern audience. The quirky wit and contemporary style of this musical are refreshing and unique. We are thrilled to be able to support the artists involved with the show — who we believe represent the future of American musical theatre."
The Tutor continues to Oct. 2 at 59E59 Theaters (in Theater B). The modern complex is between Madison and Park. *
"When the characters in his novel start to come to life, and his teenage pupil begins to open up, [Edmund's] life takes a surprising turn," according to production notes. "This award-winning musical offers inventive, memorable music, vibrant characters, and way more laughs than taking the S.A.T.!"
Eric Ankrim is a Seattle-based actor/singer whose credits include The Rocky Horror Show, Miss Saigon (5th Avenue Theatre), The Time of Your Life, Rejoice! (Seattle Repertory Theatre), Forever Plaid (Bellvue Civic Theatre), The Secret Garden, Annie (Village Theatre), and various original works.
Performances are Thursdays-Saturdays, Sept. 10-Oct. 1 at 8 PM, with Sunday matinee performances at 2 PM on Sept. 11, 18, 26, and Oct. 2.
There are additional performances on Wednesday Sept. 28 and Saturday Oct. 1 at 2 PM.
Tickets are $15 for adults and $12 for students, and can be purchased in advance by contacting Ticket Central at (212) 479-4200 or by visiting www.TicketCentral.com.
The Tutor received a studio production at the York Theatre in New York, a recent workshop at the Village Theatre in Issaquah, WA, and selections have been heard at the Public Theater and as part of Lincoln Center's American Songbook series. Their award-winning short musical film, "Love, Mom," starring Tony Award-winner Tonya Pinkins and directed by Tony Award-winner Ted Sperling, has been an official selection in four U.S. film festivals this year.