Barnum's White to Star in "Mufti" Jamaica

News   Barnum's White to Star in "Mufti" Jamaica Terri White, who created the role of Joice Heth in the original Broadway production of Barnum, will head the cast of the "Musicals in Mufti" presentation of Jamaica at the York Theatre Company.

Jamaica, which boasts music by Harold Arlen and book and lyrics by E.Y. (Yip) Harburg, is being presented as part of the Harold Arlen Centennial Celebration. Jeff Hochhauser has adapted the book for the Mufti staging, based on Harburg's original.

Jamaica opened in 1957 at Broadway's Imperial Theatre. Lena Horne starred in the production, which also featured Ossie Davis. The musical — featuring direction by Harold Scott and musical supervision by Jack Lee — will be presented at the York April 8 at 8 PM, April 9 at 2:30 and 8 PM and April 10 at 2:30 and 7:30 PM.

Terri White has been seen on Broadway in Barnum, Ain't Misbehavin' and Welcome to the Club. Additional Jamaica casting is expected shortly.

The spring "Musicals in Mufti" series begins April 1 with the first collaboration of Alan Menken and the late Howard Ashman, God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater. As previously announced, the Rosewater cast will feature Anastasia Barzee as Sylvia, John Ellison Conlee as Eliot, Wally Dunn as McAllister, Dann Fink as Jerome/Fireman/Sgt. Boyle, Howard Kaye as Delbert/Fireman, Beth Leavel as Mary/Blanche/Jane/Nun, Anthony Newfield as Senator Rosewater, Patti Perkins as Diana/Foundation Employee, David Pittu as Mushari, J. Robert Spencer as Charley/Arthur/Fireman, Jamison Stern as Noyes/Fireman/Fred, Amanda Watkins as Dawn/Hostess/Caroline and Lee Zarrett as Psychiatrist/Fireman/Writer/Alien.

The season will conclude with Jule Styne (music), E. Y. Harburg (lyrics) and Nunnally Johnson's (book) Darling of the Day. The musical is based on the Arnold Bennett novel "Buried Alive" and concerns the story of Priam Farll, "a painter who sees an opportunity to duck out of London's stifling high society by assuming the identity of his recently deceased valet." Patricia Routledge won a Tony Award for her performance in the original 1968 Broadway production. The Mufti staging will feature an adaptation by Erik Haagensen. Darling of the Day was first presented by the "Mufti" series in 1998; it is being repeated this season in honor of the Jule Styne Centennial. Performance dates are April 15 at 8 PM, April 16 at 2:30 and 8 PM and April 17 at 2:30 and 7:30 PM. Tickets for all shows are priced at $35 and are available by calling (212) 868-4444 or by visiting www.smarttix.com. For more information go to www.yorktheatre.org.

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The "Musicals in Mufti" series presents musicals in staged concert settings. "Mufti" means "in street clothes, without the usual trappings." Audience discussions follow the matinee performances.

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