Musicals in Mufti, the York Theatre Company's acclaimed concert series celebrating Broadway's "underappreciated" musicals, will begin its new season of three musicals by Richard Rodgers on April 5.
First up in the "Mufti" series — meaning "in street clothes, without the usual trappings" — is the Richard Rodgers-Lorenz Hart musical By Jupiter, which originally played Broadway's Shubert in 1942 in a production directed by George Abbott. Jupiter will play five performances at the York Theatre from April 5 through April 7. Ted Sod directs a cast that comprises Kevin Cahoon, Klea Blackhurst, Suzzanne Douglas, Stephen Zinnato, Merwin Goldsmith, Mary Bond Davis, Mary Gordon Murray, Tim Cain, Lesley Blumenthal, Colleen Hawks and Daniel Frank Kelley.
The Richard Rodgers musical Androcles & the Lion, which features both music and lyrics by the late Rodgers, is the second Mufti offering and will run April 12 to April 14. Directed by Jay Binder, this musical was written for a television production in 1967 and featured an adaptation of the George Bernard Shaw classic by Peter Stone. The York Theatre staging marks the world stage premiere of this gentle comedy about a tailor and the lion he befriends. At this point, the company includes Peter Bartlett as Caesar, Gina Ferrall as Megaera, Martin Vidnovic as Captain, Teri Hansen as Lavinia, Everett Bradley as the Lion with Ed Staudenmayer, David Costabile and Michael Mastro.
The final offering of the Musicals in Mufti season is Rodgers and Hammerstein's ode to The Great White Way, Me & Juliet (April 19 21). Michael Montel directs a cast that features Perry Laylon Ojeda as Larry, Jessica-Snow Wilson as Jeanie, Danica Connors as Betty, Tim Warmen as Bob with Shana Mahoney, Mark Aldrich and Montego Glover.
The musical premiered on Broadway in 1953 and examined the lives of theatre folk and the staff of a Broadway musical. The underappreciated score includes such tunes as "I'm Your Girl," "It Feels Good," "It's Me" and a title also found in The Producers, "Keep It Gay." All three shows run five performances, Fridays at 8 PM, Saturdays at 2:30 and 8 PM and Sundays at 2:30 and 7:30 PM. The York Theatre is located at St. Peter's in the Citigroup Center (619 Lexington Avenue at 54th Street). All tickets are $30 and are available through Telecharge (212) 239-6200 or by calling the theatre's box office at (212) 935-5820. (Audience discussions will follow matinee performances.)
—By Andrew Gans