Blind Lemon Blues, which is based on more than 60 Blind Lemon Jefferson songs, will be presented by the Off-Broadway company in the fall.
Blues was created by Alan Govenar and Akin Babatunde, has musical arrangements by Akin Babatunde, Cavin Yarbrough and Alisa Peoples Yarbrough, and is directed and choreographed by Babatunde.
The musical, according to production notes, is "set in New York City in 1948 at the last recording session of the legendary Huddie Ledbetter, better known as Leadbelly, and combines elements of traditional blues, gospel, rhythm and blues, soul, doo-wop, and rap to evoke the enduring legacy of Blind Lemon and his contemporaries Blind Willie Johnson, Lillian Glinn, Hattie Hudson, Bobbie Cadillac, Lillian Miller and Leadbelly himself." Casting will be announced shortly.
February 2010 at the York will see the Off-Broadway premiere of Yank! The New Musical, which has music by Joseph Zellnik with book and lyrics by David Zellnik. Cast and creative team will be announced at a later time.
Yank!, according to the York, "tells the story of Stu, a scared Midwestern kid who gets drafted for World War II in 1943, and becomes a photographer for Yank Magazine, the journal 'for and by the servicemen.' Yank! has a score that pays homage to the 1940s and explores what it means to be a man, and what it is to fall in love and struggle." Tickets for both shows will be available soon by calling (212) 935-5820 or by visiting www.yorktheatre.org. All performances will be at the company's home at The Theatre at Saint Peter's (54th Street, just east of Lexington Avenue).