I Sing!, the musical about twentysomethings ready to conquer the city after college, gets a star concert performance Oct. 14 as a benefit for the York Theatre Company in Manhattan, to be followed the next day by a studio session to create a marquee-level cast album.
The musical by writers unknown in New York played Off Broadway's Maverick Theatre June 1-Aug. 12, 2001. The starless original cast will be replaced in concert — and for the Jay Records cast album, produced by John Yap — by Broadway's Matt Bogart (Miss Saigon, Smokey Joe's Cafe, Aida), Leslie Kritzer (Paper Mill's Funny Girl), Lauren Kennedy (Side Show, The Last Five Years, Royal National Theatre's South Pacific), Chad Kimball (Into The Woods, Godspell, The Civil War) and Danny Gurwin (The Full Monty, The Scarlet Pimpernel). This cast will record the show the following day. Music direction is by Vadim Feichtner, with new orchestrations by Randy Cohen.
In 2001, Benjamin Salka directed the new work he co wrote with composer Eli Bolin and lyricist Sam Forman. The libretto is by Bolin, Forman and Salka.
The 8 PM 2002 concert takes place in The York Theatre Company's digs at The Theatre at St. Peter's, in the Citigroup Center, 54th Street and Lexington Avenue. Proceeds from the I Sing! concert and album will benefit the company's Janet Hayes Walker Memorial Fund, in support of new works.
General admission tickets to the benefit performance are $75, with a limited number available at $35. Tickets at $200 a piece include priority seating, a champagne reception with the cast following the concert, and a copy of the CD when it becomes available. Call (212) 935-5820 to reserve, or purchase tickets in person at the Box Office in the theatre's lobby, 619 Lexington Avenue, at 54th Street.
In 2001, the show was billed as exploring "the wild discoveries and inevitable losses of being young, vibrant and alive today in New York City." I Sing! followed five Gen Y kids in their twenties and is somewhat inspired by the lives of the twentysomething creative team (including the producers and two actors in the troupe), who attended Northwestern University together.
The original print ads for the show offered smiling faces of its squeaky-clean cast. In later weeks of the run, in a marketing switch, the ads showed the image of a male character in briefs being dominated by a woman tugging at a leash around his neck.
Fresh out of college, the characters "mix and mingle, forming relationships as intimate, intricate, ambivalent and devastating as anything you will ever find in the Big Apple," according to 2001 production notes.
The cast included newcomers Billy Eichner, Jeff Juday, Jodie Langel, Michael Raine and Meredith Zeitlin.
Arik Ahitov, Jeff Beil and Samuel Franco produced. Vadim Feichtner was musical director. Designers were Eric L. Renschler (set), Steven Epstein (costumes) and Ben Stanton (lighting).
—By Kenneth Jones