Monica Patton, seen Off-Broadway in the musical Little Ham, will star as Savannah, the role created on Broadway by Lena Horne. The cast will also include the previously announced Terri White as Grandma with Jim Weaver as Joe Nashua, Glenn Turner as Cicero, Nikki Walker as Ginger, Ricky Smith as Quico, Korey Jackson as Koli and David Staller as the Governor. The ensemble comprises Q. Smith, J.D. Webster, Ty Robinson and Sergia Anderson.
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.
The spring "Musicals in Mufti" series began April 1 with the first collaboration of Alan Menken and the late Howard Ashman, God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater. 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. *
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.