On Jan. 27 and 28, P73 Productions will present a concert reading of The Unknown at Chelsea Studios in New York City. The Unknown has music composed by Shane Rettig with book and lyrics written by Janet Allard.
The musical is a loose adaptation of the 1927 Todd Browning silent film starring Lon Chaney and Joan Crawford. The plot of the suspenseful Warner Bros. film concerns a knife thrower who uses his feet to encircle the woman he loves with blades. She falls in love with him, and because the woman fears the arms of men, the knife thrower must have his arms amputated. The musical uses sultry jazz music to help retain the film's images of sensuality and differs from the film in that it is set in current-day Florida (instead of Spain) in a traveling circus trailer park.
Featured in the cast of The Unknown are: Kenneth L. Marks, Dale Soules, Ron Bagden, Peter Dinklage, Anika Larsen, Mark Dold, Joel Garland, as well as The Unknown Band. Marks is currently playing "Bill Austin" in Mamma Mia!. Soules was seen on Broadway in The Magic Show and Hair. Dinklage has appeared in Beauty and the Beast and Larsen starred in the musical, Rent, on Broadway and on tour. The production will be directed by Jean Randich, who conceived and developed the show along with book author and lyricist, Janet Allard.
Allard received the Playwrights Center's Jerome Fellowship for 2000-2001. A graduate of Yale School of Drama, Allard is also working on a short play commissioned by the Guthrie Theater entitled Incognito. Rettig has designed and composed at the Dallas Theatre Center, Actor's Theatre of Louisville, Yale Repertory Theatre, New York Shakespeare Festival, and the Julliard School.
The concert reading, made possible in part by funding from The New York Times Company Foundation and The Katherine Dalglish Foundation, is industry-only and is not open to the public. For more information, visit http://www.p73.org. -by Chris Reichheld