Courtney Balan, Luba Mason Star in Unexpected Joy, New Musical by Side Show’s Bill Russell

Off-Broadway News   Courtney Balan, Luba Mason Star in Unexpected Joy, New Musical by Side Show’s Bill Russell
Lyricist-librettist Russell collaborated with composer Janet Hood on the musical, which officially opens May 3.
Courtney Balan
Courtney Balan

The York Theatre Company, in association with Jim Kierstead, present the New York premiere of Unexpected Joy, which officially opens May 3 following previews that began April 24.

Bill Russell
Bill Russell

The musical features a book and lyrics by Bill Russell (Side Show) and music by Janet Hood (Elegies for Angels, Punks, and Raging Queens). The Off-Broadway production is directed by Amy Anders Corcoran (Escape to Margaritaville) with music direction by Beth Falcone (Les Misérables).

The four-member female cast features Courtney Balan (Falsettos) as Rachel, Allyson Kaye Daniel (Sistas: The Musical) as Lou, Luba Mason (Pretty Filthy) as Joy, and Celeste Rose (Sister Act) as Tamara.

The limited engagement continues through May 20 at the York Theatre Company at Saint Peter’s (entrance on East 54th Street, east of Lexington Avenue).

Unexpected Joy is the story of three generations of female singers, long-held family tensions, and a week together where change is in the air.


The production also has sets by James Morgan, costumes by Matthew Pachtman, lights by Ken Wills, sound by Julian Evans, props by Deb Gaouette, and vocal arrangements by AnnMarie Milazzo. The production stage manager is Julianne Menassian, with assistant stage manager Shanna Allison. Casting is by Stephen DeAngelis.

For ticket information, visit

(Updated May 3, 2018)

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