Ella Minnow Pea, a Musical Fable, Gets NYC Reading May 7

News   Ella Minnow Pea, a Musical Fable, Gets NYC Reading May 7 The new musical Ella Minnow Pea, based on the adult fable by Mark Dunn, will be explored in a private Manhattan reading May 7.

Helen Hayes Award winner Joe Calarco directs a cast that includes Joanne Lessner, Anne Letscher, Michael Mahany, Liz McCartney, Nancy Johnston, Chuck Ragsdale, Bob Stoeckle and Tia Speros. The cast totals 20.

The whimsical (and dark) musical has book and lyrics by Scott Burkell and music by Paul Loesel. The Jonathan Larson Award-winning team's previous project was the modern-relationships musical Six of One, seen in presentations by CAP21.

The composer is the reading's musical director.

According to the publisher's notes of the novel, "Ella Minnow Pea is a girl living happily on the fictional island of Nollop off the coast of South Carolina. Nollop was named after Nevin Nollop, author of the immortal pangram, 'The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.' [A pangram is a sentence or phrase that includes all the letters of the alphabet.] Now Ella finds herself acting to save her friends, family, and fellow citizens from the encroaching totalitarianism of the island's Council, which has banned the use of certain letters of the alphabet as they fall from a memorial statue of Nevin Nollop. As the letters progressively drop from the statue they also disappear from the novel. The result is both a hilarious and moving story of one girl's fight for freedom of expression, as well as a linguistic tour de force sure to delight word lovers everywhere."

For more information about the project, e-mail ploesel@nyc.rr.com.