Directed by Clayton Phillips, the readings boast the talents of Matt Cavenaugh (A Catered Affair, Grey Gardens), Karen Ziemba (Curtains, Contact), Michael McCormick (Curtains, The Pajama Game), Mark Lotito (Jersey Boys, Fiddler on the Roof), Megan Sikora (Curtains, Wonderful Town) and Kevyn Morrow (Smokey Joes Café, Dreamgirls). Stephen Purdy is the musical director. Empire was penned by Caroline Sherman and Robert Hull. Described as an "an original, uplifting, big-old-fashioned musical," Empire is "a celebration of the American spirit embodied by those who bravely banded together to build what was then the tallest structure in the world, the Empire State Building. Michael, an architect, hired to build the Empire State building in record time, takes on politicians, deadlines, and a nosy but beautiful reporter, Hildy, dead set on derailing the project. A classic struggle of idealism versus advancement, Empire is filled with romance, dreams, and the struggles that surrounded us when we face a monumental challenge."
Empire premiered at the Hudson Backstage Theatre in Los Angeles in 2003 — earning three Ovation nominations — and was subsequently seen in 2004 at Connecticut's Stamford Center for the Arts.
Ricky Stevens and John O'Boyle are producing the readings.