Tony Award nominees Liz Larsen and Norbert Leo Butz are among performers in a staged reading of the new musical, Feeling Electric, about electro-shock therapy, opening the fall season of Musical Mondays Theater Lab Oct. 7 in Manhattan.
This is the first of four evenings of work from members of the BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theater Workshop. Feeling Electric, by composer Tom Kitt and lyricist-librettist Brian Yorkey, gets two public presentations 5 and 7 PM Oct. 7.
The new musical is said to combine a rock sound with a musical theatre sensibility, telling the story of electro-shock therapy and how it impacts a family.
Larsen (Tony nommed for The Most Happy Fella), Butz (Tony-nommed for Thou Shalt Not) are joined by Greg Naughton (Sh-K-Boom recording artist), Anya Singleton (Lincoln Center's Midsummer Night's Dream, Merkin Hall's Bound for Broadway II) and Ben Schrader (Three Guys Naked 2000 national tour).
Earlier this year, Sh-K-Boom Records presented a concert version of the show at The Cutting Edge in Manhattan. Composer Kitt is a New York musical director and arranger whose credits include An Evening with Mario Cantone, Nothing Like a Dame and An Evening with Comden and Green. He met lyricist-librettist Yorkey while both were attending Columbia University where they wrote for the famed "Varsity Show," birthplace of the collaboration of Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart. Kitt and Yorkey have written four shows together, including Making Tracks, produced in Seattle and released by Sony Music Asia.
Kitt leads the Tom Kitt Band, which headlines at top New York venues. He's musical director and a writer of Debbie Does Dallas Off-Broadway. Yorkey is currently completing lyrics for the musical version of Ang Lee's The Wedding Banquet. Feeling Electric, according to the authors, "is the story of a family's tragedy, a woman's struggle with severe delusional depression, and the life-altering effects her illness and its treatments have on her family. The show uses the languages of rock music to reach the highs and lows of each experience portrayed. This story of one family looks to speak to an entire society determined to treat and cure diseases which may or may not be medical in origin."
Musical Mondays Theater Lab is located at Broadway Theater Institute, 210 W. 50th St. at Broadway, Second Floor. For reservations, call 956-5481, ext. 203. Single admission is $15. Discounts are also available for the four show season, which includes Theory of the Leisure Class (Nov. 4) by Charles Leipart and Richard B. Evans; 5horts (Nov. 18), five 10 minute musicals from the BMI Workshop; and Absolutely Anything (Dec. 2) by Brian Cimmet and Erich Goldstein. A season subscription is $45.
The Broadway Theater Institute is a New York-based not-for-profit organization that "perpetuates, preserves and protects the history of and legacy of live theatre on Broadway." Its CEO is Helen Marie Guditis. Musical Mondays was founded four years at the Century Center for the Performing Arts by producing director Bick Goss. Artistic director is Gwen Arment and executive director is Frank Evans.