The troubled life of Abraham Lincoln's wife, Mary Todd, is the focus of a new musical, The Strange Case of Mary Lincoln, getting a free public reading Jan. 3-6 at the York Theatre Company's space in midtown Manhattan.
The new musical is by June Bingham (book) and Carmel Own (book and lyrics). Darren R. Cohen is musical director. Richard Sabellico (who recently helmed Goodspeed Musicals' Dear World) directs a company that includes Melissa Hart as Mary Todd, Mark Jacoby (Show Boat, Ragtime) as Lincoln, Tony Lawson, Miles Purinton, Bernie Sheredy, Jane Strauss and Terri White (Barnum).
"This drama," according to production notes, "at last portrays Mary as she probably was: feisty, bright, attractive, cultured, warm witty, and capable of abrasiveness.There is no doubt that Mary had a temper, but Lincoln, moody, secretive, and often depressed, was not easy to be married to."
Unlike "industry readings," which are closed to the general public, this reading is one of many sponsored by the York for the general public, offering a first look at a developing work.
The York presents at St. Peter's Theatre, in the Citigroup Center, 619 Lexington Ave. at 54th Street in Manhattan. Performances are 3 PM Jan. 3, 8 PM Jan. 4, 3 PM Jan. 5, and 11 AM Jan. 6. For reservations, call (212) 935-5824, ext. 25. — By Kenneth Jones