Harmony, Kansas, Musical About Gay Men's Chorus in the Heartland, Gets Reading With Zak Resnick

News   Harmony, Kansas, Musical About Gay Men's Chorus in the Heartland, Gets Reading With Zak Resnick
 
Harmony, Kansas, the new musical about a gay men's chorus that forms in rural Kansas, gets an invitation-only Manhattan reading Feb. 22. Jonathan Rayson, Zak Resnick, Chris Hoch, Howie Michael Smith and Nick Cearley are among its players.

Zak Resnick
Zak Resnick

The original musical has music by Anna K. Jacobs (POP!) and book and lyrics by Bill Nelson (Bill Nelson's All-Male Revue). The reading is directed by Richard Biever, artistic director of Singing OnStage Productions, the group that produced a reading of Marvin Harmlisch and Howard Ashman's Smile in fall 2010.

Here's how the company bills the show: "With a lively, soulful score, Harmony, Kansas depicts the birth of a little gay men's chorus in rural Kansas. We follow Heath, a gay farmer who's making his way in a rural community where homogeneity rules. When his city-born partner, Julian, talks him into joining a spirited group of gay guys who meet once a week to sing, Heath discovers a love for making music and a kinship he didn't expect. But his world is turned upside down when the group decides to perform in public, threatening everything that matters to him, most of all the life he has made with the man he loves."

The reading cast includes Zak Resnick as Heath; Doug Kreeger as his partner Julian; Howie Michael Smith as Wiley, the choir director; Bruce Warren as Darrell; Jonathan Rayson as Kent; Chris Hoch as Brigg; Nick Reynolds as Green Jello; Nick Cearley as DJ, the 17-year-old; and Bryan Scott Johnson as the senior member, Fuzz.

Lynne Shankel (Cry-Baby, Summer of 42, Vanities) is the music director, and David Apichell is stage manager.

Singing OnStage solicited submissions for readings in fall 2010. "We received well over 60 scripts," Biever said in a statement. "We were overwhelmed by the response. Although we are pursuing a number of submissions, we are thrilled to be the first to bring Harmony, Kansas to life. It is a unique, funny, well-crafted, and very timely show." The reading is by invitation only and will take place at 3:30 PM Feb. 22. For information, contact harmonyksreading@gmail.com.

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