Ergo Theatre Company presents two readings of the new musical at Nola Studios, 2 PM and 7 PM. The readings are open to the public, but reservations are required.
Gemini began at the BMI-Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop, and has a score by composer-lyricist Kevin Carter and a book by original playwright Innaurato and Carter, developed and directed by Ergo's artistic director Robert Jay Cronin. With the blessing of Stephen Schwartz, Cronin created From This Day Forward, with music and lyrics of Schwartz.
Set in the 1970s, Innaurato's comedy-drama takes place in Philadelphia at the 21st birthday party of Francis Geminiani, a Harvard student back home for the summer with his blue-collar family. He is surprised by a visit from his girlfriend Judith and her brother Randy. Francis wrestles with his attraction to both Judith and Randy as well as his fascination for Maria Callas. The play Gemini was originally produced by Circle Repertory Company in 1977 and then moved to Broadway playing 1,778 performances.
As part of this season's Ergonomics Reading Series, Gemini features newcomer Brad Bass as Francis, Denise Noline (Nite Club Confidential, Secrets Every Smart Traveler…) as Bunny, Paul DePasquale (50th Anniversary Guys and Dolls) as Fran, Todd Buonopane (The Butter and Egg Man) as Herschel, Ann Arvia (Les Misérables, Time and Again) as Lucille, Brittany Brown as Judith and Ben Nordstrom as Randy.
Cronin told Playbill On-Line that when Carter first approached Innaurato about a musical version, the playwright said the composer-librettist should start from scratch and treat the work as if it were new. With that in mind, the work focuses more on the trio of friends than the extended family, Cronin said. The readings are 2 PM and 7 PM Feb. 10 at Nola Studios , 250 W. 54th Street, 11th Floor. For reservations, call (212) 501-4780.
The first act of the show had October 2002 readings in Manhattan under Cronin. Ergo Theatre Company is a non profit group in its sixth season of creating, developing, and producing new works for the stage or occasionally breathing new life into the old. The Ergonomics Reading Series, sponsored by the Thomas Pasquenza Memorial Fund, is a semi-annual opportunity to bring together artists of various backgrounds and artistic interests to help further the creative process.
For more information about Ergo or Gemini, visit www.ergotheatre.org.