Larry Pellegrini, creator of the Off-Broadway and regional phenomenon Tony n' Tina's Wedding, has a new comedy with music that, should upcoming readings go well and a theatre come available, will reach Off Broadway this spring. Titled Blessing in Disguise, the show has a book and lyrics by Pellegrini, who also directs. Jason Howland composed the music for the show, which is billed as a screwball comedy.
River to River Properties International and Five O'clock Shadow productions are producing three industry readings of the piece, Jan. 18, 22 and 23. Invitations, sent out by the Jacksina Company press office, note that, "Some men will do anything for money. Some men will do anything for power. Some men will do anything for a laugh... Some men will do anything to keep it all together. But then...some men will do anything for love. These are the ones in whom we are interested. For they are a blessing in disguise." The invite shows a picture of an upside-down man (cut off below the chest) wearing briefs, high heels and ankle ribbons.
Jeffrey Solis, former managing director of the Vineyard and Atlantic Theatres and former producing director of AMAS and Theatre Off Park, is serving as general manager for the production, which is to be designed by Juan de Armas (costumes), Michael Anania (set) and Edward Pierce (lighting). Solis, also a producer, recently had his eye on the George Street Playhouse's revival of Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill as a possible New York transfer, but those plans fell through (he's currently considering a Delaware Theatre Company production of that Lanie Robertson piece instead).
Cast-members playing the multi-ethnic roles in the readings of Blessing in Disguise include Patrick Quinn, Caesar Samayoa, Alvin Crawford, Jeffrey Drew, Andrew Pang, Gabriel Hernandez, James Grimaldi and Dan Grimaldi, the latter playing the owner of the seedy nightclub where the play takes place.
— By David Lefkowitz