Winner of the 2003 Richard Rodgers Development Award and the 2003 Ed Kleban Lyricist Award, the musical ode to the Garden State features the music of Stephen Weiner with book and lyrics by Susan DiLallo. Director-choreographer Patricia Birch (Grease, Parade) directs the new work. Once Upon a Time in New Jersey, set in 1950s Hoboken, centers on the lovelorn dreamer Vinnie. The deli-worker longs for his co-worker who is in love with his good-looking but no-good cousin Rocco. Finding himself the target of a hitman, Rocco convinces Vinnie to act as him and confusion and comedy ensue.
Orfeh (Footloose, Saturday Night Fever) and Melanie Vaughan (Imaginary Friends, Parade) are featured among the cast that includes Erin Annarella, Todd Buonopane (The Butter and Egg Man), Nick Cavarra (The Scarlet Pimpernel), Funda Duval (Debbie Does Dallas), Alayna Gallo, Brian Munn, Robert Neary (Smokey Joe's Cafe), Ginette Rhodes, Richard Vida (Little Ham) and Wayne Wilcox.
Once Upon a Time in New Jersey plays at The Directors Company Theatre 3, at 311 West 43rd St. Admission is free. For reservations and more information, call (212) 246-5877.