Loving Leo Musical Gets Upstate NY Reading With Alvin, Winther, Burns and MacShane

News   Loving Leo Musical Gets Upstate NY Reading With Alvin, Winther, Burns and MacShane Loving Leo, a new musical about a married couple re-examining their lives after taking in an elderly relative, will be read at Adirondack Theatre Festival July 25-26 in Glens Falls, NY.

Farah Alvin
Farah Alvin Photo by Aubrey Reuben

This will mark the first time writers Sara Cooper and Zach Redler will hear their work in front of an audience. The crowd is invited to provide feedback.

The creators describe Loving Leo as "a coming-of-age story for a couple in their 50s," according to ATF notes. "David and Lena, a 50-something childless couple take in Lena's step-father, Leo, after the death of her mother. Leo's presence forces the couple to confront questions and issues concerning their marriage and the choices they have made in their lives — both individually and as a couple."

Cooper and Redler are spending a week in the Adirondacks working on their latest draft. Cooper penned book and lyrics, and Redler wrote the music. Both are graduates of NYU-Tisch's Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program.

Their previous musical, The Memory Show, is receiving its world premiere at Barrington Stage Company in Pittsfield, MA.

The reading of Loving Leo will be directed by ATF producing artistic director Mark Fleischer with musical direction by Broadway veteran Lon Hoyt (Hairspray, Hair, Footloose). Performers will be Michael Winther, Farah Alvin, Michele MacShane and Kate Burns. Fleischer first met this writing team last year at the National Alliance for Musical Theatre's annual conference when he saw a reading of The Memory Show. "I was blown away by their work, and while I couldn't offer them a production, I knew this was an emerging team that deserved support," he said in a statement. "So I asked them if they had another show in development. They pitched Loving Leo to me and I invited [them] to participate in ATF's play-in-progress slot. I believe that ATF is not just seeking out shows, but seeking relationships with writers. This reading of Zach and Sara's new project is an example of that commitment."

This same reading process was used in 2009 for Hal Corley's Brush the Summer By, which received its world premiere this summer at ATF. The feedback from the audience was taken seriously by both Fleischer and Corley and used to further develop the script before production.

The script-in-hand readings are at 8 PM at ATF's Charles R. Wood Theater, 207 Glen Street in downtown Glens Falls.

Tickets for the Loving Leo readings are $23 (including service fees) and can be found by calling (518) 874-0800 or visiting ATFestival.org.

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