The Golden State, a new musical about the loss of California's agrarian life in the name of progress -- namely, the railroads -- will be heard July 24 in the CAP 21 Monday Night Reading Series in Manhattan.
Drawn from the Frank Norris novel, "The Octopus," inspired by true events in the late 19th century, the musical has book and lyrics by Tim McCanna and music by Mike Shaieb.
The writers met in the New York University Tisch Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program and began the project there, graduating in 1999.
Set in 1897 during a massive wheat harvest, the musical tells of a community of California ranchers that puts its faith in one man who will lead them in a battle against the railroad.
The free reading at 7 PM July 24 is open to the public and will feature a cast including John Dossett, Anne Runolfsson, Bill Ernst, Margaret Gates, David Elledge, Roger Dewitt, Joe Beredino, James Sasser, Pete Yonka, Mike Babel, Mary Lee Graffeo, Ginny Pike, Farah Alvin, Gabe Washam and Brent Lord. Lori Steinberg directs. Vadim Feichtner musical directs. The reading is at CAP21, at 18 W. 18th Street, Sixth Floor, Studio One. Reservations are suggested. Call (212) 807 0202.
Collaborative Arts Project 21, Inc. (CAP21) is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the creation of new work, the development of new talent and the building of new audiences.
According to the mission statement on the group's web site (www.cap21.org) CAP21's goal "is to create programs to achieve substantial and lasting contributions to the future of the arts. Every CAP21 endeavor embraces the following values: collaboration; an exchange between the emerging and accomplished artist; a nurturing support system; an infusion of the traditional with the innovative, and a commitment to serving and cultivating a diverse audience."
Readings, workshops, studio availability, classes and even full productions are part of the CAP21 mix.
-- By Kenneth Jones