This is another collaboration by the prolific pair — composer-lyricist-librettist Peter Mills and director Cara Reichel — whose works include the Twelfth Night-inspired Illyria. That earlier show is heard on a new cast album that represents a December 2004 Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey production. (Visit www.ShakespeareNJ.org for CD information.)
The Pursuit of Persephone — music and lyrics by Mills, book by Mills and Reichel — plays the Connelly Theatre in the East Village. The musical, directed by Reichel, is billed this way: "A world on the cusp of chaos in the First World War. A brilliant and talented young man swept into the hierarchy of Ivy League society. A beautiful and elusive debutante, forever out of reach. Inspired by the true story of F. Scott Fitzgerald and Fitzgerald's ground-breaking novel 'This Side of Paradise,' The Pursuit of Persephone is a new musical by Prospect's resident artist Peter Mills and artistic director Cara Reichel, whose former collaborations include The Alchemists, Lonely Rhymes, The Flood, The Taxi Cabaret and Illyria."
The cast includes Chris Fuller and Jessica Grové as the young F. Scott Fitzgerald and his love interest, Ginvera King. The ensemble cast includes David Abeles, William Brock, Cheryl Dowling, Benjamin Eakeley, Matt Gibson, Piper Goodeve, Julie Lachance, Maclain Looper, Jaye Maynard, Shannon McShane, Brandon Parrish, Dominic Roberts, Melissa Robinette, Robby Sharpe, Courter Simmons and Daniel Yates.
Show times are Thursdays-Saturdays at 8 PM, Sundays at 3 PM with two additional performances on May 2 at 8 PM and May 18 at 8 PM. The Connelly Theatre, 220 E. 4th Street, between Avenues A and B. Tickets are $15 for adults and $12 for students, and can be purchased in advance at (212) 352-3101. For more information, visit www.prospecttheater.org.
Following the 3 PM performance of The Pursuit of Persephone on May 15 there will be a talk-back discussion, featuring the creative team of the show and special guest, Dr. James West III, author of the new book, "The Perfect Hour," which documents the historical romance between F. Scott Fitzgerald and debutante Ginevra King.