Birds of Paradise, an Off-Broadway musical flop by David Evans and Winnie Holtzman (Wicked), will get another chance in a free reading at Off-off-Broadway's Chashama Sept. 30. The show, directed by Mark Cannistraro, features Stephen Hope (The Scarlet Pimpernel), DB Bonds (Les Miserables, The Last Five Years) and Mac and Bistro Award winner Georgia Osbourne.
Birds of Paradise was a flop when it premiered in 1987, but it was released as a original cast recording. The plot of the show is based around a musical version of The Seagull that's set in outer space and seems to be the perfect show for the creator's community theatre to perform. A successful, but troubled actor returns home to direct it and what evolves is another musical retelling of The Seagull set around a musical retelling of The Seagull.
Donna Murphy and John Cunningham were featured in the original cast. Songs in the score, written by composer Evans and lyricist Holzman, include "So Many Nights," "Every Day Is Night," "Somebody," "Coming True," "It's Only a Party," "She's Out There," "Birds of Paradise," "Imagining You," "Penguins Must Sing," "You're Mine," "Things I Can't Forget," "After Opening Night," "Chekhov" and "Something New."
Completing the Sept. 30 reading cast are Jane Brockman (Madison Square Garden's A Christmas Carol), Valerie Hill (Off-Broadway's Fairy Tales), Davi Michael Roth and Jackie Comisar.
Tickets are free, but should be reserved by calling (212) 206-1515. Chashama is located at 135 West 42nd Street. — By Christine Ehren