Precious Cargo: Orphan Train, the Musical, Gets World Premiere in NYMF Sept. 22-Oct. 1

News   Precious Cargo: Orphan Train, the Musical, Gets World Premiere in NYMF Sept. 22-Oct. 1 Broadway's Pat Birch directs the world premiere of Orphan Train, the new musical about the 19th-century program that relocated New York City kids to the Midwest, Sept. 22-Oct. 1, in the New York Musical Theatre Festival.

Jonathan Stuart Cerullo and NYMF present the new work, penned by Doug Katsaros (music), L.E. McCullough (book) and Michael Berry Greer (lyrics).

Playing in NYMF repertory at the Theatre at St. Clements, Orphan Train "is based on the true life stories of some of the 250,000 children that were abandoned to die on the streets of New York in the late nineteenth century until Charles Loring Brace single-handedly organized a solution that saved hundreds and thousands of lives."

The cast includes Grace Clary, Brian D'Addario, Zoë Raquel, Scott Galina, Danielle Piacentile, Robert Hager, Booth Daniels, Justin R. G. Holcomb, Thomas-David McDonald (as the Rev. Brace), Katie E. Tomlinson, Jerold E. Solomon, Stephanie Hepburn, Jill Melanie Wirth, Michael Berry Greer and Tamara Spiewak.

The two-act Orphan Train takes place 1872-73 in New York City and Bison Falls, Iowa.

According to production notes, "Reverend Brace's program had a stormy start-up as hundreds of children were delivered into safety and comfort while others found misery and peril at the other end of the line. There was never enough money. And there were months when the scandals seemed to by multiplying geometrically. But the Reverend's obsession with the notion that everyone is entitled to an education and a life devoid of terror and starvation manifested itself successfully into a legacy which encompasses today's Children's Aid Society." Director Birch is a two-time Emmy Award-winner and five-time Tony Award nominee.

Composer Katsaros is a Drama Desk nominee for orchestrating Off-Broadway's Altar Boyz. He is a respected dance and vocal arranger who wrote arrangements for Broadway's The Life, and co-starred in Cy Coleman's Exactly Like You at The York Theatre Company, while simultaneously conducting Broadway's Footloose. He also orchestrated Broadway's recent The Rocky Horror Show. He also composed scores for Great Expectations, Elizabeth and Essex the opera Moby Dick, the opening overture sequence for the 2001-03 Tony Awards and served as composer/arranger for Jackie Mason's Broadway show Laughing Room Only.

Theatre at St. Clements is at 423 W. 46th Street. The playing schedule for Orphan Train is Sept. 22 at 8 PM, Sept. 24 at 1 PM, Sept. 28 at 2 PM, Sept. 30 at 9 PM, Oct. 1 at 1 PM and 5 PM. Tickets are $15 and available at www.nymf.org or (212) 352-3101.