Rachel York is War Bride in Texas Staging of Summer of '42, With Added Song, Oct. 7-12

News   Rachel York is War Bride in Texas Staging of Summer of '42, With Added Song, Oct. 7-12 Summer of '42, the sentimental coming-of-age musical by librettist Hunter Foster and composer-lyricist David Kirshenbaum, stars Broadway's Rachel York in the new staging at the renovated Casa Mañana Theatre in Ft. Worth, Texas.
Rachel York.
Rachel York. Photo by Jean-Paul Aussenard

York, late of the tour of Kiss Me, Kate and Broadway's City of Angels, The Scarlet Pimpernel and Victor/Victoria, stars as the lonely war bride who befriends a teen named Hermie (played by Joe Gallagher, who also played the role in New York, where he was the understudy) in 1942.

The writers have added a song for York. The tune is called "Losing Track of Time," written for the show a couple years ago and recorded by Alice Ripley. (Summer of '42 has no cast album yet.)

Kirshenbaum will be in Texas for the opening week; Foster is the star of Broadway's Little Shop of Horrors.

Performances play Oct. 7-12 under the direction and choreography of Gabriel Barre, who staged the show for Goodspeed Musicals and at Off-Broadway's Variety Arts Theatre in 2002.

This is the Southwest premiere of the musical, based on the Herman Raucher novel and film of the same name. Songwriter Kirshenbaum told Playbill On-Line: "We've had about a half dozen regional theatres produce it since our run in New York City, but this production will be a particularly happy thing for us, partly because it's re opening the 45-year-old theatre after a $3 million dollar renovation, and especially because it will be starring Rachel York in the central role of Dorothy — the part made famous by Jennifer O'Neill in the original movie. It also features several members from the New York cast..."

"Summer of '42 captures the spirit of America on the brink of full-scale war through the lives of three 15 year-old boys who share a summer that they will never forget," according production notes. "Hermie, Oscy and Benjie are accustomed to spending the summer together, but this year seems different somehow. Girls have replaced baseball and comic books, and Hermie becomes infatuated with a war-bride awaiting word from her husband who is stationed overseas. After the three friends find their way through a few adolescent misadventures, Hermie learns an important lesson about life, love and the scope of human compassion."

The cast also includes Ayal Miodovnik, Celia Keenan Bolger, Hollis Scarborough, Maria Totten, Ben Rauch, Matthew Minor and David Coffee.

Summer of '42 is the first production in the renovated theatre, marking the return of mainstage productions to Casa Mañana and the start of the Silver Dome Series. Casa Mañana's executive producer is Denton Yockey.

Summer's musical direction is by Jeff Eckstein. Costume coordination is by Ric Leal. Lighting design is by Jay Isham. Sound design is by Ryan Mansfield. The scenic designer is James Youmans. Orchestrations are by Lynne Shankel.

The Silver Dome series also includes The Exonerated, Feb. 17-22, 2004; Proof, March 23-28, 2004; The Tale Of The Allergist's Wife, April 20-25, 2004; and Desperate Measures, May 18-23, 2004.

The organization's year-round programming is a mix of national touring productions and self-produced works in the Casa Mañana Theatre and/or the Nancy Lee and Perry R. Bass Performance Hall.

Tickets range $23-$55. For ticket information, call (817) 332-2272 or visit www.casamanana.org.