The New York City premiere of the coming-of-age tale, set in rural West Virginia in 1962, will play Playwrights Horizons' Mainstage Theater April 30-June 13. Direction and musical staging are by Joe Calarco (Shakespeare's R & J).
Written by Mariana Elder (book), Chris Miller (music) and Nathan Tysen (lyrics), the show is billed this way by the partnering not-for-profits: "Fourteen year-old Pete's fighting to claim his past. His older brother Jake's hoping to forge a future. With its soaring, elegiac score and eclectic band of youngsters teetering on the brink of adulthood, this inspirational new musical from an acclaimed new team finds both the streaks of light and the heart of darkness within us all."
Vineyard subscribers were recently informed by letter that the (partial) cast list includes Charlie Brady (South Pacific), Al Calderon (13), Andrew Durand (Spring Awakening), Noah Galvin (Les Miserables), Michael Park (Little Me, "As the World Turns"), Molly Ranson (August: Osage County), Randy Redd (Ring of Fire) and Asa Somers (Grey Gardens).
Official complete casting and production details will be announced shortly.
The musical features a pop and bluegrass score as it tells of a group of young people whose fathers died in a tragic coal-mining accident years before. They go on a journey "both enlightening and perilous, with lessons learned about life, loss and growing up," Vineyard artistic director Douglas Aibel wrote in a letter to Vineyard subscribers. This latest version of The Burnt Part Boys represents a revision since a Vineyard developmental lab production in 2009.
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Composer Miller and lyricist Tysen were the 2008 winners of The Vineyard's Kitty Carlisle Hart Musical Theatre Award, as well as the Jonathan Larson Award and the Richard Rodgers Award. Their collaborations include Fugitive Songs, presented Off-Broadway last season, and The Mysteries of Harris Burdick (book by Joe Calarco), which received a workshop production at Barrington Stage in 2008. Book writer Elder's plays, sketch comedy and musicals have been performed across the country, including Barrington Stage Co., Williamstown Theatre Festival, The Director's Lab, Theatre for a New City and Manhattan Theater Source.