Ripley and Luker to Guest at Schwartz's Captain Louie

News   Ripley and Luker to Guest at Schwartz's Captain Louie Broadway leading ladies Alice Ripley and Rebecca Luker will make guest appearances prior to upcoming performances of the new musical Captain Louie.

Ripley and Luker will entertain audience members of the kid-friendly musical by reading portions of the book upon which the Stephen Schwartz musical is based. Captain Louie, which plays the York Theatre Company through June 12, is based on Ezra Jack Keats' "The Trip," a 1978 children's picture book. Ripley is scheduled to read prior to the 11:30 AM performance June 4, and Luker will read prior to the 12:30 PM performance June 8.

Ripley, who recently completed an acclaimed run in the Paper Mill production of The Baker's Wife, has appeared on Broadway in Side Show,The Rocky Horror Show, James Joyce's The Dead, Sunset Boulevard, The Who's Tommy, Les Misérables and in the City Center Encores! production of Li'l Abner. She has also been seen in Tell Me On a Sunday, Company, Shakespeare in Hollywood, The Fabulous Invalid and Five Flights. Ripley's non-show recordings include two discs with Side Show co-star Emily Skinner — "Duets" and "Unsuspecting Hearts" — and a recording of her own compositions, "Everything's Fine." The singer-actress also heads her own rock band, RIPLEY.

Luker, recently seen in the York Theatre Company's Darling of the Day, starred opposite Craig Bierko in the acclaimed revival of The Music Man, garnering Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Award nominations for her role as Marian. Luker also appeared with Michael Cerveris and Judy Kuhn in the Kennedy Center production of Stephen Sondheim's Passion, and her other theatrical credits include roles in Nine, The Sound of Music, Show Boat, The Secret Garden and The Phantom of the Opera.

Presented by the York Theatre Company in association with Meridee Stein, Pam Koslow and Kurt Peterson, Captain Louie features a score by Schwartz and a book by Anthony Stein. Meridee Stein directs the musical with musical direction by Edward Barnes. Joshua Bergasse choreographs with multi-media design by Joshua Light Show. The remainder of the creative team features Elizabeth Flauto (costume design, based on the drawings of Ezra Jack Keats), Jeff Subik (set design, also based on Keats' drawings), Annmarie Duggan (lighting design) and Samone Weissman (production stage manager).

The cast of Captain Louie comprises Brandon M. Arrington, Alex Barboza, Jodie Bentley, Jimmy Dieffenbach, Kelsey Fatebene, Sara Kapner, Ronnie Mercedes, Sarah Stiles and Mark Whitten. Captain Louie, according to production notes, "revolves around young Louie, alone and sad without having found any friends in his new neighborhood. To cheer himself up, he returns to his old friends in an imaginative journey on the wings of his favorite toy, a little red plane." The musical, which celebrates the importance of friends, both old and new, runs 65 minutes.

Captain Louie plays Wednesdays and Thursdays at 10:30 AM and 12:30 PM, Fridays at 6:30 PM, Saturdays at 11:30 AM and 2:30 PM and Sundays at 1 and 3 PM.

The York Theatre Company is located at 619 Lexington Avenue at 54th Street. Tickets, priced at $35, are available by calling (212) 868-4444 or by visiting www.smarttix.com.