The Showgirl of 52nd Street, a new musical about a homeless woman who relives a glamorous life, gets a Dec. 4 staged reading in the York Theatre Company's 2000 Developmental Reading Series.
The tuner by lyricist-librettist Charles Leipart and composer John Kroner concerns Billie Shay, a panhandling baglady living on a park bench on East 52nd Street. She confronts her younger self and brings alive the glamour and betrayals of a lost career in the world of 1950's New York and Hollywood. Together, the two Billies struggle for control of their lives and try to find forgiveness for a troubled past.
There are no tickets left for the free 7:30 PM Dec. 4 reading at the York's home in The Theater at St. Peter's in midtown Manhattan. Unlike many Manhattan readings of new musicals, this series is not limited to industry people. Anyone interested in seeing the early drafts or beginning stages of a new show may attend.
Next up, 7:30 PM Dec. 10, is Family Album: A Musical Reminiscence, with poetry by Paul Mariani and music by Steven Schoenberg. The theatrical song cycle tells the story of an American family spanning the last half-century. Traveling back and forth through time, the audience witnesses the struggles and events that shaped this family's relationships and identity, as seen through the memories of Michael, the eldest son. Tickets are still available.
The Theatre at St Peter's Citicorp Center is at 619 Lexington Avenue, at 54th Street. For information and reservations, call (212) 935-5824, ext. 24. *
Earlier York Developmental Reading Series readings this season were The Witch of Wall Street (Nov. 2) and Anne & Gilbert (Nov. 6).
— By Kenneth Jones