Originally commissioned by Musical Theatre Works in 2004, the show, written by Andrea Frierson-Toney, won the 2004 Library of Congress Parsons Fund Award in Ethnographic Research. An excerpt from Soon of a Mornin' was performed at the Kennedy Center as part of the Page to Stage festival.
The musical is "inspired by the Gee's Bend quilters and Library of Congress 1941 Field recordings of their Alabama community."
Frierson-Toney, the librettist, composer and lyricist, is a Broadway performer who has appeared in The Lion King, Once On This Island, Bring in 'da Noise, Bring in 'da Funk, and more. The first musical she wrote, Lady Be Good, about Ella Fitzgerald, was workshopped at Lincoln Center, winning a 1999 NYS Council on the Arts Development Grant. She has also written for the Nickelodeon TV series "Allegra's Window" in which she also starred as Miss Melody.
Director-choreographer Gerry McIntyre most recently choreographed Side by Side by Sondheim at the 2005 Berkshire Theatre Festival and directed and choreographed the Actors Theatre of Louisville production of Ain't Misbehavin'.
The cast includes Milton Craig Nealy, Carole Denise Jones, Megan Magill, Fred Rose, Jason Veasey, Richard E. Waits and Bianca Jazzmine Ottley. Michael Bottari and Ron Case (Broadway's State Fair, Off-Broadway's Shanghai Moon) will design sets and costumes with lighting design by Richard Latta and sound design by Adam Goins. Bill Vanaver is musical director with Andy Tierstein as assistant musical director.
The production, in rep with other NYMF shows, is produced by Robert A. Carreon. After a long career at Time-Warner in consumer marketing and special events, he makes his legit producing debut with this production.
Performances play the Lion Theatre at Theatre Row, 410 W. 42nd Street. The schedule is Sept. 13 at 8 PM, Sept. 17 at 1 PM, Sept. 18 at 8 PM, Sept. 19 at 4:30 PM, Sept. 20 at 1 PM, Sept. 24 at 4L30 PM.
Tickets are $15 and available via www.nymf.org or (212) 352-3101.
Dedicated to discovering new work and new artists, The New York Musical Theatre Festival "celebrates the diversity, creativity, and future of musical theatre." NYMF is a flagship program of the National Music Theater Network, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, and is America's largest annual musical theatre event.