Suburb, the new musical comedy about urbanites considering a move to greener pastures, gets its New York City premiere, Feb. 13-March 25, in staging by the York Theatre Company, in association with Jennifer M. Sanchez and Roberta Plutzik Baldwin.
Billed as a musical comedy "about four lives on the edge of town," the intimate show was penned by composer and co librettist Robert S. Cohen and lyricist and co-librettist David Javerbaum. Official opening is March 1.
Suburb received the 2000 Richard Rodgers Development Award and had a well-received reading at the York in May and June 2000. The authors made changes in the script following the reading.
The show focuses on a young couple, Allison (Jacquelyn Piro) and Stuart (James Ludwig), struggling with the idea of leaving their tiny apartment in the city and starting a family the world of conformity, barbecues, manicured lawns and strip malls. Jennifer M. Sanchez and Roberta Plutzik Baldwin are the producers who will take the show to a commercial future if such a sprawl is warranted.
* Ludwig appeared in York's After the Fair, and Piro was in Miss Saigon and Les Miserables on Broadway. Alix Korey, the Drama Desk-nominated actress of Andrew Lippa's The Wild Party, plays a crazed real estate agent.
The company includes Adinah Alexander (Parade), Ron Butler (York's Merrily We Roll Along), Jennie Eisenhower, Dennis Kelly (Broadway's Annie Get Your Gun, Damn Yankees) and James Sasser (Broadway's Riverdance).
Jennifer Uphoff Gray, associate director of Copenhagen, Cabaret, The Blue Room, directs, repeating her workshop chore. Musical direction is by Jeffrey R. Smith, choreography is by John Carrafa (Dirty Blonde), scenic design is by Kris Stone, costumes are by Jan Finnell, and lighting is by John Michael Deegan.
Composer Cohen is the author of God in Concert (One Night Only) and Knots, which was presented at the Clark Center for the Performing Arts. He has worked with the National Shakespeare Company and Manitoba Theatre, and is a graduate of Brown University.
Lyricist Javerbaum is a graduate of the NYU Musical Theater Program and is a comedy writer nominated for a 1999 Emmy Award for his work on "The Late Show With David Letterman." He is also the co-author of two best-selling books: "Our Dumb Century" and "The Onion's Finest News Reporting," both from the popular Madison, Wisconsin based satiric newspaper called "The Onion," where he has worked three years.
Tickets are $45-$50. York Theatre Company, at St. Peter's Church in the Citigroup Center (619 Lexington Ave. at 54th Street). For tickets, call (212) 239-6200.
— By Kenneth Jones