Kelly is part of the York's "Musicals in Mufti" series. Like City Center's "Encores!" series, "Mufti" casts an eye on neglected musicals through concerts stagings.
Kelly (Sept. 18-20) is set at the start of the century. The Eddie Lawrence-Moose Charlap tuner is about a brash teenager -- modeled after 19th-century New York legend Steve Brodie -- who decides to jump off the Brooklyn Bridge on a bet. Donna Kaz directs. Also in the cast are Cady Huffman (Will Rogers Follies), Michael J. Farina (Mufti's Darling of the Day), Jennifer Prescott (married to d'Arcy James in real life), Mary Stout, Sean Dougherty, Paul V. Ames, Terence Goodman, Tom Souhrada and Peter Van Wagner.
Brain d'Arcy James rose to prominence in the role of stoker Frederick Barrett in Titanic. His other credits include Floyd Collins.
A week earlier, the Jule Styne-Yip Harburg-Nunnally Johnson Darling of the Day (Sept. 11-13) led off the Mufti line-up. Michael Montel directed the show which was so well received, the company is considering doing a full production in 1999. Simon Jones, Nancy Opel, Steven Mo Hanan and Charlotte Moore starred. The third show of the season, Billion Dollar Baby (Sept. 25-27), of 1945, was Betty Comden and Adolph Green's first project after On the Town. Morton Gould wrote the music. The musical follows the rise of a 1920s golddigger who climbs to the top only to get a shock at the end of the show. B.T. McNicholl directs. Debbie Gravitte (Jerome Robbins' Broadway), Richard B. Schull, Marc Kudisch, Michael McCormick, Kristin Chenoweth (A New Brain), Lesley Blumenthal, James Darrah, Susan Owen, Charles Pistone, Darcie Roberts, Casey Nickolaw and Kay Walbye will appear.
All the concerts are performed at York's home in The Theatre at Saint Peter's Church in the Citicorp Center (Lexington Ave. and 54th St.). Audience discussions follow matinee performances. For information, call (212) 935-5820.
The first show of the York's mainstage theatre season will most probably be the new, sung-through musical Little By Little, by Brad Ross (music), Hal Hackady & Helen Greenfield (lyrics), and Greenfield and Annette Jolles (story). Cy Coleman's Exactly Like You will follow.
The season's third show hasn't been chosen yet. Candidates include Herringbone (by Tom Cone, Ellen Fitzhugh & Skip Kennon), the NY premiere of After The Fair, and the aforementioned Darling of the Day.