Powell has been good to the city in her works, and city has been good to her: The first performance of the brief run is sold out. Family members of the late Powell are expected to attend the final performance on Aug. 27.
Lemon Tree Productions presents the show, subtitled A 1940's New York Musical.
"Bursting with song, dance and more than a few martinis, A Time to be Born celebrates love and ambition in glamorous 1940s Manhattan—a city ruled by media moguls and scheming socialites," according to production notes. "Brutally ambitious Amanda welcomes hapless Vicky to NYC to conceal an illicit affair — never dreaming that her naïve friend might become her rival."
The musical is based on the acclaimed 1942 satirical novel by Dawn Powell, inspired by real-life power couple Clare Boothe Luce (The Women) and magazine publisher Henry Luce. Ernest Hemingway called Powell his "favorite living writer." Diana Trilling said it was Powell "who really says the funny things for which Dorothy Parker gets credit."
A Time to be Born features music by John Mercurio (Jonathan Larson Award and the Gilman Gonzalez-Falla Commendation Award) and book and lyrics by Tajlei Levis. Both writers are alumni of the BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop. Mercurio's musical Diva Diaries played in Florida and Chicago. Levis is also a novelist and currently an artist in residence at Makor/92 Street Y. (Levis' sister Melissa is also a lyricist and the co-author of this season's Fringe musical, It's a Hit. Their aunt is the late playwright Wendy Wasserstein.)
Marlo Hunter (Williamstown Theatre Festival directing corps) directs and choreographs. She directed and choreographed last year's Fringe show Swimming Upstream. Jack DePalma is the creative consultant. The cast includes Maria Couch, Christy Morton , Ronald L. Brown, Christopher Sloan, James Sasser (Riverdance on Broadway), Richard Binder, Alison Cimmet (Kennedy Center's Mame), Amy Griffin, Carrie Janell, TJ Mannix, Ali McLennan (Grease) , Kelly Ross and Michael Scott (The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, Pirates of Penzance, Show Boat).
The design team features Joseph J. Egan (sets/props), Sean Tribble (costumes), Dana Sterling (lighting) and John D. Ivy (sound).
Performances play the Lucille Lortel Theatre (121 Christopher Street) Aug. 21 at 7:30 PM Aug. 23 at 12:30 PM, Aug. 25 at 9:15 PM, Aug. 26 at 2:45 PM, Aug. 27 at noon.
Tickets are $15. For tickets visit www.FringeNYC.org or call (212) 279-4488 or (888) 888-FringeNYC or visit www.aTimeToBeBornMusical.com.