Victoria Clark, known for her comic turns in Titanic, Guys and Dolls and How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, will bring the serious American poet Anne Sexton to life in The Ambition Bird, a new one-woman musical being read March 6 at the 14th Street Y.
The Matthew Sheridan piece is a mix of cabaret, performance art, musical and memory play as the audience follows Sexton on an evening in her life. The Boston poet, who wrote about less-traditional subjects like mental illness and suicide, attends a poetry reading, sings a lullaby to her daughter and chats with Sylvia Plath at the Ritz Hotel. Like Plath, Sexton committed suicide, dying in 1974. She left behind the Pulitzer Prize winning "Live or Die," the National Book Prize-nominated "All My Pretty Ones" and "To Bedlam and Part Way Back."
Sheridan scored the chamber musical for flute, piano and voice. A stage and film composer, his music was heard in the film short "Listen" and in productions at Queens Theatre-in-the-Park and the Alleyway Theatre in Buffalo.
All Theatre Resources Unlimited readings are free and each features a "Dollars and Sense" panel with New York producers and general managers afterwards. The 14th Street Y is located at 344 E. 14th Street. For reservations, call (212) 714-7628.
Theater Resources Unlimited is a support group for musical theatre writers and playwrights. Among the services offered to members are staged readings and seminars on producing and creating work in New York City. — By Christine Ehren