The intimate, music-filled show is about the "incomparable, unforgettable showman," features "20 great songs, 30 characters, dazzling dance, and one dynamic Broadway performer."
Young, a veteran of Broadway's Chicago, Seussical and Ragtime, joins forces with the Hangar's associate artistic director, Wendy Dann, to tell the story of Eric's life-long fascination with singer-actor-dancer Sammy Davis, Jr. Previews began May 31.
"Following Sammy from his tap dance beginnings on the 'the Chitlin Circuit' to headliner on the Las Vegas strip he helped to desegregate," the show "unravels the complexities of being an entertainer caught between his racial identity and his drive to transcend race as a performer."
Performances continue to June 17. The creators are hoping to snag the interest of commercial producers.
Wendy Dann directs. Musical direction is by Tommy James. Choreography is by Gerry McIntyre. Scenic design is by Chris Schenk. Lighting design is by Chris Lee. Costume design is by Broadway's Toni-Leslie James. Sound is by Joanna Lynne Staub. Co-produced with Buffalo's MusicalFare Theatre Company (which presented the show Jan 11-Feb. 12), Sammy & Me marks a return to Ithaca for Eric Jordan Young, who is a 1993 graduate of Ithaca College's musical theatre program. He first met Wendy Dann, the co-writer and director of the piece, on the South Hill campus.
"Collaborating with Eric on his memoir/musical has been one of the most satisfying projects of my career," Dann said in production notes, "especially because of our long friendship that started when we were classmates at Ithaca College."
Young's Broadway credits include Chicago, Ragtime, Seussical: The Musical and The Look of Love. Other recent credits include Ahrens & Flaherty's Dessa Rose at Lincoln Center Theater, the Stephen Sondheim revue, Opening Doors, at Carnegie Hall, and Mr. Bojangles: The Ultimate Entertainer.
Sammy & Me marks marks the launch of the Hangar's 2006 mainstage season. For tickets, call (607) 273-4497 or visit www.hangartheatre.org.