York Theatre Co. Stages One Musical in Five Different Flavors in Musical of Musicals, Starting Dec. 2

News   York Theatre Co. Stages One Musical in Five Different Flavors in Musical of Musicals, Starting Dec. 2 Imagine five one-act musicals in one evening. Same basic story, but each presentation is in a different show-tune style, from Rodgers and Hammerstein to Sondheim to Jerry Herman to Kander and Ebb to Andrew Lloyd Webber.

The Musical of Musicals — The Musical!, a new musical that tells the same story in the varying styles of theatre songwriters, opens the York Theatre Company's 35th season Off-Broadway Dec. 16 after previews from Dec. 2.

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"In a comic satire of musical theatre genres, one story becomes five musicals, each in the distinctive style of a different master of the form, from Rodgers and Hammerstein to Stephen Sondheim," according to production notes.

Music is by Eric Rockwell, lyrics by Joanne Bogart, and book by Rockwell and Bogart. The cast of Musical of Musicals includes Craig Fols, Lovette George, and the authors, Rockwell and Bogart. Pamela Hunt directs, and scenery is by York artistic director James Morgan, with lighting by Mary Jo Dondlinger.

Here's the show, as announced: "June, an ingénue who can't pay the rent, is threatened by her evil landlord. Will the handsome leading man come to her rescue? In an evening of variations on a theme, this basic plot is musicalized the way Rodgers and Hammerstein might have envisioned it, taking place in Kansas in August, complete with a Dream Ballet. The story is then done in the style of Stephen Sondheim, featuring the landlord as a tortured, artistic genius who slashes the throats of his tenants in revenge because they don't appreciate his art. When presented in the style of Jerry Herman, the story becomes a splashy star vehicle, while the Andrew Lloyd Webber version is a rock musical, with borrowed themes from Puccini. The story is re-told one last time in the style of Kander and Ebb, set in a speakeasy in Chicago." Eric Rockwell and Joanne Bogart began collaborating while in the BMI-Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop. Their parody of Mickey and Judy musicals, "Golly Gee Whiz," was featured in Lincoln Center's "Reel to Real" series. This season, their comic retelling of David and Goliath, with book by Bob Kolsby, will be performed at Merkin Concert Hall.

Rockwell's other composing credits include A Little Princess and History Mystery. Bogart has written lyrics for several episodes of "The Book of Pooh" and "Bear in the Big Blue House" for the Disney Channel.

Pamela Hunt has directed/choreographed Carnival! (Outer Critics Circle Award) and ...Forum for the York Theatre; Cabaret Comes To Carnegie Hall starring Kaye Ballard and numerous productions at Actors Theatre of Louisville, Cincinnati Playhouse, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Paper Mill and the Coconut Grove Playhouse.

The York Theatre Company's home is at The Theatre at St. Peter's Church, Citigroup Center, 619 Lexington Avenue at 54th Street.

Musical of Musicals continues through Jan. 18, 2004. Tickets are $50. Students tickets are available on the day of the performance for $20, subject to availability. For information call (212) 935-5820.

The cast of <i>The Musical of Musicals </i>
The cast of The Musical of Musicals
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