York Theatre Company Announces Four Musicals for Mufti Season

News   York Theatre Company Announces Four Musicals for Mufti Season The York Theatre Company's acclaimed Musicals in Mufti series, which offers rarely performed musicals in staged concert performances, will continue this summer with four, rather than its usual three, titles.

The Mufti season will kick off with It's a Bird. . . It's a Plane. . . It's Superman June 15-17. The remainder of the summer season will feature I and Albert (June 29-July 1), Bajour (July 13-15) and The Day Before Spring (July 27-29).

Stuart Ross will direct It's a Bird. . . It's a Plane . . . It's Superman, which features music by Charles Strouse, lyrics by Lee Adams and a book by David Newman and Robert Benton. The musical's plot, according to press notes, "has the Man of Steel facing a mad scientist and an evil newsman while fighting for both the hand of Lois Lane and with his own personal self-esteem demons."

I and Albert — which boasts music by Charles Strouse, lyrics by Lee Adams and a book by Jay Presson Allen — will be directed by Michael Montel. The York production will mark the musical's New York premiere; it was previously seen at London's Piccadilly in 1972. The show "tells the love story between Queen Victoria and her husband, Prince Albert. In 1839, Victoria fell in love with Albert who was her first cousin from the small German principality of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha. Married in 1840, royal couple's family life drastically differed with the images of previous British monarchs."

Kent Gash will direct the third offering, Bajour, which features a book by Ernest Kinoy and music and lyrics by Walter Marks. Based on Joseph Mitchell short stores published in The New Yorker, the musical concerns "an anthropology student at NYU whose doctoral study of nomadic gypsies brings her in contact with a tribal leader, who needs to raise a dowry to purchase a bride from Newark's Gypsy King for his son. Anxious to marry, this bride offers to stage a 'bajour' to help finance it but complications ensue when she targets the student’s widowed mother."

David Glenn Armstrong will direct the final Mufti of the season, The Day Before Spring, which was the first musical penned by Frederick Loewe (music) and Alan Jay Lerner (book and lyrics) with no other collaborators. The musical "concerns a married woman who, at a college reunion, meets the man with whom she almost eloped ten years before. She becomes so touched by a novel he has written about her, she considers leaving her husband and reuniting with this former love of hers." The York has also announced a special trivia contest: Anyone who enters the contest will receive a code to get a discount off any of the Mufti performances and will be automatically entered to win two tickets to all four Mufti opening nights. A winner will be picked at random and will be notified by June 1.

Those wishing to enter the contest should e-mail mail@yorktheatre.org with answers to the following questions. The deadline is May 23.

Trivia Question #1: One of the shows in the Mufti series has a character with the same name as York’s Producing Artistic Director. Name the show.

Trivia Question #2: Sarah Brightman made her debut in this production at the age of 13, playing Vicky, the eldest daughter and a street waif. Name the show.

Trivia Question #3: Which show's LP cover consisted solely of its name repeated over and over in brightly colored lettering?

Trivia Question #4: Which musical was directed by the same man who produced Bajour?

All shows will play five performances: Friday at 8 PM, Saturday at 2:30 and 8 PM and Sunday at 3 and 7:30 PM.

The musicals will play the Theatre at Saint Peters, which is located at 54th Street, east of Lexington Avenue. For more information or to purchase tickets, call (212) 935-5820 or visit www.yorktheatre.org.

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"Mufti" means "in street clothes, without the usual trappings."

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