York's Free Reading Series to Feature Goodbye and Good Luck, Trav'lin, Qatar and Sweet William

News   York's Free Reading Series to Feature Goodbye and Good Luck, Trav'lin, Qatar and Sweet William Free readings of several new musicals will be presented at the York Theatre Company in February 2009 as part of the Off-Broadway company's Developmental Reading Series.

The month will kick off Feb. 2, 2009, at 3 PM with Goodbye and Good Luck, which is based on the short story by Grace Paley. Featuring a book by Melba Thomas, music by David Friedman and lyrics by Muriel Robinson, the musical, according to the York, is "set on Manhattan's lower east side during the era of the Yiddish theatre . . . [and] tells the story of Rosie Lieber, whose life is upended and set on a new track when she loses her job in a sweatshop because she wants to sit by a window. Her search for her 'window' leads to a job as a cashier at a famous Second Avenue theatre and a lifelong involvement with its charismatic and considerably older star." An encore presentation will be offered Feb. 5 at 3 PM.

Trav'lin, which features music and lyrics by J.C. Johnson & friends and a book by Gary Holmes and Allan Shapiro, will be offered Feb. 12 at 3 PM. The musical "follows the romantic travails of three couples in 1930's Harlem – 50-, 30- and 20-somethings. The story centers on George, the older gentleman and a self-proclaimed expert on love, who meets his match when he befriends a down-on-her-luck stranger only to find out she is not the person she seems to be."

Stephen Cole (book and lyrics) and David Krane's (music) The Road to Qatar! is scheduled for a Feb. 19 at 3 PM reading. Qatar asks, "What do you get when two short Jews go to the Middle East to write a musical for the Emir of Qatar?" The musical, according to press notes, "brings the old Bob Hope-Bing Crosby road pictures into the 21st century."

The month will conclude with Sweet William on Feb. 23 at 3 PM. Featuring music and lyrics by Bill Solly and a book by Solly and Donald Ward, this 2008 Kleban Award-winning musical concerns "young Will Shakespeare [who] goes on the road with the Stratford Players and meets a girl called William. Along the way he also has to cope with a vicious boy-player, several theatrical crises, unexpected romance, and a bear."

The readings will be presented at the York's home at The Theatre at Saint Peter's on 54th Street, east of Lexington Avenue. Although the readings are free, reservations are required by emailing Jeff Landsman at Jlandsman@yorktheatre.org (include name, phone number, the show's title and the number of tickets) or by calling (212) 935-5824, ext. 24. For more information visit www.yorktheatre.org.

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