By Kenneth Jones
27 Feb 2009
With book by Jared Michael Coseglia, music and lyrics by Drew Brody and story by Coseglia and Cory Grant, Cutman "tells the story of Ari Hoffman who all his life has dreamed of being the Welter-Weight Boxing Champion of the World," according to producer notes. "After years of being sheltered and trained by his father in the basement of their synagogue, Ari finally turns pro, taking the boxing world by storm. However, when his promoter orchestrates a title fight on the eve of Yom Kippur, Ari chooses to fight, defying his faith and his family. With an exciting hip-hop/R&B-influenced score, Cutman chronicles the story of a young Jewish boxer's struggle between his ambition and his religion."
Tony Award nominee Ripley (Side Show, Next to Normal), Grant (Jersey Boys) and Kehr (Billy Elliot, Jersey Boys) will head a cast that also features Ana Nogiuera, Jerold Solomon, L. Steven Taylor, Gisela Adisa, Rebecca Eichenberger, Alena Watters, Rachel Cantor, Lori Wilner, Mitch Greenberg, Dwayne Clark, Boise Holmes , Eric Miller, Joshua Ziel and Michael Thomas Homes.
The reading is being presented by Banner New York. Cutman had its first developmental reading in 2007 at the New York Musical Theater Festival. Jared Coseglia directs.