York Theatre Company Season to Include Inventing Mary Martin, Life of Mrs. Cole Porter Plus Musicals in Mufti Season Spotlighting Sheldon Harnick

By Andrew Gans
27 Sep 2013

Sheldon Harnick
Sheldon Harnick

The York Theatre Company, which is under the leadership of producing artistic director James Morgan and executive director Andrew Levine, has announced its upcoming 2013-14 season. The Off-Broadway company is dedicated to developing new musicals and preserving neglected shows from the past.

The new season will feature the world premiere of Inventing Mary Martin and the Off-Broadway premiere of Love, Linda: The Life of Mrs. Cole Porter as well as the annual Musicals in Mufti Series, which will highlight the works of Tony winner Sheldon Harnick.

Highlights of the fall schedule also include a Developmental Lab presentation of Buddy’s Tavern, a "New2NY" staged concert of Jack: A Musical Drama on the Life of John F. Kennedy and a one-night concert of Six Wives by Joe Masteroff and Edward Thomas.

“We are excited to announce a wide ranging season covering musical premieres as well as classics from the past,” said York Theatre Company producing artistic director Morgan in a statement. “To have it anchored by a five-show series celebrating the legendary Sheldon Harnick makes it just about perfect. We can’t wait to share this non-stop musical theatre celebration with everyone.”



The York Theatre Company is offering a 54th Street Membership Program, a membership package for as low as $54, with benefits that include a 30 percent discount on tickets to York Theatre productions (two per membership), exclusive member pre-sale opportunities, 50 percent off on all lobby concessions, 20 percent off on all lobby merchandise, in addition to special member-only receptions.

York Memberships can be purchased online at yorktheatre.org/membership, or by calling the York Theatre Company Box Office at (212) 935-5820. Single tickets to each event will be available to all new and current York members beginning Sept. 30. General tickets for each event will go on sale to the public Oct. 7. For more information visit yorktheatre.org.

The 2013-14 season at a glance follows:

Oct. 28
Six Wives
Book and lyrics by Joe Masteroff
Music by Edward Thomas
Directed by David Green
Music direction by Dennis Buck

"Six Wives tells the story of Henry VIII, the larger-than-life English monarch, and the six extraordinary women he married: Anne Boleyn, Anne of Cleves, Katherine Howard, Katherine of Aragon, Jane Seymour, and Katherine Parr. This five-person musical reexamines Henry VIII's historical image from a modern day perspective—with two women playing all six wives. York produced the world premiere in 1992, and now this chamber musical returns for a one night only concert."

* * *

“NEW2NY” STAGED CONCERT PRESENTATION

Nov. 1-3
Jack: A Musical Drama on the Life of John F. Kennedy
A New York premiere
Book and lyrics by Will Holt and Tom Sawyer
Music by Will Holt
Based on an original concept by Tom Sawyer

"Beginning with John F. Kennedy’s days at Harvard through his assassination in Dallas, Jack dramatizes the life and career of JFK, while focusing on a central conflict– Jack’s fight to become his own man despite a difficult relationship with his power-obsessed father, Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr. Jack examines the triumphs as well as the shadows of the Kennedy legacy leading to the tragic event which continues to resonate with all of us 5o years later."

* * *

DEVELOPMENT LAB PRESENTATION

Nov. 13-15
Buddy’s Tavern
New York premiere
Book by Raymond De Felitta
Music by Kim Oler
Lyrics by Alison Hubbard
Directed by Peter Flynn
Choreography by Devanand Janki
Music direction by Mark Fifer

"Buddy's Tavern is based on the film 'Two Family House' (Sundance Award), written and directed by Raymond De Felitta. Winner of the Richard Rodgers Development Award, this new romantic musical is the story of an Italian-American factory worker on Staten Island in 1956. Buddy has always wanted his own business- a bar where he can sing his heart out to his customers. Family pressures, race relations, unexpected love, and the struggle to achieve one's dreams, all come alive in this New York premiere musical."

* * *

MAINSTAGE PRODUCTION

Dec. 3, 2013-Jan. 5, 2014
Off-Broadway premiere
Love, Linda: The Life of Mrs. Cole Porter
Book by Stevie Holland with Gary William Friedman
Music and lyrics by Cole Porter
Arrangements and orchestrations by Gary William Friedman
Music direction by Christopher McGovern
Directed by Richard Maltby, Jr.

Starring Stevie Holland

"Love, Linda is a tour de force musical and theatrical journey, starring acclaimed jazz vocalist Stevie Holland. This musical explores the life of Linda Lee Thomas, the Southern beauty who, at the dawn of the Roaring Twenties, married and was a driving force behind legendary songwriter Cole Porter. Though Porter was gay, their companionship lasted through a 35 year marriage. Love, Linda celebrates the deep love shared by Linda and Cole, while examining the darker sides of their life."

* * *

MUSICALS IN MUFTI SERIES: CELEBRATING SHELDON HARNICK

Jan. 17-19
World premiere
Sheldon Harnick: A World to Win
Book and lyrics by Sheldon Harnick
Music by Jerry Bock plus David Baker, Larry Hochman,
Michel Legrand, Richard Rodgers and Sheldon Harnick
Directed by Robert Brink

"A World to Win is a sampling of Sheldon Harnick’s wide-ranging career as a musical theatre writer. It covers everything from shows on and off Broadway, revues to book musicals, and well-known gems as well as hidden treasures that have never been performed publicly. Most of the music was written by his long-time collaborator Jerry Bock; other songs were composed by Richard Rodgers, Michel Legrand, David Baker, Larry Hochman and even Harnick himself."

Jan. 31- Feb. 2
Dragons
Book, music and lyrics by Sheldon Harnick

"Dragons features book, music, and lyrics by Sheldon Harnick and is based on Yevgeny Schwartz’s play, The Dragon. After suffering through the Siege of Leningrad in WWII, Schwartz felt that the Russian people deserved something better than life under the tyrant Stalin. He couldn’t very well write a play about that and hope to have it produced in Soviet Russia, so he wrote a charming fantasy about a knight who rescues a damsel in distress from a dragon and what happens thereafter. Harnick’s musical adaption preserves the charm, humor and romance of Schwartz’s play while making the tale applicable to life under any form of government (including ours)."

Feb. 14-16
Malpractice Makes Perfect
Book, music and lyrics by Sheldon Harnick
Directed by David Glenn Armstrong

"Malpractice Makes Perfect, with book, music and lyrics by Sheldon Harnick, is based on the Moliere’s classic comedy of manners, The Doctor in Spite of Himself. A musical comedy whose classic plot devices lead to hilarious ends, Harnick’s adaptation tells the story of a woodcutter manipulated by his spiteful wife to impersonate a brilliant doctor. Called to an emergency case-- a lovely young woman who feigns sickness to avoid her impending marriage-- the 'doctor' prescribes a perfect remedy for an uproarious situation. Mix in a cast of eccentrics, and the comic antics build to the climactic resolution."

Feb. 21-23
Smiling, The Boy Fell Dead
Book by Ira Wallach
Music by David Baker
Lyrics by Sheldon Harnick
Directed by Jim Glossman

"Smiling, The Boy Fell Dead is a musical comedy from Off-Broadway’s 1960 season that tells a classic success story—with great humor, the boy overcomes extraordinary obstacles to gain a girl, fortune, and family honor). Set in the Midwest at the turn of the last century, it spoofs Horatio Alger rags-to-riches tales."

March 7-9
Tenderloin
Book by George Abbott and Jerome Weidman
Music by Jerry Bock
Lyrics by Sheldon Harnick
Directed by Carl Andress

"Tenderloin, based on a novel by Samuel Hopkins Adams, was produced on Broadway in 1960 by Harold Prince and Robert Griffith. It tells the tale of Dr. Brock, a crusading Minister who has dedicated himself to cleaning up that section of New York devoted to vice, the area known as the 'Tenderloin.' Naturally, those whose livelihoods depended on that vice dedicated themselves to seeing that Dr. Brock didn’t succeed."

* * *

MAINSTAGE PRODUCTION

April 15-May 18
World premiere
Inventing Mary Martin
Conceived, written and directed by Stephen Cole
Music arranged by David Krane
Co-directed and choreographed by Bob Richard

"Inventing Mary Martin is a new four person musical revue celebrating the centennial of one of the legendary leading ladies of American musical theatre. This delightful multi-media evening takes us back to the golden age of musical theatre when Mary reigned over Broadway and delighted audiences with songs by Cole Porter, Irving Berlin, Rodgers and Hammerstein, Jerry Herman, Kurt Weill, Vernon Duke, Deitz and Schwartz, Jones and Schmidt, Jule Styne and Comden and Green. The show explores how an ambitious girl from Weatherford, Texas invented herself and became one of the most glamorous stars to grace the Broadway stage. Inventing Mary Martin takes us on Mary’s journey flying through stage, film, and television."