By Michael Gioia
17 Jan 2014
The 8 PM concert will star Obie Award winner Donna Bullock (Ragtime, A Class Act), Rachel de Benedet (Catch Me if You Can), Drew Gehling (Jersey Boys, On a Clear Day), Autumn Hurlbert (Legally Blonde), Drama Desk nominee Jenny Powers (Donnybrook!, Happiness), Megan Sikora (Curtains) and Max von Essen (Evita).
Created and directed by Ben West (The Fig Leaves Are Falling, At Home Abroad, Make Mine Manhattan), Unsung Carolyn Leigh will showcase songs by the Tony and Grammy-nominated lyricist of Peter Pan and Little Me.
Here's how the evening is billed: "Celebrating her enduring legacy of smart, sophisticated and often sexy songwriting, Unsung Carolyn Leigh highlights the legendary lyricist's little-known works, including several jazz-infused items from her acclaimed 1969 Gatsby score, a cut song from How Now Dow Jones, and two numbers written with Marvin Hamlisch for the original, unproduced version of Smile. Eight dynamic performers, a sizzling trio of musicians and over twenty melodic gems color the intimate evening, which also features rare audio clips from two of Ms. Leigh's original demo recordings."
The 2014 season will continue with a workshop production of a new revue entitle The Passing Show June 26-29 at MTC Creative Center.
According to UMC, "Hard-boiled Broadway agents, tap-happy temps, and star-crossed in-laws raise a racket in this outrageous fun-fest filled with an exciting nod to the British music hall, a reality competition send-up and all-new material! Borrowing its name from what is considered the first American revue, UMC’s developing work blends past and present, putting a contemporary spin on the classic form with brand new material by Obie Award winner Jeff Bowen ([title of show]), Sam Carner & Derek Gregor (Unlock'd), Rick Hip-Flores, Phoebe Kreutz, Sam Salmond, Drama Desk nominees Joshua Salzman & Ryan Cunningham (I Love You Because) and Emmy Award winner Bruce Vilanch ("Hollywood Squares"), as well as one dance item from the 1916 British music hall revue The Bing Boys Are Here, and three trunk songs by the Academy Award-winning team of Jimmy Van Heusen & Sammy Cahn (Skyscraper, Walking Happy)."
Conceived and directed by West as a 1940s U.S.O. show, the new musical "utilizes original material written by Auerbach and Loesser for their World War II army revues, as well as additional unpublished material written by Auerbach during his years in service."
UMC will continue its unsung concert series later in the year at 54 Below with Unsung Bob Merrill, showcasing songs by the Tony-nominated writer of Funny Girl, Carnival! and New Girl in Town; and the first of a three-part event honoring Tony Award-winning lyricist Dorothy Fields, Unsung Dorothy Fields, Vol. 1: The Coleman Years, which will focus on rare material from her three Cy Coleman collaborations (Sweet Charity, Eleanor, Seesaw).
UMC's developmental reading series at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts will begin May 22 with the 1926 musical comedy Peggy-Ann, featuring a book by Herbert Fields, music by Richard Rodgers and lyrics by Lorenz Hart.
The series will continue July 24 with the 1964 Coney Island musical comedy I Had a Ball, with book by Jerome Chodorov and music and lyrics by Stan Freeman and Jack Lawrence. Emmy winner Bruce Vilanch (Hairspray) will star. Additionally, Drama Desk nominee Igor Goldin (Yank!) will direct a third title to be announced.
Additional performers, dates and creative teams will be announced at a later date. For more information, visit UnsungMusicals.org.