John Simpkins Will Direct Joshua Salzman and Ryan Cunningham's The Legend of New York at NYU

By Michael Gioia
18 Mar 2014

Joshua Salzman and Ryan Cunningham's The Legend of New York, a musical rendering of the 1977 New York City blackout, will be presented by NYU Steinhardt's program in vocal performance March 27-30 at the Department of Music and Performing Arts Professions.



The musical, featuring music by Salzman and a book and lyrics by Cunningham, is part of an annual project that pairs a new and developing musical with NYU Steinhardt. The writers collaborate with the creative team and cast throughout the process.

John Simpkins directs a cast that features NYU Steinhardt students Rachel Adams, Liam Bingham, Anne Bragg, Drew Carr, Laura Castano, Donald Coggin, Dan Coombs, Stephen Eckelmann, Israel R. Hillery, Alex Hunnell, Dan Iwrey, Jane Kivnick, Kailey Prior, Nikhil Saboo, Sophia Sapronov and Heather Stinson.

"We are particularly excited about working with Josh and Ryan again," said director Simpkins in a statement. "They are some of the best songwriters in musical theatre – and having staged the first incarnation of Next Thing You Know, we are thrilled to help develop this new piece with them and our talented students."

The Legend of New York, according to NYU, "is the unknown story of what really happened the night of the 1977 New York City blackout. It follows Abraham, a cop who is left by his wife and is then visited by an angel. The angel sends him on a quest to find three worthy souls by sunrise or the city will be destroyed. As he ventures through New York's underbelly — Central Park, Studio 54, Times Square, CBGBs, the subway — he teams up with his brother Lonny, a bouncer and a Times Square Hooker. To win back the woman he loves, Abraham must embrace the city he hates — and learn that even at its worst, New York is still the greatest city in the world."

The Legend of New York will feature choreography by Connor Gallagher, music direction by Eric Kang, scenic and lighting design by Maruti Evans, costume design by Michelle Eden Humphrey, sound design by Craig Kaufman and Stephanie Riddle and properties by Zach Longstreet. The production stage manager is Carolyn Day.

Salzman and Cunningham are recent Jonathan Larson Award winners as well as Drama Desk and MAC Award-nominated writers. Their musicals also include I Love You Because and Next Thing You Know. Read more about their work in Playbill.com's Contemporary Musical Theatre Songwriters You Should Know.

The Provincetown Playhouse is located at 133 MacDougal Street (between Washington Square South and W. 3rd Street). For more information and tickets, call (212) 352-3101 or click here.