Harriet Harris to Star in New Musical by Urinetown Creators at FringeNYC
By Adam Hetrick
Tony Award winner Harriet Harris will star in the new musical Yeast Nation (The Triumph of Life) by Tony-winning Urinetown authors Mark Hollmann and Greg Kotis. Performances will begin this August as part of the New York International Fringe Festival.
The rock musical, with music by Hollmann and book and lyrics by Kotis, will run Aug. 12-28 at La Mama ETC. Co-author Kotis will direct the engagement, which will have choreography by Wendy Seyb (Pee-wee Herman Show on Broadway) and musical direction by William Wade.
In addition to Harris (Thoroughly Modern Millie, Cry-Baby), the cast will include Erik Altemus, Jennifer Blood, Rheaume Crenshaw, Rick Crom, Nick Gaswirth, Kimiko Glenn, Douglas Goodhart, Antwayn Hopper, Lauren Lebowitz, George McDaniel, Manu Narayan, Charlie Plummer, Sarah Sokolovic and Joy Soprano.
According to the creators, "Yeast Nation takes us back to the year 3,000,458,000 B.C., when the world’s first salt-eating yeasts float in the brine of the primordial sea. The yeasts' aging and tyrannical king is unwilling to confront the depletion of their saline food supply. But when the king’s son dares to venture where no yeast has ventured before, the course of existence is changed… forever! Equal parts Greek tragedy and Shakespearean court drama, Yeast Nation features an eclectic rock score, bizarre hilarity, and a story of love and hope that, as the yeasts sing, 'is not only our story, but yours.' Also, everyone is named Jan ('yahn')."
Hollmann and Kotis' Urinetown also debuted at the Fringe Festival in 1999, where it played an extended run and took the Overall Excellence Award for a Musical. It later transferred Off-Broadway to the American Theatre of Actors on April 1, 2001, and transferred to Broadway in July 2001 to the Henry Miller's Theatre, where it ran for 965 performances. It earned Tony Awards for Best Book (Kotis), Best Score (Hollmann) and Best Direction (John Rando).
John Arthur Pinckard and Ryan Bogner produce the FringeNYC run.
Tickets, priced $15 in advance, go on sale July 22. Visit FringeNYC, or phone (212) 279-4488. La Mama ETC is located at 74 East 4th Street.
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