Saint Ex, With Alex Gemignani, Krysta Rodriguez and More, Kicks Off York's NEO Series of New Work Dec. 17
By Michael Gioia
December 17, 2012
The York Theatre Company kicks off its NEO Reading Series of new work with a free reading of Sean Barry and Jenny Giering's Saint Ex Dec. 17 at 7 PM at The York Theatre at Saint Peter's.
Directed by Kent Nicholson with music direction by Matt Castle, the work features music by Giering with a book and lyrics by Barry. John Arthur Pinkard is the producing mentor of the piece.
The cast features Alex Gemignani (Assassins) in the title role with Haley Bond (York's Pietro D'Amore), Charlie Brady (Les Misérables), Amy Justman (Company), Carl Kimbrough (A Christmas Story tour), Omar Lopez-Ceparo (American Idiot), Cass Morgan (Memphis) and Krysta Rodriguez (The Addams Family).
Here's how the work is described: "Best known for his classic of children's literature, 'The Little Prince,' Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (1900-1944) lived a life of romance and high-flying adventure. Saint-Ex tells the story of this famed aviator's struggle between his love for his fiery Salvadorean wife, Consuelo de Carillo, and his dedication to the men with whom he shared a lifelong passion for the plane. A heartfelt, original musical, Saint-Ex soars with the thrill of flight and captivates with the mystery of the private grief that would drive Saint-Exupéry to craft one of the world’s best-loved and most enduring books."
Upcoming Neo Reading Series presentations scheduled in 2013 follow:
Book, lyrics and music by Andrew Gerle (2012 Kleban Award for Outstanding Librettist)
"With a score that ranges from traditional musical theater to slam poetry, spirituals and blues to Appalachian folk and country rock, Gloryana is an original musical about a racial shooting that turns a small Mississippi town upside-down. As the half-remembered glories of the Old South collide with the realities of the New, and YouTube culture meets antebellum balls, the letters between a Confederate soldier and a Union nurse point the way for the future."
Jasper in Deadland
Book, lyrics and music by Ryan Scott Oliver
"Jasper in Deadland, is a pop-rock musical based on the myth of Opheus and Eurydice. It follows 16-year-old Jasper Jarvis as he travels through the Afterlife on a mission to save his best friend, Agnes. Jasper in Deadland was commissioned in by the Pasadena Musical Theatre Program where it received a premiere workshop presentation in August 2011."
Big Red Sun
Book and lyrics by John Jiler
Music by Georgia Stitt
"Big Red Sun is the story of a family of musicians. Eddie and Helen Daimler were great swing musicians in the 1940’s, but now in the early 1960’s their teenage son Harry, a budding songwriter himself, lives alone with his mother and writes songs about his great war-hero father. In an effort to write more truthfully, Harry unearths a dark family secret. World War II carved a silent divide between those who fought and those who waited - a truth unshared. In a few short years, the simple melodies of Kern and Berlin were replaced by the dizzying energy of jazz and the beginnings of rock and roll. This is the story of a family that changed as much as their music did. Winner of the 2005 Harold Arlen Award from ASCAP.
Book and lyrics by Jason Grote
Music by Marisa Michelson
Adapted from the play One Thousand and One Nights by Grote
"Scheherezade is about the politics of romance, the collision of cultures, and the persistence of emotional deception link the ancient Persian markets and palaces of Scheherazade with Manhattan in the age of electronic courtship in this contemporary retelling of One Thousand and One Nights by Jason Grote."
NEO (an acronym for "New, Emerging, Outstanding") celebrates songwriters primed to pen the next generation of musicals. The York Theatre Company has recently embarked on a new year-long mentoring program that brings together established writers and upcoming producing partners to help encourage the growth of new works.
For more information, visit YorkTheatre.org.