Stars of David, With Songs by William Finn, Tom Kitt, Sheldon Harnick and More, Gets NYC Workshop June 25-29
25 Jun 2012
Anne L. Nathan
Stars of David, a new musical about Jewish identity, with a book by Charles Busch and songs by a collection of Broadway and Hollywood songwriters — from William Finn to Tom Kitt to Marvin Hamlisch to Marilyn and Alan Bergman — is tested June 25-29 in a Manhattan reading in anticipation of its fall world premiere by Philadelphia Theatre Company.
The private industry workshop cast includes Nadia Dajani (Off-Broadway's Sophistry and Boys and Girls), David Josefsberg (Broadway's The Wedding Singer, Off-Broadway's Rated P for Parenthood), Anne L. Nathan (the indelible Czech mother in Broadway's Once), Robert Petkoff (Broadway's Fiddler on the Roof and currently Anything Goes) and Donna Vivino (Wicked, Hairspray).
Stars of David, which has a Tony Award-winning commercial producer attached to a possible New York future, is a musical stage adaptation by Aaron Harnick of Abigail Pogrebin's acclaimed book "Stars of David: Prominent Jews Talk about Being Jewish."
Here's how PTC bills the work: "It is a snapshot of Jewish identity through the interviews with some of America's most recognizable public figures, including: Gloria Steinem, Leonard Nimoy, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Edgar Bronfman, Sr., Joan Rivers, Norman Lear and Wendy Wasserstein."
Stars of David received a staged reading as part of PTC's two-week festival of new work, PTC@PLAY, which featured readings of new work from 13 writers and composers from around the country.
Sara Garonzik, PTC's producing artistic director, said in a statement, "The timing seems very right for Stars of David, which is reflective of the ongoing cultural conversation around faith and its role in contemporary life."
Stars of David joins the previously announced Seminar by Theresa Rebeck and The Mountaintop by Katori Hall in PTC's 2012-13 season. A fourth play will be announced shortly.
Holed up in a seedy motel on the edge of the Mojave Desert, two former lovers unpack the deep secrets and dark desires of their tangled relationship, passionately tearing each other apart. Led by director Daniel Aukin (Back Back Back at MTC, 4,000 Miles), Tony winner Nina Arianda (Venus in Fur at MTC, Born Yesterday) and Sam Rockwell (A Behanding in Spokane, The Way Way Back) bring an explosive intensity to Sam Shepard’s (Buried Child, True West) landmark myth of the new Wild West.