UArts Will Present Readings of New Musical Crush by Yasmine Lever and Passing Strange's Stew and Heidi Rodewald

Staged readings of Crush, a new musical featuring music by Passing Strange writers Stew (Tony winner for Best Book) and Heidi Rodewald with a book and lyrics by Yasmine Lever, will be offered Feb. 1-2 at The University of the Arts in Philadelphia, PA, as part of the school's New Play Festival.

Heidi Rodewald and Stew
Heidi Rodewald and Stew (Photo by Aubrey Reuben)

Directed by Charlie Gilbert Jr., director of the Ira Brind School of Theatre Arts at UArts, performances will be held Feb. 1 at 7 PM and Feb. 2 at 3 PM.

Erin Fleming, who will play Rob, and David Bardeen, who will play Alex Taylor, are featured alongside a cast of student performers that includes Suzanne Collins as Gemma, Marcus Bridell as Mel, AJ Lockhart as Sean, Nick Parker as Pastor Declan, Alaina Wis as Naomi, Alita Moses as Kenita, CJ Celeiro as Jason and Tory Bentz as Becky as well as ensemble members Cody Freeman and Greg Brown.

Here's how the work is described: "Loosely based on Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, Crush is the tale of a doomed inter-racial romance set against the backdrop of race riots in contemporary London."

Other members of the creative team include assistant director David Fertik, musical director Eric Ebbenga, assistant musical director Mike Pacifico, stage manager Emma Gould and dramaturg Aria Velz.

With the New Play Festival, the Brind School is "committed to providing its students with a range of experiences creating and developing new plays."

This developmental reading is a private event open to invited guests and the University of the Arts community.

The University of the Arts' Arts Bank Theatre is located at 601 South Broad Street in Philadelphia, PA.