History's Mistresses Are Heard in NYC Run of Lauded Musical, The Mistress Cycle, Sept. 15-24 | Playbill

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News History's Mistresses Are Heard in NYC Run of Lauded Musical, The Mistress Cycle, Sept. 15-24 Much talked about, but not widely seen, Beth Blatt and Jenny Giering's award-winning musical, The Mistress Cycle gets its world premiere in a full production as part of the second annual New York Musical Theatre Festival in September.

Directed by Joe Calarco, the production at The Lion Theatre on West 42nd Street Sept. 15-24 will include respected Broadway artists, including Stephanie Bast, Lisa Brescia, Mary Bond Davis, Sally Wilfert and Lynne Wintersteller.

With book and lyrics by Blatt and music by Giering, the musical is a "tale of sacrifice, destruction and renewal," according to the creators. "The Mistress Cycle explores the lives and loves of five notorious adulteresses: Tess Walker, a contemporary Manhattan photographer; Anais Nin, the famed sexual adventuress of the early 20th century; Diane de Poitiers, the mistress of King Henri II of 16th century France; Lulu White, a turn-of-the-century bordello Madame; and Ching, a 14-year-old concubine in 12th century China."

The production seen in repertory in NYMF is presented by The New York Musical Theatre Festival (NYMF), AWOL Theatre Project, PenneySeal Productions and Van Hill Entertainment.

The Mistress Cycle stars Stephanie Bast (Nine, The Scarlet Pimpernel, Miss Saigon) as Ching, Lisa Brescia (Tim Rice and Elton John's Aida, Jesus Christ Superstar) as Anais Nin, Mary Bond Davis (Hairspray, The Women, Jelly's Last Jam) as Lulu White, Sally Wilfert (Assassins, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, King David) as Tess Walker and Lynne Wintersteller (A Grand Night for Singing, Closer Than Ever) as Diane de Poitiers.

The Mistress Cycle, the first collaboration between Giering and Blatt is one of three winners of this year's Director's Choice Award from the National Music Theatre Network, the parent company of NYMF. The musical was also awarded the Jonathan Larson Performing Arts Foundation Award in 2000 as well as the 2002-2003 Dramatists Guild Jonathan Larson Fellowship. Developmental readings of the piece have been produced by the Williamstown Theatre Festival, Barrington Stage Company and TheatreWorks/Palo Alto's New Works Festival. Giering and Blatt are currently at work on the new musical Caraboo, Princess of Javasu with playwright Marsha Norman ('night, Mother). Caraboo will be presented this September at the National Alliance for Musical Theatre's 17th annual Festival of New Musicals.

The Mistress Cycle creative team includes Michael Fagin (scenic), Anne Kennedy (costume), Chris Lee (lighting) and Karma Camp (choreography). James Sampliner will be musical director.

The Lion at Theatre Row is at 410 W. 42nd Street. The playing schedule is Sept. 15 at 8 PM, Sept. 17 at 4:30 PM, Sept. 18 at 1 PM, Sept. 21 at 8 PM, Sept. 22 at 1 PM, Sept. 24 at 8 PM.

Tickets are $15 each and available through www.TheaterMania.com, or by calling (212) 352-3101. For more information, visit www.nymf.org or www.AWOLProject.org.

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