Industry Roundup: Quentin Earl Darrington, Ace Young, Diana DeGarmo to Participate in Upcoming Readings

Readings and Workshops   Industry Roundup: Quentin Earl Darrington, Ace Young, Diana DeGarmo to Participate in Upcoming Readings
See what developmental presentations are taking place in the next few weeks in New York City.
Quentin Earl Darrington, Ace Young, and Diana DeGarmo
Quentin Earl Darrington, Ace Young, and Diana DeGarmo

Learn more about a handful of upcoming industry readings taking place in New York City, including two bio-musicals, a famed novel adaptation, and a comedy featuring immigrants and espionage.

Mandela (March 14–15)
Quentin Earl Darrington, last seen on Broadway in Once On This Island, will take on the title role in the private reading of the new musical, about the life and political struggles of the famed South African leader Nelson Mandela. Among those joining him are Sasha Allen (Hair) as Winnie Mandela.

Greg Dean Borowsky and Shaun Borowsky, both from South Africa, collaborated on the score, while Laiona Michelle penned the book. This reading is directed by Schele Williams with music direction by Alvin Hough, Jr.

Rounding out the cast, featuring both South African and American performers, are The Color Purple alum Carrie Compere, Emmanuel Castis, Alvin Crawford, Emerson Davis, Ntomb'khona Dlamini, Jason Forbach, Alexa Green, Bonita Hamilton, Jeremy Landon Hays, Atandwa Kani, Elijah Ahmad Lewis, Micailah Lockhart, Jay McKenzie, Phindi Mkhizwe-Wilson, Danny Rothman, Antoine L. Smith, Vishal Vaidya, Antonio J. Watson, and Mia Mei Williams.

The show is developed in partnership with the Mandela family.

Rock and Roll Refugee (March 14–16)
American Idol alums and real-life couple Diana DeGarmo (Hairspray) and Ace Young (Grease) star in the invite-only reading at Royal Family Performing Art Space.

Written by Chris Henry and Genya Ravan and directed by JoAnn Hunter with musical direction by Daniel A. Weiss, the musical is based on the life of Ravan, a holocaust survivor who became a rock n’ roll pioneer by the name of Goldie once she emigrated to America.

Katrina Rose, Charlotte Cohn, Philip Hoffman, Jesse Swimm, Charles Wallace, Carol Angeli, Gina Naomi Baez, English Bernhardt, and Mariela Flor Olivo will also participate in the reading.

Upton Sinclair's The Jungle (March 15)
The famed turn-of-the-20th-century novel has been adapted into a musical, to be presented in a private reading.

The musical from Nathan Dame and Rob Baumgartner, Jr. focuses on an immigrant family adjusting to life working in a mass production factory in Chicago.

The cast includes J. Casey Barrett, Erika Xiomara Reyes, Tina Stafford, Lauren Elder, Nathaniel Gregory, Aneesa Folds, Brian Calí, Mary Callanan, Bob Gaynor, Whit K. Lee, John Edwards, Forest VanDyke, and Jeremy Swanton. Justin Goldner and Hiroyuki Matsuura will feature on guitar and drums, respectively.

I Spy a Spy (March 21–22)
The Diamond Stage at the Pershing Square Signature Center will host a developmental lab presentation of _I Spy A Spy_, presented by Eric Krebs in association with Harriet Spalding and Michael Planit.

With a book and lyrics by Jamie Jackson and music and lyrics by SoHee Youn, the musical takes a look at what happens when a Mexican immigrant and a Russian spy cross paths. The reading is directed by Bill Castellino, with music direction by Michael Oberhammer.

The cast features Matt Ban, Amie Bermowitz, Grace Choi, James Donegan, Sevan Greene, Tauren Hagans, Charissa Abigail Hogeland, Jonathan Kirkland, Andrew Mayer, Victoria Price, Hazel Anne Raymundo, Tracey Stephens, Bruce Warren, and John Wascavage.

For reservations, email

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