LaChanze Brings Soaring Voice to Barnstormer Reading March 17

News   LaChanze Brings Soaring Voice to Barnstormer Reading March 17
Barnstormer, a new musical about pioneering black aviatrix Bessie Coleman, spreads its wings in a reading for York Theatre Company 7:30 PM March 17 in Manhattan.

Jerry Dixon, the actor known for Once On This Island, directs LaChanze (Once On This Island), Mary Bond Davis (Hairspray), Adriane Lenox (Kiss Me, Kate), Don Mayo (Man of La Mancha), Gerry McIntyre (A Christmas Carol) Dwayne Clarke (Urinetown) and Rashad Naylor (Hairspray). Book and lyrics are by Cheryl L. Davis (The Color of Justice for Theatreworks/USA) and music is by Douglas J. Cohen (No Way to Treat a Lady, The Gig). Larry Yurman (currently conducting Thoroughly Modern Millie) is the musical director.

According to York and the creators, "Bessie was a 'barnstormer' — a performer who traveled from town to town entertaining throngs with her aerial stunts. Her thrilling story is theatrically told by a group of barnstormers who pay tribute to their most famous namesake. Before Amelia Earhart — there was Bessie Coleman. Barnstormer relates the adventures of the first African American woman flyer and how she helped take her race from cottonfields to the clouds."

Barnstormer most recently received readings as a non-musical at the Women's Project and Ensemble Studio Theatre. The York reading marks the first time the show will be presented as a musical. The presentation is at York's digs at The Theatre at St. Peter's in the Citicorp Center, 54th and Lexington. For more information, contact the York Theatre Company Reading Series, (212) 935-5824 ext. 24.

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