Donald Brenner directs the original book musical, billed as "a musical fable concerning a Manhattan couple who rediscover old friends on a Caribbean island and rekindle a flame called hope." The stressed out American couple return to their honeymoon island, singing a score that's pop and musical theatre-friendly.
Island features Terry Burrell (Thoroughly Modern Millie) and Byron Utley (Rent) as the island natives and Paul Binotto (Dreamgirls, Hair) and Ann Crumb (Aspects of Love, Les Misérables) as the New Yorkers.
Composer-lyricist Peter Link won the Drama Desk Award for Salvation, out of which came his first gold record, "If You Let Me Make Love to You, Then Why Can't I Touch You?" He is a two-time Tony Award nominee for his score of Joseph Papp's Much Ado About Nothing and for his score of Neil Simon's The Good Doctor. He also served as composer-in residence at the New York Shakespeare Festival for five years. His other Broadway credits include Ulysses in Nighttown starring Zero Mostel, Lysistrata starring Melina Mercouri, The Mighty Gents starring Morgan Freeman and King of Hearts. In the fall of 2002 he and lyricist Jacob Brackman worked on a revival of King of Hearts at Goodspeed Opera House.
Joe Bravaco and Larry Rosler share book credit on Island.
"Island has a long history," Bravaco told Playbill On-Line. "It started as a 'concert theatre' piece in the early 1980s at Milwaukee Rep and was completely sung through. However, composer Peter Link felt that the songs and story might be better served if there was dialogue. At this point Larry Rosler and I became involved as book writers and the show moved on to Portland Stage in Maine. It was received enthusiastically by its audiences and artistic director Charles Towers, but Peter believed that more work needed to be done. While Larry and I went on to other projects, Peter and Brent Nicholson, who originally conceived the idea, reworked much of it, returning it to an almost sung-through piece. This version was performed in Norfolk, VA at the Virginia Stage Company and after that, other than a few readings in Manhattan, Peter put it aside. In 2001, Larry, Peter and I had a reading of our show Sundown at the York Theatre in Manahttan. It was enthusiastically received and moved from the York to premiere in 2002 at the Lyric Stage in Dallas. Sundown [a musical about the famed gunfight at the OK Corral] is currently playing at the Barter Theatre in Abingdon, VA — opening to excellent reviews in March, I humbly add. As a result of this successful collaboration, I suggested we all take another look at Island, which brings us to the May 5 reading. The story has been rethought, a completely new script rewritten, and several songs have obviously been deleted and new ones added. Oddly, It feels even more relevant in terms of all that has happened in the world these past few years." Margaret Dorn musical directs the reading. The York Theatre is located in the Citicorp Center, 619 Lexington Avenue. For reservations, call the York at (212) 935 5824.