Springtime for Lenin: Musical Comedy Iron Curtain Raised April 8 in NYC

News   Springtime for Lenin: Musical Comedy Iron Curtain Raised April 8 in NYC
Boasting a premise that would have the producers of The Producers salivating, the new musical Iron Curtain — about American songwriters who pen communist propaganda musicals — will begin Off-Broadway performances April 8.

Prospect Theater Company presents the new musical comedy that has a book by Susan DiLallo, lyrics by Peter Mills and music by Stephen Weiner. Cara Reichel directs.

Here's how Prospect bills the show: "An uproarious musical comedy set during Broadway's Golden Age of the 1950s, Iron Curtain follows the adventures of an unsuccessful composer-lyricist team as they are kidnapped by the KGB and taken to the USSR to ghost-write communist propaganda musicals, where they are forced to choose between the fame they yearn for and the freedom they have lost."

Jeff Edgerton (Parade) and Marcus Neville (The Full Monty) play the writers.

The company also includes Bethe B. Austin, Larry Brustofski, Maria Couch, Jessica Grové (Thoroughly Modern Millie), Gordon Stanley (Ragtime) and Amber Dow, David S. Miller, Doug Shapiro, Robby Sharpe, Dara Seitzman, Rich Silverstein and Brad York.

The creative team includes choreographer Christine O'Grady, music director Daniel Feyer, orchestrator Dimitri Nakhamkin. The design team includes Nick Francone (sets), Sidney J. Shannon (costumes), Stephen Arnold (lights) and Yoshi D. Lee (sound).

Iron Curtain is the recipient of a 2006 grant from The Edith Lutyens and Norman Bel Geddes Foundation in support of the production design.

Susan DiLallo (book) wrote book and lyrics to Once Upon a Time in New Jersey (music by Stephen Weiner), which won both the Kleban Award and a Richard Rodgers Award in 2003, and the Global Search For New Musicals Competition in 2005. It was showcased at the Cardiff International Festival of Musical Theater in April, and was featured at the 2005 Edinburgh Fringe Festival, with a major Chicago production upcoming this summer.

Peter Mills (lyricist) received the 2003 Richard Rodgers New Horizons Award from The ASCAP Foundation, and received a 2002 grant from the Jonathan Larson Performing Arts Foundation. Most recently, he wrote book, music, and lyrics for The Pursuit of Persephone, a new musical about the college years of F. Scott Fitzgerald. Other lyric writing credits include Lonely Rhymes, The Alchemists, Illyria (a musical adaptation of Shakespeare's Twelfth Night which had its regional premiere at The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey in fall 2004), The Taxi Cabaret and The Flood, which was selected for the ASCAP Musical Theater Workshop (2001). Mills holds an M.F.A. in Musical Theater Writing from New York University's Tisch School for the Arts and a degree in English/Dramatic Literature from Princeton University. He is a founding member of Prospect Theater Company. Stephen Weiner (composer) is the award winning composer of Manhattan Theatre Club's newyorkers (lyrics by Glenn Slater) which garnered an Obie Award, and nominations for the Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle and Lucille Lortel awards. Weiner and Slater are also writing The Hudsucker Proxy, in development with Clear Channel Entertainment. Other shows include the Richard Rodgers Award-winning Once Upon a Time in New Jersey (book and lyrics by Susan DiLallo); Spittin Image done at the Forum Theater in New Jersey, An Evening with Comden and Green hosted by Michael Feinstein at Carnegie Hall, Hamlet Sings (lyrics by Peter Mills) for the Prospect Theater Company in New York City, and "Marco Polo," developed for Disney Feature Animation. Stephen is the 2005 recipient of the Jonathan Larson Award for Musical Theater and also received the 2000 ASCAP Richard Rodgers Award for Musical Theater. A member of ASCAP, he is a graduate of the BMI Musical Theater Workshop in New York City.

Performances play The West End Theatre in the Church of St. Paul and St. Andrew (263 West 86th Street at Broadway) April 8-30.

Show times are Thursdays through Saturdays at 8 PM with matinee performances on Sundays at 3 PM. There are additional performances on April 10 and April 26 at 8 PM.

Ticket prices are $18 for adults and $15 for students, which can be purchased in advance by contacting Theatermania at (212) 352-3101 or by visiting www.theatermania.com. (Service charges will apply.)

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