"This New Jerusalem": Menken and Rice's Updated King David Rules NYU Nov. 13-14 | Playbill

News "This New Jerusalem": Menken and Rice's Updated King David Rules NYU Nov. 13-14
Alan Menken and Tim Rice's rarely seen oratorio King David is presented by New York University's Steinhardt School of Education beginning Nov. 13.

William Wesbrooks directs the concert presentations of King David Nov. 13 and 14 at the Skirball Center. Menken and Rice will be in attendance for their induction into the NYU Musical Theater Hall of Fame prior to the Nov. 14 8 PM performance.

The NYU presentation marks the tenth anniversary of King David, which follows the biblical monarch David from his days as a young man to the slaying of Goliath and his ultimate role as ruler of Israel.

King David features a cast of 20, backed by a 25-voice choir and a 65-piece orchestra culled from the undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral students of the Department of Music and Performing Arts Professions at NYU's Steinhardt School. Gerald Steichen conducts the performances.

NYU offers a chance to see an updated version of King David, which according to NYU, has undergone "extensive work" since its world premiere in 1997.

Rice incorporated text from David's psalms into his lyrics for the dramatic score, which includes "Never Again," "How Are the Mighty Fallen," "The Enemy Within," "Psalm 8," "Goliath of Gath," "When in Love," "Sheer Perfection," "Psalm 23," "You Have It All," "Warm Spring Night," "The Caravan Moves On," "The Long Long Day," and "This New Jerusalem." Originally commissioned to commemorate the 3,000th anniversary of the city of Jerusalem, King David made its world premiere as the inaugural production at Disney's newly restored New Amsterdam Theatre. The late Mike Ockrent directed the nine performances of King David that were presented in concert in May 1997. Among the original cast members were Judy Kuhn, Alice Ripley, Marcus Lovett, Roger Bart, Stephen Bogardus, Tim Shew, Martin Vidnovic, Hunter Foster, Karen Murphy and Philip Chaffin.

An alumnus of the BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop, Alan Menken has earned eight Academy Awards, ten Grammys and seven Golden Globes. His works for the stage include Little Shop of Horrors, Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid, Weird Romance, A Christmas Carol and Sister Act: The Musical.

Menken's Academy Award-winning compositions include "Under the Sea" from Disney's "The Little Mermaid," "A Whole New World" from "Aladdin," the title song from "Beauty and the Beast" and "Colors of the Wind" from "Pocahontas." His screen musicals also include "Newsies," "Hercules," "Enchanted" and "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" which was later adapted for the stage.

Tim Rice is best known for his Tony and Academy Award-winning work as lyricist and book writer for the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical Evita, in addition to his work on Jesus Christ Superstar and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. He has also penned lyrics for the musicals Chess, Aida and The Lion King. Rice previously collaborated with Menken on additional songs for the stage production of Beauty and the Beast, as well as the animated film "Aladdin," for which he earned an Oscar.

Tickets, priced $10, are available by visiting SkirballCenter, or by phoning (212) 352-3101.

The Jack H. Skirball Center for the Performing Arts at New York University is located at 566 LaGuardia Place at Washington Square South.

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