Tree Grows in Brooklyn Reading to Feature Skinner, Buntrock, Miller and More

News   Tree Grows in Brooklyn Reading to Feature Skinner, Buntrock, Miller and More
The Pecadillo Theatre Company will present a private reading of the 1951 musical A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.

For the May 12 and 13 private industry readings, Kleban and Larson Award-winning librettist Susan DiLallo (Iron Curtain, Once Upon a Time in New Jersey) has penned a revised libretto. Pecadillo promises a refocused book that is in line with Elia Kazan's 1945 film version of Betty Smith's novel.

A cast of Broadway performers has been assembled, including Emily Skinner (Full Monty, Side Show) – who returns to the work following her appearance in the 2005 Encores! staging of the musical – as well as Emma Rowley (Gypsy), Jeff Brooks (Beauty and the Beast), Pamela Brumley (Juno), Andy Gale (Side Show), Stephen R. Buntrock (Jane Eyre), Tom Flagg (Oklahoma!), J. Maxwell Miller (Juno), Tom Alan Robbins (Is He Dead), Kevin Vortman (Juno), Mick Bleyer, Kenneth Cavett, Diane J. Findlay, Deborah Radloff, Ashley Robinson and Steve Sterner.

Based on Smith's beloved novel of the same title, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn features music by Arthur Schwartz, lyrics by Dorothy Fields and a book by George Abbott and novelist Betty Smith.

The score, featuring the songs "Make the Man Love Me" and "Buy You a Star," have been freshly arranged by Mark Janas. Director Dan Wackerman and Peccadillo have been in contact with representatives from the authors' estates so that they may view the newly revised work. With interest in a future life for the classic work, producers have also been invited to the presentations at the Theatre at St. Clement's.

Told through the perspective of a young girl named Francie Nolan, the story follows an Irish-American family's struggles at the turn of the century in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn ran for 267 on Broadway under the direction of George Abbott. The original cast included Shirley Booth, Nathaniel Frey, Nomi Mitty, Marcia Van Dyke and Lou Wills, Jr. The musical resurfaced in the 2005 City Center Encores! staging that featured Jason Danieley, Sally Murphy, Skinner and Nancy Anderson.

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