A second generation Irish woman's quest for her identity is at the center of Leaving Queens, a new musical by Kate Moira Ryan and Kim D. Sherman. The show, after making its world premiere at Maine's Portland Stage Jan. 30-Feb. 18, moves to the Women's Project & Production for its New York premiere Feb. 25-March 18. Opening night is set for March 1.
Ryan (book and lyrics) and Sherman (music) have constructed a tale of young Megan Grant, a second-generation Irish American, who must use her family's history to discover her future. Following the stories of three generations of Irish in New York City, Grant finds that their hardships freed her to attain her dreams.
Ryan is the author of Autobiography of Aiken Fiction, Castro Convertible Girl, Damage & Desire and Hadley's Mistake. Sherman composed the music for I Hate Hamlet on Broadway, as well as the TheatreWorks productions of Heartland and Honor Song for Crazy Horse). Her music will be heard again at WPP her "play with music" adaptation of O Pioneers!.
Leaving Queens stars Alexander Bonnin, Sean Dooley, Jim Jacobsen, Paul Niebanck, Cynthia Sophiea, Barbara Terrill and Alice Vienneau.
Designing the show are Anita Stewart (sets), Louisa Thompson (costumes) and Jennifer Tipton (lighting). Tickets are $45. The Women's Project & Productions Theatre (formerly Theatre Four) is located at 424 West 55th Street. For reservations, call (212) 239-6200.
Founded in 1978 by current Artistic Director Julia Miles, Women's Projects and Playwrights is a non-profit Off-Broadway theatre dedicated to the development of new plays by women. Recent productions include Marlane Meyer's The Chemistry of Change, Joan Vail Thorne's The Exact Center of the Universe with Frances Sternhagen, Karen Hartman's Gum with Daphne Rubin-Vega and Jule Jensen's Two Headed with Lizbeth Mackay.
-- By Christine Ehren