Of Rags and Riches: Shine!, a Musical Inspired by Horatio Alger Tales, Sings in NYC Starting Oct. 7

News   Of Rags and Riches: Shine!, a Musical Inspired by Horatio Alger Tales, Sings in NYC Starting Oct. 7
Shine! The Horatio Alger Musical — featuring Michael Halling, Meggie Cansler, Philip Chaffin and Andy Mientus — gets its New York City premiere Oct. 7-17 as part of the New York Musical Theatre Festival. Mientus, who played Hanschen in the tour of Spring Awakening, plays hero Dick, an iconic Alger scrapper.

Andy Mientus
Andy Mientus

The tuneful and traditional period musical comedy, inspired by rags-to-riches characters and stories by Horatio Alger, has been seen regionally and in Manhattan readings (and is published by Samuel French), but this is the first fully produced production in Manhattan. The script and score have been revised and refreshed for the 2010 NYMF by book writer Richard Seff (Paris Is Out!), composer Roger Dean Anderson and lyricist Lee Goldsmith. Anderson and Goldsmith are known for their musicals Chaplin, Quality Street, Ladykiller and Abe.

Shine! performances under the direction of Peter Flynn play The Theater at St. Clements, 423 W. 46th Street. Shine! is presented by Other Side Productions.

A cast of 18 makes this one of the rare large-cast productions of NYMF. Here's how the producers bill the 1876 Manhattan-set show: "With a highly melodic, hummable and bouncy score with bright lyrics, Shine! The Horatio Alger Musical follows the tale of Ragged Dick (Horatio Alger's first best-selling hero) in lower Manhattan as he rises from penniless bootblack to budding Wall Street entrepreneur. Dick's adventures with a little bit of luck, some charm and a whole lot of hard work bring him face to face with scheming ex-convicts, vicious comic villains, kind benefactors, and a world of colorful street characters in this charming rags-to-riches romp for everyone."

Halling (A Tale of Two Cities, The Pajama Game, In My Life) is villainous Gerrish; Cansler (Broadway's The Apple Tree, Finian's Rainbow) is damsel Stacia; Chaffin (Broadway's King David concert, and a PS Classics recording artist) is upstanding member of society Carlisle. The company also features Jimmy Ray Bennett (White's Lies, the Encores! revival of Damn Yankees); William Ryall (Grand Hotel, Seussical) as Silas Snobden; Stanton Nash (Wicked, McCarter's Take Flight) as Higgins; Tyler Merna (Tusk! Tusk!) as kidnappable kid Rob Carlisle; Dan Lawler (Off-Broadway's With Glee and Pinkalicious) as Foswell; Evan Jay Newman (Broadway's Les Miserables) as Mickey Maguire; and Kathy McGrath as landlady Mrs. Mooney, with with Jason Mills, Cheo Bourne, Todd Horman, Robert Mintz, Rachell Coloff, Jessica Vosk, Joy Hermalyn and Melissa Rain Anderson.

The creative team includes choreographer Devanand Janki; set and costume designers Michael Bottari & Ronald Case; music supervisor, arranger and orchestrator Greg Anthony; music director Annbritt duChateau; associate musical directors Danny Percefull and Sue Anschultz. Director Flynn is artistic director of The Hangar Theatre in Ithaca, NY. He staged the New York City concerts of On the Twentieth Century (Douglas Sills, Marin Mazzie, & Joanne Worley); Chess (Josh Groban); and Funny Girl (Whoopi Goldberg, Bebe Neuwirth & Peter Gallagher, among others). Janki directed and choreographed the award-winning hit Zanna, Don't! and Junie B. Jones, Cupid & Psyche, Henry & Mudge and John Patrick Shanley's Romantic Poetry (MTC).

The Shine! performance schedule is Oct. 7 at 8 PM; Oct. 9 at 5 PM; Oct. 11 at 9 PM; Oct. 15 at 1 PM; Oct. 16 at 9 PM and Oct. 17 at 3 PM.

For more information, visit www.nymf.org/shine or www.shinethemusical.com.

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