Off-Bway's Melting Pot Stages Musical Reading Series; Vanishing Point Appears April 26 with Starry Trio

News   Off-Bway's Melting Pot Stages Musical Reading Series; Vanishing Point Appears April 26 with Starry Trio
Melting Pot Theatre Company (MPTC) launches a new musical theatre initiative this spring with Preludes: New Musicals in Concert, offering Vanishing Point, about three famed — and famously missing — ladies who find themselves together.

The new work, with book and lyrics by Liv Cummins and Rob Hartmann, music by Hartmann, and concept and additional lyrics by Scott Keys, will be heard 8 PM April 26 in Manhattan.

Performances take place at the Leonard Nimoy Thalia Theatre at Peter Norton Symphony Space, 2537 Broadway at 95th Street in Manhattan.

Tony Award nominees Alison Fraser, Emily Skinner and Barbara Walsh star in the reading, with direction by Michelle Tattenbaum and music direction by Mary-Mitchell Campbell.

According to Melting Pot notes, in Vanishing Point, "Amelia Earhart, Agatha Christie, and Aimee Semple McPherson, famous women of their day who each disappeared mysteriously for a time, find themselves together on a desert island."

This series of public concerts of new musicals reflects Melting Pot's ongoing mission to develop and produce new American work. Tickets are $25, or $40 for both shows, and may be purchased at the Symphony Space box office, (212) 864-5400, or at

Proceeds benefit MPTC's new work programs. Interested theatre producers should contact MPTC directly for tickets.

The second show of the Preludes series is Heading East, with book and lyrics by Robert Lee and music by Leon Ko.  Tony Award winner B.D. Wong (M. Butterfly, TV's "Law & Order: SVU") heads a cast of 11, with direction by Brad Rouse and music direction by Larry Yurman. "A Chinese immigrant and his family tumble through 150 years of history searching for their American Dream," according to the announcement. The musical won the Richard Rodgers Development Award in 2001. The concert will be 8 PM May 17.

Shows planned for concert presentation later this year include The Ballad of Little Jo by Mike Reid and Sarah Schlesinger, directed by Graciela Daniele, and Striking 12, by Brendan Milburn, Valerie Vigoda, and Rachel Sheinkin, performed by the "smart-pop trio," Groovelily.

"MPTC strongly believes that the American musical requires nurturing, and many of the present outlets are overlooking the work of very talented emerging writers and composers," according to the announcement. "Seeking to bolster production of Off-Broadway musicals, this series will present contemporary musical theatre of the highest quality. Melting Pot Theatre Company creates, develops, and produces New York premieres of plays and musicals that explore the themes, people, and events that shape the unique American experience.  MPTC presents culturally diverse theatre that is emotionally stirring, thought provoking, and reflects our country's population. Since 1997, MPTC has presented 14 critically acclaimed Off Broadway shows, including three world premieres and seven New York premieres, garnering 18 award nominations, including a 2001 Drama Desk Award.  Hits include Cookin' at the Cookery: The Music & Times of Alberta Hunter, Miss Evers' Boys, The Devil's Music: The Life & Blues of Bessie Smith, Cobb and Woody Guthrie's American Song.

For more information, visit or call (212) 330-7211.


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