Revised Bright Lights, Big City Musical to Premiere at Harvard

News   Revised Bright Lights, Big City Musical to Premiere at Harvard
Students at Harvard University have been granted the rights to workshop and present the world premiere of the recently revised version of Paul Scott Goodman's rock musical Bright Lights, Big City.
Paul Scott Goodman
Paul Scott Goodman

The semi-staged readings, free of charge, are being presented in consultation with composer Goodman, music director-orchestrator Jesse Vargas and Kurt Deutsch of Sh-K-Boom Records, which released a studio recording of the musical in 2005.

Prince Music Theater in Philadelphia subsequently presented the premiere of a revised version of the show.

Mary Birnbaum will direct the Harvard production, which will play March 5 at the Adams House Pool Theater. The cast for the one-night-only event will include Matthew Bohrer, Jennifer Brown, Rachel Flynn, Talisa Friedman, Jillian Goodman, Blair Harshbarger, Arlo Hill, Walter Klyce, Lauren Jackson, Michael Joyce, Eric Lang, Jonah Priour, Alison Rich, Jen Rugani, Kieran Shanahan, Michael Vinson, Tatiana Wilson and Sara Wright. Show times are 7 and 10 PM.

Bright Lights, Big City — based on Jay McInerney's novel — features a book and score by Paul Scott Goodman. The musical, according to press notes, follows Jamie, "an aspiring fiction writer stuck in fact-checking, as he descends into the drug culture of 1980s Manhattan and realizes that life is more than a party."

The original 1999 Off-Broadway production of Bright Lights at New York Theatre Workshop was directed by Rent's Michael Greif. A revised version of was presented in concert at the Guggenheim's Peter Lewis Auditorium, part of the museum's "Works and Process" series. Deutsch — of Sh-K-Boom Records — directed the Guggenheim evenings with musical direction by Roger Butterley. The recording, released by Sh-K-Boom Records, features this version. The recording stars Patrick Wilson as Jamie, the role he created in the musical's original production. The CD also boasts the talents of Jesse L. Martin, Sherie Rene Scott, Christine Ebersole, Gavin Creel, Richard Kind, Eden Espinosa, Everett Bradley, Anne Marie Milazzo, Sharon Leal and Celia Keenan-Bolger. The Harvard production — produced by Barry Shafrin — is presented courtesy of the Rodgers and Hammerstein Organization, "who will incorporate adjustments made throughout the rehearsal process into the final version of the score, and which will afterwards be released for production worldwide."

The Adams House Pool Theater is located at 26 Plympton Street in Cambridge, MA. For free tickets, e-mail or call (617) 785-0722.

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