The York Theatre Company has announced shows and dates for its Winter 2004 series of developmental readings of musicals. All performances are free and open to the public and will be held at the company's home at the Theatre at St. Peter's, 619 Lexington Avenue at 54th Street. Following are descriptions of the musicals as provided by the York, along with the performance schedule:

A Smattering of Oscar
(Thursday, February 12, 7:30pm)
Book, music, and lyrics by Gene Jones.
Oscar Levant was a pianist, wit, raconteur, and Hollywood's oldest enfant terrible. He straddled the line between genius and madness and blurred the line between honesty and bad manners. Meet this unforgettable character for an evening of music and fun.

Along the Way
A New A Cappella Musical
(Wednesday, February 11, 7:30pm; Friday, February 13, 4pm)
Book, music, and lyrics by Kristen Anderson-Lopez, Gregory Christopher, James-Allen Ford, Russell Kaplan, Karla Momberger, and Sara Levine.
Additional material by Shawn Churchman.
On an N train deep beneath the city, six strangers explore the ups and downs of trying to be somebody in New York; coincidentally, they all have relative pitch. Along the Way burns through a slew of topics, employing every musical genre that the authors can get their hands on. Come along for the ride as theater and a cappella collide!

It's a Boy
(Wednesday, February 18, 7:30pm)
Book, music, and lyrics by Frank Barth.
The Flanagan household is thrown into an uproar when a new baby is born with a most unusual characteristic. A priest and a singer contribute to the confusion as they all try to sort out the mess and keep the family together in this tuneful new show.

Oh, Rats!
A Musical Farce
(Wednesday, February 25, 7:30pm)
Book and lyrics by Larue Watts and J. J. Coyle; music by Doug Katsaros.
All he wants is to pass through Hamelin to get some water for his bird on his way to see his Swedish sweetie, whose name he has momentarily forgotten. But nooo! That crazy fortune teller insists that he has to overthrow the evil baron, save the girl (and her virtue), and rid the town of rats before he can continue. Can he do it all and still catch the midnight boat to Lapland?

Isabelle and the Pretty-Ugly Spell
A Musical Fairy Tale
(Thursday, February 26, 2pm & 7:30pm)
Music and lyrics by Steven Fisher; book by Joan Ross Sorkin and Steven Fisher.
Isabelle is a scatterbrained but lovable fairy godmother who casts a spell on the kingdom to make sure her princess finds true love. But things don't work out as planned in this endearing and hilarious new musical for all ages. Great musical comedy fun!

Playboy of the Western World
(Tuesday, March 2, 2pm)
Music and book by Richard B. Evans; lyrics and book by Kate Hancock.
Based by the play by J. M. Synge.
Pegeen Flaherty, a young woman in a remote Irish village in 1907, is engaged to be married. But her plans and the lives of all the colorful characters within her village are upset by the arrival of a mysterious and handsome young stranger who reveals that he has killed his father. A delightful afternoon of Irish humor and music.

Wicked City Blues
(Monday, April 12, 7:30pm)
Book, music, and lyrics by Norman Thalheimer; story by Cornell Christianson.
It's 1947 and a radio show detective finds himself in over his head in a dark city where nothing is what it seems to be. The worlds of film noir and live radio collide onstage in a new musical that combines jazz, comedy, and suspense.