The York Theatre Company's Spring 2005 Musicals in Mufti series, comprising musical theatre gems in staged concert performances, features Howard Ashman and Alan Menken's 1978 off Broadway musical, God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater, Jamaica, and Darling of the Day. An audience discussion follows each matinee. "Mufti" means "in street clothes, without the usual trappings."
God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater was Alan Menken and the late Howard Ashman first collaboration, based on the Kurt Vonnegut bestseller. Written in 1978, the musical premiered at the WPA in 1978, starring Ellen Green. It moved to the Entermedia Theatre for an extended run.
Friday, April 1 at 8 p.m., Saturday, April 2 at 2:30 and 8 p.m., and Sunday, April 3 at 2:30 and 7:30 p.m.
Jamaica, with music by Harold Arlen, lyrics by E. Y. (Yip) Harburg and book by Harburg and Fred Saidy, opened on Broadway at the Imperial Theatre in 1957, featuring Lena Horne, who created the role of Savanna, a West Indian beauty who longed for the bright lights and sophistication of Manhattan. After a fractious out of town tryout, the David Merrick production opened to reviews that lauded Miss Horne and featured player Ricardo Montalban, the score, and the dances featuring a young Alvin Ailey. Ossie Davis was also in the cast. The show ran for over 500 performances. The Mufti version, with a book adapted by Jeff Hochhauser, is presented as part of the Harold Arlen Centennial Celebration.
Friday, April 8 at 8 p.m., Saturday, April 9 at 2:30 and 8 p.m., and Sunday, April 10 at 2:30 and 7:30 p.m.
Darling of the Day, with music by Jule Styne, lyrics by E. Y. Harburg and book by Nunnally Johnson, opened in 1968 at the George Abbott Theatre and ran for 32 performances. Based on Arnold Bennett's novel "Buried Alive," the story of Priam Farll, a famous painter who sees an opportunity to duck out of London's stifling high society by assuming the identity of his recently deceased valet. The original cast starred Patricia Routledge (who won a Tony for her performance) and Vincent Price.
Friday, April. 15 at 8 p.m., Saturday, April 16 at 2:30 and 8 p.m., and Sunday, April 17 at 2:30 and 7:30 p.m.
Visit the Musicals in Mufti Spring 2005 Season website: