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Penelope, or How the Odyssey Was Really Written to Debut at the York Theatre

The world-premiere musical comedy imagines how The Odyssey got from pen to paper.

Peter Kellogg pens the book and lyrics to the new musical comedy Penelope, or How the Odyssey Was Really Written.
(© David Gordon)

The York Theatre Company will present the world premiere of the new musical comedy, Penelope, or How the Odyssey Was Really Written. Performances are set to run from March 22-April 24 at the Theater at St. Jean's, with an official March 31 opening.

Penelope, or How the Odyssey Was Really Written is described as follows: "Penelope is married to Odysseus, the King of Ithaca, a Greek island in the Ionian Sea. She is currently waiting for him to return from the Trojan War. She's been waiting a long time: twenty years; ten years since the war ended. A bevy of suitors have gathered, each wanting to marry her and take over the kingdom. To stall them, Penelope writes letters to herself and pretends they're from Odysseus saying he's on his way. Little does she know that her letters gathered together are creating the story of The Odyssey. (Since no one knows who really wrote The Odyssey, this theory is as good as any other.) Meanwhile the suitors, having little else to do but eat and drink, form an a cappella group—the acoustics in The Great Hall are terrific."

The production features a book and lyrics by Peter Kellogg (Desperate Measures), and music by Stephen Weiner (The Rivals). Emily Maltby (Lolita, My Love) directs and choreographs, with music direction and orchestrations by David Hancock Turner (Cheek to Cheek) and vocal arrangements by Turner, Steve Delehanty, and Stephen Weiner.

"We're delighted to bring this new musical comedy to life on our stage," said the York's Producing Artistic Director Jim Morgan in a statement. "We look forward to working with the whole company of artists, but it's particularly wonderful to reconnect with Peter Kellogg, who co-wrote Desperate Measures for us five years ago."

Casting and additional creative team members will be announced shortly.