Amas Musical Theatre (Donna Trinkoff/Producing Artistic Director), will present free staged readings of SAVING THE MuSE, a new musical with music and lyrics by the late Edward Kleban, book by Linda Kline, and directed and developed by Michael Bush, on Monday June 28 at 6:00pm, and Tuesday, July 13 at 3:00pm and 7:00pm at Ripley-Grier Studios, 520 Eighth Avenue (10th Floor).
SAVING THE MuSE (originally titlEd Gallery) was developed in the mid-1980's as an art-focused review of new songs by Edward Kleban (lyricist, A Chorus Line) at Manhattan Theatre Club. After an initial workshop the project was shelved and in 1987 Mr. Kleban died without returning to it. Ms. Kline (A Class Act) has reorganized the songs and drafted a book that sets them in a museum under financial threat.
"We are very excited to be able to present these wonderful songs by Ed Kleban, many of which have never been heard by the public before", says Amas Producing Artistic Director Donna Trinkoff. "And Linda Kline's new book is a very clever, insightful setting for theM. SavinG THE MuSE offers thrilling insight into how we see ourselves vis-à-vis the art that inspires us, and how that art speaks to the human soul."
SAVING THE MuSE is being developed under the supervision of Director Michael Bush, who is also the Artistic Director of the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center's Cabaret and Performance Conference.
The cast includes Cindy Cheung, (Lady in the Water, Goodbye Cruel World), Dee Hoty (Mamma Mia!, Footloose) Harris Duran, Andre Garner (The Color Purple, Langston Hughes' Little Ham), Marcus Neville, Asa Nisenson, Destin Owens (Rent), Lois Robbins (The 60's Project) and Jonathan Root. The music director is Paul Wolfson.
Edward Kleban wrote the lyrics for the Broadway hit "A Chorus Line". He and composer Marvin Hamlisch won the 1976 Tony Award for Best Original Score. In 2000, Lonny Prince and Linda Kline co-wrote "A Class Act", a musical biography of Kleban with a score consisting of songs he had written for numerous unproduced musicals. Fourteen years after his death, Kleban earned a Tony Award nomination for Best Original Score and Drama Desk nominations for Outstanding Music and Outstanding Lyrics. Kline also received a 2001 Tony nomination for "A Class Act" for Best Book for a Musical. She also wrote the book for "My Heart Is in the East", produced by The Jewish Repertory Theatre, and for "Cut the Ribbons", produced at Eighty-Eight's in which she received a 1992 MAC nomination. Michael Bush is the former director of production at the Manhattan Theatre Club and recently directed Stormy Weather at the Pasadena Playhouse and Hurricane at the New York Musical Theatre Festival, where he won the 2009 NYMTF Excellence in Direction Award.
The presentations are part of the ongoing Amas Six O'Clock Musical Theatre Lab, a development series for writers, lyricists and composers to mount staged readings of their new musicals free to the public. The Amas Six O'Clock Musical Theatre Lab is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, a State Agency, and by the ASCAP Foundation Irving Caesar Fund, the BMI Foundation, the Barbara Bell Cummings Foundation, the Dramatists Guild, the Edith Meiser Fund, the Shubert Foundation, and through the generous support of many individuals.