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The York Theatre Company Launches 50th Anniversary Season with "Musicals in Mufti" Tribute to Cole Porter
Posted by: Official_Press_Release 05:45 pm EDT 08/22/19

THE YORK THEATRE COMPANY
LAUNCHES THEIR 50TH ANNIVERSARY SEASON
ANNOUNCES
THE FALL 2019 “MUSICALS IN MUFTI” SERIES
CELEBRATING BROADWAY’S LEGENDARY COLE PORTER
AT THE YORK THEATRE AT SAINT PETER’S
SEPTEMBER 28 – NOVEMBER 3, 2019

THE SERIES INCLUDES THE MUSICALS

FIFTY MILLION FRENCHMEN

THE DECLINE AND FALL OF THE ENTIRE WORLD
AS SEEN THROUGH THE EYES OF COLE PORTER

PANAMA HATTIE

SPECIAL “COME IN FOR THE COLE” PACKAGE AVAILABLE

TICKETS NOW ON SALE

Celebrating the legendary Cole Porter, The York Theatre Company (James Morgan, Producing Artistic Director; Evans Haile, Executive Director), dedicated to the development of new musicals and rediscovery of musical gems from the past, launches their 50th Anniversary Celebration with the 2019 Fall Musicals in Mufti series featuring three shows which highlight the genius of the legendary Cole Porter through his music and lyrics:Fifty Million Frenchmen (September 28 – October 6, 2019), The Decline and Fall of the Entire World as Seen Through the Eyes of Cole Porter (October 12 -20, 2019), and Panama Hattie (October 26 – November 3, 2019) at The York Theatre Company at Saint Peter’s (entrance on East 54th Street, just east of Lexington Avenue).

These musical theatre gems, performed in a simply-staged, book-in-hand concert format, are part of the Muftis’ twenty-sixth historic year of presenting shows from the past that deserve a second look. Mufti means “in street clothes, without the trappings associated with a full production.”

York’s Producing Artistic Director James Morgan had this to say about the series, "Cole Porter was a true New York sophisticate, providing delectable music and lyrics for countless captivating shows from the 1920s into the 1960s. No one’s songs better capture the cosmopolitan spirit of the period. To be able to bring his musical brilliance to The York stage for our 50th Anniversary celebration seems a perfect choice.”

Opening the Fall 2019 Series is Fifty Million Frenchmen with music and lyrics by Cole Porter and book by Herbert Fields, adapted by Tommy Krasker and Evans Haile. The year is 1929, the month is June. It's the season when all the Americans invade Paris—and all the Parisians leave town. This classic boy-meets-girl musical set in the city of love introduced the world to such memorable Cole Porter favorites as “You Do Something to Me,” “You’ve Got That Thing,” and “The Tale of the Oyster.” Originally opening on Broadway in 1929, Fifty Million Frenchmen was one of Porter’s earliest hits and a precursor to the success that was yet to come. Irving Berlin was such a fan that he took out an advertisement calling Fifty Million Frenchmen “the best musical comedy I have seen in years!” The York is delighted to kick off its Cole Porter Mufti celebration with this show, in the revised version created by Tommy Krasker and Evans Haile for a 1991 concert presentation, emphasizing its remarkable score. Haile, The York’s Executive Director, will also be Music Director, and the production will be directed by Hans Friedrichs. Performances begin Saturday afternoon, September 28, 2019 and continue for 11 performances only through October 6, 2019. Opening Night will be Sunday evening, September 29, 2019 at 7:00 p.m.

The second show in the series is The Decline and Fall of the Entire World as Seen Through the Eyes of Cole Porter, originally created and directed by Ben Bagley. The irreverent musical journey that is The Decline and Fall of the Entire World as Seen Through the Eyes of Cole Porter, originally conceived by Ben Bagley in 1965, travels the globe through an array of gems from the vast Porter canon, both familiar and forgotten. The "world" under scrutiny is that between 1919 and 1945 when, indeed, some considerable declining and falling went on. Unfortunately (but fortunately for us), it's just as relevant now as it was over fifty years ago—"times have changed, and we’ve often rewound the clock," as Porter wrote— and now we’re rewinding it again. The New York Times, in its original review, said the revue “relishes Cole Porter, feasting on his lively and lilting tunes, tunes that are so marked by the Porter dash and swagger that they are immediately recognizable even though one may never have heard them before.” In times of great turmoil, Porter created a world of his own through his songs and made ours richer in the process. Pamela Hunt, (Jerry’s Girls, Berlin to Broadway) directs. Performances begin Saturday afternoon, October 12, 2019 and continue for 11 performances only through October 20, 2019. Opening Night will be Sunday evening, October 13, 2019 at 7:00 p.m.

Closing out the 2019 Fall Mufti series is the 1940’s hit musical Panama Hattie, with music and lyrics by Cole Porter and book by Herbert Fields and B.G. DeSylva. Cole Porter and Ethel Merman teamed up for their fourth hit with 1940's Panama Hattie, in which a brassy nightclub owner must bid for the approval of her fiancé’s family—a task only made more complicated when she discovers a plan to blow up the Panama Canal. With a raucous book about sailors and singers in the Panama Canal Zone and a snappy Porter score that includes “Let’s Be Buddies,” “I've Still Got My Health,” and “Make It Another Old-Fashioned, Please,” Panama Hattie was a smash in its day, but is now mostly known for its distinctly unfaithful film adaptation. In response to the original production, Brooks Atkinson in The New York Times stated, “if the Navy ever hears about Panama Hattie, it will be hard to keep the fleet in the Pacific. As far as that goes, it is going to be hard to keep New Yorkers at home in the evenings this Winter.” Klea Blackhurst returns to The York to star in the title role, having previously paid tribute to Merman in the Mufti presentation of Happy Hunting and in her acclaimed solo show Everything the Traffic Will Allow. Michael Montel (Dear World, A Time For Singing) directs. Performances are set to begin Saturday afternoon, October 26, 2019 and continue for 11 performances only through November 3, 2019. Opening Night will be Sunday evening, October 27, 2019 at 7:00 p.m.

Musicals in Mufti will play the following 11-performance schedule—First Week: Saturday at 2:30 p.m. & 8:00 p.m., Sunday at 2:30 & 7:00 p.m.; Second Week: Wednesday at 7:00 p.m., Thursday at 2:30 p.m. and 7:00 p.m., Friday at 8:00 p.m., Saturday at 2:30 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. and Sunday at 2:30 p.m.

NOW ON SALE: In keeping with the spirit of The York’s 50th Anniversary Season, single tickets for the 2019 Fall Musicals in Mufti series are priced at $50 (for all performances). York Member single tickets are priced at $31.50 (for all performances).

SUBSCRIBE AND SAVE: Subscribe to a “Come in For the Cole” Package and see all three Muftis for $120 – a $30 savings!

BEST SAVINGS! Become a York Member (details below): Buy all three Muftis priced at $94.50 - a $55 savings off the regular priced ticket.

The York Theatre Company offers the *York! Membership Program, an exclusive membership package for as low as $75.00—with elite benefits that include up to 35% off tickets to York Theatre Productions, exclusive Member pre-sale opportunities, 50% off on all lobby concessions, 20% off on all lobby merchandise, discounts at local restaurants and parking garages, in addition to special Member-only receptions. The York also offers a _York Plus!_ Membership Program* with additional perks, including complimentary tickets to Mainstage productions and invites to several VIP-only presentations throughout the season.

York Memberships can be purchased online at www.yorktheatre.org/membership, or by visiting The York Theatre Company Box Office (Citicorp Building, entrance on East 54th Street, just east of Lexington Avenue), or by calling the Box Office at (212) 935-5820 during regular business hours (Monday through Friday, 12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.).

York Theatre Company Gift Cards are available for any production during the 2019-2020 season by visiting the box office or calling (212) 935-5820, or online at www.yorktheatre.org

For additional information, please visit www.yorktheatre.org

The York Theatre Company is the only theatre in New York City—and one of very few in the world—dedicated to developing and fully producing new musicals and preserving neglected, notable shows from the past. For over four decades, York’s intimate, imaginative style of producing both original and classic musicals has resulted in critical acclaim and recognition from artists and audiences alike. Under the guidance of Producing Artistic Director James Morgan since 1997, The York has focused on new musicals in its Mainstage Series—most of them world, American, or New York premieres—by some of the field’s most esteemed creators and has also helped launch the careers of many talented new writers. Well over 40 cast recordings from The York Theatre Company productions are now available on CD, including its acclaimed revival of Closer Than Ever (2013 Off-Broadway Alliance Award for Best Revival); commercial transfers of such York premieres as The Musical of Musicals (The Musical!), Souvenir (Tony Award Nomination for actress Judy Kaye), and Jolson & Company, and revivals of Pacific Overtures and Sweeney Todd (four Tony Nominations including Best Revival) have all showcased the importance of The York and its programs. Recent New York premieres have included Marry Harry, A Taste of Things to Come, and Rothschild & Sons. The critically-acclaimed musical Yank! received its Off-Broadway debut at The York in 2010, and subsequently to rave reviews in London-- as did York’s Rothschild & Sons. The hit musical Cagney received its York premiere in 2015, transferring to the Westside Theatre for over 15 months. In 2017, Desperate Measures received a total of 14 award nominations that included “Best Musical” from the Lucille Lortel, Outer Critics Circle, Drama Desk, and Off-Broadway Alliance and subsequently transferred across town to New World Stages. Unexpected Joy premiered Off-Broadway at The York, and later opened to great success at London’s Southwark Playhouse. The acclaimed new musical Midnight at The Never Get (Fall 2018) received a collective total of 7 nominations from the Lucille Lortel, Drama Desk, Outer Critics and Off-Broadway Alliance Awards. The 2019 Winter Musicals in Mufti series celebrated the centennial of lyricist/librettist Alan Jay Lerner, with the 1979 musical Carmelina, followed by the musical The Day Before Spring (1945), closing with the New York premiere of Lolita, My Love (1971). Recently launching the York’s 50th Anniversary year was the acclaimed revival of the hit musical Enter Laughing. The York is the recipient of a Special Drama Desk Award for “Developing and Producing New Musicals” and more recently an Outer Critics Circle Award for “50 Years of Producing New and Classic Musicals.”
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