Hit Off-Broadway Musical A LETTER TO HARVEY MILK streams April 22-25, 2021
Posted by: Official_Press_Release 10:06 am EDT 04/13/21

Hit Off-Broadway Musical
Gets Benefit Online Presentation

April 22-25, 2021
Proceeds will benefit the Actors Fund and HIAS

"Surprisingly fierce little musical. Brimming with warmth and clandestine power." Zach Stewart, Theatermania

New York: The Off-Broadway musical, A LETTER TO HARVEY MILK, presented at Theatre Row in 2018, will be presented as a benefit online beginning April 22 at 7 PM and running through 25, 2021. Money raised will benefit the Actors Fund, and HIAS. Tickets are $10-$50 and can be purchased by visiting StellarTickets.com.

San Francisco. 1986. What could Harry, an amiable but lonely retired kosher butcher, have in common with Barbara, his young lesbian writing teacher at the senior center? Is it enough to bridge the divide?

When Harry fulfills a writing assignment to compose a letter to someone from his past who's dead, he writes not to his late wife Frannie but Harvey Milk, the first openly gay political leader in California. Barbara is stunned. Harry's letter evokes life-changing revelations that neither could have foreseen. With its soaring score and deeply-felt, surprisingly funny lyrics, this musical deals with issues of friendship and loss, the grip of the past, and the hard-won acceptance set in motion by the most unexpected people.

A LETTER TO HARVEY MILK opened on March 6, 2018 and caught the attention of audiences and critics alike who have said: "This is one of those musicals that stows away in your heart without you even noticing." Zach Stewart, Theatermania; "The musical is not just the clichés or the humor; instead, it shines a light on Judaism and homosexuality, on loss and loneliness. "A Letter to Harvey Milk is a moving exploration of Judaism and the trauma that comes from publicly being who you are. I was laughing through my tears." Plays To See; "A true gem that is totally fulfilling. They don't get much better than A LETTER TO HARVEY MILK. Put it on your must-see list. The songs are fresh and emotionally rewarding, with tears that are inspired by both razor-sharp humor and poignancy. There is nothing in this musical that doesn't work. The chemistry between Heller, Knitel, and Stern is sublime, and the entire cast is superbly talented." ELJ NYC; "A Letter to Harvey Milk seeds into your heart, and blossoms with love." Diandra Reviews it All; "Fun and laughable, in the good way." Times Square Chronicles; "A Letter to Harvey Milk offers an honest truth in a time that needs it." Curtain Up; "This is a letter worth reading and seeing and well worth the wait." Front Mezz Junkies; "An inspiring musical about Harvey Milk, voiced by an unlikely source. A Letter to Harvey Milk is one of those rare musicals that dares to confront both LGBTQ history and Jewish history. And it does so with visceral wit, grace, and a full heart." Gay City News; "A Letter to Harvey Milk is a breath of fresh air." Stage Buddy; "Touching and Schmaltzy. There's a lot to like about this show!" BroadwayWorld; "Genuinely affecting and enjoyable. It is a rewarding and touching piece of musical theater." Jewish Standard

Based on the short story " A Letter to Harvey Milk" by Lesléa Newman, the musical A LETTER TO HARVEY MILK has music by Laura I. Kramer, lyrics by Ellen M. Schwartz, with additional lyrics by Cheryl Stern, book by Jerry James, Laura I. Kramer, Ellen M. Schwartz, and Cheryl Stern and will be directed by Evan Pappas with music direction by Jeffrey Lodin, orchestrations by Ned Ginsburg, casting by Stephanie Klapper. Set design/ virtual background by David Arsenault, the stage manager, is Will Chaloner, the technical producer, is Ruby Locknar, and video editor is Seth Walters. A LETTER TO HARVEY MILK is executive produced by Lisa Dozier King.

A LETTER TO HARVEY MILK stars Adam Heller (Broadway: It Shoulda Been You, Elf, Caroline or Change), Julia Knitel (Broadway and National Tour: Carole King in Beautiful, Bye Bye Birdie), Cheryl Stern (Broadway: La Cage Aux Folles, The Women) along with Michael Bartoli (National Tour: Joseph/Dreamcoat), Jeremy Greenbaum (Broadway: Newsies), Aury Krebs (Regional: Rent, Hairspray), and Ravi Roth (National Tour: Irving Berlin's White Christmas, Seussical).

A LETTER TO HARVEY MILK was proud to select the New York Musical Theatre Festival's 2012 Next Link Project, where it won five awards, including Most Promising Musical. It was also a finalist for the Richard Rodgers Award.

HIAS is the international Jewish humanitarian organization that provides vital services to refugees and asylum seekers in 16 countries. We advocate for the rights of all forcibly displaced people to rebuild their lives and seek to create a world in which they find safety, opportunity, and welcome. Join us at HIAS.org.

The Actors Fund fosters stability and resiliency and provides a safety net for performing arts and entertainment professionals over their lifespan. The Actors Fund envisions a world in which individuals contributing to our country's cultural vibrancy are supported, valued, and economically secure. We recognize the contributions of each individual and promote trust and mutual respect. We collaborate and share information, skills, and knowledge with each other and our community. We encourage and celebrate curiosity, creativity, and innovation. We embrace diversity and seek equity, inclusion, and dignity for all. We hold ourselves and each other accountable for the integrity of our services to being good stewards and maintaining the trust of our clients and supporters.

Will run beginning April 22 at 7 PM and run through April 25, 2021
Tickets are $10 - $50 and can be purchased at StellarTickets.com
Money raised will benefit the Actors Fund and HIAS

The cast and creative team are available for interviews.
To arrange interviews or a press link, please contact JT Public Relations / joe@jt-pr.net

Who's Who:

LAURA I. KRAMER (Composer/Book) A Letter to Harvey Milk (NYMF 2012 Next-Link Project and Most Promising Musical Award; Richard Rodgers Award 2012 finalist.) Music for As The Years Go By (lyricist Mitchell Bernard); choral piece Woman's Sphere finalist, Denver Women's Chorus Choral Music Competition. MA Music Theory/ Composition, Montclair State University; BS Music, Skidmore College; commissioned by Skidmore to write a commemorative choral piece, A Musical Instrument. Studied choral composition with renowned composer Alice Parker. BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop. Member Dramatists Guild, IAWM.

ELLEN M. SCHWARTZ (Lyricist) 's first work was writing children's songs with Bonnie Lee Sanders, including "Meet the Care Bears," "Care Bears Bedtime Story," and "Meet the Mr. Men and Little Misses." She collaborated on individual songs with artists including Sue Maskaleris, Barbara Carroll, Gail Wynters, Joel Diamond, and Luiz Simas. Ellen also worked with other collaborators on a number of theatrical projects, including Come Up' N See Me, The Trapped Family Singers, A Letter To Harvey Milk, A Cast of Thousands, Second Avenue Rag, and Tangled Webs, which was left uncompleted when she passed away in May 2013.

CHERYL STERN (Book/ Additional Lyrics) recently received raves Off-Broadway for her solo musical Shoes and Baggage with music by Tom Kochan. She created lyrics for the Jonathan Larson Award-winning Off Broadway musical, Nor'mal (now retitled Pretty To The Bone). Other credits include The Audience, Requiem for William, Being Audrey (Transport Group), That's Life!, A Christmas Survival Guide, Are We There Yet?, Famous, The Gene Game, Buffalonia ( EST). Cheryl is a resident member of the cell theatre and a graduate of Northwestern University.

EVAN PAPPAS (Director) Off-Bway: Liberty, Wonderful Town, DuBarry Was a Lady, What Will People Think? Regionally; The Color Purple, Sister Act (Arts Center of Coastal Carolina) Kiss Me Kate, Evita, West Side Story, The Daughter of the Regiment (Opera North), 7 Brides for 7 Brothers (SF Critics Best Production Award, and Director nom), Funny Girl (SF Critics Director nom) Lucky Stiff (Arizona Broadway Theatre), Murder for Two, My Way (Depot Theatre), Carousel , A Man of No Importance (Montclair State Univ), West Side Story (Santa Fe College), ). Some Place Like Home (Best Director Award Soundbites Festival, NYC), Broadway Babes (Covent Garden), Assoc. Dir. on Being Sellers (59E59), Moscow (Samuel French One-Act Festival), Parallel Lives (Theatre for the New City), Daily Sounds (Finalist in Strawberry Festival), etc. As an actor, he has starred on and off-Broadway in My Favorite Year, Parade, Putting It Together, A Chorus Line, I Can Get It For You Wholesale, Café Society Swing, etc., and in London's West End in Follies and Merrily We Roll Along.

JEFFREY LODIN (Musical Director) Thrilled to be working with this amazing cast and team. Music Director of the World Premieres of Liberty: A Monumental Musical, The Kid Who Would Be Pope, The Sphinx WinX and Glimmerglass. Also, a composer, Jeff's scores, with longtime collaborator William Squier, include Disney's Doug Live (Walt Disney World), 100 Years Into The Heart, Top Of The Heap, and Merrilee Mannerly (Off-Bdwy, 2018). With collaborator and father-in-law, John Allen: Rebels 1775 and Young Abe Lincoln (Theatreworks, USA). Conductor (most notably Chita Rivera) and Pianist (Andy Gibb, Mongo Santamaria). Faculty member IAMDA (NYC).lodinandsquier.com.

LESLÉA NEWMAN'S (Source material) 70 books include the short story collection, A Letter To Harvey Milk; the poetry collection, I Carry My Mother; and the children's books Heather Has Two Mommies, Sparkle Boy, and Ketzel, The Cat Who Composed. Poems from her novel-in-verse, October Mourning: A Song for Matthew Shepard, have been excerpted in the libretto of the fusion oratorio Considering Matthew Shepard composed by Grammy Award winner Craig Hella Johnson. A past National Endowment for the Arts poetry fellow and poet laureate of Northampton, MA, she currently teaches at Spalding University's low-residency MFA in Writing program.

LISA DOZIER KING (Executive Producer) is the founder of LDK Productions, a theatrical producing and management firm in New York City. Select recent credits: BE MORE CHILL (Broadway, Off Broadway, London), A Letter To Harvey Milk, Kennedy: Bobby's Last Crusade, A Lovely Sunday For Creve Coeur, the theatrical adaptation of the Academy Award-winning film SIDEWAYS. Lisa has been on staff at the New 42nd Street, Manhattan Theatre Club, Symphony Space, American Repertory Theatre and New York Stage & Film. She is also on faculty at the University of Florida and was the founding producing director for Miami New Drama. www.LDKProductions.com
Link http://HIAS.org

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