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York Theatre Company Announces Cast and Creative Team for "Cheek to Cheek: Irving Berlin in Hollywood" beginning November 24 at Theatre at St. Jean's
Posted by: Official_Press_Release 11:16 am EDT 10/10/21

CAST AND CREATIVE TEAM ANNOUNCED

THE YORK THEATRE COMPANY
IN ASSOCIATION WITH RIKI KANE LARIMER
PRESENTS
THE WORLD PREMIERE OF
CHEEK TO CHEEK: IRVING BERLIN IN HOLLYWOOD
AN ALL-SINGING, ALL-DANCING WORLD PREMIERE CELEBRATION
MUSIC AND LYRICS BY IRVING BERLIN
BOOK BY BARRY KLEINBORT
MUSIC DIRECTION BY DAVID HANCOCK TURNER
DIRECTED AND CHOREOGRAPHED BY RANDY SKINNER
AT THE THEATRE AT ST. JEAN'S

CAST TO FEATURE
PHILLIP ATTMORE, JEREMY BENTON, VICTORIA BYRD,
KAITLYN DAVIDSON, JOSEPH MEDEIROS, AND MELANIE MOORE

PERFORMANCES BEGIN NOVEMBER 24, 2021
LIMITED ENGAGEMENT THROUGH JANUARY 2, 2022
OPENING NIGHT IS THURSDAY, DECEMBER 2, 2021 AT 7:00PM

TICKETS NOW ON SALE!

New York, NY - 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, has announced the cast and creative team for the world premiere of Cheek to Cheek: Irving Berlin in Hollywood, a song and dance celebration featuring the music and lyrics of the legendary Irving Berlin. It is The York's first mainstage production since the pandemic began in March, 2020 and the flood which forced them from their home of 30 years at St. Peter's Theater in January 2021, and is produced in association with Riki Kane Larimer.

Performances begin Wednesday evening, November 24, 2021 at 7:00PM for a limited engagement through Sunday afternoon, January 2, 2022 at 2:30PM at The York's temporary home, The Theatre at St. Jean's (150 East 76th Street, between Lexington and Third Avenues). Opening Night is Thursday, December 2, 2021 at 7:00PM.

Conceived, directed, and choreographed by four-time Tony Award nominee Randy Skinner (42nd Street, Dames at Sea, Irving Berlin's White Christmas, Ain't Broadway Grand), with book by Barry Kleinbort (13 Things About Ed Carpolotti) and music direction by David Hancock Turner (York's Desperate Measures). The six-member cast is made up of Phillip Attmore (Shuffle Along, Hello, Dolly!), Jeremy Benton (42nd Street, Cagney at The York), Victoria Byrd (Peter Pan, A Chorus Line, Chicago), Kaitlyn Davidson (Cinderella, Bright Star), Joseph Medeiros ( Wicked, Yank! at The York), and Melanie Moore (Fiddler on the Roof, winner of "So You Think You Can Dance").

Cheek to Cheek: Irving Berlin in Hollywood is an all-singing, all-dancing celebration of the most famous songs that the legendary Irving Berlin composed for the silver screen. Mr. Berlin understood the impact dance had on the public and his melodies, rhythms, and lyrics reflected his love of that art form. Six spectacular performers will showcase these magnificent songs and will also tell the stories behind the man who made the music that made the movies dance. Four-time Tony nominee Randy Skinner directs and choreographs an evening featuring an array of classic Berlin tunes from such classic films as Top Hat, Alexander's Ragtime Band, Holiday Inn, Easter Parade, White Christmas, and many more! Cheek to Cheek: Irving Berlin in Hollywood is presented through special arrangement with Concord Theatricals and the Irving Berlin Estate, and is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature

The creative team includes scenic design by James Morgan, costume design by Nicole Wee, lighting design by Jason Kantrowitz and Ken Billington, and sound design by Julian Evans. The production stage manager is Chris Steckel. The casting director is Michael Cassara, CSA.

"When Riki Kane Larimer brought me the idea of doing this show, the combination of Irving Berlin and Randy Skinner was irresistible," said James Morgan, York's Producing Artistic Director. "Of course, that was some two years ago; but despite the delays of plagues, floods, locusts and other things, we are about to make it happen-and the timing couldn't be better. Cheek to Cheek is what New York needs now!"

Cheek to Cheek: Irving Berlin in Hollywood plays the following performance schedule: Tuesdays, Wednesdays, & Thursdays at 7:00 p.m., Friday at 7:30 p.m., Saturdays at 2:30 p.m. & 7:30 p.m., and Sundays at 2:30 p.m, with special additional performances on Monday, December 20 and 27 at 7:00 p.m. PLEASE NOTE: There are no performances on November 25, December 24, 25, and 31.

NOW ON SALE: Tickets for Cheek to Cheek: Irving Berlin in Hollywood are priced at $55 - $75 (plus $4 convenience fee). York Members receive Priority Seating and Discounted Tickets. Tickets may be purchased by visiting OvationTix at https://web.ovationtix.com/trs/cal/34375/1635739200000, by calling The York's Box Office at (212) 935-5820, Tuesday - Friday 12:00PM - 5:00PM, or via email at boxoffice@yorktheatre.org.

Senior Rush tickets are available in-person beginning one hour prior to performances for $20 cash only. Student tickets can be purchased anytime in advance at the box office during regular box office business hours. Limit one ticket per valid student ID and tickets are subject to availability. Student Rush tickets are $20.00 cash or credit. The York Theatre also offers $25 tickets for guests aged 35 years and under.

COVID NOTE: For the safety of all, COVID policies established by the CDC and WHO will be strictly enforced. Proof of vaccination status will be required upon entry, and masks must be worn at all times. Full COVID policies can be found on the York Theatre Company website.

* * *

The York Theatre Company offers the *York! Membership Program, an exclusive membership package for as low as $75.00-with special 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 .

York Theatre Company Gift Cards are available for any production during the 2021-2022 season by calling the Box Office at (212) 935-5820, Tuesday - Friday 12:00PM - 5:00PM, or via email at boxoffice@yorktheatre.org.

For additional information, please visitwww.yorktheatre.org .

MEET THE CAST

Phillip Attmore - Broadway credits include Hello, Dolly!, Shuffle Along, On The 20th Century, After Midnight, Irving Berlin's White Christmas, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. NYCC Encores!: I Married An Angel, Me and My Girl, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. Tours/Regional: Phillip Attmore: Moments Musicaux, Fosse, Stormy Weather, 42nd Street, Singin' in the Rain. Film/TV: "So You Think You Can Dance," "The Bold and the Beautiful," "Judging Amy," "Sisters," "Silent Tongue," "The Ellen DeGeneres Show." Awards: Three-time Astaire Award Winner, ACCA Award Winner, Playbill's Breakout Performance Award Winner, NAACP Theatre Award Nominee.

Jeremy Benton recently finished the workshop of the new stage adaptation of Summer Stock. Favorite performances include Irving Berlin's White Christmas (National Tour), Cagney (Off-Broadway/York Theatre/Astaire Award nominee), 42nd Street (Broadway), Anything Goes (National Tour), The Countess of Storyville (Off-Broadway), Animal Crackers (Denver Center), Call Me Madam (Lyric Theatre), Backwards in High Heels: The Ginger Rogers Musical (Original Cast), Mary Poppins (Lyric Theatre), and recently Singin' in the Rain. NYC Workshops: Merman!, Mommie Dearest. Jeremy is more than grateful and humbled to be sharing the stage with such an incredibly talented cast. Love to my CTG family, The York, Riki, and most of all, sincere thanks to Randy and Mary for continuing opportunities to sing and dance inside the world of Mr. Berlin. Follow Jeremy on Instagram: @jeremywbenton

Victoria Byrd is thankful and excited to be coming back to live performance. Regional: MUNY, North Shore Music Theatre, SpeakEasy Stage Company, Asolo Repertory Theatre. Training: BFA Musical Theater from Boston Conservatory. Thank you to my agents at DGRW and to the creative team for getting me here!

Kaitlyn Davidson is deeply grateful to be here with you and making her debut at The York! TV: "Law and Order: Organized Crime." Broadway credits include Rodgers + Hammerstein's Cinderella, Nice Work If You Can Get It. National Tours: Cats, Bright Star, Rodgers + Hammerstein's Cinderella, Irving Berlin's White Christmas. Transport Group: The Unsinkable Molly Brown. Encores! Off Center: The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin. Regional: How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (Kennedy Center), Chicago (Riverside Theater), The Music Man (Cape Playhouse). CCM Alum. Heartfelt thanks to DGRW and Randy. IG:@kaitlyndavidson27. www.kaitlyn-davidson.com .

Joseph Mederios - Broadway: Three Tall Women, Groundhog Day, Matilda, Doctor Zhivago, Wicked, West Side Story, Irving Berlin's White Christmas, Guys and Dolls, Grease, Big. Other New York theater: The Shed, Lincoln Center Theater, Second Stage, The York, City Center Encores!. He is currently performing the second book of Homer's Odyssey in Ancient Greek in city parks.

Melanie Moore was last seen in NYC in Al Blackstone's Freddie Falls in Love at the Joyce Theater. Her Broadway credits include Hello, Dolly! (Ermengarde), Fiddler on the Roof (Chava), and Finding Neverland (Peter Pan). Her other credits include New York City Center's Encores! production of A Chorus Line (Judy Turner), "So You Think You Can Dance" (Season 8 Winner and all-star), ABC's "Little Mermaid Live" (Daughter of Triton), "Glee," "Saturday Night Live," "Dancing with the Stars," "Travis Wall's Shaping Sound," and more.

MEET THE CREATIVE TEAM

Randy Skinner (Conceiver/Director/Choreographer). Broadway shows include 42nd Street (Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics, Astaire nominations), Irving Berlin's White Christmas (Tony, Drama Desk nominations), Dames at Sea (Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics, Astaire nominations), Ain't Broadway Grand (Tony, Outer Critics nominations), State Fair (Outer Critics nomination), and After the Night and the Music. For City Center Encores!, Mr. Skinner choreographed Do Re Mi, Of Thee I Sing, Face the Music, No, No, Nanette, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, and Lady, Be Good; he played the role of Pa Dolan in their production of On Your Toes. Off-Broadway, he choreographed Lone Star Love (Lucille Lortel nomination). Other shows include the Kennedy Center's Broadway: Three Generations. West End: Lend Me a Tenor: The Musical, Irving Berlin's White Christmas, and 42nd Street (Olivier nomination). For Lincoln Center/PBS, he choreographed "Show Boat" with the NY Philharmonic Orchestra. In Los Angeles: Stormy Weather (with Leslie Uggams at the Pasadena Playhouse), Garry Marshall's Happy Days, Hello, Dolly! (with Nell Carter), Pal Joey (with Dixie Carter and Elaine Stritch), and Strike Up the Band (with Tom Bosley). For Goodspeed Musicals: Babes in Arms, George M!, and Lucky in the Rain. Mr. Skinner's tapping can be heard on the recordings of Sondheim at the Movies, 110 in the Shade, Strike Up the Band, and Lucky in the Rain. He has received the LA Drama Critics, LA Drama-logue, Bay Area Theatre Critics, Connecticut Critics Circle, and Cleveland Times Theatre Awards. Mr. Skinner is a Columbus, Ohio native and graduate of the Ohio State University.

David Hancock Turner (Music Director) is a composer and music director working in musical theater. His musical The World Will Not Contain Us (written with playwright Christopher Shinn) was presented in a reading by The New Group in December 2016. His original children's musical Cinderella-A Fairy's Tale has had productions at the Summer Theater of New Canaan over the past two years. He is an active pianist and music director with credits that include several City Center Encores! productions (Irma La Douce, Zorba!, Do I Hear a Waltz?), The York's Desperate Measures, which transferred to New World Stages for a seven-month run, Passion at CSC, and many seasons at the Summer Theater of New Canaan. His collection of songs and sounds have been presented at venues in New York City and beyond as diverse as Ars Nova, Anthology Film Archives, IRT Theater, New Dramatists, The Living Room, The Clurman Theater at Theater Row, The Brick Theater in Williamsburg, The Fort Salem Theater, and the Ontological-Hysteric. He also teaches piano and coaches an eclectic variety of singers.

Barry Kleinbort (Book) has earned the prestigious Edward Kleban Foundation Award for Lyric Writing, two Gilman-Gonzalez Musical Theatre Awards, the Second Stage Musical Writers Award, the Jamie deRoy/ASCAP award, two BackStage Bistro awards, and ten Manhattan Association of Cabarets (MAC) awards for his directorial and songwriting efforts. He wrote the book and lyrics for the musical Was (music by Joseph Thalken, based on the novel by Geoff Ryman), which was the inaugural production of the American Musical Theater Project in Chicago. He co-wrote with David Levy Perfect Harmony, a musical play about the lives of the Barry Sisters, which ran for six months in South Florida. As a composer/lyricist, he wrote music and lyrics for Metropolita(i)n, a bi-lingual musical revue, which has successfully played in Paris and New York. He provided scripts for eight PBS TV specials and was an artistic consultant for "Cathouse: The Musical" for HBO. His newest musical, 13 Things About Ed Carpolotti, had a successful Off-Broadway run at 59E59 starring Penny Fuller and made its regional theater debut in 2014 at the Merrimack Rep in Lowell, Massachusetts, again with Ms. Fuller, and under Mr. Kleinbort's direction. He has directed and/or written material for Brent Barrett, Petula Clark, Marvin Hamlisch, Kaye Ballard, Regis Philbin, John Barrowman, Tony Roberts, Anita Gillette, Karen Mason, Sylvia McNair, Harolyn Blackwell, Heather MacRae, and many, many others. He has also directed topical revues and intimate theater productions, including Rita Gardner's Try to Remember: A Look at Off-Broadway and Kaye Ballard's Off-Broadway revue Working 42nd Street at Last! He adapted and directed the New York premiere of Bob Merrill's musical The Prince of Grand Street for the Jewish Rep and John Epperson's autobiographical one-man outing Show Trash at both the Studio Theater in Washington, D.C and Off-Broadway as part of the acclaimed Lypsinka trilogy at the Connelly Theater. A well-received revue of his theater songs, Big City Rhythm, is available on Harbinger Records.

Irving Berlin (Music) (May 11, 1888-September 22, 1989) was an American composer and lyricist, widely considered one of the greatest songwriters in American history. His music forms a great part of the Great American Songbook. He published his first song, "Marie from Sunny Italy", in 1907, and had his first major international hit, "Alexander's Ragtime Band" in 1911 that sparked an international dance craze. Over the years he was known for writing music and lyrics in the American vernacular: uncomplicated, simple and direct. He wrote hundreds of songs, many becoming major hits. During his 60-year career he wrote an estimated 1,500 songs, including the scores for 20 original Broadway shows and 15 original Hollywood films, with his songs nominated eight times for Academy Awards. Many songs became popular themes and anthems, including "Alexander's Ragtime Band", "Easter Parade", "Puttin' on the Ritz", "Cheek to Cheek", "White Christmas", "Happy Holiday", "Anything You Can Do (I Can Do Better)", and "There's No Business Like Show Business". His Broadway musical and 1943 film This is the Army had Kate Smith singing Berlin's "God Bless America" which was first performed in 1938. Berlin's songs have been extensively re-recorded by numerous singers including The Andrews Sisters, Perry Como, Eddie Fisher, Al Jolson, Fred Astaire, Ethel Merman, Louis Armstrong, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Elvis Presley, Judy Garland, Barbra Streisand, Linda Ronstadt, Rosemary Clooney, Cher, Diana Ross, Bing Crosby, Sarah Vaughan, Ruth Etting, Fanny Brice, Marilyn Miller, Rudy Vallée, Nat King Cole, Billie Holiday, Doris Day, Jerry Garcia, Willie Nelson, Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, Ella Fitzgerald, Michael Buble, Lady Gaga, and Christina Aguilera. Composer Douglas Moore sets Berlin apart from all other contemporary songwriters, and includes him instead with Stephen Foster, Walt Whitman, and Carl Sandburg, as a "great American minstrel"-someone who has "caught and immortalized in his songs what we say, what we think about, and what we believe. Composer George Gershwin called him " "the greatest songwriter that has ever lived", and composer Jerome Kern concluded that "Irving Berlin has no place in American music-he is American music."

Riki Kane Larimer (Associate Producer) hails from the world of housewares where her company, Metrokane, created and marketed the famous Rabbit Corkscrew. After selling Metrokane in 2014, she embarked upon a career in theater, where she co-produced the London production of Memphis followed by On the Town and Gigi on Broadway, the Off-Broadway productions of Georgie and Bright Colors and Bold Patterns, and York Theatre's productions of Cagney and Enter Laughing. Riki's major theatrical accomplishment is the widely acclaimed production of Cagney starring Robert Creighton, which started at The York, followed by a run at the Westside Theater (a stunning 15-month success). She is currently working on a workshop production of Cagney directed by Tony Award winner John Rando in London with the intent of opening on the West End. Riki is the Vice President of the Board of Directors at The York Theatre and is a trustee on the Board of Bay Street Theater in Sag Harbor on Long Island.

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 five 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 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 15 award nominations (and three wins) 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. The York is the recipient of a special Drama Desk Award for "Developing and Producing New Musicals" and, more recently, a special Outer Critics Circle Award for "50 Years of Producing New and Classic Musicals." The York is currently producing at The Theatre at St. Jean's due to a flood in their home of 30 years at Saint Peter's Church in January 2021.

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