|Photo by Matthew Murphy|
We Foxes, presented as part of The York's NEO initiative ("New, Emerging, Outstanding"), will be held Sept. 12 at 3 PM.
Directed by Mike Donahue with music direction by Rich Silverstein, the piece features a book, music and lyrics by Oliver, whose acclaimed Jasper in Deadland was seen Off-Broadway this spring.
Emily Rogers will star as Willa opposite a cast that includes Katie Thompson (Off-Broadway's Giant), Ben Platt (The Book of Mormon), Forrest McClendon (The Scottsboro Boys), Anne L. Nathan (Once), Ben Fankhauser (Newsies) and Aaron Ramey (The Bridges of Madison County).
Rounding out the cast are Andie Alhadeff (Jasper in Deadland), Will Erat (Catch Me If You Can), F. Michael Haynie (Wicked), Victoria Huston-Elem (Golden Boy of the Blue Ridge), Ellyn Marie Marsh (Kinky Boots) and Joel Waggoner.
We Foxes is described as "a southern Gothic thriller set in small-town Missouri, 1945. It's the story of Willa, a tough and unmannered orphan girl, and her adoption by the crafty Sheriff's wife, Vesta Quimby. When Willa discovers the dark secrets beneath the floorboards, a war cuts them apart and Willa must fight to survive. After all, Vesta Quimby is the most beloved and powerful woman in town. Yet she's less humanitarian socialite than she is Machiavellian sociopath. Can Willa discover her own salvation, deliver herself into courage, and sacrifice everything to escape Vesta? It is a story of intense human struggle, deliverance, and the great salvation found only through oneself. The epic period musical is mostly sung-through, combining bluegrass, country, big band and concert music of the 1940s, infused with the contemporary folk-rock of today."
We Foxes was commissioned by Broadway Across America and has been in residence at the 5th Avenue in Seattle, Goodspeed, TheatreWorks, Silicon Valley's Writer's Retreat, Pace New Musicals, CAP 21 and the Weston Playhouse.
Oliver has written eight musicals and is a 2011 Lucille Lortel Award nominee, a 2009 Jonathan Larson grant recipient and the 2008 Richard Rodgers Award for Musical Theatre recipient. His work has been featured at the Kennedy Center, Off-Broadway and on television. Read more about his work in Playbill.com's Contemporary Musical Theatre Songwriters You Should Know.
Also part of the Developmental Reading Series are the New York premieres of Mark Felt, Superstar, with book, music and lyrics by Joshua Rosenblum; and Paris Through the Window, with book and lyrics by Charles Osborne and music by Leo Hurley.
Mark Felt, Superstar, directed by Annette Jolles with music direction by Joshua Rosenblum, will be held Aug. 28 at 3 PM. The cast features John Bolton, Michael McCoy, Amy Griffin, Herndon Lackey and Neal Mayer.
Here's how it's billed: "Mark Felt was the retired FBI man who revealed in 2005 that he had been Deep Throat, the secret source for journalists Woodward and Bernstein during the Watergate era. Deep Throat's identity was the greatest political mystery of all time, and Felt's story is thrilling, heart-breaking, and funny in equal parts. Mark Felt, Superstar is a whimsical musical romp through Watergate and beyond from Deep Throat's unique perspective. Only one U.S. President ever resigned-meet the man who brought him down."
Paris Through the Window, featuring direction by Jonathan S. Cerullo and music direction by Mathew Stephens, will be held Sept. 9 at 3 PM and 7 PM. The cast features Jeffrey Denman, Patrick Osteen and Jennifer Hope Wills with Mick Bleyer, Bridgett Craw, Sam Durant Hunter Stephen Orr, Elisa Nikoloulias, Bill Nolte, Angela Schultz, Mathew Scott, Sydney Shepherd, Jody Williams-Tutt and Allan Washington.
Paris Through the Window, according to the York, "is a historical fantasy about Paris during World War I and the healing power of art. It tells the story behind the eponymous Marc Chagall painting, and how World War I poet Alan Seeger met his 'rendezvous with death.'"
The readings are open to the public with a suggested donation of $5. Reservations can be made by visiting YorkTheatre.org or by calling (212) 935-5820. There is limited ticket availability for We Foxes only.