The Musical of Musicals (The Musical!): benefit performance on behalf of the York Theatre Company

The Musical of Musicals (The Musical!), the acclaimed off Broadway hit by Eric Rockwell and Joanne Bogart that has played to sold-out houses across the United Stages, in Canada and on London�s West End, will return to New York for a one-night-only performance, on 8 Jul 2009.

The evening will benefit the York Theatre Company, the award-winning off-Broadway company that first produced the show, in honor of the theatre�s 40th Anniversary. It will be presented at the company's Theatre at Saint Peter�s.

Melanie Herman, the show�s New York producer, has reunited the show�s original artistic team (Pamela Hunt, director; Jim Morgan, sets; John Carver Sullivan, costumes and Mary Jo Dondlinger, lights), along with actors who have performed the show in New York and around the country: Joanne Bogart, Matt Castle, Brent Schindele and Kristin Maloney.

The musical has score by Eric Rockwell, lyrics by Joanne Bogart, and book by Rockwell and Bogart.

The Musical of Musicals (The Musical!) first opened at the York on 16 Dec 2003, to rave reviews and was nominated for five Drama Desk Awards, including Best Musical and the Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Musical. It moved to the Dodgers Stages, playing for a total of 583 performances in New York.

The New York Times wrote, "The Musical of Musicals (The Musical!) has real wit, real charm. It�s great fun!� The musical has since played all across the United States, Canada and London. The latest production will play at the Cape Playhouse on Cape Cod, from 22 Jun - 4 Jul 2009; it is this cast that is coming to New York for the one-night-only benefit.

The Musical of Musicals (The Musical!) is a musical about ... musicals! In a comic satire of musical theatre genres, one story becomes five musicals, each in the distinctive style of a different master of the form, from Rodgers and Hammerstein to Stephen Sondheim.

The plot is simple: June, an ing�nue who can't pay the rent, is threatened by her evil landlord. Will the handsome leading man come to her rescue? In an evening of variations on a theme, this basic plot is musicalized the way Rodgers and Hammerstein might have envisioned it, taking place in Kansas in August, complete with a Dream Ballet. The story is then done in the style of Stephen Sondheim, featuring the landlord as a tortured, artistic genius who slashes the throats of his tenants in revenge because they don't appreciate his art. When presented in the style of Jerry Herman, the story becomes a splashy star vehicle, while the Andrew Lloyd Webber version is a rock musical, with borrowed themes from Puccini. The story is re-told one last time in the style of Kander and Ebb, set in a speakeasy in Chicago. The tone of this evening of satire is loving/irreverent �in a sorry/grateful� kind of way.