A LETTER TO Harvey Milk, a new musical which was a finalist in this year's prestigious Richard Rodgers Awards for Musical Theater, is one of 10 musical plays being presented by the 2012 New York Musical Theatre Festival Next Link Project (NYMF), which started on July 9th. The musical is based on the short story, "A Letter To Harvey Milk" by Lesléa Newman.
In this poignant story set in San Francisco, Harry, a retired kosher butcher meets Barbara, a young lesbian teacher who runs a writing class. After showing her the impassioned letter written to his late friend Harvey Milk, the two form an indelible friendship that unearths memories both have struggled to suppress. At the center of his story is "the letter". Who knew writing to a late friend could change everything?
A LETTER TO Harvey Milk is a warm and deeply moving story that brings together the creative team of Jerry James (book), Laura I. Kramer (music) and Ellen M. Schwartz (lyrics) – who have shaped a powerful musical narrative full of wit and heart. The music has been arranged and orchestrated by Ned Paul Ginsburg whose credits include both Broadway and film projects (Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin).
Directed by award-winner, David Schechter, the musical features an impressive cast led by Leslie Kritzer (Sondheim on Sondheim, A Catered Affair Legally Blonde), Jeff Keller (Phantom of the Opera, Sunday in the Park, Candide), Cheryl Stern (Into the Woods, La Cage Aux Folles, The Women, Les Miserable), Michael Bartoli (Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat), Brandon Uranowitz (Baby It's You, Rent, Ragtime), Michael Padgett (Jekyll and Hyde) and Sara Corey (Beau Jest). Todd Edward Ivins is the scenic designer.
A LETTER TO HARVERY MILK is a fitting tribute to all individuals struggling to be accepted and fighting for theircivil rights. In light of the climate of intolerance we see today, the musical is a timely reminder of the constant struggles that both divide and connect us.
Photo Credit: Walter McBride / Retna Ltd.