The Musicals in Mufti Series presents concert revival readings of notable Broadway musicals for 11 performances each. "Mufti" means "in street clothes, without all the trappings of a full production," and each show is presented script-in-hand, with minimal staging. The series has celebrated such writers as Richard Rodgers, George Abbott, Jerry Herman, Joseph Stein, Gretchen Cryer and Nancy Ford, Sheldon Harnick, Jule Styne, and, most recently, Alan Jay Lerner.
Fall 2023 MUSICALS IN MUFTI SERIES
For the first time in four years, our acclaimed Musicals in Mufti (a 2018 recipient of an Obie Awards Grant) return to The York for a special series! The Fall 2023 Musicals in Mufti series will feature five offerings: How to Steal an Election: A Dirty Politics Musical (August 26-September 3), followed by The Lieutenant (September 9-17) and Golden Rainbow (September 23-October 1), concluding with a New2NY presentation of the new musical When We Get There (October 7-15). A special two-performance run of the new musical 18 Minutes of Fame, starring Barbara Minkus, is scheduled for August 28 at 7:30pm and August 29 at 1pm. All performances will take place at The Theater at St. Jean’s (entrance on 150 East 76th Street, just east of Lexington Avenue. For elevator, enter on Lexington between 76th and 75th, just south of St. Jean’s.)
"This is for all the people in the past four years who’ve said to me,
'Are you not doing the Muftis anymore? You just gotta...
they're my absolute favorite of everything you do!' "
- Jim Morgan, The York's Producing Artistic Director
August 26-September 3:
how to steal an election
Opening the Fall 2023 Series is the first New York revival of the 1968 musical How to Steal an Election: A Dirty Politics Musical, with music and lyrics by Oscar Brand (the “Dean of American Folk Music”) and book by William F. Brown (The Wiz). Brown and Brand had the notion of Jazz Age President Calvin Coolidge materializing in the present day (that is, 1968). There he meets a couple of fervent young protesters, just back from the skull-cracking Democratic National Convention in Chicago. Disillusioned, these two protesters have no taste for the political machine. But what’s wrong with pragmatism, Coolidge asks them? What about learning to work within a corrupt system? Thus, Coolidge begins his history lesson, with vignettes and songs depicting cynical power grabs of yore. How to Steal an Election opened to rave reviews at Off-Broadway’s Pocket Theatre in 1968 and after 50 performances, the show was set to move to Broadway. But there was a glitch--according to Oscar Brand, the $80,000 lined up for the move was Mob money. The authors refused to cooperate; end of deal, end of production. Until now!
August 28, 7:30pm & August 29, 1pM:
18 minutes of fame
Making her York Theatre debut, Broadway, film, and television singer/actress Barbara Minkus shares an intimate performance of personal moments, funny and poignant songs, and remarkable stories of working with such luminaries as Danny Kaye, Merv Griffin, Jerry Lewis, and Charlotte Rae. While searching for fame throughout her life, Barbara found a lot more than she bargained for. In her delightfully engaging story, she shares an exceptional journey of love, life, difficult decisions, family dynamics and more. In concert with the presentation of How to Steal an Election, Barbara is adding special songs and stories to her show recounting her time working with composer/lyricist Oscar Brand and director George Abbott on The Education of H*Y*M*A*N K*A*P*L*A*N, in which she starred on Broadway in 1968.
SEPTEMBER 9-17, 2023
The Lieutenant — a rock opera which opened on Broadway in 1975 and received four Tony nominations and five Drama Desk nominations, including ones for Best Musical and Best Score — despite an abbreviated run of only one week. Clive Barnes of the New York Times said it was a “rare musical with something worth saying,” calling it “unusual entertainment, sharp in its aspiration.” The show follows the passage of Lieutenant William Calley from raw recruit in the US Army through his 1971 court-martial for the infamous My Lai massacre of innocent civilians in 1968. The authors question the guilty verdict of a man who was tried first in the national media and later by a military tribunal, when militarism itself should perhaps shoulder the brunt of the blame. ABC News said, “the rock score is one of the most dynamic and soaring since Jesus Christ Superstar.”
SEPTEMBER 23-October 1, 2023
Golden Rainbow (based on Arnold Schulman’s play A Hole in the Head) is the jazzy, heartfelt story of a single dad trying to achieve success in Las Vegas while raising his extremely bright and savvy son. His late wife's sister arrives and tries to bring stability to the boy's life, but unintentionally falls in love with her brother-in-law. The musical originally opened on Broadway on February 4, 1968 and ran nearly a year. It starred the married couple of Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gormé, major stars from their extensive work in the recording, television, and concert industries. The musical introduced the enduring standard "I've Gotta Be Me," recorded by Sammy Davis, Tony Bennett, Michael Jackson, Ella Fitzgerald, Stevie Wonder, Klea Blackhurst, and many others. Stuart Ross (Enter Laughing) directs.
When We Get There
October 2-15, 2023
A presentation in the New2NY series
It’s March 1965, and a Buick Electra starts a journey from New Jersey. The unlikely quartet inside: Rose, the car’s recently widowed owner; Mary, her housekeeper; Terrance, her handyman; and Dawn, Mary’s teenage daughter. Dawn has convinced them all to drive to Selma to be a part of Dr. Martin Luther King’s march. With their hearts full of joy and trepidation, the foursome heads south even as America remains openly hostile to its Black and Jewish citizens. They encounter violence and reveal life-altering secrets, and with luck they’ll come home to a new understanding of what a family can be. As the show looks back on our complicated history, it reaches forward, challenging us to contemplate our country's future.