Its cast, which contains seven Broadway veterans, is headed by Ken Prymus ("The Wiz" and "Ain't Misbehavin'," seven years as Old Deuteronomy in "Cats") as the title character. Choreography is by Tanya Gibson-Clark.
The musical was inspired by the Coretta Scott King award-winning book by the same name, written by Margaree King Mitchell and illustrated by James Ransome. The musical is steeped in the atmosphere, language and music of the late 1920's through the 1960's, evoking rural Arkansas near the Mississippi Delta.
The book begins in 1928 with Jedediah Johnson, the only black barber in Monroe County Arkansas, dreaming of building his own his own barbershop. Each time he makes headway, something happens, such as the near death of his favorite niece, Sarah Jean, that requires his personal or financial sacrifice. His dream is deferred over and over again until finally, as a much older man, he succeeds after accepting the help of his niece and their community.
In the musical, Sarah Jean (now a 50-year-old woman) returns home from Detroit in the early 1970s in conflict with herself. Her city life and marriage are unfulfilling and she misses the hopeful quest for something "more", which growing up with her great uncle represented. When she inherits her deceased uncle's shop during the early 1970's, it is initially not as meaningful to her as it was to him. Nonetheless, the power of his dream inspires her to fulfill one of her own. She convinces the community to take on the challenge of building a "Center For Dreams" on the same site as the shop. "Uncle Jed's Barbershop" concludes as an exuberant celebration of the human spirit.
About the Company: New York Musical Theater Festival
The New York Musical Theatre Festival, now in its sixth year, has premiered more than 175 new musicals since 2004. The largest musical theatre event in America, NYMF has been hailed as "the Sundance of Musical Theatre," and is widely regarded as the key source for new material and talent discovery. NYMF is the flagship program of National Music Theater Network, Inc., a 501(c) (3) not-for-profit organization. NYMF 2009 is presented in association with BroadwayWorld.com, Production Resource Group and TheaterMania.com, and is supported by Back Stage, Barnes & Noble Booksellers, BroadwayBox.com, BroadwayInsider.com, Broadway.TV, Clear Channel Spectacolor, DFD-TV, Frank & Camille's Fine Pianos, King Displays, Manhattan Movement & Arts Center, New World Stages, NASDAQ OMX, Next Magazine, PMD Promotions, Queerty.com, Reuters, Sweet Caroline's, Tekserve, TheMenEvent.com, The Tank, and Times Square Squared. Major supporters include The ASCAP Foundation, BMI Foundation, Inc., The Broadway League, The BWF Foundation, The Nathan Cummings Foundation with the support and encouragement of Jamie Mayer, The Charlie & Jane Fink Charitable Fund, The Rodgers & Hammerstein Foundation, The Shubert Foundation, and The Theater League. NYMF is supported, in part, by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts. This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council. NYMF's programs are made possible with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency. NYMF Memberships, which combine charitable contributions with valuable, flexible ticket packages and perks like early seating, and tickets to individual events are available for purchase at (212) 352-3101 or www.nymf.org.
Tuesday, Sept 20 at 8 pm
Thursday, Sept. 24th at 9 pm
Sunday, Sept. 27th at 1 pm
Tuesday, Sept. 29 at 9 pm
Wednesday, Sept. 30 at 5 pm
Oct. 2 at 2 pm.
Theater: Theatre at St. Clements
Address: 423 West 46th Street
New York, NY
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