Like an empty canvas to be painted on, the audience views the set of a bare white stage. White vanities and undressed mannequins line the perimeter. Three mannequins, covered in white cloth, take center stage under a crystal chandelier that glitters with possibility. Such is the inviting scene for The York Theatre Company (James Morgan, Producing Artistic Director; Evans Haile, Executive Director), in association with Riki Kane Larimer, presentation of a revised version of Vanities—The Musical, with book by Jack Heifner, music and lyrics by David Kirshenbaum, music direction by Deborah Abramson, choreography by Shannon Lewis and directed by Will Pomerantz. The limited engagement, opening March 30, runs through Saturday evening, April 22, 2023, at The Theatre at St. Jean’s (150 East 76th Street, between Lexington and Third Avenue).
The diversified cast includes Broadway veterans Jade Jones (Beauty and The Beast, Olney Theatre Center; New York stage debut) as Mary, Amy Keum (KPOP, Broadway) as Kathy, and Hayley Podschun (Hello, Dolly! Broadway; Cheek to Cheek: Irving Berlin in Hollywood, The York), as Joanne. Olivia Kaufmann (Mean Girls, Broadway) will stand by for Mary, Joanne, and Kathy.
Vanities-The Musical is a heartfelt and humorous chronicle of the lives of Joanne, Kathy, and Mary–tracing them from their late teen years through adulthood. They grow and change, testing the limits of what they thought they knew about themselves, as well as the narrow views of women society has presented them. This eclectic production is a revision of the 2009 Vanities, A New Musical with music and lyrics by David Kirshenbaum and a book by Jack Heifner. All are based on Heifner’s play, Vanities, that had one of the longest running Off-B’way runs in history: opening in 1976 and closing 1980, running for 1,785 performances.
The three actresses work together to create a bond the grows throughout the piece, bringing the audience closer to them and their experience of life throughout. It was fascinating to see the trajectory of three different life paths and choices. The woman all began as a dreamy-eyed teen that learned to grow up and beyond as a challenged adult. Each character had to face the changing times and their individual response to the worlds of 1963, 1968, 1974 and 1990. The musical score added insight to their journeys. A favorite was “Cute Boys with Short Haircuts,” although every song was brought to life with the fabulous voices of each performer. But the most notable journey was that of female friendship. How it can bend and break, but ultimately stay intact when there is that underlying connecting glue.
“Although on its face, Vanities is a period piece, as I have worked on the material it’s become increasingly clear to me how resonant this piece continues to be,” says Will Pomerantz in the program’s Director Note. “In addition, we find ourselves once again in a time in which women’s autonomy here and around the globe is under assault. Vanities is a celebration of the power of women and the importance and complexity of their relationships as they move through the world.”
The creative team includes scenic design by James Morgan, costume design by Barbara Erin Delo, lighting design by Mike Billings, and sound design by Julian Evans.
The casting director is Rachel Hoffman/The Telsey Office; the production stage manager is Sean F. Patrick. General management and production management is by Aaron Simms.
Vanities—The Musical will play the following performance schedule: Tuesdays, Wednesdays, & Thursdays at 7:30 p.m., Friday at 7:30 p.m., Saturdays at 2:30 p.m. & 7:30 p.m., and Sundays at 2:30 p.m.
York Member Early Access tickets for Vanities—The Musical are now available. Tickets to the General Public are now on sale and are priced at $64 – $99. York Members receive Priority Seating and Discounted Tickets. Tickets may be purchased by visiting Ovation tickets athttps://web.ovationtix.com/trs/pr/1150224 or by calling the Box Office at (212) 935-5820, Tuesday – Friday 12:00PM – 5:00PM, or via email at bo*******@yo*********.org.
Senior Rush tickets are available in-person beginning one hour prior to performances for $20 cash only. Student tickets can be purchased anytime in advance at the box office during regular box office business hours. Limit one ticket per valid student ID and tickets are subject to availability. Student Rush tickets are $20.00 cash or credit. The York Theatre also offers $30 tickets (plus $4 convenience fee) for guests aged 35 years and under.
COVID NOTE: For the safety of all, COVID policies established by the CDC and WHO will be strictly enforced. Masks must be worn. Full COVID policies can be found on the York Theatre Company website. For additional information, please visit www.yorktheatre.org.
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The York Theatre Company offers the York! Membership Program, an exclusive membership package for as low as $75.00—with special benefits that include up to 35% off tickets to York Theatre productions and exclusive Member presale opportunities, in addition to special Member-only receptions. The York also offers a York Plus! Membership Program with additional perks, including complimentary tickets to Mainstage productions and invites to several VIP-only presentations throughout the season. York Memberships can be purchased online at www.yorktheatre.org/membership.
York Theatre Company Gift Cards are available for any production during the 2022-2023 season by calling the Box Office at (212) 935-5820, Monday – Friday 12:00PM – 5:00PM, or via email at bo*******@yo*********.org.
PHOTO CREDIT: Carol Rosegg
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