MUSICALS IN MUFTI CONCERT SERIES PAYS TRIBUTE TO THE OCTOGENARIAN LIBRETTIST AND LYRICIST
Librettist and lyricist Tom Jones is the subject of the York Theatre Company's current “Musicals in Mufti” concert series at the York Theatre's home in Saint Peter’s Church.
Jones, 84, is best known for “The Fantasticks,” whose original off-Broadway production ran a total of 42 years and closed in January 2002 after 17,162 performances, making it the world's longest-running musical.
The show subsequently re-opened off-Broadway in 2006 at the Jerry Orbach Theatre in the Snapple Theater Center where it continues to run. The revival has been directed by Jones, who also did a short stint portraying Henry, The Old Actor, under the stage name Thomas Bruce.
“Musicals in Mufti: The Tom Jones Festival” opens with “The Show Goes On: A Portfolio of Theater Songs by Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt" (March 16-18). The revue features Jones guiding audiences through a career retrospective, which includes highlights from “The Fantasticks,” “110 in the Shade” and “I Do! I Do!,” among others. The limited engagement plays five performances.
The remaining schedule offers a rare opportunity to experience four original musicals for which Jones contributed book and lyrics, most frequently with his long term collaborator, composer Harvey Schmidt:
Roadside: book and lyrics by Tom Jones; music by Schmidt (March 30 - April 1):
Based on a play by Lynn Riggs, whose “Green Grow the Lilacs” which became “Oklahoma!,” this Southwestern love story shines a spotlight on two larger-than-life characters who refuse to settle down and be “house-broke” by the arrival of fences and laws.
Harold and Maude: book and lyrics by Tom Jones based on the screenplay by Colin Higgins; music by Joseph Thalken (April 13-15):
In what some call the quintessential May-December romance, this musical adaptation of the 1971 cult-classic film “Harold and Maude” tells anew the story of death-obsessed teenager, Harold, who meets Maude, 79, at a funeral and begins one of the most unusual romantic sagas in American pop-culture history.
Colette Collage: book and lyrics by Tom Jones; music by Schmidt (April 27-29):
The life of the legendary French writer Colette unfolds over a period of sixty years in this bio-musical.
The Game of Love: book and lyrics by Tom Jones based on Arthur Schnitzler's series of one-act "Anatol" plays; music by Jacques Offenbach; arrangements and additional music by Nancy Ford (May 11-13):
Anatol is a playful Lothario, whose rendezvous with five unique women unfold over the course of the New York premiere of this playful romp.
For more information, visit www.yorktheatre.org.