Hershey Felder in "Maestro" at Berkeley Rep. (Photo by Michael Lamont)

59E59 Announces 2016–17 Mainstage Lineup

The NYC presenting house’s mainstage season will include a world premiere musical and Hershey Felder as Leonard Bernstein.

NEW YORK CITY: 59E59 Theaters has announced the five-show lineup for its 2016–17 mainstage space, known as 5A. The lineup will include a world premiere directed by Amanda Dehnert, a puppet show from Wakka Wakka, and Hershey Felder’s musical about Leonard Bernstein.

Opening the season will be New Jersey Repertory Company‘s production of Butler by Richard Strand (July 14–Aug. 28). The play tells the story of General Benjamin Butler during the Civil War.

Hershey Felder will channel Leonard Bernstein in Maestro, for which he wrote the book (Sept. 1–Oct. 16). The biomusical will use Bernstein’s music, as well as music from Beethoven, Wagner, Mahler, and Copland. The production will be produced by the Town Hall with Samantha F. Voxakis and Karen Racanelli. Joel Zwick will direct.

The world premiere musical Madame La Gimp (Oct. 24–Dec. 4) will be next, with book by Giles Havergal and Derek McCulloch, lyrics by McCulloch, and music by Kyle Athayde. The musical adapts Damon Runyon’s short story about a homeless woman named Madame La Gimp, who is transformed into a lady for a day. Amanda Dehnert will direct. The production will be produced by Peter Tear in association with the Directors Company.

Wakka Wakka’s puppet show Made in China (Jan. 11–Feb. 28, 2017) will be next. The show is written by Kirjan Waage and Gwendolyn Warnock with help from the ensemble, and directed by Waage and Warnock. The comic puppet musical is a love story between a middle-aged American woman and her Chinese neighbor. Made in China will be produced by Wakka Wakka and Norland Visual Theater.

The final show on the mainstage will be Bruce Graham’s White Guy on a Bus (March 7–April 16, 2017). The play follows the developing relationship between a wealthy white businessman and a struggling black single mom who repeatedly ride the same bus together. It will be produced by Delaware Theatre Company.

59E59 presents work from nonprofit theatres in the U.S. and around the world.

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