Theatre department presents free performance of new musical

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Photo of WMU's Gilmore Theatre Complex.

WMU's Gilmore Theatre Complex

KALAMAZOO—Western Michigan University's Department of Theatre will be presenting the world premier workshop of the new musical "La Casa Madrugada" at 7 p.m. Monday, May 12 in the York Theatre at the Gilmore Theatre Complex.

The show is free and open to the public.

New York composer Mark Barkan and author and lyricist Lawrence Dukore are in residence working with the all-student cast, WMU director Jay Berkow and music director Marie Kerstetter on this lyrical new romantic musical comedy with a distinctive jazz score.

About the show

Set in 1962, the story follows New York socialite Belinda Sands, who invited to rendezvous with her fiancé Jasper Morgan at La Casa Madrugada, a luxury hotel on the exotic Caribbean island of San Sebastian. When she arrives, there is not only no sign of Jasper, but she is the only guest and the resort is now the center of operations for a revolution under the command of Garcia Lorca and his hot-blooded second-in-command, Bonita Granvilla. Soon Belinda is joined by Sammy French, a New York entertainer who thought he still had a contract to perform at the resort and Jasper also shows up. The Americans find themselves hostages to the movement while violence, revolution and romance intersect.

About the artists-in-residence

Mark Barkan

Mark Barkan is a songwriter and producer. He was also a musical director for the television show "The Banana Splits Adventure Hour." He has written numerous songs including Lesley Gore’s Top 5 hit “She’s a Fool” and the often-covered “Pretty Flamingo,” which was a hit single for Manfred Mann in 1966. Barkan co-wrote songs for many other artists, including The Archies and The Monkees.

Lawrence DuKore

Lawrence DuKore began his writing career with the Richard Pryor film, "Greased Lightning." His television play, "A Mistaken Charity," was nominated for a Writers Guild of America award for best dramatic writing. Songs he co-wrote with the late Danny Hurd were recorded by Bernadette Peters and Chita Rivera. He has also written several television shows, including "One Life to Live," "Search for Tomorrow," and the cartoon series "Thunder Cats" and "Silver Hawks." His plays have been produced regionally and off-Broadway.

The show is produced with the support of the Irving S. Gilmore Foundation and the Fritz Freund Theatre Career Development Fund.

For more information, contact Emily Duguay, University Theatre, at emily.duguay@wmich.edu or (269) 387-6222.