CLOSED: “Cookin! A Taste of Things To Come” May 12 & 13th, 2014

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Amas Musical Theatre to Stage Readings of COOKIN! – A TASTE OF THINGS TO COME, 5/12-13 at St. Luke’s Theatre



Amas Musical Theatre and The Amas Musical Theatre Lab will present free staged readings of “Cookin! – A Taste of Things to Come,” a new musical by Debra Barsha and Hollye Levin, with musical direction by Gillian Berkowitz. Directed by Tony Award nominee Lynne Taylor-Corbett (Swing!), the readings will be held on Monday, May 12th at 1pm & 4pm and Tuesday, May 13th at 4pm at St. Luke’s Theatre (308 West 46th Street – between 8th & 9th Avenues). Tickets are free and reservations are available via email at or by calling 212-563-2565.

In “Cookin! – A Taste of Things to Come,” it’s the 1950’s. The beginning of Rock & Roll. Smack dab in the middle of America. Winnetka, Illinois. Four women enter a Betty Crocker cooking contest on the hopes of changing their lives. What they get is way more than they bargained for!

The cast includes: Erica Aubrey (Far From Heaven, Encores! All Star Concert), Brittney Lee Hamilton (The Countess of Storyville, “Boardwalk Empire”), Ariana Shore (The Performers, “Gossip Girl”) and Shelley Thomas (Brooklyn, Zanna Don’t!).

“We are really excited to present additional developmental readings of “Cookin’-A Taste of Things to Come,” says Donna Trinkoff, Amas Artistic Producer. “The show has taken further shape since Amas first presented it in September and with these presentations we have the opportunity to move the show closer toward full production.”

The presentations are part of the ongoing Amas Musical Theatre Lab, a development series for writers, lyricists and composers to mount public readings of their new musicals.


Debra Barsha (Co-Writer) is the composer of Radiant Baby, a musical about Keith Haring, which was produced in 2003 at the Public Theatre, directed by George C. Wolfe. The show was nominated for Outstanding Musical Off Broadway and she was the recipient of a Jonathan Larson Performing Arts Foundation Award. Additional composer credits include Sophie, based on the life of Sophie Tucker and Songs from an Unmade Bed. Her career includes television soundtracks, children’s musicals, one-woman shows, and national tours with postmod British pop-stars (Thomas Dolby). Debra currently plays keyboards, sings and is the Associate Conductor of Broadway’s Tony Award-winning musical Jersey Boys.

Hollye Levin (Co-Writer) began her career as a performer, where her original material and unique brand of storytelling captured the attention of producers. Soon she was touring and opening for the likes of Muddy Waters, Sonny Terry, Tom Waits and Billy Joel. Always armed with a notebook that she filled with honest, real-life observations Ms. Leven was laying the groundwork for her future career in playwriting. Her first play, The Polo Lounge – A True Story, caught the eye of actor/director Rob Reiner who encouraged her to continue writing, calling her a cross between Tennessee Williams and Neil Simon. Her next work, a musical called Funny Business, was developed at the Mark Taper Forum New Works Festival and the Kennedy Center, before opening a commercial run at the Coronet Theatre in Los Angeles. In addition to plays, Hollye has received two G

Lynne Taylor-Corbett (Director) most recently directed and choreographed the Amas workshop production of The Countess of Storyville, starring Deborah Cox and Vivian Reed. She received Tony nominations for best director and best choreographer of Broadway’s “Swing!” She has Drama Desk and Lucille Lortel nominations for both Wanda’s World (Amas) and My Vaudeville Man. She. Her adaptation of The Lion King is in its seventh year at Disney’s park in Hong Kong and her production of Cougar, the Musical is currently playing Off Broadway. She has also choreographed works for American Ballet Theatre, New York City Ballet, and the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, and her works have been featured on “Live From Lincoln Center” and National Public Television. Feature films include Footloose, My Blue Heaven and Bewitched.

Amas Musical Theatre (Donna Trinkoff, Artistic Producer) now in its 45th year of continuous operation is New York City’s award-winning pioneer in diversity and multi-ethnic casting in the performing arts since 1968. Amas (“you love” in Latin) is devoted to the creation, development and professional production of new American musicals through the celebration of diversity and minority perspectives, the emergence of new artistic talent, and the training and encouragement of underserved young people in the New York area. In recent years, Amas has emerged as a leading not-for-profit laboratory for new musicals, the most recent being The Other Josh Cohen, which received six 2013 Drama Desk nominations including Outstanding Musical, a 2013 Lucille Lortel nomination for Outstanding Musical, and a 2013 Off-Broadway Alliance nomination for Best New Musical. The production will open at The Paper Mill Playhouse in February 2014. Other shows that Amas has produced include Triassic Parq, The Countess of Storyville, Distant Thunder, Marry Harry, Me and Miss Monroe, Aesop & Company, Signs of Life, Wanda’s World, Shout! The Mod Musical, Lone Star Love, From My Hometown, Zanna, Don’t!, 4 Guys Named Jose and Stormy Weather: Reimagining Lena Horne. Amas education programs include the Rosetta LeNoire Musical Theatre Academy, Lens on Live Theatre and in-school theatre arts residencies designed in partnership with elementary, middle, and high schools.

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The award-winning play THEY CALL ME Q is set to make its Off-Broadway debut this spring at St. Luke’s Theatre. Written and performed by Qurrat Ann Kadwani, THEY CALL ME Q will begin performances May 19th with the official Opening Night on Wednesday, June 4th.


  • “A theatrical experience to remember!” – Broadway World
  • “Witty and inspiring!” – Montreal Gazette
  • “Qurrat Ann Kadwani is a theatrical force of nature!” – Orlando Weekly
  • “A jazzy gem, in the ranks of John Leguizamo, Spalding Gray & Camryn Manheim!” –

THEY CALL ME Q is the story of an Indian girl growing up in the Boogie Down Bronx who gracefully seeks balance between the cultural pressures brought forth by her traditional parents and wanting acceptance into her new culture. Along the journey, Qurrat Ann Kadwani (“Q”) transforms into 13 characters that have shaped her life including her parents, Caucasian teachers, Puerto Rican classmates, and African-American friends. Laden with heart and abundant humor, THEY CALL ME Q speaks to the universal search for identity experienced by immigrants of all nationalities. Under the direction of Obaid Kadwani and Claudia Gaspar, and developed with Ellery Schaar, THEY CALL ME Q scored the Best Actress Award for Ms. Kadwani in the production’s debut at Variations Theatre Group’s 2012 Harvest Theatre Festival. The emotionally charged comedy subsequently opened to rave reviews in cities all around the country and Canada including Chicago, Montreal, Washington D.C., Nashville, Orlando, and even Hawaii where THEY CALL ME Q was awarded Best Play at the 2013 Maui Fringe Festival. IMG_8244 (2) Qurrat Ann Kadwani is an actress, producer, television host, and philanthropist. She has hosted “Desi Jams” and “100% Desi” on Namaste America, and her other TV appearances include ABC News’ “What Would You Do?,” “As the World Turns” and “All My Children.Ms. Kadwani’s stage credits include Blind Angels (Theatre for the New City); Sankalpan, First Language (New Group); Inside Out, The Quaking (Abingdon Theatre Company); Falling Man (NYU); The Greeks (Imua Theatre Company); Baby Taj (TheaterWorks Palo Alto); Perfect Fit, The Women of the Mahabharata, Beneath the Banyan Tree (eyeBLINK). This past December, United Nations UNICEF invited her to perform. Non-profit charity organizations such as Sankara Eye Foundation, Lend-A-Hand India and Sapna NYC have also presented the play as benefit fundraisers. Q-logo-12 THEY CALL ME Q performed  at St. Luke’s Theatre, 308 West 46th Street (just west of Eighth Ave.) . For more information, visit st.lukes-logo-final1

CLOSED August 22, 2014 : Albert J. Repicci’s HONOR BOUND -Previews April 18/Opens May 14, 2014

 BWW News Desk April 2
Albert J. Repicci’s new drama HONOR BOUND began previews on Friday, April 18th at St. Luke‘s Theatre, 308 West 46th Street and opened on Wednesday, May 14th, 2014
Honor Bound is closed
Playwright Albert J. Repicci’s
  • “snappy, fast paced dialog is engaging and crackles with the clash of idealistic youth versus jaded middle age.”
  • “interesting political and personal themes are explored. The characters are compelling and well-defined.”
  • “The talented cast all professionally perform their roles with commitment.”
  • “There’s a very inventive use of slides and film clip projections that enhance the scope of the play.”
  • “Director Josh Iacovelli strongly manages all of the production elements and the cast into a very well-paced presentation.”

“Playwright Albert J. Repicci’s
  • Honor Bound raises important ideas about trust, friendship, and – of course- honor.”
  • “Throughout the play, the cast of five brings authenticity to their roles.”
Talkin’ Broadway
  • “Often there’s a lot said deep inside the unspoken. That’s the underlying theme of ‘Honor Bound,’ an entertaining new drama.”
  • “Smartly written by playwright Albert J. Repicci and skillfully directed by Josh Iacovelli, ‘Honor Bound’ makes us reconsider some of the crimes of the Vietnam War and question our definition of friendship.”
Center on the Aisle
For more information, visit
Photo by Carol Rosegg
Directed by Josh Iacovelli, the play features Ross DeGraw, Christine Marie Heath, Anthony Laciura, Justin R.G. Holcomb and Nicole M. Carroll.An ambitious young reporter tries to uncover secrets about a respected, retired doctor but instead discovers long buried conflicts between two old friends. Set against the bonds of baseball, curveballs are thrown and memories recaptured. The play moves back and forth between 1968 and 1992.Produced by Gemstone Productions, HONOR BOUND will have sets and light design by Josh Iacovelli, costumes by Jennie West and sound design by Paul Bourgeois.
Albert J. Repicci’s published works include the children’s Christmas story, Sarah and the Red Scarf; Nantucket Musings, a book of photography, light verse and overview history of Nantucket; The Haberdasher, a short comedic play, and Bringing Satch Home, a baseball memoir. He served as an Op Ed contributor to the Greenwich Times and as their special correspondent to the Khmer Rouge trials in Cambodia prosecuting Comrade Duch, the perpetrator of the killing fields. Al was associate producer for the Off Broadway and regional productions of “Soul Survivor,” ” It’s Still My Turn,” “Hosanna,” “Talking Things Over with Chekhov,” “Aspirins and Elephants” and the documentary “The Ladies of Grove Street.” He also produced the documentary Dentistry in the Bush, a series of films and interviews featuring volunteer dental service in Mozambique, the Peruvian Amazon, Cambodia, Nepal, the Philippines, Mongolia, Rwanda and Vietnam, as well as a portfolio of 12 silent films
( click on news article to enlarge for better reading)
Josh Iacovelli recently directed Shea, Prince of Christmas at St. Luke’s Theatre, revivals of Six Characters in Search of an Author, The House of Blue Leaves, Romeo and Juliet, Trojan Women and Little Shop of Horrors. Josh has also designed numerous Off-Broadway hits including Disaster! A 70s Disaster Movie Musical, Zero Hour, Cougar The Musical, Black Angels over Tuskegee, Danny and Sylvia, Dietrich and Chevalier, Sistas the Musical, and Greed!


  • ROSS DEGRAW, who plays retired doctor Jack, has appeared in NYC and in regional theatres as well as on TV in The Good Wife, Hostages, Boardwalk Empire, etc.
  • CHRISTINE MARIE HEATH, who plays Jack’s wife Kay, has performed in Europe and the Far East and is currently dance captain and understudy for three roles in Cougar The Musical.
  • ANTHONY LACIURA, who plays Jack’s friend Irwin, is an internationally acclaimed tenor and recipient of two SAG Actor Awards for playing ‘Eddie Kessler’ for 4 seasons on Boardwalk Empire.
  • JUSTIN R.G. HOLCOMB, who plays Peter, a newspaper editor, has appeared off-Broadway in Channeling Kevin Spacey, Orphan Train, Hamlet, and The Cherry Orchard among others.
  • NICOLE M. CARROLL, who plays Lisa, a journalism intern, played Tiffany on Biography’s Celebrity Ghost Stories and has appeared in several independent films.

Photos by Carol Rosegg





St. Luke’s Box Office, 308 West 46th Street, open seven days a week.