Rodney Hicks, Grace McLean, More Set for New Works Series in May | Playbill

Off-Broadway News Rodney Hicks, Grace McLean, More Set for New Works Series in May The New York Theatre Barn spotlight returns with musicals about mapmakers, robbers, and the Brooklyn Bridge.
Rodney Hicks and Grace McLean

New York Theatre Barn’s New Works Series will return in May with a spotlight on in-development musicals about a female robber dressed as a cowboy, a 19th century Black woman mapmaker, the building of the Brooklyn Bridge, and more. Among the lineup of performers are Come From Away star Rodney Hicks and Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812 alum Grace McLean.

The free live streams air at 7 PM ET on YouTube and Broadway on Demand. Each episode includes excerpts from two new musicals and a conversation with the writers and creative team.

The series is produced and hosted by Associate Artistic Director Jen Sandler and Artistic Director Joe Barros. Check out the full lineup below.

Natascia Diaz

May 12
Hart Island
Book by Michelle Elliott
Lyrics by Elliott and Danny Haengil Larsen
Music by Larsen
Featuring performances by Natascia Diaz, Rodney Hicks, and Gizel Jiménez
Just off the shore of New York City lies a sorrowful island that serves as a public burial ground for the lonely, forgotten, or impoverished of the city. Hart Island is the tale of an immigrant woman fighting for her child, and the unexpected compassion of a disillusioned inmate who is the only person who can help her.

Cowboy Bob
Music and lyrics by Jeanna Phillips
Book and additional lyrics by Molly Beach Murphy
Additional music by Alex Thrailkill
Directed by Annie Tippe
Featuring performances by Ashley Pérez Flanagan and Grace McLean
You wouldn’t look twice at Peggy Jo. She was a good daughter, always tipped well at restaurants, but disguised as “Cowboy Bob” in a fake beard and a ten-gallon hat, she was the slickest bank robber Texas has ever known. Making her get-away in a sky blue 1975 Pontiac Grand Prix, she was a modern-day bandit stealing thousands and evading detection for more than a decade.

John-Michael Lyles Matthew Murphy/MurphyMade

May 26
The Loophole
Music and lyrics by Jay Adana
Book and bars by Zeniba Now
Featuring performances by Jay Adana, John-Michael Lyles, and Zeniba Now
It's 1864. Polly Danfield, a brilliant Black mapmaker, has never left her white father's house. She’s free inside her library but when the outside world and mysterious Alligator Queen beckon, Polly must choose: the life she's known, or love and revolution. The Loophole is the winner of the 2020 Richard Rodgers Award for Musical Theater.

The Bridge
Book and Lyrics by Kathleen Wrinn
Music by Peter Hodgson
Featuring performances by Peter Hodgson and Kathleen Wrinn
The Bridge is a new musical based on the love story that built the Brooklyn Bridge. When Emily Roebling’s husband falls mysteriously ill and is unable to continue as chief engineer, Emily must do the impossible: secretly take her husband’s place as chief, in an era half a century before women were allowed to vote.

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