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Urban Stages Presents World Premiere Of "Langston In Harlem"


By Langston Hughes, Walter Marks and Kent Gash

Music by Walter Marks, Lyrics by Langston Hughes

Musical Direction by Barry Levitt, Choreography by Byron Easley

Directed by Kent Gash


Starring Josh Tower as Langston Hughes


Performances begin April 9; Opening April 15

At Urban Stages


New York: Urban Stages (Frances Hill, Artistic Director, Lauren Schmiedel, Managing Director) will present the World Premiere of the musical Langston in Harlem book by Langston Hughes, Walter Marks and Kent Gash, with music by Walter Marks, lyrics by Langston Hughes and directed by Kent Gash, with musical direction by Barry Levitt and choreography by Byron Easley. Langston in Harlem will begin previews on Friday, April 9; opening on Thursday, April 15, 2010 and will initially run through May 2, 2010. Urban Stages is located at 259 West 30 Street (between 7th and 8th Avenues).  Tickets will be $40 ($25 during previews) and are available at / 212.868.4444. Langston in Harlem is produced by arrangement with Langston, Ltd., Jon Kimbell/SenovvA, Inc. – Executive Producer.


Langston in Harlem is an exciting new musical about one of America’s most honored poets, Langston Hughes.  Set in the African-American cultural capital of Harlem from the Harlem Renaissance through the Civil Rights movement, Langston in Harlem tells the story of Langston Hughes’ journey into manhood and his emergence as one of the most beloved and forward thinking artists of our time. This groundbreaking new musical is filled with Jazz, Gospel, Rhythm and Blues, Swing, dance and spoken-word that sings, jumps, stomps and shouts. Langston Hughes’ glorious words and poetry of love, loss, joy and the blues and the people of Harlem who inspired him, come gloriously to life, in Langston in Harlem and are once again universal and unforgettable!


In addition to Josh Tower (The Lion King, The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin), as Langston Hughes, the cast includes:  Jordan Barbour (Stormy Weather)  Francesca Harper (Fosse, The Producers, The Frogs, and The Color Purple), Boise Holmes (“CSI: Miami,” Film: Kiss The Girls Black Knight, The Lion King -Germany, Hong Kong), Dell Howlett (Bombay Dreams, Film: Across The Universe), Krisha Marcano (The Color Purple), Kenita Miller (Xanadu, The Color Purple), Gayle Turner (The Wiz), Glenn Turner,  C. Kelly Wright (Film: Every Black Man, Regional: A Little Princess).. Creative team includes: Emily Beck (Scenic Designer), William H. Grant, III (Lighting Designer), Austin Sanderson (Costume Designer) and Jason Fitzgerald (Sound Designer).


Langston in Harlem

Book by Langston Hughes, Walter Marks and Kent Gash,

With music by Walter Marks, lyrics by Langston Hughes and directed by Kent Gash

Begins performances Friday, April 9; opening Thursday, April 15 through May 2, 2010

Performance Schedule:  Tuesday – Friday at 8PM; Saturday at 2PM & 8PM– Sunday at 5PM

(Wednesday, April 14 performance at 7PM; No Saturday Matinee April 10)

Tickets are $40 ($25 during previews through Tuesday, April 13, 2010)

Tickets available at or call 212.868.4444

Student Rush with valid ID 10 minutes before curtain (based on availability)

Running time: 2 hours with an intermission

For more information about Urban Stages please visit

LANGSTON HUGHES (Lyrics), Author of original play Little Ham, wrote 16 books of poems, two novels, three collections of short stories, four volumes of editorial and documentary fiction, 20 plays, children's poetry, musicals and operas, three autobiographies, a dozen radio and television scripts and dozens of magazine articles. Hughes's works include Not Without Laughter, The Big Sea and I Wonder as I Wander. His collections of poetry include The Weary Blues, The Negro Mother and Other Dramatic Recitations, The Dream Keeper, Shakespeare in Harlem, Fields of Wonder, One Way Ticket, The First Book of Jazz, The Sweet Flypaper of Life with Roy DeCarava, Tambourines to Glory, Selected Poems and The Best of Simple. Posthumous publications: Five Plays by Langston Hughes, The Panther and the Lash, Poems of Our Times, and Good Morning Revolution: Uncollected Writings of Social Protest.


WALTER MARKS (Music) is probably best known for his song “I’ve Gotta be Me,” recorded by Sammy Davis, Tony Bennett, and many others. He has also written songs recorded by Barbra Streisand, The Temptations, Della Reese, Little Anthony and the Imperials, Steve Lawrence, Eydie Gorme, and other artists. He wrote the songs for the Broadway musicals Bajour and Golden Rainbow, the book, music and lyrics for the off-Broadway musical Body Shop, the screenplay and songs for the motion picture The Wild Party (Merchant-Ivory Films - directed by James Ivory). He also wrote the off-Broadway comedy-mystery The Butler Did It.  On television, he won an Emmy award for his music on the PBS Series “Getting On”, and wrote songs for the ABC series “That’s Life”, and the NBC Hallmark Hall of Fame production of “Pinocchio.”   Other current theatre projects include Dig Lenny Bruce a musical about the controversial comedian, and Black Jack, a show about Jack Johnson, the first black heavyweight champion of the world. Walter Marks’ first novel ­— Dangerous Behavior, a psychological thriller, was recently published in hardcover by Carroll & Graf. The book was purchased by Scott Rudin/Disney Pictures, and is soon to be a major motion picture. In addition, he has produced and written the musical score for a feature length documentary film on Hustler publisher Larry Flynt, which is directed by his wife, prizewinning documentary filmmaker, Joan Brooker-Marks.


KENT GASH (Director) Alliance Theatre: King Hedley II, Pacific Overtures (Winner Best Musical '03-'04, Elliot Norton Award, Best Musical and Best Director, I.R.N.E. Awards), Shakespeare's R&J, A Lovely Sunday for Creve Coeur. OFF-BROADWAY: Call The Children Home (Audelco Award Nominee, Best Musical & Best Director) for Primary Stages; Miss Ever's Boys (Audelco Award Nominee, Best Play & Best Director) and Home for Melting Pot Theatre Company; and Beggar's Holiday and Josephine's Song (Co-Librettist) for the York. REGIONAL: As Associate Artistic Director of the Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Mr. Gash directed and choreographed The Negro of Peter the Great, A Night in Tunisia, Guys and Dolls, Godspell, Troilus and Cressida, Twelfth Night, Beehive! and Five Guys Named Moe. Other productions include Steel Magnolias, The Wild Party, Coriolanus, Private Lives, Cat On a Hot Tin Roof and Harriet's Return starring Debbie Allen. Mr. Gash has directed for the Geffen, the Kennedy Center, True Colors Theatre Company, Trinity Rep, ATL, Arizona Theatre Company, Delaware Theatre Company and others. He holds a BFA in Acting (Carnegie-Mellon) and an MFA in Directing (UCLA), and serves on the boards of the Non-Traditional Casting Project and the Atlanta Coalition of Performing Arts.

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