Renée Elise Goldsberry, Norm Lewis, and Billy Porter Set for Free Reading of Something to Live For


SEP 08, 2017

Porter will also direct the reading of the new play with music, which features Goldsberry as a series of music icons.

Renée Elise Goldsberry Joseph Marzullo/WENN

Midtown Direct Rep (MDR) will launch its 2017–2018 reading series, Theater at The Woodland, with a free presentation of Something to Live For October 2 at 7:30 PM at New Jersey’s The Woodland.

Billy Porter

Billy Porter

Written by Rob Zellers, the new play with music will be directed by Billy Porter, with music supervision by Zane Mark and musical direction by Darryl Ivey.

The cast will feature Tony winner Porter (Kinky Boots) as Billy Strayhorn; Tony winner Renée Elise Goldsberry (Hamilton) as vocalists Lena Horn, Sarah Vaughan, and Billie Holiday; Norm Lewis (Porgy & Bess) as Duke Ellington; Nathan Darrow (House of Cards) as Jazz drummer Mickey Scrima; Matthew J. Harris as pianist Aaron Bridgers; with Brian Dykstra reading stage directions. Terrence Witter is the stage manager.

The staged reading will be followed by a discussion with members of the creative team.

Renée Elise Goldsberry

“It’s a thrill for us to bring such an exciting new work to open our second season in residence at The Woodland. We are delighted that, through our wonderful partnership with Maplewood Township, we can offer this special reading, with a spectacular creative team and cast, as a free event, open to the entire MAPSO community. It’s a great way to continue to build our audience, introducing more and more folks to what makes MDR such a unique and vibrant arts organization,” said MDR Board Chair Ondine Landa Abramson in a statement.

Something to Live For is presented by special arrangement with producer Steven Tabakin, a Midtown Direct Rep company member and its Artistic Producer.

The staged reading is free, but reservations are required. Free General Admission tickets can be reserved by clicking here.

Something to Live For will also be presented for invited members of the industry October 3 at 3 PM at Second Stage Theater’s studio (305 West 43rd Street, 3rd Floor). Inquiries and invitation requests can be directed to