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Lady Liberty's Immigration Story Comes to Life in New Musical

By Lisha Arino | August 27, 2014 8:41am
 Stills of a performace of "Liberty: A Monumental New Musical."
'Liberty: A Monumental New Musical'
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EAST VILLAGE — Lady Liberty will sing and dance her way to New York in an upcoming off-Broadway production at Theatre 80 on St. Marks Place.

Liberty: A Monumental New Musical,” will make its New York debut on Oct. 14 after premiering at the Warner Theatre in Connecticut in 2012, according to producer Theresa Wozunk.

The musical tells the story of the iconic statue’s bumpy journey and arrival in New York, a move that echoes the stories of many immigrants to the US, she said.

“The musical is really all about her and how she gets here and how she really doesn’t have a place,” Wozunk said.

Although the French had built the Statue of Liberty and shipped it to New York in the late 1800s, an economic recession and anti-immigrant sentiment made many Americans reluctant to foot the bill for a pedestal upon which to place the statue, Wozunk said. Some people, she said, even wanted to send the statue back to France.

“There was an awful lot of controversy surrounding it,” Wozunk said.

The musical follows Lady Liberty as she magically comes to life and meets people from all walks of life as she explores the city, including author Emma Lazarus, who penned “The Great Colossus,” and muckracking journalist Joseph Pulitzer, who launched a successful fundraising campaign for the pedestal.

The production’s seven-week run will be directed by Evan Pappas, a Broadway actor-turned-director who was one of the original cast members of “Parade” on the Great White Way, Wozunk said.

Playwright and poet Dana Goldstein wrote the book and lyrics while her brother, Jon Goldstein, composed the score, added Wozunk, who previously served as associate producer for the “The Gershwins’ Porgy & Bess” on Broadway.

The music, she added, is “gorgeous” and “really catchy.”

“It’s a fun piece that makes people think but it’s completely G-rated and accessible,” Wozunk said.

Tickets are on sale now for the production’s limited run, which ends on Nov. 26. Tickets are $69 per person, $49 for students and seniors and $20 for the 11 a.m. Tuesday performances.