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Luncheon on Cunard's
Queen Mary II in
Honor of the CD Launch for
Busker Alley
November 30, 2007

Written by Wendy R. Williams
Photographs Courtesy of Cunard


Busker Alley is on its way to Broadway. The show is set both before and during World War II and tells the story of Charlie, an aging West End busker (street singer for tips) who rescues a small-time-thief named Libby. Charlie discovers that Libby is a talented singer; he nurtures her talent and falls in love with her. Libby, however, is young and ambition and leaves Charlie for the lights of the West End. Based on an early 20th century novel, "Professor Unrat oder Das end eines Tyrannen [Small Town Tyrant], the story has had many incarnations including the Blue Angel film starring Marlene Dietrich and a run on the West End in London as St. Martins Lane, starring Vivian Leigh. Busker Alley (under a variety of different names) also toured the United States in the 1990's. The tour was on its way to Broadway when the star, Tommy Tune, broke his foot.

Busker Alley finally had a New York performance when the York Theater (under the able direction of James Morgan) presented a one-night only benefit performance of Busker Alley at the Kaye Playhouse at Hunter College on November 13, 2006. A longtime backer/benefactor of the York Theater, Melanie Herman, was so impressed with the quality of the music that she wrote a check so a cast album could be recorded. The Busker Alley album is now available at and features singers: John Bolton; Jessica Grove; George S. Irving; Simon Jones; Noah Racey; Ann Rogers; and Glenn Close.

On November 30, 2007, the backers and creative team of Busker Alley hosted a luncheon on Cunard's Queen Marry II to celebrate the launch of the cast album. Before the luncheon, there was a performance. The cast album was sung by a talented team including Jim Dale (Glenn Close was unable to attend). We were also treated to medley of songs performed by Richard Sherman of music written (by Richard and his brother Robert B. Sherman) for musicals such as Mary Poppins, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, and The Jungle Book.

Busker Alley will open on Broadway for the 2008-2009 season. It will star Jim Dale (numerous Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circles awards and the narrator of the Harry Potter audio books). It will be directed Tony Walton, with music and lyrics by Richard and Robert Sherman, and book by AJ Carothers.

The excitement is building.

Captain Christopher Rynd of the Queen Mary II with
Two Busker Alley Performers
Jessica Grove (on left) and Elizabeth Ingrahm (on right).

Richard Sherman Plays

Richard Sherman, Jim Dale and Director Tony Walton

Captain Christopher Rynd Greets Hayley Mills

Captain Christopher Rynd and Broadway Actress Marilyn Sokol

Captain Christopher Rynd and Actress Joan Copeland (Arthur Miller's Sister)

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