A Time To Be Born

Book & Lyrics by Tajlei Levis
Music by John Mercurio
Based on the 1941 novel by Dawn Powell

“For decades Dawn Powell was always just on the verge of ceasing to be a cult and becoming a major religion” — Gore Vidal.

New York City on the eve of America’s entry into World War II. It is an exciting glamorous time for everyone except sweet mousy Vicky Haven. Desperate to get out of Ohio after her fiancé elopes with her business partner, Vicky gets up the nerve to call her old school friend Amanda Keeler who is now the toast of New York. The beautiful scheming Amanda (a thinly veiled Clare Booth Luce) is bored with her marriage to wealthy media mogul Julian Evans. Amanda decides to resume an affair with an old flame: Ken, a critically acclaimed but unsuccessful writer with too much integrity. Amanda decides that Vicky will be the perfect alibi and finds a job and an apartment for her in New York. Amanda tells her husband that the studio is for Vicky, but by day uses it for her affair. She explains Ken’s presence at their parties, claiming that he is an escort for Vicky.

As America tiptoes closer to war, Vicky thrives in her new life as a magazine executive. Socially awkward and naïve, Vicky blunders through the parties and the New York media and society scene. Her directness is refreshing and endears her to her new boss and to a handsome stranger with too much integrity she meets at Amanda’s party.

A Time to be Born is a story of ambition and identity, of honest mid-Westerners among savvy New Yorkers. What will become of Amanda’s brutal ambition? Will she maintain her self-invented celebrity? Will her manipulations backfire? Will Vicky learn to trust her small-town originality or become yet another cynical successful New Yorker? Will Ken ever finish his novel? Will America join the war?

“an elegant adaptation…by Tajlei Levis…full of catty wit and jitterbugging. John Mercurio’s jazzy score has enough catchy songs to make the 140-minute running time zip by.”
~Jason Zinoman, The New York Times

“From the opening scene…we know we are watching a hit show.” ~Lisa Ferber, nytheatre.com

MUSIC:

01 Nothing to Do with Love

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02 Still the Same

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03 Go Away

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04 Forget about the Girl

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05 My Own Private Affair

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06 That’s Me

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