Chad Kimball, Malcolm Gets Star in NYMF’s “Julian Po”

Steven Rosen

Chad Kimball, Tony-nominated star of Broadway’s “Memphis,” is back on stage in a new show that’s among the highlights of the New York Musical Theatre Festival, the annual proving ground for dozens of new works that kicked off this week and runs through July 28.

Malcolm Gets (“Amour”) and Luba Mason (“The Capeman”) co-star alongside Kimball in the dramatic comedy “Julian Po,” which enjoyed a sold-out run at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2007. Based on the book “La mort de monsieur Golouja” by Branimir Šćepanović and the screenplay “Julian Po” by Alan Wade, the musical features elements of pop, rock, country, bluegrass and gospel.

According to the producers, “Julian Po” is a modern-day musical myth that follows a suicidal drifter as he enters a small town and "causes a sensation with his novel aspirations of taking his own life." It’s written by Andrew Barrett and Ira Antelis, under the direction of Kirsten Sanderson.

In a fun, wide-ranging interview with, Kimball, a Broadway vet dating back to his debut in the 2002 revival of “Into the Woods,” talked about how “Po” composer Antelis writes songs with "a pop sensibility and a musical theater edge."

“Everything in the score melds together so well,” Kimball says. “A story like this has never really been done before in a musical. ... As dark as it sort of might sound, it’s actually pretty funny, too.”

Other NYMF shows drawing interest include “Legacy Falls,” about the backstage shenanigans at “America’s favorite soap”; “Mother Divine,” inspired by the real-life events of Harlem evangelist Father Divine; and “Mother, Wife and The Complicated Life,” with Amity Dry, a reality star from Down Under, where reviewers called the show “a musical version of ‘Sex & the City.’”

A rehearsal clip from “Julian Po” is below. The musical has performances July 10, 13 and 14 at The Signature Center, 480 W. 42nd St. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased online at, or by calling 212-352-3101. For information on this and all other NYMF shows, click here.

Follow Robert Kahn on Twitter@Robert Kahn 

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