City Center is currently playing host to a theater series dedicated to off-Broadway musicals, and NY1's Frank DiLella has a preview of the final show in the series, the musical "I'm Getting My Act Together and Taking it on the Road."
The pro-feminist 1970s hit "I'm Getting My Act Together and Taking it On the Road" may not be hitting the road, but it's certainly in the spotlight in New York at City Center.
The rock-infused musical follows a 30-something divorcee named Heather Jones who uses her nightclub act as a way of self-expression and self-empowerment.
The musical was written by Gretchen Cryer and Nancy Ford. Cryer, who starred in the original 1978 production, spoke about the genesis of the show.
"Nancy and I had wanted to write about the journey that women had been through, women who came out of the 50s and all the changes they had gone through, but we didn't know how to write it," Cryer says. "Then, we started doing our own cabaret act, and we were doing songs that we called "A Scrapbook of Our Lives," and they were very personal songs. And so one night, while we were performing in the cookery, right in the middle of singing one of the songs, I thought, 'Oh my God, this is the way to write it. We'll make it be about a cabaret singer who's put together a whole new group of songs that really express the real truth of her life.'"
Now playing the role of Heather Jones is actress Renee Elise Goldsberry. Goldsberry says she feels like Cryer is passing her the torch with taking on this character.
"To be a part of what was so revolutionary in 1978 and to be standing here in 2013 and still feel like it's brave is really astounding," Goldsberry says.
And unlike the original production, this version is directed by a woman, Tony Award winner Kathleen Marshall.
"It's wonderful to sort of remind people where we were as a culture in a society in 1978 and sort of see how much has changed and how some things haven't changed," Marshall says.
"I'm Getting My Act Together and Taking it on the Road" marks the final show for the summer Encores! series. Performances begin on July 24.