‘Empire’ rises in readings

Readings follow developmental workshop

A retooled version of the tuner “Empire,” about the construction of the Empire State Building, will been seen in a couple of industry readings later this month following a five-week development workshop.

Eric William Morris, Ashley Brown (“Mary Poppins”), Cady Huffman (“The Producers”), Michael Rupert and Fred Applegate are among the thesps to perform in the presentations, helmed by Matt Lenz. Musical, penned by Caroline Sherman and Robert Hull, was previously seen in an L.A. staging in 2003 and then in Stamford, Conn., the next year.

Plans for a Broadway run have not been confirmed, but an entire team of Rialto-pedigreed pros are already aboard the project. On the design team are Klara Zieglerova (sets), Natasha Katz (lights), Jess Goldstein (costumes), Steve Kennedy (sound) and Wendell Harrington (projections). Michele Lynch (“Everyday Rapture”) has signed on as choreographer.

Team of commercial producers onboard include Marquee Theatrical Ventures, Sue Vaccaro, the Rivet Gang, Lynne Walder, Katy Kinney Harris, J. Joanna Jung, Jeff Davis, Howard Olah-Reiken, Dale Archer and Michael and Gabrielle Palitz.

Storyline follows the romance between a young architect and a female reporter, set against the rise of the Gotham landmark.

With a cast of 24, the industry presentations are set for Oct. 27 and 28.

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