York Town Square

Part of the USAToday Network

York County’s Ludwig family produces two national headliners

A performance of York County native Ken Ludwig’s ‘Lend Me a Tenor’ marks the opening of York College’s Performing Arts Center. The center is at least the third large-scale venue for such performances in the York area, joining Penn State York’s Pullo Family Performing Arts Center and York’s Strand-Capitol Performing Arts Center. Background posts: TV show box set ‘Terry & the Pirates’ to be part of a museum exhibit someday?,
20 questions and answers to prove your York County smarts, Part III and Add another to list of entertainers with York links.

The work of a local son will enter into the theatrical grand opening of York College’s Collegiate Performing Arts Center tonight.
The student theater troupe, The York College Players, will perform “Lend Me a Tenor,” by York County native Ken Ludwig.
Actually, Ludwig is half of a duo from the same York Suburban School District family to make international headlines.
Just this week, brother Eugene Ludwig, former comptroller general under the Clinton administration and now in the private sector, testified before Congress on the nation’s financial crisis.
And actually, York Suburban has produced another set of prominent brothers:

This Associated Press photo shows former Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Arthur Levitt Jr., from left to right, Promontory Financial Group Chief Executive Officer and York County native Eugene Ludwig, and Cuyahoga County (Ohio) Treasurer Jim Rokakis, testify before the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee hearing on problems in credit markets, and origins of the problem, on Capitol Hill, Thursday, Oct. 16, in Washington. A friend of former President Bill Clinton, Ludwig acted as U.S. Comptroller of the Currency from 1993 to 1998. He graduated in 1964 from York Suburban Senior High School.

Ken Ludwig has been kind of quiet since “Moon Over Buffalo” enjoyed a successful New York run four years ago.
“The River Runs Thought It’s” Craig Sheffer and Hogan Sheffer, a Hollywood screen writer known most recently for his writing for the soap “As the World Turns.”
The following is a preview of a then-new work by Ken Ludwig appearing in the York Daily Record (1/21/2000):
He has worked since then. It’s just that new theater projects take time to get rolling.
But now, there’s actually something he can point to and say – look, it’s finished.
Ludwig will have another play heading to Broadway in about a year. It’s a new musical called “Tom Sawyer,” adapted from the Mark Twain classic.
“It’s a done deal,” Ludwig said this week by phone from his home in suburban Washington, D.C. “The exact dates haven’t been announced, and we don’t know which theater; those things are being worked on now. But the Kennedy Center and the Nederlander Organization are producing. We have a director, Scott Ellis. We’re on our way.”
Ellis directed revivals of “1776” and “She Loves Me” and he recently finished working with Woody Harrelson on the stage production of “The Rainmaker.”
Ludwig has a couple of other projects in the works. He’s writing a still-untitled play that will be directed by Tony-winner Jerry Zaks. He’s working with Jerry Herman and Tommy Tune on a musical for Las Vegas casino magnate Steve Wynn.
But the thing that sounds like the most fun is his latest foray into movies. He has been picked to write the screenplay for the next Muppet movie. He will be meeting with Muppet guru Frank Oz and a group of Muppeteers in New York sometime in the next month or so to talk about story ideas.
“They wanted to try and do something to make the franchise fresh again, so we’ll see what happens,” he said.
Next year, British theater producers plan a production of “Moon Over Buffalo.” Ludwig doesn’t normally get involved with a production after he finishes a play, but he wants to tweak “Moon” a little.
“I shifted some things around for the Broadway show because Burnett was involved,” he said. “The London show has a big-name male star attached. So I’ll make some changes for him.”
Ken Ludwig was born and raised in York County. He graduated from York Suburban High School in 1968 and went on to earn law degrees from Cambridge University and Harvard University.
A love for the theater drew him into writing plays, and he hit Broadway for the first time in 1989 with “Lend Me a Tenor.” He followed that with “Crazy for You,” which won him a handful of major awards, including a Tony for best musical of 1991-92. “Moon Over Buffalo,” which opened with Carol Burnett starring, followed four years later.
– 1/21/00