I couldn’t have been more happy to have seen PIED! come to life tonight at the Merriam Theater. We got to see the way it moves, the way it breathes – all brought to life by an amazing team of actors and collaborators at the University of the Arts.
Thanks to director Ben Kamine for leading the way and giving us a complete picture of the work we have. Thanks to music director Christopher Tolomeo for taking on this monumental task. Thanks to student assistant director Chelsae Bazzel and student stage managers Alyse Hogan and Stef Zamparelli for holding it all together. Thanks to actors Marcus Briddell, Bryce Crandall, Patrick Henkel, Katie Markey, Elexis Morton, Matthew Oster, Hannah Parke, Cody Swanson, Jackson Teeley, Bianca Teresi, and Carrie Thorwarth for jumping into this show so fearlessly and graciously. Thanks to Joanna Settle and Cesar Alvarez for founding the Polyphone Festival and bringing us along for the ride. And thanks to David Jenkins, Aziz Naouai, Catherine Logan, Joshua Campbell, and everyone at UArts for making us feel welcome and well taken care of.
We’re very excited about all that we learned in Philadelphia and can’t wait to get to work on the next draft!
I have officially made it. There is a little girl in Korea singing and dancing along to one of my songs.
English EGG’s Drama Phonics series, for which I wrote this theme song (with Will Aronson) and a number of books, has been published! The series is meant to introduce all of the English-language phonemes with funny, alliterative stories. (The full collection is pictured below.) I wrote instant classics like “Cindy at the Circus,” “King Kangaroo,” “Mom’s Messy Milkshake,” and “Penny’s Perfect Painting.” Each book was set to music and comes with audio recordings of the text and the song, along with a dance. (I think that’s the dance that my new best friend is doing in this video.)
I can’t wait to get my copies!
In just three weeks, we get to see PIED! up on its feet for the very first time!
Julia and I have spent the last few weekends in Philly rehearsing, rewriting, and relishing (different re-, I know, but I like things in threes.) I’ve been completely blown away by the cast of UArts students. They’ve been working incredibly hard, engaging with the (admittedly challenging) material head on, making smart choices, asking smart questions, and showing us some brand new sides of the piece. (Now they just need to graduate so we can work with them in NYC.)
They are (clockwise above): Katie Markey (Kay, etc.), Elexis Morton (Koreen, etc.), Hannah Parke (Anita Bryant), Bianca Teresi (Sandra, etc.), Carrie Thorwarth (Mary Ann Mobley, etc.), Jackson Teeley (Dick Clark, etc.), Cody Swanson (Brother Bill, etc.), Matthew Oster (Kyle, etc.), Patrick Henkel (Tommy), Bryce Crandall (Bob Green), and Marcus Briddell (Johnny Carson, etc.)
(I’m equally amazed by our Assistant Director Chelsae Bazzel and our Stage Manager Alyse Hogan, but they don’t have fancy headshots.)
Tickets are now available for the performance. So come on down (or up, or over) to Philly on Tuesday, March 24 at 7:30pm and check us out!