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Author: Gordon Leary

Return to 54 Below!

Julia and I are so happy to have been invited back to Feinstein’s/54 Below to kick off their NEW WRITERS AT 54 summer series on Sunday, July 30 at 7pm. We’re thrilled to have the chance to share songs from REB + VoDKa + MESomething Blue, and The Magnificent Seven all in one night!

We’re also excited/honored to be among friends in the series like Sam Salmond, Alexander Sage Oyen, Katie Thompson, and the newly announced Sukari Jones & Troy Anthony!

Tickets are on sale now. (There’s even a discount if you buy a tickets to three or more shows in the series…) Check back here for more updates in the coming weeks!

The Loneliest Girl in San Diego!

I am so thrilled to get to share the news that The Loneliest Girl in the World will have its world premiere production at Diversionary Theatre in San Diego, CA in 2018!

With Diversionary’s Artistic Director Matt Morrow at the helm, the show will run May 24 through July 2, 2018. (Only 361 days until the first rehearsal, not that I’m counting.) Before the production, Julia and I will get to head out to San Diego later this year to do some work and meet some San Diegans.

Founded in 1986, Diversionary’s mission is to “provide an inspiring and thought provoking theatrical platform to explore complex and diverse LGBT stories, which influence the larger cultural discussion” and to “foster and amplify the next generation of LGBT voices by providing live entertainment in a dynamic, inclusive and provocative environment that celebrates and preserves our unique culture.”

To top it all off, the rest of the season is filled with West Coast premieres of work by some amazing playwrights and peers. Check out the rest of the season on their website!

Big thanks to NAMT for their generous support of the production.

Check back here for more information as I continue my year-long countdown…

AMTA

Julia and I are pleased to be working with students at The American Musical Theatre Academy (AMTA) on songs from our collection. AMTA was founded in London in 2010 as a training ground for musical theatre performers, and a program began in New York this past fall. Over the next few weeks, along with music director extraordinaire Rich Silverstein, we’ll be spending time with a class of 8 students as they learn our songs (and learn some of the skills needed to work on a new musical. It’s such a fun chance for us to revisit some of our favorite material, and a great way to meet the next generation of musical theatre performers! Thanks to co-founder Christie Miller for getting us involved!

YIMT 2.0

I’m so excited to head back up to the Yale Institute for Music Theatre in New Haven this June! Six years after our amazing experience with Pregnancy Pact, Julia and I will get to spend two weeks working on REB+VoDKa+ME in their alumni residency alongside workshops of the new musicals Gumbo and Cowboy Bob.

No actors, no rehearsals, no presentations – just us and our writing for two whole weeks! (With intermittent stops at Miya’s Sushi, of course.) I can’t wait to maximize these two weeks and come out on the other end with a full draft of the show.

Thanks to the wonderful Mark Brokaw for including us again this year!

New representation!

I’m so happy to share that I’m now working with Mark Orsini at Bret Adams! So if you’re looking for info on licensing a show of mine, you can find his information on the CONTACT page. (But if you’re looking to talk about dogs or Orphan Black, you should still email me directly.)

Gordon & Julia (‘s songs) take Chicago!

Chicago’s Underscore Theatre featured our songs in their Tiny Storefront Concert Series’ celebration of Galentine’s Day on February 13. We were sad to miss it ourselves, but so happy that there’s video proof!

Enjoy Meghan Shanahan singing the heck out of “Hard For Me Not To Love You” (and then check out the rest of the concert in Underscore’s playlist):

Thanks to Isaac Loomer for bringing our work to Chicago!

Cast and Loose

I’ve known actor/writer/producer/all-around-good-people Lynne Rosenberg since we were undergrads at Vassar, and I’ve always been a fan. I feel really lucky to have finally gotten to work with her on my work recently with The Magnificent Seven, and now I feel even more lucky to have gotten to write a song for her amazing series Cast and Loose Live at Joe’s Pub.

Cast and Loose Live! (an offshoot of her amazing Tumblr of the same name) is “an evening of the worst casting breakdowns the internet has to offer, brought to life by stars of the stage and screen.” This particular evening dealt with issues of the body in casting, and woo boy was it an eye-opener on how far our industry has to go.

As a finale, Lynne asked Julia and I to write a song about the dominance of (and deference to) “cisgender, able-bodied, straight, white men” in the industry – and it just so happens that that term scans as a perfect hook!

You should check out the whole evening below, and you can hear the song about an hour and five minutes into the video.

Follow Cast and Loose on Facebook so you can see the next performance yourself!

REB + VoDKa + MTF

Come down to the Musical Theatre Factory for the first chance to see a staged excerpt from REB + VoDKa + ME!

On Monday, February 13, we’ll be presenting the first 15 minutes of the show alongside excerpts from three other musicals. We can’t wait to get a little bit of this show up on its feet and in front of an audience!

(Julia and I had the chance to do an excerpt of The Loneliest Girl in the World in a 2014 4×15 and the experience was amazingly instructive.)

Grab your tickets here and I hope we’ll see you at the Robert Moss Theatre at 440 Lafayette!

2016.

What a year this has been! Two new musicals are well underway, while another had new life breathed into it. Three writers groups, a few writing retreats, some new songs… And a whole lot of wonderful people and collaborators who made this year possible:

Shaleah Adkisson, Delaney Amatrudo, Robert Ariza, Collin Batten, Michael Berresse, Ally Bonino, Jen Brissman, Michael Bush, Nikki DiLoreto, Hanako Greensmith, Sam Heldt, Ciera Iveson, Benjamin Kamine, Kelsey Lake, Amy Linden, Ellen Macy, Evan Maltby, Lauren Marcus, Megan McClain, Eric William Morris, Elexis Morton, Gillian Munsayac, Brynn O’Malley, Matthew Oster, Andrew Neisler, Allison Posner, Alex Ratner, Ned Riseley, Lynne Marie Rosenberg, Keith Rubin, Sara Sahin, Jaclyn Scoville, Libby Servais, Johnny Shea, Rich Silverstein, Adam Stasiw, Dana Steingold, Dustin Sullivan, Pearl Sun, Nikola Tomic, Elinor Vanderburg, Emily Walton, Jeremy Yaddaw, and Andrew Zinsmeister… I’m so grateful to you all!!

And of course, I’m so grateful that I got to go through everything this year with my collaborator extraordinaire, Julia Meinwald.

I can’t wait to see what 2017 holds!

Twan in The Times!

To round out 2016, Pregnancy Pact got a shout-out in The New York Times!

Margo & Twan, second and third from the left, in the Weston production.

Twan Baker, the baby-prop-performer extraordinaire, is currently co-starring with Margo Seibert in the Broadway production of In Transit. The two first met in our 2012 world premiere of Pregnancy Pact at the Weston Playhouse, and they’re back together as mother and child once again. I can’t wait to see them both in the show!

(The Times first referred to the show as Pregnancy Pact: The Musical, but graciously corrected the title after a quick email request.)

((Also, how fun to have worked with so many of the other wonderful people mentioned in this article!))

Sparkle like your leotard.

L-R: Amy Linden, Ally Bonino, Gillian Munsayac, Ellen Macy, Emily Walton, Dana Steingold, Shaleah Adkisson, Ned Risely, Lynne Marie Rosenberg, Keith Rubin

I’m so in awe of what we were able to share on Monday at Cloud City in the Fresh Ground Pepper Playground Festival. And it was only possible because of our director, Nikki DiLoreto, MD Rich Silverstein, and the ten wonderful people in the picture above who jumped (vaulted? Yurchenko’d?) into this fast and furious process and made my 17-year-old dream come true!

I can’t wait to share The Magnificent Seven with more than the 30 or so people that were in that tiny space at some point in 2017. Demos will be coming soon, and hopefully more!

It also wouldn’t have been possible without the encouragement, input, and excitement of Andrew, Jaclyn, Ellie, and our whole cohort in the Fresh Ground Pepper Playground Playgroup. It’s hard to believe our year is up with them already!

 

The 46th Minute

The NAMT experience of condensing a musical into 45 minutes can be stressful for lots of reasons, not the least of which is not being able to share everything you love from your show. Which is why it’s so great that NAMT hosts a concert the night before the festival begins to feature songs that won’t be in the presentations! This year we were lucky enough to get to share two songs – one from The Loneliest Girl in the World, and a bonus from Pregnancy Pact (since this concert wasn’t around during the 2011 festival!)

The always wonderful Brynn O’Malley and Sam Heldt sang “All I See Is You” from The Loneliest Girl in the World and our new friends Delaney Amatrudo and Johnny Shea sang “Secrets” from Pregnancy Pact. Enjoy!