After almost a year of planning, we have finally arrived in San Diego to workshop The Loneliest Girl in the World with Diversionary Theatre!
Julia and I are spending the week here to hear the show, meet the team, and get the lay of the land before our production in the spring. Diversionary has put together such a great group for our week here, with Artistic Director Matt Morrow at the helm with music director Patrick Marion. Perennial favorite (and perennial Tommy) Sam Heldt has made the journey with us to join a cast that includes San Diegans Allison Spratt Pearce, Adam Cuppy, Susan Hammons, Chase Hauser, and Lauren King Thompson.
I’m so excited to spend the week putting the pieces together with these wonderful folks (and the palm trees, sunshine, and hummingbirds)!
Julia and I are happy to be back with the Musical Theatre Factory for a second year of their writers group. After a successful year last year finishing our first draft of REB+VoDKa+ME (which we can’t wait to share at NYU in November, see below!) we’re excited to devote this year to getting a full draft of The Magnificent Seven written! Our group includes writer friends old and new, run by the wonderful folks at Beehive Dramaturgy Studio. We can’t wait to journey back to 1996 Atlanta!
About 5 years after writing our first song for it, Julia and I are finally going to get to work on Choreomania!
We’re joining the inaugural class of The Collective, a new program in the 92nd Street Y’s Harkness Dance Center Music Theatre Development Lab. The Collective brings together performance makers from across the spectrum – writers, composers, directors, choreographers, and hyphenates of the above – to explore new works of music theatre and dance. After spending so many years primarily behind music stands, we’re thrilled to get to develop a work in an environment that encourages us to consider movement as an integral part of the storytelling process. It’ll challenge us in the most exciting way!
Choreomania will explore the Dancing Plague of 1518, in which hundreds of people spent the summer dancing uncontrollably and inexplicably in the streets of France. The event is now understood to be the earliest recorded instance of mass hysteria (thanks to the invention of the printing press.) It’s about the search of explanations to the unexplainable, the fear and allure of the unknown, and the power of a crowd.
Give our first song, “I’m Moving” – sung by Frau Troffea, the dancing plague’s originator – a listen while we get ready to dive into the 16th century!
Julia and I are excited to be once again working with director Benjamin Kamine and music director Rich Silverstein on the project. And special thanks to GMTWP’s Sarah Schlesinger and NSB’s Kent Gash for the opportunity to work with students to bring the show to life!
Check back here for casting (after next week’s auditions) and ticket info in the coming weeks…
Julia and I got back this morning from seeing Pregnancy Pact in Windsor, Ontario, produced by The Edge Productions at The Rondo. It was such a moving experience on so many levels – so amazing to see the show again (it’s been 3 years since 54 Below…), so wonderful to be flooded with memories of all the remarkable people whose hearts are in every moment of it, and beyond incredible to see strangers (now friends) take our work and bring it to vivid life. It felt like a really defining moment in my journey as a writer, and I’m so grateful!
My immense thanks go to the superstars in this picture for their dedication to our show (clockwise from the top left): Shayla Hudson (Jeanelle), Rebecca Lashmar (Jenn), Avonlea Smith (Kaylee), Samantha Bourque (Maddie), Janine Marley (Assistant Director), Sean Sennett (Cory/Justin), Nathaniel Cedroni (Set Designer), Sam Poole (Music Director), me, Julia, Olivia Ridpath (Sansanee), Miriam Goldstein (Director), Miranda DiPietro (Brynn), and Morgan Corbett-Collins (Stage Manager.)
Videos from the Feinstein’s/54 Below concert are now online! Watch the whole 17 song playlist above (starting with the finale, of course.)
Thanks to all who came up/down/in/over to that midtown basement to share the evening with us. Thanks to Jennifer Ashley Tepper and the whole 54 Below staff for inviting us to kick off this wonderful (and ongoing!) series. And thanks, especially, to our 26 singers, actors, and musicians for bringing so much of our work to life!
T-minus 11 days! Rehearsals started this past weekend, and we’re so honored to have the 26 people listed & pictured above come along with us to share selections from REB + VoDKa + ME, Something Blue, and The Magnificent Seven.
I’m so excited that Pregnancy Pact is being produced by The Edge Productions in Windsor, Ontario next month! Directed by Miriam Goldsmith, the production runs August 14-17 at The Rondo. I’m so sad to have to miss the production – it’s such a strange and new feeling to know that my work is being performed without me there! – but anybody who’s in the Windsor/Detroit area should go and check it out… And then give me a full update!
Just kidding, it’s only 18 (and a 6-piece band.) But that’s a whole lot of our favorite singers joining us for our Feinstein’s/54 Below concert on Sunday, July 30 at 7pm!
Delaney Amatrudo, Ally Bonino, Sojourner Brown, Max Chernin, Molly Hager, Sam Heldt, Emily Jenda, Marina Kondo, Kelsey Lake, Amy Linden, Ellen Condon Macy, Evan Maltby, Allison Posner, Allie Sandler, Libby Servais, Johnny Shea, Phoebe Strole, and Allie Trimm are going to bring you tunes from REB+VoDKa+ME, Something Blue, and The Magnificent Seven!
We’re so excited to have so many faces we love (both new and familiar) on stage with us! Get your tickets now to celebrate their wonderfulness with us! (And use the code JMGL5 to get $5 off the cover for the main dining room…)
Julia and I had a wonderfully productive in our two week Alumni Residency at the Yale Institute for Music Theatre, and came back to New York with a full draft of REB+VoDKa+ME! (You can see the whole thing mapped on our apartment wall in this photo…) It’s such a great feeling to have a whole draft of the show and to have been able to flesh out all the work we accomplished with R&D Group and MTF. All we need to do now is share it with the world! (And then rewrite it, of course.)
Not only did we get a draft out of it, but we also got to know some of our new very favorite writers! I’m so impressed and amazed by the work that Annie Tippe, Molly Beach Murphy, Jeanna Phillips, Brett Macias, and Christina Quintana accomplished on Cowboy Bob and GUMBO. And getting to see actors I’ve always loved like Alison Fraser, Andrea Jones-Sojola, and Trent Armand Kendall (and new favorites like Eddie Cooper and Lizan Mitchell) put their all in these new works made me giddy.
Thanks to Mark Brokaw, Kay Perdue, and the whole Institute staff for giving us this opportunity!
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 + ME, Something Blue, and The Magnificent Seven all in one night!
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!
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!
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!))