It’s hard to believe that our time in Fresh Ground Pepper’s Playground Playgroup is nearing a close… It’s been a great nine months of making new friends and hearing their really wonderful work as Julia and I vaulted into our dream musical (pun intended.) And now, to celebrate, we’re sharing a little more of The Magnificent Seven with the world!
On Monday, December 12 at 7pm at Cloud City, we’ll be doing an hour-ish-long version of what we have so far (which includes 13 songs!) We have an amazing cast, most of whom were with us at Dixon Place: Shaleah Adkisson, Ally Bonino, Ellen Condon Macy, Amy Linden, Gillian Munsayac, Ned Risely, Lynne Marie Rosenberg, Keith Rubin, Dana Steingold, and Emily Walton. Nikki DiLoreto is directing again, and Rich Silverstein is on board to music direct.
All in all, it’s going to be a really fun way to kick off the sharings of each of the projects that have been developed in FGP this year!
Tickets are free at the door, so take the L train (while you still can) and come check it out!
I am still walking on air, more than two weeks later, after the wonderful experience that was the 2016 NAMT Festival of New Musicals. I could not have imagined a better way to share our show with so many people, and there are a bunch of wonderful people to thank:
Director Michael Berresse, always the calm in the many storms we encountered.
Music Director Rich Silverstein, who knows Julia and my art better than we do, at this point.
Our phenomenal cast – Robert Ariza, Sam Heldt, Eric William Morris, Brynn O’Malley, Dana Steingold, and Pearl Sun – for taking everything we threw their way (or, more appropriately, trimmed after they’d already learned it) in perfect stride. (That goes for our band, too – Jeremy Yaddaw and Nikola Tomic!)
Stage manager extraordinaire Sara Sahin, GM/constant resource Frankie Dailey, consultants Steve Stettler & Donna Lynn Hilton, Branden Huldeen, NAMT staff members Betsy King Militello, Adam Grosswirth, and Karin Nilo…
Ciera Iveson, for leading her first festival so unflappably.
And all of the other artists for all the other shows for building such a supportive pop-up community!
With all there has been to contend with in the world in the weeks after the festival, I’m so happy to be able to carry the joy of this experience with me right now. And I can only hope that NAMT will give us the chance to take our story out into a world that might find it a comfort or a conversation starter!
Thanks to all who came out to see a little preview of The MagnificentSeven at Dixon Place on October 6. It was great to see a little piece of the show in front of an audience. And for those of you who didn’t catch it…
Thanks to our squad (L to R): Amy Linden as Shannon, Elexis Morton as Dominique Dawes, Dana Steingold as Dominique Moceanu, Gillian Munsayac as Amy, Emily Walton as Kerri, Ellen Macy as Amanda, Ally Bonino as Jaycie, Collin Batten as Tim Daggett, Lynne Marie Rosenberg as Elfi Schlegel, Dustin Sullivan as John Tesh, and Alex Ratner on piano.
Be on the lookout for more information about our upcoming December 12 sharing with Fresh Ground Pepper!
So much NAMT news to report before we start rehearsals on Monday!
In addition to the already announced director Michael Berresse, we’re excited to have music director Rich Silverstein back at the festival with us.
And we have a cast! (Look at those headshots!) We’re so excited to have Sam Heldt and Dana Steingold back as Tommy and Sandra/Mary Ann, respectively. And we’re beyond thrilled to have Brynn O’Malley playing Anita – she’s been on our dream casting list for a while now. After admiring them both in other shows for years, I can’t wait to finally work with Eric William Morris (as Bob) and Pearl Sun (as Kay.) And we’re so happy to get to know Robert Ariza and welcome him into the team as Kyle.
If that was enough to make you want to check out the show, you’ll have two chances: Thursday, October 27 at 4:50pm and Friday, October 28 at 1:30pm. Both performances will take place at New World Stages’ Stage 3 (on the set of Avenue Q!) There will be standby line for those not officially registered for the festival, and chances are very good that you’ll be able to see it. And, while you’re at it, check out some of the other shows in the festival! The full schedule is available on the NAMT website.
And if you want even more NAMT and The Loneliest Girl in the World, come on by The 46th Minute concert on Wednesday, October 26 at 6:30pm to hear songs from all of the festival shows that didn’t make the 45-minute cut. We’ll be sharing a song from the second act of TLGITW, and throwing back to our 2011 NAMT experience with a song from Pregnancy Pact, too!
In the lead-up to NAMT, festival writers have been asked to contribute blog posts about the whole process – from application to presentation. I contributed a post about that most daunting of tasks – finding the right 45 minutes. Give it a read, and be on the lookout for some casting announcements very soon!
If you want a sneak peek at the work Julia and I have been doing on The Magnificent Seven, come on down to Dixon Place on Thursday, October 6 at 7:30pm. We’ll be sharing 5 songs from the show, and sharing the bill with the wonderful Adam Stasiw!
We’ve assembled our dream cast – with Ally Bonino, Amy Linden, Ellen Macy, Elexis Morton, Gillian Munsayac, Dana Steingold, and Emily Walton as the 1996 U.S. Olympic Women’s Gymnastics team, alongside Lynne Marie Rosenberg, Dustin Sullivan, and Collin Batten as the nefarious announcers. We heard the songs for the first time a few weeks ago, and I couldn’t be more excited to share them for the first time.
Julia and I are thrilled to be working with Michael Berresse on the NAMT Festival presentation of The Loneliest Girl in the World!
After seeing him perform onstage in A Chorus Line and The Light in the Piazza, I first encountered Michael’s directing on Broadway with [title of show], but I was also lucky enough to travel up to Weston, VT to see his beautiful 2013 production of Next to Normal with Heidi Blickenstaff and Margo Seibert. The production was so sensitive and deeply felt, and a complete departure from the original. In addition to being the best sung version I’ve ever seen, it convinced me just how beautiful the color grey can be!
Julia and I are thrilled to get back to work on REB + VoDKa + ME, this time with the Musical Theatre Factory! We’ll be spending the next ten months in their new writers group working our way to a full draft. We’re so happy to be back at the Factory after our wonderful experience in their 4×15 series a few years ago, and excited to be writing among so many friends and colleagues in the group! Stay tuned for more updates on the show…
First it was PIED!. Then it was I Love You, Anita Bryant. And now it’s The Loneliest Girl in the World!
Mark your calendars for October 27 & 28, 2016. We’ll be sharing the first 45 minutes of the show! And we’re lucky to do it alongside so many wonderful friends like Mindi Dickstein & Kirsten Guenther (Benny & Joon), Brett Ryback (Joe Schmoe Saves the World), and Scotty Arnold & Alana Jacoby (Mortality Play.)
Be on the lookout for more information over the next few months!
Back in 2013, a workshop production of Across the River was presented as part of the Seoul Musical Festival. It’s been almost three years, but I’m so happy to now be able to share highlights from the show!
The video features performances of the songs “Not Me,” “You Gotta Do It,” “Baby Boy,” “If I Ran the Moon,” and “River on Fire.” The cast and design are phenomenal!
This was the only presentation of a work of mine that I wasn’t able to see live, and I’m so happy that I finally get to see some of the show now. Enjoy!
We’ve got an amazing group of singers joining us to share the first material from REB + VoDKa + ME!
Come on up/down/over** on Friday, May 20 to see Ally Bonino, Hanako Greensmith, Sam Heldt, Kelsey Lake, Evan Maltby, Lauren Marcus, Elexis Morton, Matthew Oster, Allison Posner, Libby Servais, Rich Silverstein, and Emily Walton! (It means a lot to have all these people, from all along our writing journey, back with us to try out something new. And we’re thrilled to work with a few new folks at the same time!)
And if you can’t make it next Friday, fear not! This whole crew will head into the studio to record the new material, so be on the lookout for a link soon.
**Don’t be afraid of the waitlist! Once you’re confirmed, it’s first-come, first-served at the door.
Ben, Julia, and I are so excited to have our first chance to share material from our new show, REB + VoDKa + ME in The Civilians’ Findings Series. On Friday, May 20 at 7pm, we’ll share a dozen or so songs with a glorious, almost-finalized cast of 13! Read all about the other shows from the R&D Group and reserve your seats now.
I’m thrilled that Julia and I have been selected for Fresh Ground Pepper‘s 2016 Playground Playgroup. As FGP says:
The PlayGround PlayGroup is a year-long, collaborative workshop culminating in the PlayGround Festival, realizing Fresh Ground Pepper’s mission to prompt and provoke the artist to make art. It is a place where writers and creators of varying mediums convene to convert their pages, projects, and ideas into fresh new works.
We’re excited to be writing and working alongside old and new friends – and especially excited that it means we finally get to start work on the show I’ve been waiting seventeen years to write…
The Magnificent Seven will tell the story of the 1996 U.S. Women’s Olympic Gymnastics team and their road to winning the gold medal. Seven girls – Amanda Borden, Amy Chow, Dominique Dawes, Shannon Miller, Dominique Moceanu, Jaycie Phelps, and Kerri Strug – were on their home turf in Atlanta and caught the imagination of the world in the first truly post-Cold War games. It resulted in one of the most iconic Olympic images: Kerri Strug’s final vault, landed on an injured ankle, that clinched the gold medal.
Check back for updates, and be on the lookout for a December presentation of work from the show!