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!

The Magnificent Seven @ Cloud City

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!

NAMT Thanks.

the_loneliest_girl-web-360x360I 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!

The Magnificent Seven – VIDEO PROOF!

We can do it! (And we did.)

Thanks to all who came out to see a little preview of The Magnificent Seven 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!

More NAMT updates!

namt-headshot-collageSo 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!

The Magnificent Seven @ Dixon Place

gymnastics-bIf 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.

Read more about the evening, and get your tickets!

NAMT updates!

berresseJulia 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!

Read about all the creative teams, and don’t forget to mark your calendars!

RVM @ MTF

2c45c2bea-af5e-0c28-64ea82342dcca0baJulia 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…