Anna Ty Bergman, Jordan Coughtry and More Set for VERY VERY Concert Reading in Manhattan; Full Cast Announced!

February 27
4:37 PM 2013


Anna Ty Bergman (Red Hot Broadway), Jordan Coughtry (Amadeus at Shakespeare Theatre of NJ), Blake Pfeil (Man of La Mancha at The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey), Dani Marcus (Jane Austen's Emma at The Old Globe), Cedric Lamar (Rock Act 'The Life and Times Of') and Acting Company alum), Katie Fabel (Cherry Lane, Irish Rep, Mint Theatre), Roger Weisman, keyboardist Zac Lasher, bassist Dan McNaney, drummer Sparkie Sandler, guitarists Kevin Griffin and Vin Stanton, and Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey favorites Jordan Coughtry, James Michael Reilly, Jay Leibowitz, Andy Paterson, and Susan Elizabeth Maris will appear in two invited concert readings of 'VERY VERY,' Shakespeare's 'AS YOU LIKE IT' re-imagined as a contemporary rock concert.

Acting Company Alum, Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey Artistic Associate, and the current Director of The National Players with The Olney Theatre Center, Jason King Jones, will direct the March 4, 2013 concert readings which are being sponsored by Gibson NYC and will be presented at the Gibson-Baldwin Showroom in Midtown Manhattan.

An ambitious new reinvention of Shakespeare's classic comedy, 'VERY VERY' is the latest collaboration between Brooklyn-based artists and show co-creators Jay Leibowitz and Zac Lasher with Director Jason King Jones. Leibowitz and Jones, both seasoned alums of The Acting Company and the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, have teamed up with Lasher, a former member of the progressive rock band U-Melt and producer of Leibowitz's solo record 'Pedestrian Life', to capture the story of Rosalind and Orlando, two young lovers who flee the tyranny of home and find themselves in a sexually charged and confusingly passionate exile.

The show features 28 original songs adapted from Shakespeare's original text infused with various genres of modern rock. The songs blend Lasher's unique compositional style and Leibowitz's lyrics which cleverly deconstruct Shakespeare's original text while quick scenes written in plain and playful stage banter bridge moments between the music.

'VERY VERY' has been in development since April 2012. Music selections from project have been recently developed and performed to great acclaim at both The Deconstructive Theatre Project and Fresh Ground Pepper NYC.

Members of the Industry who wish to attend the free concert readings are encouraged to reserve a seat at the 3 pm presentation and can do so easily at Alternatively, or call (917) 364-3050. Standing room and late-seating will be available at the door for the 8 pm presentation. A post-performance reception will be catered by Chef Nabil Hajaji of Brooklyn's Bushwick Kitchen.

An ambitious and exciting new work, VERY VERY tells the story of Rosalind and Orlando, two young lovers who flee the tyranny of home only to reunite in a sexually charged and confusingly passionate exile. Songs feature a modern rock vocabulary from various genres blended together in Zac Lasher's unique compositional style and Jay Leibowitz's lyrics, which cleverly deconstruct Shakespeare's original text. Quick scenes written in plain and playful stage banter bridge the moments between the music.

VERY VERY has been in development since April of 2012 and will receive its world premiere in NYC later in 2013. Two live concert readings of the show featuring a talented company of 18 musical artists will be held on March 4th, 2013 at the Gibson-Baldwin Showroom in midtown Manhattan.

About the Creative Team

Jay Leibowitz has been a favorite of The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey since 1999 and has performed in critically acclaimed productions of The Comedy of Errors, The Tempest, The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged), Othello, Around The World In Eighty Days, The Grapes of Wrath, Enrico IV, Pericles, Hamlet, Measure for Measure, Romeo and Juliet, That Scoundrel Scapin, A MidWinter Night's Dream, Grapes of Wrath, and Life of Galileo, for which he composed and performed original music. Jay is also a veteran of The Acting Company's 2008 US Tour of The Tempest and Orson Welles' Moby Dick (Rehearsed). Jay directed the 2006 award-winning short film, Coulrophobia, and he is the primary author of Who Doth Inhabit the Primary Position? a YouTube famous sketch also known as Shakespeare's Who's On First, available Jay's first independent solo rock album, Pedestrian Life, was produced by Brooklyn Sound Lab and released in April 2012. Songs from that record were featured in the indie film hit, One Fall, from Compass Entertainment. Jay studied with world-renowned classical voice coach, Kristin Linklater, at Emerson College, where he earned his BFA in Performing Arts.

ZAC LASHER toured the nation from 2003 - 2010 as the keyboardist, lead singer, and principle songwriter for the progressive rock band U-Melt. They released three full-length albums, The Unbelievable Meltdown (2004), The I's Mind (2006), and Perfect World (2009, Harmonized Records), and performed hundreds of shows at premiere music venues and festivals around the country. Since disbanding the group, Zac has functioned as a session player, sideman, producer, arranger, composer, and ghost writer, lending his trademark style to many different projects and artists in New York City. In 2010, he composed the score to the short film A Feline Between Love and Hate, winner of the 48 Hour Film Festival (NYC). Also that year, Zac was tapped by rocker, best-selling author, and celebrity mom, Bebe Buell, to man the keys for her live band and to perform on her latest release, Hard Love (2011, Niji Records). Most recently he has been seen backing up Emin, a Russian pop sensation who's single "Baby Get Higher" is climbing the Billboard charts. Zac earned his BFA from Emerson College, where he studied music and performing arts

JASON KING JONES is currently the Director of Education at the Olney Theatre in Olney, MD, and the Director of The National Players. He's an Artistic Associate at The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, where he has directed critically acclaimed productions of The Comedy of Errors, The Servant of Two Masters, The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged), The Merry Wives of Windsor, and The Grouch. Also, Of Mice and Men (National Players); A Number (Whistler in the Dark); Murdering Marlowe (In Actu Theatre); Twelfth Night (Shakespeare Center Los Angeles); The Women of Lockerbie and The Good Daughter (NJ REP); Lysistrata andTrue West (Michael Chekhov Theatre); A Doctor's Visit (Vital Theatre); The Rainmaker and The Brothers Karamazov (12 Miles West); Antony & Cleopatra (Expanded Arts); and Master Harold ... and the boys (Public Theatre of Kentucky). As a Guest Artist, Jason has directed The Rivals (UAB), Pride and Prejudice (Fairleigh Dickinson), Women of Troy (Purdue), The Caucasian Chalk Circle and A Midsummer Night's Dream (Nebraska Wesleyan). He has taught courses at Boston University, New York's TVI Actor's Studio, Fairleigh Dickinson University, and Missouri State. Jason was the 2004 and 2007 Staff Repertory Director with The Acting Company, and he is a proud graduate of Boston University School of Theatre.


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