Atlantic For Kids to Stage R&B Musical MR. CHICKEE'S FUNNY MONEY, 4/12-5/4
Atlantic Theater Company and Atlantic for Kids is tuning up to present the New York premiere of Mr. Chickee's Funny Money, an all-new, rhythm and blues family musical, featuring music and lyrics that groove to an original score by Motown legend Lamont Dozier (hits include Stop in the Name of Love, Sugar Pie Honey Bun, How Sweet it Is, more;) and his son, Paris Dozier, with a book by David Ingber (Major League Baseball Fan Cave), directed by Jade King Carroll (Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, Portland Stage), and musical supervision by Brian Usifer (Kinky Boots, Book of Mormon).
Performances begin Saturday, April 12th and run through May 4th, 2014 at Atlantic Theater Company's Linda Gross Theater (336 West 20th Street).
The New York premiere musical is adapted from the best selling young adult novel Mr. Chickee's Funny Money by Newbery Award-winning author Christopher Paul Curtis, who also penned Bud, Not Buddy.
The story follows 10-year-old Steven, a self-proclaimed spy and president of the "Flint Future Detectives Club." At the heart of this whimsical journey is an intelligent, entrepreneurial boy who is asked to unlock the secret behind a mysterious bill. With his pals (and their giant flying dog, Zoopy) Steven discovers that family, friends, imagination and determination are the true keys to success; and sharing the spotlight with others can make one even richer.
Original songs by Motown legend Lamont Dozier, and additional music and lyrics by his son Paris are turned out by a live band on stage. Kids and parents will appreciate being treated to a live medley of popular musical genres ranging from Motown, disco, rap, rock, jazz and hip hop.
Running time is approximately 75 minutes with no intermission.
As a member of Holland-Dozier-Holland in the 1960's, Lamont Dozier (music writer/lyricist) is credited for being one of the primary architects of the Motown Sound, responsible for writing, co-writing and producing more than 54 #1 hits for The Supremes, Four Tops, Marvin Gaye, Smokey Robinson, Freda Payne and a host of others. His hits include Stop in the Name of Love, How Sweet It Is, Reach Out I'll Be There, Where Did Our Love Go and more. Dozier has been inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame, from which he received the 2009 Johnny Mercer Award, the highest praise a songwriter can achieve. He has worked with such contemporary acts as Alison Moyet, Aretha Franklin, Simply Red, Phil Collins, Boy George, Eric Clapton, Kanye West, Joss Stone, Solange Knowles, Dave Stewart, Sir Cliff Richard, Phil Collins and George Benson. His music catalogue is one of the most sampled to date by everyone from rappers Notorious B.I.G., Tupac Shakur, Lil Wayne, Dr. Dre, The Alchemist, Common, Lupe Fiasco and Three 6 Mafia, to soul icons Mary J. Blige, Nas and Usher, and even alternative rockers Linkin Park.
Paris Dozier (Co-music writer/lyricist) is a native of Los Angeles. Dozier's professional career in music began when he was 15, writing songs for artists on Hollywood Records, Disney, where he would be signed two years after as a singer/songwriter and producer. While at Hollywood Records, Dozier was mentored by and produced an album with Rob Cavallo, most notably regarded as the producer who discovered Green Day and is now the CEO of Warner Music Group. Dozier later became musical theme writer for B-InTune Television on UPN 13. He continues to write and produce for various artists in just about every genre of music.
Jade King Carroll (Director) This season Jade is excited to be directing Alice Childress' Trouble in Mind at Two River and August Wilson's and Piano Lesson at Cape Fear. Past credits include: Ma Rainey's Black Bottom (Portland Stage); A Raisin In The Sun (Juilliard & Perseverance); Seven Guitars (People's Light and Theatre & Point Park University); King Hedley (Portland Playhouse); The Etymology of Bird (CitiParks Summer Stages); Alondra was Here (The Wild Project); Cherry Smoke (Theatre Row); Sex on Sunday (BE Company @ Urban Stages); The Basset Table (Adelphi); Marisol (NYCDA); Black Girl, You've Been Gentrified (Joe's Pub); Radio Golf ( Penn State); The History of Light, Samuel J&K, The Summer House ( Passage Theatre); The Persians, Splittin' the Raft (People's Light & Theatre); Spit (Intar); Associate Director for A Streetcar Named Desire (Broadway). Jade was a TCG New Generations Future Leader Award recipient, through which she was the Artistic Associate at Second Stage Theatre. In 2010 Jade was presented with the Paul Green Award for Outstanding Emerging Theatre Professional from the National Theatre Conference and The Estate of August Wilson.
Brian Usifer (Music Supervision, Arrangements and Orchestration) was music director of Kinky Boots on Broadway, associate music supervisor of The Book of Mormon on Broadway, and played in the orchestra of Broadway and off-Broadway productions of The 25th Annual Putman County Spelling Bee, Avenue Q, Altar Boyz, Sister Act, Wicked and Burnt Part Boys.
David Ingber (Book) is a New York-based writer/composer. His musicals include Fantasy Football: The Musical and Zombies Actually. He writes video content for the Major League Baseball Fan Cave, and he has written for web series including ESPN's Mayne Street with Kenny Mayne and Microsoft's Fasterpiece Theater.
Mr. Chickee's Funny Money features musical direction by Geraldine Boyer-Cussac and choreography by MK Lawson . Casting will be announced.
Mr. Chickee's Funny Money received its first staged reading at the Apollo Theater in February 2012, directed by Kim Rubinstein. It was workshopped in Summer 2013 at the American Music Theatre Project at Northwestern University's In the Works program, directed by Derek Sanders, supported in part by an Arts Work grant from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, and received its World Premiere Production at Chicago Childrens' Theatre, January 2014 (Jacqueline Russell, Artistic Director).
Mr. Chickee's Funny money is presented in association with Funny Money Enterprises and Bisno Productions.
Single tickets to Mr. Chickee's Funny Money start at $10 for Kids (ages 10 and under) and $20 for Adults. To purchase, visit atlantictheater.org. Mr. Chickee's Funny Money is recommended for ages 6 and up, while kids and adults of all ages are welcome.