Azudi Onyejekwe and Rodrick Covington to Star in THE SONGS OF CENTRAL AVENUE BREAKDOWN Concert at NYMF, 7/22
The New York Musical Theatre Festival and Moldy Fig Productions, LCC present THE SONGS OF CENTRAL AVENUE BREAKDOWN, a one night only concert event. With Book by Kevin Ray, Andrea Lepcio & Dominic Taylor; Music and Lyrics by Kevin Ray; and Additional Story by Suellen Vance, the concert will be directed by Lee Summers and is set for Tuesday, July 22nd at 8 p.m. at The Laurie Beechman Theatre at the West Bank Cafe, 407 West 42nd Street. Tickets are $25. Visit www.nymf.org or call 212-352-3101 for more information.
Inspired by a conversation with west coast jazz legend Buddy Collette, Central Avenue Breakdown tells the story of two brothers, sax players, striving to find their own unique artistic voice in the 1940s Los Angeles jazz scene when during the peak of swing when bop was around the corner. This one night concert event will feature Kevin Ray's award winning jazz infused pop score with orchestrations by Justin Hornback, featuring Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra's Ted Nash on alto saxophone. Central Avenue Breakdown won 5 of the top Awards at the 2011 New York Musical Theatre Festival including Excellence in Music (Ray) and Excellence in Orchestrations (Hornback).
The concert cast stars Azudi Onyejekwe (Violet, Broadway, Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812, Off Broadway) and Rodrick Covington (The Lion King, Broadway, Fosse, National Tour). Mr. Covington was a Winner of an Excellence in Individual Performance Award for the role of Jim in the 2011 NYMF production. Also returning from previous productions are Sheldon Henry (South Pacific, National Tour, Central Avenue Breakdown NYMF/DIMF 2012), Stacey Sargeant (Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, Hartford Stage, Connecticut Critics Circle nomination, Central Avenue Breakdown, NYMF/DIMF 2012, Outstanding Individual Performance Award and Best Featured Actress Award, respectively) and Juson Williams (Central Avenue Breakdown NYMF/DIMF 2012, The Color Purple, White Plains Performing Arts Center, Scottsboro Boys, Vineyard Theatre)
Additional casting includes: Amoralists Theatre Company member Jennifer Fouche (SISTAS, Off Broadway, Freedom Train - National Tour), and Gabrielle McClinton (Pippin, Broadway, American Idiot, 1st National Tour),
Director Lee Summers will also direct NYMF's 2014 Harriet; he is an alumni writer/composer/director for NAMT;a published member of the Dramatists Guild; co-writer/creator/producer of Off- Broadway's From My Hometown (8 AUDELCO Nominations); writer of Ella Fitzgerald: First Lady of Song (Kennedy Center 2013/Metro Stage 2014) and has directed other shows in New York and regionally. He has performed on Broadway (orig. Dreamgirls) and Off-Broadway, on TV, and in films. Presently, he is an MFA Candidate in NYU/Tisch's Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program.
Kevin Ray is a composer/lyricist/performer originally from Los Angeles. He wrote the music and lyrics for CENTRAL AVENUE BREAKDOWN which was honored with 5 awards at the 2011 New York Musical Theatre Festival, including Excellence in Music, and the Daegu International Production Award. As an artist, he has released 7 CDs of original rock/pop music including his most recent release, Radio Silence. Kevin is currently at work constructing his new musical Maquiladora about factory workers in Juarez, Mexico.
Andrea Lepcio is best known for Looking for the Pony, a finalist for the Dramatists Guild Hull-Warriner Award and for the NEA Outstanding New American Play Award. It was presented in a "Rolling World Premiere" Off-Broadway at Vital Theatre Company in New York and Synchronicity Performance Group in Atlanta and subsequent productions. Her plays and musicals have been produced and developed at HERE, Lark Play Development Center, New York Music Theatre Festival, TerraNova Collective, Vital Theatre, and Women's Project among others in NY as well as regionally and internationally. Plays and musicals under development include The World Avoided, Strait of Gibraltar, CENTRAL AVENUE BREAKDOWN, Room 16, and Lf&Tms. Andrea is the Dramatists Guild Fellows Program Director. M.F.A. in Dramatic Writing, Carnegie Mellon University. B.A. Human Ecology, College of the Atlantic. Andrea lives in Harlem, New York and Seal Cove, Maine.
Dominic Taylor is the Author of Wedding Dance, Personal History, Upcity Service(s), and I Wish You Love, among other plays. He is an alumnus of New Dramatists. Directing projects have included, Purple Flower, Fresh Faust, Uppa Creek, Destiny, Ride the Rhythm, The Wiz, and Black Nativity. He has worked with Penumbra Theatre, Goodman Theatre, Steppenwolf, New York Theatre Workshop, Crossroads Theater, Rites and Reasons Theatre, among others. He holds a Bachelors and a Master of Fine Arts from Brown University.
Suellen Vance is an actress, writer, producer, and general manager. In NYC, she's appeared in theatre, film, commercials, and voice-overs. Since 2011, she's produced and/or general managed the multi-award winning premieres of Central Avenue Breakdown (2011 & 2012) and Crossing Swords (2013). This year she, along with Good People Management Group, Miss Vance general managed the 2014 NYMF premieres of Bayonets of Angst and Searching for Romeo.
The New York Musical Theatre Festival (NYMF) exists to revitalize musical theatre culture by discovering and promoting new musical theatre artists, producers and projects; nurturing a vibrant and innovative artistic community; and connecting one of America's greatest art forms with a diverse, contemporary audience.
Now in its eleventh year, the Festival is the largest musical theatre event in America. The preeminent site for launching new musicals and discovering new talent, the Festival provides an affordable platform for artists to mount professional productions that reach their peers, industry leaders, and musical theatre fans. More than 90 Festival shows have gone on to productions on and Off-Broadway, in regional theaters in 48 states, and in more than 20 countries worldwide. Festival alumni have received a wide array of awards including the Tony Award® and the Pulitzer Prize. In 2013, NYMF received a special Drama Desk Award in recognition of its work "creating and nurturing new musical theatre, ensuring the future of this essential art form."
NYMF is the flagship program of National Music Theater Network, Inc., a 501(c) (3) not-for-profit organization. NYMF 2014 is presented in association with Fuzzrocket, TheaterMania, and Production Resource Group. NYMF is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, and from the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency.
NYMF Memberships, which combine charitable contributions with valuable, flexible ticket packages and perks like early seating and tickets to individual events, are currently available for purchase at (212) 352-3101 or www.nymf.org/member.