Donna Bullock, Emily Padgett, et al. Set for BEYOND THE MUSIC Readings
Beyond the Music, a new musical with original book and direction by Tony Award winner Andy Sandberg (Hair; The Last Smoker in America) and a fresh and exhilarating pop-rock score by multiple Emmy Award-winner Cliff Downs and Katie Kahanovitz, will have invitation-only readings in New York on October 17 and 18th, 2011.
The cast will feature Donna Bullock (A Class Act; A Perfect Future), Peter Gregus (Jersey Boys), Emily Padgett (Rock of Ages; Grease), Bryce Ryness (Hair), Saycon Sengbloh (Fela; Hair) and Jesse Swenson (The Addams Family; Spring Awakening) with Eric Anderson, Marie-France Arcilla, Shelby Bartelstein, Jason Edward Cook, Jarid Faubel, Kevin Pariseau, Chelsea Morgan Stock and Laura Thomas.
Beyond the Music follows the journey of Casey, a fast-rising singer/songwriter, as she strives to make her way in the music business. Sacrificing her personal life for her career, Casey is finally making the right connections and paving her way to the top. She is on the verge of her first bigbreak when she discovers it's not so easy to separate her passion for music from her relationships, and she is betrayed by those she loves. Taking a look at the treacherous waters of the music business and its wide array of extreme personalities, Beyond the Music is a funny, contemporary, and inspiring story about finding oneself and overcoming the odds to achieve a dream.
Beyond the Music features music direction by Fred Lassen (South Pacific; Adrift in Macao) and the stage manager for the reading is Ashley Rodbro. This presentation comes on the heels of a successful reading on August 8, 2011.
Andy Sandberg (Book / Director) recently directed the world premiere of The Last Smoker in America, by Tony Award nominee Bill Russell (Side Show) and Drama Desk nominee Peter Melnick (Adrift in Macao); New York premiere in 2012. He has been represented on Broadway and London's West End as a producer of HAIR: (2009 Tony, Drama Desk, Drama League, Outer Critics Circle Awards). As a director, Andy's other recent credits include R.R.R.E.D. (NYMF), Bernice Bobs Her Mullet (NYMF), Into the Woods (Blue Hill Troupe), "Eli's Comin' to Broadway," a BC/EFA benefit hosted by Nathan Lane (Lincoln Center), and multiple Sing for Hope benefits featuring the talents of Dick Cavett, Michael Cerveris, and Richard Kind, among others. Projects in development include: Operation Epsilon, a new play by Alan Brody; Shida, a one-woman musical written and performed by Jeannette Bayardelle; Straight, a new play by Scott Elmegreen and Drew Fornarola; and Summer Schlock, a new musical comedy by Kevin Carter. As producer: A Perfect Future, by David Hay (Cherry Lane Theatre, dir. Wilson Milam); ParadiseFound (Menier Chocolate Factory, London; dir. Hal Prince and Susan Stroman); and Vigil, starring Tony nominees Malcolm Gets and Helen Stenborg. In 2007, Andy worked with Hal Prince on the Broadway production of LoveMusik (SDCF Observership). B.A. Yale University. Proud member of the SDC and AEA. He currently sits on the boards of Sing for Hope, The Yale Dramat, and The Whiffenpoof Alumni.
Cliff Downs (Music and Lyrics) After experiencing his first Billboard Top 40 Chart success at the age of 19, Cliff Downs was signed to a record deal on Atlantic Records by legendary CEO Ahmet Ertegun, whose other artists included Aretha Franklin, The Rolling Stones, Led Zepplin, Ray Charles, The Who, and Crosby, Stills and Nash. Shortly thereafter, Cliff began composing music and songs for numerous network television shows and movies. He has earned 13 Emmy Awards, as well as numerous other nominations and awards, including "Best Original Song." Cliff has also written and produced #1, Top 10, and Top 40 songs in the Pop, AC, Country, Contemporary Jazz, and Contemporary Christian charts. He has written and produced songs for artists such as Wynonna Judd, B.J. Thomas, Bad Company, Glenn Campbell, Michael McDonald, Ambrosia, Little River Band, and jazz great Richard Elliot. He also produced the chart topping single "One Heart at a Time" that included Garth Brooks, Faith Hill, and Olivia Newton-John. Cliff has had albums nominated for "Best R&B Christian Album," and "Best Inspirational Album of the Year." Recently, Cliff wrote two songs for famed producer David Zucker's movie An American Carol. Other film and television credits include the TNT movie Red Water, MTV's Spydergames, ABC's General Hospital and One Life to Live, Aaron Spelling's mega-hit international show Sunset Beach, and A&E's award winning series Intervention. He also wrote and recorded the original score for Red Dirt Rising as well as produced the movie soundtrack. He is currently writing the score for the movie called A Better Man. He also wrote the title song for the movie that was recently recorded by the hit group Mercy Me. Unique highlights in Cliff's career include producing and recording the London Session Orchestra for a Disney project at world famous Abbey Road Studios in London and playing guitar on former Beatle Ringo Starr's solo album.
Katie Kahanovitz (Music and Lyrics), made her professional debut in Hamlet with the Royal Shakespeare Company at the age of 8, followed by two roles at the Kennedy Center. At 10, she made her Broadway debut in Annie Get Your Gun. Under the name Katie Neil, she wrote and recorded her first pop CD at age 13. Less than a year later, she was touring the Northeast with her own rock band. At age 14, Katie became the youngest member of SESAC, the by-invitation-only performing rights organization for songwriters. Not long after, Katie was featured on the sold out Target compilation CD, Girls Night Out Pop Radio, with two songs she had written and recorded. Katie continued writing, recording, and performing while opening for such notable artists as the Jonas Brothers, The Cheetah Girls, LifeHouse, Teddy Geiger, Click Five, and Lil Romeo. At the same time, she continued to headline on the Radio Disney Tour as well as at some of New York's best known rock clubs, including Irving Plaza, Piano's, Arlene's Grocery, The Bitter End, and The Knitting Factory. She recently appeared in the New York Fringe Festival and on television in As The World Turns. Katie has also been a featured guest soloist for the Boston Celtics, World Team Tennis, and the New York Red Bulls at the Meadowlands. Her most recent venture into comedic writing and standup comedy has led to performances at Gotham Comedy Club, Broadway Comedy Club and Caroline's. In 2010, she won the Funniest Female College Comedian Competition.