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Huffman & Harada in 'Monsters' New Musical Reading Feb.18

Monsters, a new musical, will be featured at an industry reading on Monday, February 18 as devlopment of the show continues. Book and lyrics are by Boston playwright Gail Phaneuf, and music and lyrics are by composer Ernie Lijoi of New Jersey.

Tony winner Cady Huffman (The Producers) leads the cast of six as Samantha and is joined by Joy Franz (Into the Woods), Ann Harada (Avenue Q), Nicolette Hart (Rent), Kate Pazakis (Jerry Springer) and Carlos Encinias (Altar Boyz).

Steven Yuhasz directs and Jason Loffredo serves as musical director for the reading.

Monsters has been in development for several years with Lijoi penning a number of the songs at the BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theater Workshop. The show was a finalist in the Emerson College Rod Parker Playwriting Competition and was successfully produced in 2006 at CentaStage in Boston, receiving favorable reviews.

According to the creators, "Monsters allows us to laugh at our demons and put them in their place, while capturing the humor, agony and insight experienced at one of life's milestones.

As described by press notes: "On her 40th birthday, Samantha meets her demons. A successful, single, Wall Street stockbroker living in Manhattan, she has decided to quit her job and strike out on a soul-searching adventure. When she delivers this news to her visiting mother, including her plans to trek in Machu Picchu, mother moves into action. She tries desperately to convince Samantha to be sensible: to keep her job, to keep climbing the ladder, to trim up so she might find a husband. Firm in her resolve to strike out on a new path, Samantha tells her mother no and sends her on her way. But the echo of her mother's words stirs up a toxic blend of familiar fears and insecurities embodied by living, breathing 'monsters.' Samantha spends a zany and frantic day defending her plan to overhaul her life, as the demons descend upon her one by one. In a hilarious musical romp, they try to derail her ambitions, sink her spirits, and drag her into their paranoid world. In the end, Samantha finds an unlikely ally in this battle of wills, in a twist that helps her put the demons in their place.

For further information, please visit www.monstersthemusical.com


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