John McDaniel and Bill Russell to Write Music and Lyrics for BRAVE NEW WORLD Musical

John McDaniel and Bill Russell to Write Music and Lyrics for BRAVE NEW WORLD Musical

Grammy and Emmy Winner JOHN McDANIEL and Tony Nominee BILL RUSSELL have joined the creative team of BRAVE NEW WORLD: THE MUSICAL, currently in development, as Co-Composer and Lyricist. They join a team that already includes Ben Andron as Book Writer, Jonnie Rockwell as Co-Composer, and Tony Nominated Director, Sheryl Kaller. John McDaniel is also attached as Music Director.

"I'm excited to explore song possibilities for this musical adaptation of Aldous Huxley's brilliant BRAVE NEW WORLD," said Bill Russell. "And especially happy to be working with long-time associates Sheryl Kaller and John McDaniel and new collaborators Jonnie Rockwell and Ben Andron. Huxley was eerily prescient in imagining the future and I am honored to help bring his vision to the stage."

Adapted from the classic Aldous Huxley of the same name, BRAVE NEW WORLD: THE MUSICAL tells the story of a future in which everybody is happy... because anything that could cause pain has been eliminated. True love (and its inevitable heartbreak) has been replaced with free sex, religion and artistic expression have been replaced with mindless sport & distraction, & citizens are brainwashed & drugged into a perpetual state of happiness. Humans don't even reproduce anymore; they are hatched in test tubes to avoid the dangers of family. But there are reservations where savages still live according to the "old" ways. They are fenced in & know nothing of this perfect new world... until one such savage - John - is given special permission to leave & experience the wonders of civilization. Two worlds collide in Huxley's provocative story about love, humanity & loss, set against the backdrop of a world where the most dangerous thing you can do, is to have an original thought.

Book Writer, Ben Andron's first play White's Lies was produced Off-Broadway in 2010. Other plays include The Cigar-Box Photographs (drama) & The Legend of Bobby Stone & the Good Feeling Hat (comedy). Ben has worked closely with Disney TV Animation developing the animated series "Hunachi" for Jetix/ABC Family & wrote numerous episodes for the BBC animated series "Friends & Heroes." As a writer/producer of motion picture marketing, Ben has been creatively involved in the releases of major Hollywood films, including the Harry Potter series, Pirates of the Caribbean & many others. Recent titles include Warm Bodies, Parental Guidance, The Impossible, Pitch Perfect & The Bourne Legacy. He has produced additional behind-the-scenes content for several films, including Rango, It's Complicated & Point Break: Pure Adrenaline Edition, during which he spent a most unusual afternoon with Gary Busey.

Co-Composer, Jonnie Rocwell is the grandchild of renowned early 20th Century Czech opera composer & folklorist, Leoš Janácek. Jonnie Rockwell studied music & art at Skidmore, is a classically trained pianist and a preeminent synthesizer programmer. She toured for ten years with several progressive orchestras & rock bands, prior to conceiving the musical adaptation of BRAVE NEW WORLD, her first musical. She is also a successful & well-respected physician on Manhattan's Upper East Side.

The works of Bill Russell (Lyricist) include Side Show (book and lyrics; music by Henry Krieger), Elegies for Angels, Punks and Raging Queens (book and lyrics; music by Janet Hood), Pageant (book and lyrics, with Frank Kelly; music by Albert Evans; conception by Robert Longbottom), Lucky Duck (lyrics, book with Jeffrey Hatcher; music by Henry Krieger), Up in the Air (book and lyrics, music by Henry Krieger, conceived and directed by Amon Miyamoto) and The Last Smoker in America (book and lyrics; music by Peter Melnick). Mr. Russell received a Tony nomination for Side Show for book and shared a nomination with composer Henry Krieger for score. Everything's Ducky received the Will Glickman Award for Best New Play (in the San Francisco Bay Area) in 2000 and Garland Awards (presented by "Backstage West") for Best Score, Set and Costumes. He has also received two Commendation Awards from the Gilman-Gonzalez/Falla Foundation and was given an honorary degree by Morningside College in May 2003 and by the Boston Conservatory in May 2007.

John McDaniel (Co-Composer) served as the Music Director or Supervisor on Broadway for Bonnie & Clyde (Drama Desk Nominated Orchestrator), Catch Me If You Can, Brooklyn (Producer & Orchestrator), Annie Get Your Gun, Taboo, Chicago, Grease, Patti LuPone on Broadway & Company - Original Cast in Concert at Lincoln Center. Television: "The Rosie O'Donnell Show" (2 Emmy Awards), "Friar's Roasts" '99-'02, "Tony Awards" '97-'00 as arranger, "A Rosie Christmas" (ABC), "A Family is a Family" (HBO). Recordings as Producer includeAnnie Get Your Gun (Grammy Award), The Maury Yeston Songbook, Bonnie & Clyde, Brooklyn, Taboo, The Journey Home(Malcolm Gets), John McDaniel at the Piano (Broadway, Christmas, Compositions & Live at Joe's Pub). Recently, Daughter of the Regiment (Opera Theatre of St. Louis), Happy Days (National Tour), Bonnie & Clyde (La Jolla Playhouse & Asolo Theatre), Pirates! (Goodspeed Opera House, Paper Mill Playhouse, Huntington Theatre, Boston, St. Louis Muny). Music director/arranger for Tyne Daly in NYC & LA, as well as concert appearances with Cab Calloway, Shirley MacLaine, George Burns, Al Jarreau, Joel Grey, Carol Burnett, Frederica von Stade, Betty Buckley & most recently, Bette Midler. Guest Conductor at Symphony Orchestras in San Francisco, Indianapolis, Utah, Buffalo, Colorado, Baltimore & his hometown, St. Louis Symphony.

Sheryl Kaller (Director) is currently represented on Broadway in the new Terence McNally play, Mothers and Sons with Tyne Daly at the John Golden Theatre. She is currently directing A Little More Alive (a new musical by Nick Blaemire) soon to open at Kansas City Rep. On Broadway, Ms. Kaller received a Tony Nomination for Best Director for the critically acclaimed Broadway production of Next Fall by Geoffrey Nauffts. This summer Sheryl will be directing a new play for Primary Stages, by Tony Award Winner, Billy Porter, entitled While I Yet Live. She has directed at many theatres including LCT3, The New Group, Pasadena Playhouse Primary Stages, Williamstown Theatre Festival, A.C.T., New York Stage & Film, The Geffen, Philadelphia Theater Company, American Music Theater Project, the York, EST, Rubicon, National Theater of the Deaf & Naked Angels. She co-founded Two Island Productions (Artistic Director- 6 seasons), a New York & Bermuda-based theatre company devoted to developing & producing original plays, playwright retreats/workshops, screenplays, concerts & youth arts & education programs. She has directed & developed a plethora of new plays & musicals with writers including Christopher Durang, Geoffrey Nauffts, Nick Blaemire, Terrence McNally, Regina Taylor, Daniel Beaty, Dick Beebe, Theresa Rebeck, Richard Dresser & Alan Menken.

For more information about the upcoming BRAVE NEW WORLD: THE MUSICAL, visit

Comment & Share

About Author

Subscribe to Author Alerts