Marymount Manhattan College Presents ELEGIES FOR ANGELS, PUNKS AND RAGING QUEENS and VOW, Jan-Feb 2014
Musical Theatre students at Marymount Manhattan College are thrilled to be performing two shows this January: a revival of Elegies for Angels, Punks and Raging Queens, and VOW, featuring writers from The Directory of Contemporary Musical Theatre Writers.
Elegies for Angels, Punks and Raging Queens, the song and poetry cycle by Bill Russell (book and lyrics) and Janet Hood (music), celebrates the lives lost to AIDS and is told in free verse monologues with a blues, jazz and rock score and is inspired by the NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt and Masters' Spoon River Anthology. The MMC January Workshop production of Elegies is directed by Bill Russell, has musical direction by Paul Jacobs, and features a cast of 40 musical theatre students, alumni and faculty.
Elegies for Angels, Punks and Raging Queens is performed tonight, January 24 at 7:30 and January 25 at 5:30 and 8:00 at the National Dance Institute (217 West 147 Street, NYC). For tickets visit: http://mmc-elegies.eventbrite.com.
VOW presents the work of the M2 (Made-to-Measure) Musical Workshop designed to introduce the Marymount Manhattan College community to writers and songs from The Directory of Contemporary Musical Theatre Writers. Award-winning writers Russ Kaplan, Sara Wordsworth, Will Reynolds and Clay Zambo worked directly with the cast, the director Laura Josepher, and the musical director David Sisco, to develop 10-15 minute musical theatre "shorts" based on stories from the Wedding/Celebrations section of The New York Times.
VOW is performed January 31 at 8:00 and February 1 at 7:30 and 9:30 in the Theresa Lang Theatre at Marymount Manhattan College (221 East 71 Street, NYC). For tickets visit: http://mmc- vow.eventbrite.com.
Musical Theatre at Marymount Manhattan College: The Theatre Arts department at Marymount Manhattan College produces revivals as well as new musicals and is committed to preserving the past and helping to create the future of the form. Revivals include: Carousel, Baby, Rags, She Loves Me, Plain and Fancy, Two Gentlemen of Verona and Ragtime. New works include: The Human Heart, Speakeasy, Metropolitan Music and Charles Strouse's Can't Stop Dancin'! Revivals with a new book have been: The Grass Harp, New Girl in Town, and Best Foot Forward.
The January Musical Theatre Projects have given MMC students access to master directors Patricia Birch, Larry Fuller and Barbara Siman shepherding new works by Charles Strouse, Larry Grossman, Bill Zeffiro and Joseph Stein with David Pomeranz. These projects are funded in part by the Frederick Loewe Foundation. Broadway comes to the Musical Theatre program at Marymount Manhattan College as well with Master Classes and Guest Speakers such as Broadway director Harold Prince, composer Stephen Sondheim, Elaine Stritch, Jack O'Brien, and Chita Rivera.
Directed by Patricia Hoag Simon, the MMC Musical Theatre program combines study of voice, dance and acting and is designed to complement the BA Theatre Arts degree with a concentration in Theatre Performance. MMC Alumni have appeared in Broadway productions and National tours including Kinky Boots, A Night with Janis Joplin, Big Fish, Spiderman, Bring It On: The Musical, Leap of Faith, Sister Act, Legally Blonde, Showboat, Hair, Wicked, Mary Poppins, Aida, Phantom of the Opera, Spring Awakening, The Book of Mormon and The Lion King, as well as Off-Broadway productions and the television series GLEE. http://www.mmm.edu/departments/theatre-arts/minors/musical-theatre.php
MARYMOUNT MANHATTAN COLLEGE: Marymount Manhattan College (MMC), founded in 1936, is an urban, independent, liberal arts, four-year college. Located on Manhattan's Upper East Side, the College provides an intimate academic and artistic environment in which intellectual achievement and personal growth are fostered within its student body. MMC enrolls more than 2,000 undergraduate students, from 42 states and 60 countries, and offers a student/faculty ratio of 12-1. For more information about Marymount Manhattan College, visit www.mmm.edu.
BACKGROUND: Bill Russell has directed Elegies for Angels, Punks, and Raging Queens in New York and in London's Fringe and West End, among many others, including a celebrity benefit in New York which was recorded by Fynsworth Alley. He received a Tony Award nomination for the book and lyrics for Side Show, and shared a nomination with composer Henry Krieger for the score. Mr. Russell co-wrote the book and lyrics for Off- Broadway's long-running musical Pageant (with collaborators Frank Kelly, Albert Evans, and Robert Longbottom), and directed it at the King's Head Theatre in London. The production transferred to the West End, received two Olivier Award nominations, and won that prestigious prize for Best Supporting Performance in a Musical for Miles Western's portrayal of Miss West Coast. Pageant will be presented in New York City every Monday night in February as benefit performances for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids, starring Brad Oscar as the emcee. More info here: http://pageantthemusical.brownpapertickets.com/. A revised version of Side Show, directed by Oscar-winner Bill Condon, was presented last fall at the La Jolla Playhouse. That production will open at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC in June. http://billrussell.net
Paul Jacobs made his mark in the New York theater scene, co-writing, and serving as musical director of, National Lampoon's famous theatrical review Lemmings, starring Christopher Guest, Chevy Chase and John Belushi, and writing the music for The National Lampoon Show, featuring Bill Murray, Gilda Radner, Richard Belzer and Harold Ramis. Paul was the musical director for Meat Loaf, composing and producing music that earned gold and platinum records in almost every country in the world. Other artists Paul has written for include Mel Torme?, Roger Daltrey, Faith Hill, india.arie, Brian McKnight, Wynona Judd, Ziggy Marley, and the London Philharmonic Orchestra. Paul Jacobs' work in children's television has earned him two Emmy awards. He is currently the musical director of Between The Lions, and he's written, arranged and produced over 100 songs for Sesame Street.
David Sisco is the author of Here I Am: A Musical Personal Ad, Variations On A Theme Of You, Sopranos Bait N' Swish and with Tom Gualtieri Falling To Earth and I'm Afraid, You're Afraid: 448 Things To Fear And Why. A winner of the 2010 NATS Composition Award, David's art songs have been heard at concerts produced by Friends & Enemies of New Music, New Music New York, Joy in Singing, Lyricfest and Songfest. Forthcoming commissions include works for Manhattan Girls Chorus and Mirari Brass Quintet. For over twelve years David has been a member of the Marble Collegiate Church Sanctuary Choir. He has sung on all three of their CDs, including their forthcoming recording, which will feature his piece "Awake, My Heart." David has taught voice at Northeastern and Suffolk University, and currently teaches at Marymount Manhattan College. He also leads master classes around the country on preparing contemporary art song. http://www.davidsisco.com
Laura Josepher has been directing, teaching, and coaching professionally in New York City for the past twenty-five years. Her most recent directing credits include two concerts promoting The Directory of Contemporary Musical Theatre Writers: Binders Full Of Women's Songs at 54 Below, and A Celebration Of Contemporary Musical Theatre at Second Stage Theater. Other credits include a workshop of Tom Gualtieri and David Sisco's musical Falling To Earth at Syracuse University, David Sisco's Bait 'N Swish for the Left Out Festival, Garth Wingfield's Dating Games at the Theatre Row Studio Theatre, NY and The Elephant Theatre in L.A., Dirty Blonde, The Turn Of The Screw and I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change at Stages Repertory Theatre in Houston, Anna Christie at Gallery Players, Successful Strategies for Lilli Theatreworks, and HUGHIE at Provincetown Rep. For Rattlestick Productions: Winning and the award winning Car Pool.Operas: La Boheme, Cosi Fan Tutte, Hansel And Gretel, Die Fledermaus, and Gianni Schicchi at Quisisana Resort. Assistant Director for Laurie Anderson's, Songs And Stories From Moby Dick (co-directed by MS. Anderson and Anne Bogart), Associate Director for Backwards In High Heels directed by Scott Schwartz. Laura has a Master of Arts in Educational Theatre, and a Bachelor of Music, both from New York University. She is an Equity stage manager, a member of the Lincoln Center Directors Lab, and a Member of SDC. http://laurajosepher.com
The Directory of Contemporary Musical Theatre Writers is a unique interactive resource, which allows subscribers to access the rich landscape of contemporary musical theatre and directly connect with today's best writers. By circumventing traditional publishing models, the Directory helps voice teachers, students and musical theatre professionals explore our writer's songs, introducing them to well-crafted material they won't find anywhere else. Subscribers can easily search the ever-growing database (currently with over 160 writers and 400 songs) by voice and song type and features repertoire that covers the gamut of styles from legit to pop/rock. All songs are vetted by industry professionals, including a director, vocal coach, voice teacher and actor. The Directory has become a hub for informative interviews and exclusive media content. David Sisco is the Founder & Curator and Lorene Phillips is the Contributing Editor. http://www.contemporarymusicaltheatre.com
Russ Kaplan is one of the four co-creators of the a cappella musical In Transit (Primary Stages). Created with James-Allen Ford, Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Sara Wordsworth, In Transit received the most award nominations of any Off-Broadway musical in 2010 (including Lucille Lortel, Drama Desk, Drama League, and Outer Critics Circle). Also with fellow In Transit writer Sara Wordsworth, Russ has collaborated on the one-act musical comedy collection Shortstack (York Theatre's 4@15 series), and is currently completing the new alternative rock musical The Do-Over with Wordsworth and playwright Daniel John Kelley. Commissioned work with Wordsworth includes the upcoming Dear Albert Einstein for family theatre company "Making Books Sing," and original songs for the play High School Confidential, recently published by Dramatic Publishing. His debut album as a jazz composer/pianist - a song cycle based on The Odyssey called The Ulysses Cycle - was released on Ropeadope Records in April 2013. www.russkaplanmusic.com
Sara Wordsworth is a New York City-based musical theatre lyricist, librettist, writer, performer, and coach. Her work in New York theatre has been nominated for Drama Desk, Drama League, Outer Critics Circle & Lucille Lortel Awards. Writing credits include the Off-Broadway a cappella musical In Transit (Edgerton Foundation New American Play Award 2010; Primary Stages Fall 2010, O?Neill National Music Theatre Conference). She has also written book and theatre/cabaret/pop lyrics for Off- Broadway?s York Theatre, The NY Fringe, NYMF, DC?s Theater Alliance, WA?s Key City Public Theatre, NY Theatre Barn, Prospect Theatre Company, NYU, UC Irvine, University of Texas at Austin, Byrdcliffe Arts Colony, Musical Mondays Theatre Lab, nationally syndicated XM/Sirius Radio, the BMI Musical Theatre Workshop CD No More Revivals and Over the Moon: a Broadway Lullaby Album. With Russ Kaplan, Sara is currently developing a commissioned family musical for "Making Books Sing" (slated to open in NYC in 2014) and wrote original songs for the musical play High School Confidential, recently published by Dramatic Publishing. Sara is an honors graduate of Fordham University, the College at Lincoln Center and a proud member of Actors? Equity Association, The Dramatists Guild of America, Inc., the BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre & Librettists Workshops, and a BMI Affiliate Artist. www.SaraWordsworth.com
Will Reynolds is an actor/songwriter most recently seen in the NY revival of Sondheim's Passion at Classic Stage Company (dir. by John Doyle) and can be heard on the cast recording produced by PS Classics. Will is the composer of The Greenwood Tree (NYMF, Kennedy Center "Page to Stage" Festival) and Poems & Moon Songs, a song constellation - with the song "Tavern" featured on Audra McDonald's most recent album Go Back Home. Will is one of ASCAP's Johnny Mercer Project songwriters, and A 2013 Dramatist Guild Fellow. He has worked on Broadway assisting composer David Yazbek on Lincoln Center Theater's production of Women On The Verge Of A Nervous Breakdown (starring Patti LuPone), and he worked in the music department for the pre- Broadway workshops of A Christmas Story and Scandalous (5th Avenue Theater.) Other acting credits include the American premiere of Love Story at Walnut Street, Tony Kushner's The Illusion Off-Bway at Signature Theater, Emma and A Room With A View at The Old Globe, and Mamma Mia! on the road. CMU graduate.@willcreynolds www.willreynoldsonline.com
Clay Zambo has been named by the York Theatre Company one of the musical theatre's "New, Emerging, Outstanding" composers; and his work is included in The Directory of Contemporary Musical Theatre Writers. The title song from Clay?s musical They Fly is listed among the Directory?s Top 25 songs, as introduced in a presentation to the National Association of Teachers of Singing. His most recent project, Windjammers, written with Robin Share, is enjoying a summer-long run at Wisconsin?s American Folklore Theatre. Recent work includes Lost in Staten Island (produced at La MaMa ETC) LiSI, Post Modern Living and Shlemiel Crooks (with Scott Ethier, book by Sean Hartley and Bob Kolsby, based on stories by Anna Olswanger) was commissioned by NYC?s Kaufman Center. Greenbrier Ghost (book by Susan Murray) was produced by Spirit of Broadway Theatre, is the winner of Academy for New Musical Theatre's Search for New Musicals, a finalist for BMI?s Jerry Bock Award, and was selected by Stephen Schwartz for the ASCAP/Disney Musical Theatre Workshop. Clay?s music, lyrics, or arrangements have been heard Off- Off Broadway (Modern Living, Downtown Dysfunctionals, The Fall of Eve and Adam, The Woman); in nationally and regionally touring educational-theatre productions (Inside Broadway, National Theatre for the Performing Arts); and an audiobook (Forbidden Fruit). I Am Star Trek (Rick Vorndran, book; Scott Ethier, music) was produced at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and transferred to London. His work has been featured on NPR?s Car Talk. Many of his scores were commissioned for premiere at NYC?s Merkin Hall, including Yo, Jonah!, They Fly (a retelling of the myth of Icarus and Daedalus). A former faculty member at Carnegie-Mellon University and the Idyllwild Arts Academy in California, he currently teaches at the Lucy Moses School in Manhattan, music-directs productions for the Kaufman Center?s Poppyseed Players, and serves as Director of Music Ministries for Our Lady of Fatima Parish in Connecticut. A member of the BMI-Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop and the Dramatists Guild, he is an alumnus of Ohio University?s Honors Tutorial College. http://www.clayzambo.com/Suburban%20Composer.html.