Meet the Composers of MURDEROUS MUSICAL MONDAYS- Spotlight on Ryan Scott Oliver!
The cast and creative team of the hit Off-Broadway musical Murder for Two are teaming up with some of New York's brightest up and coming composers and BroadwayWorld.com every Monday night for their spring concert series, Murderous Musical Mondays. Composer Ryan Scott Oliver will launch the series on Monday, March 24th, 2014, immediately following the 7pm performance of Murder for Two at New World Stages (Stage 5 - 340 West 50th Street).
Ryan Scott Oliver is a 2011 Lucille Lortel Award Nominee, a 2009 Jonathan Larson Grant recipient and wrote the music and lyrics for 35mm: A Musical Exhibition, Mrs. Sharp (2008 Richard Rodgers Award Winner, at Playwrights Horizons starring Jane Krakowski, dir. by Michael Greif), Darling (featured on the "Bound for Broadway" episode of NBC's The Apprentice), the song cycle Out of My Head, Quit India (commissioned by UCLA), the music for Angus Oblong's The Debbies, a commission for Disney Theatricals, The Frog Prince Continued (commissioned by Chicago's Emerald City Theatre) and Jasper in Deadland (commissioned by the Pasadena Musical Theatre Program).
Below, Oliver shares some juicy details on his upcoming concert!
What can you share about your Murderous Musical Mondays concert?
The performers are mostly new faces with homicidal talent. And I didn't even intend the "Murderous Monday" pun, that's really just how I talk.
What were some of your early musical influences?
Takin' me back. I grew up in an opera company which I later took over, alongside of course the entire Sondheim canon. It wasn't until grad school that I began writing rock and roll. I suppose if you look at the scope of my work you can see, when I'm at my best, the influence of opera, operetta, classic musical theatre, and rock music.
When did you realize that writing was for you?
After the accident, the judge offered me two choices: coach a pee-wee ice hockey team, or learn to write musicals. Considering what happened to Emilio Estevez, I figured this was my best bet.
Are there any other theatre composers whose work you admire/have impacted your writing style?
Tons I admire... Lin-Manuel is setting the bar for the rest of us - not only is he a walking dream-come-true, but he's giving back to his own and the next generation with little pieces of his soul. Who does that? Adam Gwon is the nicest boy on the planet and I can't have a word said against him. Nick Blaemire is too talented and because of that I'm thinking about taking back his invitation to my wedding. Joe Iconis, I just can't. No literally - I've tried, and I just can't. (He's the best.) Drew Gasparini is sitting next to me right now so I can't really talk about him cuz I hate when people read over my shoulder.
Oh - and I should mention I think Murder for Two is simply the tits, and if it weren't for the fact that Murder for Two and my own show Jasper in Deadland, written with Hunter Foster and starring Matt Doyle now in previews with Prospect Theatre Company opening March 26 and playing through April 13, are open in the same season I could be 100% behind them.
Also Brett Ryback is a composer-lyricist and playwright (who happens to star in Murder for Two), and he and I have a yin-yang brain... Check his stuff out, you'll be hearing a lot more from him in the next year.
Who in the theatre community would you kill to work with?
I read that as "who would you kill," and I preferred that question, but I suppose I will have to answer the one you actually asked.
Do you have any new projects in the works?
YES! So I have this thing where I write seven brand new musicals in seven years followed by a one-year hiatus and I just finished a new show called We Foxes. It's been picked up by a B'way producer, we're getting a director attached and I CANNOT wait to show it to the world. It "checks all my boxes" and I think will stir all the feelings.
In September I'm starting my "seven-year" cycle all over again with a new show called Rope.
What are you most looking forward to in being a part of this series?
Working with some incredible actors with whom I've never or not recently gotten to work. I love spreading the wealth, and this one is going to be a bloody treasure chest of talent. I'm honored to have the opportunity!
Check out some of Ryan's work below!
Admittance to the concert is free to all those with tickets to the March 24th performance of Murder for Two. Tickets are available now on Telecharge.com. The series will take place every other Monday through June, and upcoming concerts will feature the works of Chris Miller & Nathan Tysen, Sam Carner & Derek Gregor, Ryan Cunningham & Josh Salzman, Murder for Two star Brett Ryback, Alexander Sage Oyen, and the Pace New Musicals Writers' Room, which is being curated by Ryan Scott Oliver. Additional artists and dates will be announced shortly.
Everyone is a suspect in Murder for Two, a hilarious musical murder mystery with a twist: one actor (Brett Ryback) investigates the crime, the other plays all of the suspects (Joe Kinosian) and they both play the piano! A zany blend of classic musical comedy and madcap mystery, this 90-minute whodunit is a highly theatrical duet loaded with killer laughs.