Musical Mondays Theatre Lab Announces New Name, 2013-14 Season Lineup of Shows, Starting 10/24
On October 24, the not-for-profit development group Musical Mondays Theatre Lab will launch its 14th season with a new name and a very heavy organizational heart. This summer, after years of presenting promising new musicals at the Snapple Theatre Center on Thursdays (because that was the only slot that was open in the schedule), the MMTL Board of Directors voted to change the organization's name to Manhattan Musical Theatre Lab (thereby retaining the corporate initials) with the vote and complete blessing of the group's founder and Co-Artistic Director Richard "Bick" Goss. Less than a month later, Goss died from complications of Parkinson's disease. The director, choreographer and former Bob Fosse dancer was 75.
But Bick Goss would definitely want the shows to go on and so the newly christened Manhattan Musical Theatre Lab will dedicate the entire season to Goss' memory and begin its 2013-14 program at the Snapple Theatre Center (on Broadway and 50th Streets) on October 24 at 5 pm with The Dirty Hippie Jam Band Project. The musical--in its third MMTL showing--is about a group of modern-day hippies following their favorite band, Liquid Brick, around the country.
The new musical features music and lyrics by award-winning Daniel Israel and Pheobe Kreutz, and a book by Rob Ackerman, librettist for VolleyGirls, winner of 2013 Most Promising Musical and Best of Fest at NYMF. The presentation features Aaron LaVigne (photo), who is currently appearing in Spiderman, Turn off the Dark, Thomas Michael Allen (WaterCoolers, Tony and Tina's Wedding; Co-Creator-Original NY and LA Cast-Fox TV), Courtney Capek (Dead Vengeance, A Christmas Carol-Denver City for the Arts), Mick Bonde (Balls, the Musical), Jennifer Johnson (Cold Case), Sandie Rosa (The Electric Company), and Colin Summers (leads the band Toys and Tiny Instruments). The show is directed by Alan Muraoka with Musical Direction by Matt Castle and Kary Haddad.
MMTL's second presentation will be The Curse of Batvia on December 12 at 6:30 pm. With a book and lyrics written by BMI Foundation Harrington Award Winner Katherine Burger and music by Roland Tec, this original and hilarious musical comedy is about a missing dog, a missing book of spells from a far-off, vaguely Eastern European country, and four characters on the loose in an English manor house with a need to find the counter spell before an ancient, lycanthropic curse comes true forever.
On January 16 at 6:30 pm, MMTL will present Water From the Moon by the husband and wife writing team of Robert Atwood and actress/cabaret performer Rosemary Loar (both of whom wrote the musical Spoolie Girl, which was presented by MMTL in 2011 and was subsequently an award-winner at the 2012 Midtown International Theatre Festival). The team's new musical, based on Loar's 2003 CD of the same name, takes a wry look at five Irish-Catholic sisters, one a tyro rock star, and the love/hate relationship with their father. This is not your boilerplate kitchen sink musical, as the show mixes laughter and tears with intelligible rock.
The MMTL season of shows will culminate on February 20 at 6:30 pm with Curious and Rare by actress, composer and lyricist Tracy Sallows, who is currently performing on Broadway in Romeo and Juliet. Sallows' show follows the real life story of the first female paleontologist Mary Anning and her struggles for recognition in her field.
The presentation prices for Manhattan Musical Theatre Lab shows are $18 for general admission; $13 for seniors and students. A season subscription for all four shows is $50 and can be purchased at the box office the night of the first show. All shows are at the Snapple Theatre Center on Broadway and 50th Street. For reservations, call 212-989-6706. For more information, email Frank Evans, Artistic Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org.