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PACE to Present World Premiere Reading of 'DARLING' Musical 1/20-1/25

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Pace University's Pace New Musicals Program, now in it's third year, is a workshop initiative that offers students the invaluable opportunity take part in the developmental process of new material with up-and coming writers. In the past few months, the program received 42 submissions for consideration, out of which one new work was selected to be developed by Pace. This year, Pace New Musicals proudly presents the world premiere reading of Darling, a new musical with music and lyrics by Ryan Scott Oliver and a book by B.T. Ryback.

The Pace Musical Theater Program began with six majors in 2002, and has grown to more than 90 majors. In 2006, Pace became only the second school in New York City to offer a BFA in Musical Theater.  The Pace New Musicals Program was developed in 2007 to nurture the creation of new musical theater in New York City, while at the same time providing an invaluable educational opportunity for students to work directly with top professionals in the field. Perhaps most importantly, the program allows students to experiment with new, untested works without precedent-setting productions, a rare opportunity in theater education.

Past works in the Pace New Musicals Program include a staged a workshop of Mark Waldrop and Brad Ross' musical, Luck!, and College: The Musical, which was subsequently selected for a production with the New York Musical Theatre Festival where the authors, Scott Elmegreen and Drew Fornarola, won the NYMF award for Excellence In Writing (Lyrics).

Darling follows upper crust teenager Ursula Morgan in 1929 Boston as its society boils in the weeks before the Crash.  Neglected by her excessive, self-absorbed parents, Ursula encounters Peter, a charming rent-boy of uncertain age, on the run from the Captain of Police who pursues him for a heinous crime he may or may not have committed.  When she is offered the opportunity to run away with him, she takes it and finds herself swept into a seedy underground of jazz, sex and a mysterious white powder called Fairy Dust-and in love...

Directed by the head of the Musical Theater program, Amy Rogers, with music direction by Robert Meffe, the program's resident musical director, the workshop will feature 20 of Pace's BFA musical theater students.

Darling will be presented at Pace University's Schaeberle Studio, 41 Park Row, 10th Floor from January 20-25, 2009.

Darling stars Jennifer DeRosa as Ursula Morgan and Lyle Colby as Peter. Featuring Ally Bonino as Stella, Katy Karr as Lily, Brandon Contreras as Hughes, Joshua Ramos as Smithy, Eric Restivo as Binx, David Piazza as Duke, Kyle Gipson as Slightly, and Chris Brick as Nibs. The ensemble includes Nick Miller, Tal Fox, Andy White, Daniel Berlin, Kris Howard, Jon Karsky, Liz Froio, Abby Stevens, Melanie Burg, and Kate Bristol.

B.T. RYBACK (Book) won the 2007 Tennessee Williams One-Act Competition for his play Weïrd, which premiered in New Orleans in March 2008.  His play A Roz By Any Other Name was the winner of the 2007 Henrico County Theatre One-Act Competition and received its premiere in February 2008.

Ryan Scott Oliver (Music and Lyrics) wrote the music and lyrics for Alive at Ten (winner 2008 Richard Rodgers Award; official selection Disney-ASCAP Musical Theatre Workshop NYC 2007).  He was a 2007-08 Dramatists Guild Fellow and is a graduate of NYU's Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program.

Amy Rogers (Director) is a tenured associate professor of musical theatre at Pace University where she created the BFA Musical Theatre degree program.  Originally from Canada, Amy holds a degree in musical theatre from Arizona State University, and an MFA from San Diego State University.  NYC directing credits include: Carousel, College: The Musical, Ragtime, The Wild Party (Lippa), Little Women and Violet. Amy has assisted director Lonny Price on Can-Can and Kismet at Encores at City Center, Candide with the New York Philharmonic and the Emmy Award winning Passion for Live at Lincoln Center.

Robert Meffe (Music Director) is a professional music director, pianist, orchestrator, and vocal coach. On Broadway he was the Associate Conductor of Little Women as well as Les Miserables for the last six years of its run. Off-Broadway: Violet, The Prince and the Pauper, and Gutenberg! The Musical!. He was the Music Director for the National Tour of The Phantom of the Opera and has played keyboards for Mamma Mia, Hairspray, Avenue Q, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Grey Gardens, and Bombay Dreams. Mr. Meffe is the Director of Music for the Music Theater Program at Pace University.

For more information or reservations: pacenewmusicals@gmail.com or (212) 346-1352.    

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