Photo Flash: Production Shots Released for THE SHAGGS!

Previews are now underway for the Playwrights Horizons (Artistic Director, Tim Sanford; Managing Director, Leslie Marcus) and New York Theatre Workshop (Artistic Director, James C. Nicola; Managing Director, William Russo) co-production of THE SHAGGS: PHILOSOPHY OF THE WORLD, a new musical with book by Joy Gregory; music by Gunnar Madsen; lyrics by Ms. Gregory and Mr. Madsen; and story by Ms. Gregory, Mr. Madsen and John Langs. Directed by Mr. Langs, the co-production by the two non-profit theaters has an official Opening Night set for Tuesday, June 7 at 7PM. The limited engagement will play through Sunday, July 3 at Playwrights Horizons Mainstage Theater (416 West 42nd Street).

The cast of THE SHAGGS features Tony Award nominee and Obie Award winner Peter Friedman (Ragtime, PH's Circle Mirror Transformation, After the Revolution and The Heidi Chronicles), Kevin Cahoon (Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Lortel nomination for Roundabout's The Foreigner, front man for the band Kevin Cahoon and Ghetto Cowboy), Annie Golden (Assassins and People Be Heard at PH, Broadway's Xanadu and The Full Monty, Jeannie in the film Hair), Steve Routman (on Broadway in La Bête and Broadway, Off-Broadway in The Fantasticks and Shmulnik's Waltz), Emily Walton (PH's Saved, on Broadway in August: Osage County) and, making their New York City stage debuts, Jamey Hood, Cory Michael Smith and Sarah Sokolovic.

Set in Fremont, New Hampshire in the late ‘60s, THE SHAGGS is based on the true story of a working class dad (Mr. Friedman) who has a vision of rock n' roll destiny for his three talentless daughters (Ms. Hood, Ms. Sokolovic and Ms. Walton), convinced they're his family's one-way ticket out of hardship and obscurity. But the girls have ideas of their own - and as their father's ambition turns to obsession, the price of familial obligation becomes all too clear.

The production features choreography by Ken Roht, scenic design by Mimi Lien, costume design by Emily Rebholz, lighting design by Geoff Korf and sound design by Darron L West. Orchestrations and vocal arrangements are by Gunnar Madsen and musical direction is by Aaron Gandy. Production Stage Manager is Lori Lundquist.

With THE SHAGGS, Playwrights Horizons and New York Theatre Workshop (NYTW) continue their commitment to developing unique and ground-breaking new musicals. At Playwrights Horizons, these include Grey Gardens, James Joyce's The Dead, Floyd Collins, Assassins, Once on This Island and Sunday in the Park with George, and at NYTW these include Rent; The Seven; Bright Lights, Big City; and Songs From an Unmade Bed. This production marks the first time the two award-winning theaters have co-produced together.

The performance schedule for THE SHAGGS is Tuesdays at 7PM, Wednesdays through Fridays at 8PM, Saturdays at 2:30 PM & 8PM and Sundays at 2:30 PM & 7:30 PM. Single tickets, $75, may be purchased online via TicketCentral.com, by phone at (212) 279-4200 (Noon-8pm daily), or in person at the Ticket Central Box Office, 416 West 42nd Street (between Ninth & Tenth Avenues). There will be an added performance on Monday, June 6 at 8PM.

Three special performances of THE SHAGGS will offer PLAYTIME! at Playwrights Horizons, a new program offering affordable, professional childcare while patrons see a show. Playtime! is free to Playwrights Horizons subscribers and available to non-subscribers for a flat fee of $15 per child. PLAYTIME! care will be offered during the following three matinee performances: Sunday, May 22 at 2:30 PM; Saturday, June 4 at 2:30 PM; and Saturday, June 11 at 2:30 PM. You must reserve childcare at the time you book your performance tickets (both through Ticket Central), and no fewer than 10 days prior to your desired performance. The Playtime! program is made possible with generous funds from the Theater Subdistrict Council (TSC).

Reflecting Playwrights Horizons' ongoing commitment to making its productions more affordable to younger audiences, the theater company will offer HOTtix, $25 rush tickets, subject to availability, day of performance only, starting one hour before showtime to patrons aged 30 and under. Proof of age required. One ticket per person, per purchase. STUDENT RUSH, $15 rush tickets, subject to availability, day of performance only, starting one hour before curtain to full-time graduate and undergraduate students. One ticket per person, per purchase. Valid student ID required.

NYTW is pleased make theatre accessible to everyone with its $20 CheapTix Sundays program. A dedicated number of tickets for Sunday evening performances at 7:30 PM can be purchased in person at the NYTW Box Office, 79 East 4th Street or at the Ticket Central Box Office, 416 West 42nd Street for only $20. Tickets may be purchased in advance, payable in cash only and are available to all audience members.

HOTtix and STUDENT RUSH are some of Playwrights Horizons' popular Arts Access initiatives, which allow the institution to reach out to those who may not be able to afford the cost of a full-price theater ticket. This program is supported, in part, by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, The McGraw-Hill Companies and the Elroy and Terry Krumholz Foundation.

A special open captioned performance of THE SHAGGS for theatergoers who are deaf and hard of hearing will be held on the Sunday, June 19 matinee at 2:30 PM. Funding for this program is provided, in part, by the Theodore H. Barth Foundation and the Theatre Development Fund's TAP Plus program in cooperation with the New York State Council on the Arts.

How to order tickets for the open captioned performance:
? Online: log on to www.playwrightshorizons.org
? Phone: call Ticket Central at (212) 279-4200 (Noon-8pm daily) via Relay Service (800) 421-1220
? TTY: call Ticket Central at (212) 279-4200 (noon-8pm daily) via Relay Service (800) 662-1220
? By fax: a printable order form may be found online at www.playwrightshorizons.org/tickets.html

Special Post-Performance Discussions with members of the creative team will take place immediately after the following performances: Sunday matinee, May 22 at 2:30 PM and Friday evening, May 27 at 8PM.

In addition, following the 7PM performance on Tuesday, June 14, Irwin Chusid, author of Songs in the Key of Z: The Curious Universe of Outsider Music and one of the driving forces behind the ‘90s digital reissue of Philosophy of the World, discusses his connection to The Shaggs and provides insight into the true story of the girl-group that inspired the musical. Additional guests to be announced.

Irwin Chusid is a record producer, radio personality, journalist and music historian. He was the primary force behind the resurgence of interest in pop composers Raymond Scott and Esquivel, and produced the heralded Langley Schools Music Project. Chusid hosts a weekly free-form radio program on WFMU, has produced dozens of records and concerts and has written for The New York Times, Mojo, New York Press and many other publications. His three volumes of books about artist Jim Flora are published by Fantagraphics. www.keyofz.com

THE SHAGGS will be the final production of both Playwrights Horizons' and NYTW's 2010/2011 seasons.

Playwrights Horizons' season productions are generously supported by The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs. The set and costume design of THE SHAGGS is generously supported by the Tobin Theatre Arts Fund. Playwrights Horizons is supported in part by public funds from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs. In addition, Playwrights Horizons receives major support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, The Shubert Foundation, Time Warner Inc., the Charina Endowment Fund and the Peter Jay Sharp Foundation.

New York Theatre Workshop receives public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Lead support for NYTW productions is provided by the Fund for the City of New York/Open Society Foundations, the Ford Foundation, the Tony Randall Theatrical Fund, The Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Foundation and The Shubert Foundation.

Photo Credit: Joan Marcus

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