Theater For The New City Opens DIGITAL DILEMMAS, 10/4
Theater For The New City, executive director Crystal Field, will present DIGITAL DILEMMAS, a new musical comedy about our obsession with digital devices, October 4 – 21, at the Theater For The New City, 155 First Avenue (at 10th Street). The production features book & lyrics by Tom Attea, music by Arthur Abrams, direction by Mark Marcante, and chorography by Angela Harriell.
DIGITAL DILEMMAS shines the spotlight on a modern American family totally addicted to computers, iPads, iPhones, Androids and gaming consoles, just when they receive a visit from their eloquent and witty grandmother, who insists her smartphone is the dumbest thing she ever owned and prefers to remain in the analog age. As the confrontation heightens, she dares them to a challenge that any touchscreen age family might never recover from – going without their beloved devices for one full day. Let the withdrawal pains begin!
The musical brings laughter and insight to our obsession with digital devices and our struggle to tear ourselves away from them long enough to preserve our personal space, thoughts and sanity. It also explores romance in the digital age - with the story of a young man so addicted to online dating that he has totally lost interest in any of the women he knows personally, including the woman who's perfect for him.
The cast of DIGITAL DILEMMAS includes Gail Rodgers, David "Zen" Mansley, Troy Cochenour, Heidi Kloster, Drew Pulver, Jacob Storms, Jane Jourdan, Drew Torkelson, Kathleen Atkins. The Chorus features DeAunna Blackwell, Natalie Perez Benitoa, John Buckley, Bob Homeyer and Phillip Ramsey.
Design Team includes, Lytza Colon as Prop Designer, Alex Santullo as Sound Designer, Susan Hemsley as Costume Designer, Alex Bartienieff as Lighting Designer
Tom Attea (book, lyrics) has written the book and lyrics for eight musicals and one play that have been produced in the Off-Off-Broadway theater. The first show was presented by The Actors Studio and the others by Theater for the New City. He has received a TNC/Jerome Foundation emerging playwright grant and is an active member of The Dramatists Guild. He supports his literary work as a freelance copywriter who has written award-winning advertising for Dr Pepper, Grey Poupon, and Jell-O, as well as numerous campaigns for media companies, including "In this city, you need a Voice" for the Village Voice, "There's never been a greater need for understanding" for Time magazine, "Illuminate your world" for The New York Sun, and the advertising that introduced Lifetime Television with "There's nothing like a woman's Lifetime." When the Nobel Prize for Medicine was awarded to two scientists who had merely improved the image, instead of to the physician who discovered the principle on which all MRI images are based, he wrote an advocacy campaign that ran full-page in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, and in Europe with his theme, "The shameful wrong that must be righted." Along the way, he has become one of America's most award-winning copywriters – having received 4 Clios in one night, Gold and Silver Lions from Cannes, the Gold Telly, the Gold Mobius, and many other awards.
Arthur Abrams (composer) has been pianist for the Martha Graham Dance Company, Merce Cunningham, the Joffrey Ballet, and for various venues, including The Waldorf Astoria. "Digital Dilemmas" is the eighth musical he has collaborated on with Tom Attea. His awards include a DAAD music fellowship to Mannheim, Germany, a scholarship to the Orff Institute at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria and a Meet the Composer grant for the score of "The Golden Bear." His theatrical scores include include "Unreachable Eden" with book by Barbra Kahn, "The Golden Bear" and "Sketching Utopia," both with book and lyrics by Laurel Hessing, directed by Crystal Field; "Master and Margarita" from the novel by Bulgakov, adapted by Jean Claude van Itallie and directed by David Willinger; and "The Open Gate," based on the novel, "The Manor" by Isaac Bashevis Singer, adapted and directed by David Willinger. Abrams was composer, pianist and music director for "The Golden Age of Second Avenue," a documentary film about the golden age of the Yiddish Theater produced by Arthur Cantor. The piece is often shown on PBS. (In the film, he accompanies Molly Picon.) He was music director and pianist for the recent Lambs Club presentation of "Yankel in America" starring Theo Bikel.
Director Mark Marcante hails from Allentown, PA, and is a graduate of Kutztown University. He has studied Commedia Del Arte with Alessandro Bressanello and Michael Conenna from the T.A.G. Theatre of Venice, Italy. Mr. Marcante has worked and toured with The People's Theater Company, Theater East and The Guthsville Playhouse. He has been the Production Manager of Theater for the New City since 1984. Prior to that, Mr. Marcante was the theatrical and technical consultant for the Arts Connection. This is his eighth production with Tom Attea and Arthur Abrams, with whom he has collaborated with on It's An Emergency Don't Hurry, Dropping in on the Earth, Life Knocks, Lincoln Plaza, Abstinence, Living in a Musical, and The Capitalist Ventriloquist. Other shows Mr. Marcante has directed include Rizzante Returns from the War, Benny's Barber Shop, Promises Best Kept,British Music Hall, Strangely Wonderful and One Director Against His Cast, written by Crystal Field which premiered in Italy.
Choreographer Angela Harriell has worked with the Attea, Abrams, and Marcante on two previous musicals. She is the director and choreographer of the popular Nutcracker: Rated R, as well as the founder and choreographer of the cabaret dance troupe, The Love Show. A graduate of Fredonia University, where she received The Graduate Scholarship for ballet, she has worked with Elisa Monte and David Brown dance, Randy James Danceworks, and taught ballet at Binghamton University. Angela's work has been seen at The Flea Theater, HERE theater, The New York Burlesque Festival, The New York Fringe Festival, White Wave Dance Festival, The Philly Fringe Festival's Late Night Cabaret, House of Yes (earning her a New York Innovative Theatre Awards Outstanding Choreography nomination), and different nightclubs throughout New York. She has set original works for Jerboa Dance of Seattle, as well as Key West Contemporary Dance in Key West, Florida. Cointreau and Vogue magazine have commissioned pieces from her. Her work has twice been selected to be presented at special galas at the National Arts Club. Angela was a Hammerstein Beauty at Simon Hammerstein's notorious downtown supper club, The Box, and also performs with Brooklyn Ballet, Brooklyn Repertory Opera and Opéra Français de New York. Recently, Angela was commissioned to create original choreography for the New York screening of The Antics Roadshow, a new film by Banksy. Angela also taught dance at Lincoln Center for Midsummer Night's Swing.
Performances of DIGITAL DILEMMAS are on Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 8PM and Sunday at 3PM.
Tickets are $10 and can be ordered online at www.theaterforthenewcity.com, by calling 212.254.1109 or at the box office prior to each performance.
Theater For The New City is located at 155 First Avenue (at 10th Street).