SIDE SHOW's Josh Walker Pens and Stars in Workshop of New Musical About Toulouse Lautrec This Weekend

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SIDE SHOW's Josh Walker Pens and Stars in Workshop of New Musical About Toulouse Lautrec This Weekend

Josh Walker, a cast member of the upcoming Broadway revival of Side Show and its recent Kennedy Center staging, has written a new musical about Post-Impressionistic French painter Henri de Toulouse Lautrec and the Moulin Rouge. Toulouse: A New Musical has a score composed by Walker, with a book by John David Nelson, and lyrics by both Walker and Nelson. A workshop is currently taking place in Chicago with presentations scheduled for this weekend, August 29 - 31, 2014. Walker will also play the title role of Toulouse Lautrec.

The new musical was presented in concert in New York City in the fall of 2013 as a part of New York Theatre Barn's monthly New Works Series at the Daryl Roth Theatre, and also featured Walker in the title role.

Lautrec's immersion in the colorful and theatrical life of Paris in the late 1800s yielded a collection of exciting, elegant and provocative images of the modern and sometimes debauched life of those times. The musical explores the struggle between two class systems, the bourgeoisie and the bohemian, and the singular person and place that ultimately brought the two worlds together: Toulouse Lautrec and the Moulin Rouge. New ties are created and old bonds must be broken when both artists and patrons are swept into a world of chaotic change.

Joining Walker in the cast are Megan Buckley, Kristine Burdi (Chicago Shakespeare's Beauty and the Beast), Nathan Carroll (Jeff Award Nomination for BoHo's Kiss of the Spider Woman), Zachary Drane, Meredith Freyre, Spencer Gartner, Keith Green (Co-Founder of Terra Mysterium), Kevin Grubb, Megan Householter, Kyle Hustedt (Artistic Director, Chicago Cabaret Project), Stephanie Stockstill (Circle Theatre's A Little Night Music), Derek Rienzi Van Tassel, and Justin Vidovic.

The workshop is produced by JDN + JDW Musicals, and is directed by Derek Rienzi Van Tassel, with choreography and dramaturgy by Joe Barros (Artistic Director of New York Theatre Barn), and musical direction by Mark Wurzelbacher. Orchestrations are by Jordon Ross Weinhold (Signature Theatre's Cloak and Dagger), the lighting is designed by Clair Chrzan, scenic design is by David Geinosky, and costumes, make-up, and hair are designed by Roger Lee Harris. Brayden Kendziora is the stage manager.

Presentations will take place at The Athenaeum Theatre (2936 N. Southport Avenue, Studio 3) in Chicago on Friday, August 29th and Saturday, August 30th at 7:30pm, and on Sunday, August 31st at 5pm. For Tickets, visit OvationTix at the box office: (773) 935-6875. For more information, visit www.toulousethemusical.com.

Josh Walker is a Chicago based Music Director/Composer/Arranger. Music directing credits include: Sexy Baby (Jeff Nominated), Scarrie, The Birds (Hell in a Handbag), A Little Night Music (Jeff Recommended), The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (Jeff Recommended), Legally Blonde, Seussical, Hairspray, The Drowsy Chaperone, Ragtime, and Les Miserables (Circle Theatre), Peter Pan, Beauty and The Beast, Aladdin, Pinocchio (Metropolis Theatre), Belle Barth: If I Embarrass You Tell Your Friends (STAGES Festival). Music Director/Arranger for The Cabaret Project (Bright Lights Dark City & Friends of Dorothy) Acting credits include: Radio City Christmas Spectacular (NYC) 2005-2013. Graduate of Midwest New Musicals writing program. Produced composition credits include: Maxwell, Toulouse (New York Theatre Barn, Midwest New Musicals), Six Stories Up on Ellis Island, Six Stories Up on Mt. Olympus, Six Stories Up in the Windy City (Tellin Tales Theatre). Music Arranger for John Hersey Onstage and Euclid Varsity Chorale. Bachelor's degree in Music Education from Ohio University. In 2007, Walker composed the anthem for the Little People of America National Conference. Walker most recently appeared in the Kennedy Center revival of Side Show (directed by Bill Condon), and will appear in its subsequent Broadway bow this fall.

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