SOPAC¬'s Midtown Direct Rep Premieres RATED P 5/5-8


Presented by the South Orange Performing Arts Center (SOPAC) and Midtown Direct Rep, RATED P makes its long-awaited premiere from Friday, May 5th to Sunday, May 8th at SOPAC. With book and lyrics by Maplewood's own Sandy Rustin, this sketch musical comedy explores the wonders and lunacy of raising kids from conception to college drop-off. Starring local Broadway veterans from SOPAC's Midtown Direct Rep theatre company, RATED P brings the audience along with the actors on a hilarious and touching journey of both the joys and the drama of parenthood.

As a mother of two, Rustin's own experience of parenthood serves as the impetus for RATED P. "Becoming a mother has fueled my life in so many ways and has certainly provided a constant flow of loving, funny, and relatable source material," says Rustin, Co-Artistic Director of Midtown Direct Rep. While awaiting her older son's first day of kindergarten, Rustin expressed her anxiety in the form of a poem about a mother's wish for her child on the first day of school.

"A Prayer for Ellie" has since evolved into a song in RATED P. "Much of RATED P is inspired by my stories and my friend's stories - either from our childhoods or our lives now as parents." Back in August 2010, the local community got a sneak peek of Rated P at the musical's first public reading, and subsequently provided valuable feedback, comments and criticisms. After nearly a year of re-writes, revisions, and rehearsals, RATED P takes the leap from page to stage.

"We're thrilled to have served as the incubator of Midtown Direct Rep's first original musical production," says Michael Bollinger, Executive Director of SOPAC.
"We've nurtured RATED P and watched it grow from a staged reading to workshop, and now to a full production. I'm jazzed to see it come to fruition!"

Rated P is truly a collective experience for both the audience and the cast. In fact, in addition to Rustin, almost every artist of RATED P has been touched by parenthood. Director of RATED P, Jeremy Dobrish, is a father of two living in Maplewood. He promises that, "if you're parent, a grandparent, someone thinking about becoming a parent, or if you've ever HAD a parent, RATED P will resonate with you." Cast members include: father of two/South Orange resident David Josefsberg (The Wedding Singer, Les Miserables, Altar Boyz); Millburn native Courtney Balan ([Title of Show], Cry-Baby, In My Life), father of two/South Orange resident Bradley Dean (A Little Night Music, Spamalot), and mother of three/Maplewood resident JoAnna Young (The Drowsy Chaperone, Les Miserables, Grease).

RATED P - Cast + Crew

Book & Lyrics: Sandy Rustin
Music & Lyrics: Dan Lipton & David Rossmer
Cast: Courtney Balan, Bradley Dean, David Josefsberg, & JoAnna Young
Director: Jeremy Dobrish
Musical Director: Meg Zervoulis
Musical Staging: Rachel Bress
Set Designer: Steven Capone
Lighting Designer: Michael Gottlieb
Costume Designer: Bobby Pearce
Sound Designer: Jill DuBoff
About Sandy Rustin

Sandy Rustin is an actress & writer. She regularly performs at Upright Citizens Brigade Theater in "Gravid Water" (named "Best Improv Show" by Time Out NY). Favorite NY credits include "Modern Orthodox" (New World Stages), "I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change" (Westside Theatre), Jolson & Company (Century Center), Sarah, Plain and Tall (Lucille Lortel), and Neil Simon's Hotel Suite (Roundabout). She's a player in "Don't Quit Your Night Job," and an "undercover agent" for Improv Everywhere. TV credits include "The Scariest Show on TV" (Comedy Central), "Law and Order; SVU," "As the World Turns (Kayley)," "All My Children" and "Guiding Light." Proud Co-Artistic Director of Midtown Direct Rep, the theatre in residence at SOPAC. Graduate of Northwestern University. RATED P is a love note to my parents, my husband, and my children.

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