Jason Gotay, Remy Zaken & Randy Jones Star in World Premiere of THE ANTHEM Off-Broadway, Beg. Tonight
JJJ Productions in Association with Culture Project and Aaron Grant Theatrical, Inc have announced that the world premiere of The Anthem, an original musical lovingly inspired by the classic Ayn Rand Novella, "Anthem", with a book by Gary Morgenstein, music by Jonnie Rockwell and lyrics by Erik Ransom will begin previews tonight, May 20, 2014, Off-Broadway at Culture Project's Lynn Redgrave Theatre on 45 Bleecker Street. This musical helmed by Rachel Klein officially opens on Thursday, May 29, 2014. Spiderman's JASON GOTAY, Spring Awakening's REMY ZAKEN and RANDY JONES of The Village People lead a cast of theatrical favorites in this rollicking sci-fi musical, featuring an expansive aerial and circus environment, about a revolt of the young against an evil state.
Hunger Games meets Ayn Rand in a far off future (several centuries after the early 1980s) in a social media gone mad world, where individuality is illegal. Prometheus (Jason Gotay) abandons everything to confront the State -- controlled by the overlord of evil efficiency, Tiberius (Randy Jones). With a forbidden copy of Ayn's Rand's ancient tome in hand, can Prometheus overthrow the system?
"A life in the show business and the theatre allows one many privileges," stated Randy Jones when asked what attracted him to THE ATHEM. "After seeing Around the World in 80 Days and meeting its director Rachel Klein, I was convinced a force of nature in the same talent vein as Julie Taymor and Diane Paulus had crossed my path. Klein sees the world of theatre in a way that very few director/choreographers do. Her ability to spin magic from actors, designers, musicians and crew is a wondrous thing to witness when ultimately presented onstage. And that privilege I mentioned initially, is that I get to work with Rachel Klein on The Anthem."
The cast of The Anthem features Ashley Kate Adams, Remy Zakan, Jason Gotay, Randy Jones, Jenna Leigh Green, Damian Thompson, Emily S. Grosland, Patch David, Shiloh Goodin, Jamyl Dobson, Katie Lee Hill, Crista Marie Jackson and Brian Ferree
In addition to The Anthem, his first musical, Gary Morgenstein's plays include Right on Target (a romance about an African-American conservative and his liberal Jewish wife), Ponzi Man (inspired by true-life white collar criminal/Scientologist Reed Slatkin), Mad Mel and the Marradians (a sci-fi political comedy) and A Tomato Can't Grow in the Bronx (Neil Simon with an edge). Morgenstein has published four novels: Jesse's Girl, Loving Rabbi Thalia Kleinman, Take Me Out to the Ballgame and The Man Who Wanted to Play Center Field for the New York Yankees. By day he is Director of Communications, for Syfy Channel where he is currently working on Sharknado 2.
Composer Jonnie Rockwell is the grandchild of renowned early 20th Century Czech opera composer & folklorist, Leoš Janá?ek. Jonnie studied music & art at Skidmore, is a classically trained pianist & a preeminent synthesizer programmer. Influenced by the music of the 70s, she went on tour with the bands, Scarlet Fever, Starchild, and Baby for ten years. Jonnie Rockwell is Co-Composer with John McDaniel on the upcoming musical adaptation of BRAVE NEW WORLD directed by Sheryl Kaller on which she collaborates with lyricist Bill Russell. She was guided along the way by Donald Farber and Ken Russell in accomplishing her dreams of creating great theatre. She is also a successful & well-respected physician on Manhattan's Upper East Side.
Lyricist Erik Ransom is a composer, playwright, librettist and performer with a diverse body of work. After graduating from The College of New Jersey in 2004 with a degree in music performance, he went on to work extensively as a performer on the stages of New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, most recently in the repertory company of "My Big Gay Italian Wedding" and "My Big Gay Italian Funeral". His first full-length musical, "Coming: A Rock Musical of Biblical Proportions" was fully produced at The Prince Music Theatre in February 2011: Less than a year after the first draft was begun. "Coming", for which Erik wrote book, music and lyrics, played to packed houses and unanimously favorable reviews, including raves from The Huffington Post, Edge Magazine and The Philadelphia Inquirer. His other produced works include, "SAGA The Ragnarok Opera" and "Tragic Events". Erik Ransom's latest opus, "GRINDR The Opera" is currently in development for a concert presentation late this Spring.
Director Rachel Klein is a theater director, choreographer, and costume/production designer coined "a new generations' Julie Taymor," "endlessly clever" and "the Mistress of the Macabre." Recent credits include a 5 month commercial Off-Broadway run of Around the World in 80 Days, the Mondo Cane Dance Commission from Dixon Place to create her dance and circus nightmare-scape, Symphony of Shadows; the critically acclaimed morbid fantasia The Tragedy of Maria Macabre; and an Off-Broadway workshop of the rock musical Gay Bride of Frankenstein presented by the iStar Theater Lab. She recently directed The Dead Dream Machine, a horror anthology with puppets and music that featured performances by Michael Musto, Miss Guy, Justin Vivian Bond, Rob Roth, Lady Rizo, Broadway's Constantine Morulis, and Randy Jones from the Village People. She received nominations from the Innovative Theater Awards for Outstanding Director of a Play and for Outstanding Choreography/Movement for the aerial musical spectacular, Circus of Circus at the House of Yes in Brooklyn. Previous residencies include a monthly artistic residency at Bowery Poetry Club and an Emerging Artist's Residency to build new work through the Field and the Tides Foundation. She holds a BA in theatrical directing from Columbia College, is an alumni of the International Director's Symposium in Spoleto, Italy, and is an Associate Member of the SDC.
Musical Director Michael S. Gayle is a native of Stuggart, Germany raised in the United Statesm. Michael is a multi-talented musician/composer and arranger. He is a proficient singer, songwriter, arranger, mixer and producer with excellent skills in various instruments including the saxophone & piano. Michael served as Music and Fine Arts Director at Providence Assembly of God, Collaborator for community programming at the Black Respiratory Theater, Artist Educator for the Rhode Island Philharmonic School of Music, Musical Director/Minister of music for several churches and has given instrumental and vocal training at various inner City locations such as, Nathan Bishop Middle School, Boys & Girls HS, Blackstone Academy HS and the Bradley Hospital for Children with occupational disorders. He also gives individual tutoring in piano, saxophone and voice training.
Production design for The Anthem includes scenic design by Robert Kovach, lighting design by Kryssy Wright, costumes co-designed by Kae Burke, sound design by Sean Hagerty, additional musical staging and chorography by Danielle Fusco, additional aerial choreography is by Brian Ferree, ariel rigging design is by Joshua Sherer, props and projections by Ellie Engstrom and the SMs are Jane Pole and Nicole Kuker. Casting is by Daryl Eisenberg Casting.
Following Opening Night, regular performances of The Anthem are Thursdays through Tuesdays. Thurs, Fri, Sat at 8PM; Mon and Tues at 7PM. Matinees are on Sat and Sun at 3PM. Tickets are $33 - $99 and available online through OvationTix at www.ovationtix.com or by calling 866-811-4111.