Pre-NY Tryout of ROLLER DISCO THE MUSICAL! Begins Previews, Boston
Oberon in association with the Ministry of Theater will present a pre-New York tryout of ROLLER DISCO THE MUSICAL!, an unautherized parody of the classic film Roller Boogie, from May 30 to August 30 at Oberon in Cambridge Massachusetts, with its world premiere opening night on June 13. With executive producer Pablo Rojas, Roller Disco aims to transfer to Off-Broadway in Spring 2013.
Roller Disco is the love story of Johnny Max and Debbie Sinclair, two residents of Los Angeles, California that might as well live three continents away from each other. He resides in a three-flight-walk-up dingy room on the diversity-drenched Venice Beach Boardwalk where he sticks his head out the window for air-conditioning. She is the pampered only scion of one of the richest lawyers in the single-demographic enclave of Bel Air where she gets around town in $450,000 Rolls Royce Excalibur convertible powered by an engine meant for an aircraft. Johnny’s choice of transportation is his $12.95 Firebird Quad Roller skates. And here’s where the love story heats up.
The production is directed and choreographed by Jen Wineman. James O’Leary is the Musical Director.
The musical stars Jacqui Grilli as Debbie Sinclair and Ahmad Maksoud as Johnny Max. Featured are Kenard Jackson, Mariah MacFarlane, Mark Mauriello, Kevin B. McGlynn, Kenneth Miller, DJ Petrosino, Marissa Rae Roberts, Misch Whitaker and Claudia Yanez.
The design team includes Dan Jentzen (Lighting/Video), Aaron Mack (Sound), Melissa Trn (Costumes) and Victor Yambao (Props).
Author/Director/Choreographer, Jen Wineman, has spent 15 hours a day on roller skates for the past four months.
OBERON is the A.R.T.’s Second Stage, a destination for theater and nightlife on the fringe of Harvard Square. In addition to offering work from the A.R.T’s main season, OBERON is also a thriving incubator for emerging artists to imagine new projects that could only exist in this exciting club theater environment. Hundreds of artists and performance groups brought work to the space each year. OBERON regularly features local performers including aerialists, beat poets, food artists, tap dancers, gender-bending sketch troupes, comedians, hula-hooping burlesquers, and pop-and-lock human statues to name but a few.
JEN WINEMAN (Director, Choreographer, Co-Book Writer) is a director of theater and opera, living in New York City. Recent work in New York includes a workshop of Charise Castro Smith’s The Hunchback of Seville at New Georges, Stephanie Dodd and Justin Badger’s new aerial circus/country rock musical Devil in the Hole at The Skybox, Charise Castro Smith’s Estrella Cruz [The Junkyard Queen] at Ars Nova, the world premiere of José Rivera’s Lessons for an Unaccustomed Bride at 59E59, and John Eccles’ opera The Judgment of Paris at Manhattan School of Music. Regionally, she has directed at New York Stage and Film, the Experimental Theater of Vassar College, Williamstown Theatre Festival (workshop), WordBRIDGE, and with SquidShow in Telluride, Colorado. Up next for Jen is the world premiere of Roller Disco The Musical! (The Unauthorized Parody of Roller Boogie, the Classic Film that Inspired a Generation…For Like Five Minutes), which she co-wrote with Sam Forman and Eli Bolin, presented by the American Repertory Theater’s Club Oberon in Cambridge, MA. This fall she will direct a new production of Donald Margulies’ play Shipwrecked! An Entertainment at Triad Stage in Greensboro, NC. Jen is a co-founder and board member of Studio 42, a New York-based theater company that focuses on producing “unproducible” new work by emerging artists. She is a member of the 2011-2012 Soho Rep Writer/Director Lab and is an affiliated artist at New Georges. Training: B.A. Vassar College, M.F.A. Yale School of Drama (Julian Kaufman Directing Prize). Jen is represented by Paradigm.
Sam Forman (Lyrics, Co-Book Writer), a writer for the stage, screen and TV, is currently on the writing staff of House of Cards (Netflix’s first original TV program starring Kevin Spacey, executive producer David Fincher). Sam is the lyricist and co-book author for the musical I Sing! which has been produced commercially off-Broadway and in theaters around the world. A CD recording of the York Theater Concert Cast of I Sing! is available in stores worldwide from Jay Records. Sam’s other plays and musicals include: The Rise and Fall of Annie Hall (Stage 13, NYC dir. Sam Gold; Theater J, Washington DC dir. Shirley Serotsky, Helen Hayes Nomination 2010; Vineyard Playhouse, Martha’s Vineyard dir. Johanna McKeon) We The People (TheaterWorks USA, Lucille Lortel Nomination 2011 dir. Gordon Greenberg) F#@king Up Everything (Award for Excellence in Book Writing NYMF 2009 dir. Stephen Brackett; Woolly Mammoth, DC 2011 dir. Jay Brock) The Moscows of Nantucket (Theatre J, Washington DC, dir. Shirley Serotsky).The Grille Room (Cherry Lane Mentor Project, dir. Thomas Kail), Quarterlife (Ford Center, NYC workshop dir. by Mark Brokaw; Pico Playhouse, Los Angeles, CA dir. Matt Doherty) Please Stop Talking (Cherry Lane Theater, NYC dir. Erwin Mass ; Willlamstown Theatre Festival, dir. Portia Krieger), Fringical! (Ars Nova, NYC; American Theatre of Actors, NYMF 2004, dir. Thomas Kail) Schmoozy Togetherness (Williamstown Theatre Festival, dir. Johanna McKeon) The Quiet Game (Hangar Theater, Ithaca NY dir. Daniel Kramer) Krankenhaus Blues (Blue Heron Theater, NYC, The Abingdon Theatre, NYC, dir. Donna Mitchell) Hunter for Hunter Green and Narcissus and Goldstein (Singularity Company, NYC dir. Benjamin Salka) Upcoming projects include: Volleygirls (book by Rob Ackerman) Tricia Walsh-Smith In Concert (dir. Alex Timbers) Roller Disco (A.R.T. Oberon, Cambridge MA, dir. Jen Wineman) Sam is an alumni of Youngblood at Ensemble Studio Theatre, Ars Nova’s Play Group and the producer of Creation Nation. Sam is a member of the WGA, The Dramatist’s Guild and is represented by CAA.
Eli Bolin (Composer) Eli has been a composer for Sesame Street since 2010, and has also written music for Billy on the Street (FUSE) and Comedy Central Presents: Kristen Schaal. He is also the composer for Compulsive Love, the forthcoming web series from award-winning playwright Adam Szymkowicz. As an actor and musician, Eli appeared on NBC’s 30 Rock this season as a member of the Woggles. Eli is the music director, composer and lyricist for Story Pirates, an arts education organization with branches in NYC and L.A. that performs songs and sketches adapted from the creative writing of children all over the country. His musical version of popular children’s book Skippyjon Jones premieres off-Broadway July 17, 2012, after a successful Theatreworks/USA national tour, which continues this fall (Lyrics: Kevin Del Aguila, dir. Peter Flynn). Eli wrote the music for Roller Disco a new musical opening May 30th, 2012 at American Repertory Theater’s Oberon space in Cambridge, MA. (Lyrics: Sam Forman, dir. Jen Wineman). He is currently writing music and lyrics for Found, a new musical inspired by found notes, letters and photographs first published in Found Magazine. Hunter Bell ([title of show]) is writing the book. Other produced musicals include off-Broadway’s I Sing, Schmoozy Togetherness (Williamstown Theatre Festival, dir. Johanna McKeon), Fringical! (NYMF, dir. Thomas Kail) and the forthcoming Volleygirls, all with lyrics by Sam Forman. Eli is a member of ASCAP and is represented by Abrams Artists.
The Oberon Theatre is located at 2 Arrow Street, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Performances will be Wednesday and Thursday Evenings, 7:30pm – Doors Open, 8:00pm – Show. Tickets are $25/$45 from www.rollerdiscothemusical.com, www.cluboberon.com or OvationTix toll-free: 1-866-811-4111.
Photo Credit: Pablo Rojas.