Balagan Theatre's 2014-15 Season to Feature Gasparini & Brightman's MAKE ME BAD, MURDER BALLAD & More

Balagan Theatre's 2014-15 Season to Feature Gasparini & Brightman's MAKE ME BAD, MURDER BALLAD & More

On the heels of its critically acclaimed world premier new musical ERNEST SHACKLETON LOVES ME by Valerie Vigoda, Brendan Millburn and Tony winner Joe DiPietro and directed by Obie Winner Lisa Peterson, Seattle's Balagan Theatre Company announces its 2014/15 season. Balagan's upcoming season reflects the past, present, and future of the new American musical and continues its mission in bringing exciting cutting edge theatre to a new generation of theatre goers.

The season will kick off with the Tony Award winning musical URINETOWN, directed by Balagan executive director and founder Jake Groshong. "This is one of those shows that has always been on our must produce list," says Groshong, "I couldn't be more excited we're finally bringing a Balagan production of Urinetown to Seattle." This irreverent, hilarious and ultimately touching piece is set in a drought plagued town where water is so scarce that toilets are controlled by an evil corporation. Satirizing the legal system, capitalism, social irresponsibility, populism, bureaucracy, corporate mismanagement, municipal politics, and the Broadway musical form itself, Urinetown was game-changer upon its release in 2001, and is perfect fodder for the crew at Balagan.

Get ready to be rocked! The second slot belongs to the thrilling new rock musical, BAD APPLES, which the Huffington Post calls "the next great work of art...Bad Apples is destined for the Big Apple - to become a smash hit on Broadway and win a dozen Tony awards." This world premier production is presented in collaboration with Seattle's Balagan and ACT Theatres, and LA's Circle X Theatre and will be directed by ACT Associate Artistic Director John Langs. Bad Apples tells the story of three soldiers caught at the center of the 2003 Abu Ghraib torture scandal. It examines the intersection of sex and violence and the thin red line between America's ideals and the realities of war. This electrifying contemporary score by LA based song writers Beth Thornley and Rob Cairns mixes pop, rap, country and dance genres with TV writer & playwright Jim Leonard's cutting script to create an exciting and truly innovative theatrical event.

The third slot will host the world premier of the new musical thriller, MAKE ME BAD, by emerging musical theatre writing team Drew Gasparini and Alex Brightman. Gasparini is a John Lennon Song Writing Award winner whose musical, "Crazy, Just Like Me" took Best of Fest at NYMF 2011 and whose song "Good For You" was featured in the NBC musical seres "Smash". In the new tradition of antihero dramas like Dexter and Breaking Bad, Make Me Bad follows a troubled young woman who unwittingly falls in love with a serial killer. This gritty sexy phycological thriller will have you on the edge of your seat and guessing until the final minute.

The Off Broadway hit, MURDER BALLAD, which Variety calls "HOT-BLOODED and ELECTRIFYING!" will receive its Seattle premier in the fourth slot. This "Love triangle on a razor's edges -NYTimes" centers on Sara, "an Upper West Sider who seems to have it all, but whose downtown past lingers enticingly and dangerously in front of her. This sexy, explosive new musical explores the complications of love, the compromises we make, and the betrayals that can ultimately undo us". The intimate and immersive production will be directed by Balagan Artistic Director and Broadway veteran Louis Hobson. "The musical perfectly fits Balagan's artistic sensibilities", says Hobson, "and staging the show in working bar will give our audience a unique in-your-lap theatrical experience."

The fifth slot will host the world premier staging of the new musical CITIZEN RUTH. With a ?Book and Lyrics by Mark Leydorf, music by Michael Brennan and based on the 1996 film by two time Oscar winning writer/director Alexander Payne, Citizen Ruth is a satirical and challenging look at the divisive and controversial issue of abortion in America. Ruth is a drug addicted and hopelessly irresponsible woman who becomes a pawn in war of ideologies. Citizen Ruth won Best Musical at the 2009 New York International Fringe Festival and will be directed by Tony Award Nominee Dan Knechtges (Xanadu, 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee).

The season will close with a dynamic new staging of THE WHO'S TOMMY at the famed Moore Theatre in Seattle, where it was last seen in 1971 starring Bette Midler as the Acid Queen. Pete Townshend and Des McAnuff's 1992 musical based on The Who's double album "Tommy" follows the life of a "deaf dumb and blind kid" who becomes a pinball wizard. This will be the fourth show in partnership with the Seattle Theatre Group (STG), which includes past shows Hedwig and the Angry Inch starring Drag Race winner Jinkxx Monsoon, Carrie the Musical starring Tony Winner Alice Ripley and Jerry Springer: The Opera.

Founded in 2006, Balagan has steadily risen in the ranks of theatre both locally and nationally. Led by Executive Director, Jake Groshong - Artistic Director, Louis Hobson - and Managing Director, Danielle Franich, Balagan is at the forefront of next-generation artists and productions. Committed to highly acclaimed theatre at a highly accessible price, Balagan continues to draw new audiences to the theatre. From award-winning shows like Spring Awakening and Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog to "Best of the Year" productions like Avenue Q and August: Osage County, Balagan is known for creating exceptionally crafted, thought-provoking theatre, which we offer to the community at an affordable price, in a personal environment.
In addition to its mainstage season, Balagan regularly develops new works for the stage in Seattle and New York. Learn more at

Starting with the 2014/15 season, Balagan will move away from the traditional season subscription model to a new six, twelve, eighteen or twenty four ticket Subscriber Flex Pass. The Flex Pass will allow subscribers the freedom to choose only shows they want to see, when they want to see them and how many tickets they want to use. Go to for more information and to sign up for Flex Pass.

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