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30 Days Of NYMF: Day 29 COUNT TO TEN

By Justin Boccitto

Every musical has its journey, and Count To Ten has taken many steps. It began in the mind of Michael Blevins who, in his early career, worked on Broadway and in film with the likes of Woody Allen, Richard Attenborough, Bob Fosse, Savion Glover, Neil Simon and Chita Rivera, but is most widely known for his portrayal of ‘Mark' in the film, "A Chorus Line". He also had the good fortune to meet and collaborate with his gifted co-authors Clary, Wollenberger, Sacks and Knipe. Now an award-winning and published playwright, Blevins' idea for a musical focusing on characters, story and the experience of being alive continues to affect audiences.

In 2006, The Group Theatre Too work shopped the production and staged a brief showcase at Manhattan's 14th Street Theatre prior to presenting the show in Tennessee featuring the principal New York cast and several Southern actors. We even held a contest for one local Tennessee performer to appear in the Off-Off Broadway run at the Connelly Theatre downtown in the Spring of 2008. We were always encouraged by the enthusiastic reception of the cross-generational audiences who attended the many productions. Blevins once told me, "Count To Ten, like all myths, is meant to help us better understand our own lives." I truly believe it does. The show's acceptance into the New York Musical Theatre Festival came as a wonderful surprise. NYMF provides the opportunity of, once again, gathering the Count To Ten company and bringing to the stage a universal story about the fears and joys of love and acceptance.

No movie stars, no splashy sets, just great original characters, choreography, story and music that pull you in to the special world of Count To Ten. The young performers in the production are some of the most professional, passionate artists I know. They all bring something to the table and continue to be an integral part of the process. You should see them tap dance too!

On October 15th Count To Ten will open at the Theater at St. Clements. So don't take my word for it, come experience the show yourself. We look forward to having you there!


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