Bebe Neuwirth, Tituss Burgess and More Set for Tonight's 24 HOUR MUSICALS

Tonight, April 13th, The 24 Hour Company is teaming with the Exchange, an off-Broadway theater company, to create the seventh 24 Hour Musicals. A team of more than 100 - including stars from Broadway, film, television, and music - will cast, write, compose, direct, rehearse, tech, and perform four original musicals - all in the obscenely short time between an evening meet-and-greet on Sunday, April 12 and show time tonight, April 13 at 8pm. The event benefits the Exchange's summer program, The Orchard Project, which incubates and accelerates innovative new theatrical work from around the world.


The 2015 musicals will feature an all-star line up of Broadway performers, stars from TV and film, great composers and writers, directors, choreographers, and musical directors.

Participants currently include: Bebe Neuwirth (Chicago, Madam Secretary), Edie Falco (Nurse Jackie), Tituss Burgess (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt), Eden Espinosa (Wicked), Lea DeLaria (Orange Is The New Black), Mike Daisey (The Agony and Ecstasy of Steve Jobs), Alicia Witt (Justifed), Aaron Lazar (The Last Ship), Ari Graynor (For a Good Time, Call...), Christine Lahti (Chicago Hope), Kelly McCreary (Grey's Anatomy), Ashley Fink (Glee), Shanola Hampton (Shameless), Stephanie D'Abruzzo (Avenue Q), Michael Campayno (The Sound of Music Live!) Julian Fleisher (February House), Pamela Winslow (Into the Woods), Ashlie Atkinson (The Wolf of Wall Street), Jonathan Marc Sherman (Things We Want, Clive), Christopher Oscar Peña (Jane the Virgin), Lisa Lambert (The Drowsy Chaperone), Amanda Green (Hands on a Hardbody), Joe Kinosian and Kellen Blair (Murder for Two), Tim Rosser and Charles Sohne (The Boy Who Danced on Air), Daniel Goldstein (Godspell), Gordon Greenberg (We the People: America Rocks!), and Shea Sullivan (Pageant, Jawbreaker).

"Every year, a wonderfully talented group of the best from stage and screen come together to attempt the impossible," said Ari Edelson, the artistic director of the Exchange and the Orchard Project. "This year the event will celebrate the Orchard Project's expansion and move to Saratoga Springs, NY, where we will be able to support even more artists and companies."

The creative team arrived at the Gramercy Theater at 9 PM last night, April 12 for a meet-and-greet. Each person brings a prop and a costume to inspire the writers. At 11 PM - after some singing, dancing, introductions, and "don't do this at home" warnings - the actors and directors go get some rest and the composers and book writers get to work. Completed musicals are due by 7 AM. In the morning, directors, choreographers, and actors arrive for rehearsals. After a supersonic tech (with lights, costumes, and sound) in the late afternoon, the audience arrives. The unconventional time constraints create a tremendous amount of creativity and energy. Although actors have only one day to create characters and learn blocking, music and choreography, the musicals are performed without scripts in hand. The show starts at 8 PM, with an open bar courtesy of Monsieur Touton Selection and Tanqueray and finishes with a VIP afterparty with cast and crew.

Tickets for the gala are between $100 and $500 and all include admission to the show and open bar at the Gramercy Theater. To buy tickets, visit www.exchangenyc.org/24HM.

About The Exchange and the Orchard Project - Proceeds from The 24 Hour Musicals support the Orchard Project, the upstate New York development center run by the Exchange. The best theatre companies go to the Orchard Project each summer to develop their innovative new ideas. The Broadway play All the Way, which won last year's TONY® for Best Play, was written at the Orchard Project over two seasons. Other shows created at the the Orchard Project include this season's OBIE-winningAn Octaroon, TONY®-winning 33 Variations on Broadway, The Royal Court's Posh (also West End), OBIE-winners The Aliens, The Shipment, and Architecting. Shows developed at the Orchard Project have been or will be produced at the Royal Court in London, The Public Theatre, the Humana Festival, American Repertory Theater, Yale Repertory Theatre, The Atlantic Theater Company, Center Theater Group, Playwrights Horizons, The National Theatre (UK), Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, Theatre Di Roma, Philadelphia Live Arts, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, and many other theaters across America and Europe. In 2015, the Orchard Project will expand and move to Saratoga Springs, NY, and has become a preeminent place for theater companies and artists to develop new projects. It now receives hundreds of applications each year from artists around the world - from New York to Texas, Rome to Minsk. Twice, The New York Times has featured the Orchard Project as a leader in new theatre development. More information is online at www.exchangenyc.org.

About The 24 Hour Company® - The 24 Hour Plays® brings together exemplary artists to create time-limited theater around the world. Regular events include The 24 Hour Plays on Broadway, The24 Hour Musicals, productions in London, Los Angeles, Dublin, Athens and Florence. Through collaborations with organizations like London's Old Vic, The Del Sole Foundation, and Urban Arts Partnership, The 24 Hour Company's productions have raised millions of dollars for charities. Each summer, The 24 Hour Company partners with the New School for Drama to bring together the best actors, directors, playwrights and producers 25 and under for an intensive professional experience in The 24 Hour Plays: Nationals.

In 1997, The 24 Hour Company began licensing its trademark The 24 Hour Plays® along with the process, production handbook and other materials to select charitable and educational groups. Licensed affiliates have produced their own versions of it in regional and professional theaters, colleges, and universities just about everywhere you can find a curtain and a stage. More information is online at www.24hourplays.com.




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