Bebe Neuwirth, James Monroe Iglehart & More Set for 2016 24 Hour Musicals

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On May 2nd, The 24 Hour Company® is teaming with The Exchange, an off-Broadway theater company, to create the eighth annual The 24 Hour Musicals to be held at the Highline Ballroom. 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, May 1st and show time on Monday, May 2 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 2016 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), Ana Gasteyer ("Saturday Night Live"), Matt Doyle (Book of Mormon), Victoria Clark (Light in the Piazza), James Monroe Iglehart (Aladdin), Javier Muñoz (Hamilton), Steven Boyer (Hand to God), Vella Lovell ("Crazy Ex-Girlfriend"), Ryann Redmond (Bring It On), Ali Stroker (Glee, Spring Awakening), Da'Vine Joy Randolph (Ghost, The Musical), AJ Shively (Bright Star), Dee Roscioli (Wicked), Joel Marsh Garland ("Orange is the New Black"), Julian Fleisher (February House), and Ashlie Atkinson (The Wolf of Wall Street).

Writers and composers include: Jonathan Marc Sherman (Things We Want, Clive), Lisa Lambert (The Drowsy Chaperone), Robin Goldwasser (People are Wrong), Adam Overett (My Life is A Musical), Kellen Blair (Murder For Two), Amanda Green (Hands on a Hardbody). Directors and Choreographers include: Gordon Greenberg (Holiday Inn), Sam Pinkleton (Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812), Shea Sullivan (Pageant, Jawbreaker), Patricia McGregor (Hurt Village), Sherri Eden Barber (Happily Ever After), and Brad Landers (Choreography, Scissor Sisters).

"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. "Furthermore, this year, for the first time in the history of The 24 Hour Musicals, we'll be honoring an individual whose personal contribution to the field mirrors the goals of The Orchard Project. We are proud that our first honoree will be the longtime Creative Director of the 24 Hour Musicals, Ted Sperling. Ted is a heralded and multi-faceted artist, known as a musical director, conductor, stage director, and orchestrator, among his many other talents. Ted's continued support of bold work and bold voices, whether through his stewardship of countless shows, careers, and now through his leadership roles at Mastervoices (Collegiate Chorale) and the Public Theater, is a model for us all."

"While we enjoy producing The 24 Hour Musicals around the globe, this annual benefit for The Exchange is our favorite night of the year," said Tina Fallon, the founder of The 24 Hour Plays. "New York City is our home, as well as the home to the most phenomenal talent on the planet."

The creative team will arrive at the Highline Ballroom Theater at 9 PM on Sunday, May 1st 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, Proximo, and Duvel and finishes with a VIP afterparty with cast and crew.

Tickets for the gala are between $90 and $1000 and all include admission to the show and open bar at the Highline Ballroom. Table seats include a VIP reception and buffet dinner before the show. To buy tickets, visit http://www.exchangenyc.org/24HM.



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