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Bryce Pinkham, Amber Gray and More Featured on HAIL OBLIVION Concept Album

 

HAIL OBLIVION: A Pirate Fantasia, the latest music theater work by composer/lyricist Stephanie Ryan Johnstone and librettist Joshua William Gelb, will be released as a concept album on April 9th on bandcamp.com, with a cast featuring Bryce Pinkham (Gentlemen's Guide, Heidi Chronicles, Holiday Inn), Ato Blankson-Wood (The Total Bent, Lysistrata Jones , Hair), Amber Gray (Great Comet, An Octoroon), Julian Fleisher (February House, Coraline), Rick Burkhardt (Three Pianos), among others.

There will be an album release/listening party on Sunday, April 9th, at Industry City Distillery at 6:30 p.m. 1-drink minimum. All attendees get a free link to the album.

HAIL OBLIVION is a darkly surreal pirate adventure that unfurls across the globe and across centuries. From the Golden Age of Piracy (1717), where Major Stede Bonnet deserts his estate and family for a boat and crew, to the Golden Age of Hollywood (1943), where swashbuckling matinee idol Errol Flynn is arrested and exonerated in a very public statutory rape case, to the Golden Age of Venture Capitalism (present day), where a young advertising executive attempts to sell a luxury cruise in light of a recent Somali-Pirate hostage crisis. This propulsive fantasia is driven by a wild roller coaster of a score that carries us through these worlds with sea-shanties, jazz, rock, and beyond. An outlandish and provocative new piece of music theater, HAIL OBLIVION takes a hard look at our cultural infatuation with piracy, exposing the toxic heart of a hedonist fantasy drenched in violence, greed, and the relentless pursuit of individual freedom.

HAIL OBLIVION is the latest work by Gelb and Johnstone, whose other projects include the chamber musical T ully (In No Particular Order) , which played a sold out run at the New York Musical Theater Festival in 2007, and the rock musical Sometimes in Prague , which was recently featured in American Theater Magazine as part of UArts' 2016 Polyphone Festival after being previously developed at the Tank and the New Ohio Ice Factory (2011), with performances at Joe's Pub. Individually Gelb recently directed and adapted the reimagining of The Black Crook, America's supposed first musical, at Abrons Arts Center, while Johnstone is currently contributing music to The Team's Primer for a Failed Superpower, directed by Rachel Chavkin (Great Comet).

HAIL OBLIVION: A Pirate Fantasia was recorded in a concert performance at JACK on October 12th, 2015, with a cast featuring Alex Birnie, Ato Blankson-Wood, Jabari Brisport, Rick Burkhardt, Andrew Butler, Brian DeCaluwe, Joshua Hinck, Julian Fleisher, Amber Gray, Bryce Pinkham, Eliza Poehlman, Dan Safer, Nicole Weiss, and musicians: Blake Allen, Beau Edmonson, John Murchison, and Katrina Yaukey. The recording of this concert was mixed by Jeremy Mage into the current concept album.

ABOUT THE ARTISTS:

Bryce Pinkham (Performer) is an American stage and screen actor. He most recently starred with Elisabeth Moss and Jason Biggs in the Broadway revival of The Heidi Chronicles as Peter Patrone, for which he was nominated for an Outer Critics Circle Award as well as the Drama League Award for Distinguished Performance in 2015. In 2013-14 he originated the role of Monty Navarro, in the Broadway production of A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder , for which he was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical as well as a Grammy Award. His other Broadway credits include Carl Bruner in Ghost the musical and Henry Clay in Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson . Bryce's television appearances include CBS' The Goodwife , and Person of Interest , as well as the PBS mini series God in America.

Amber Gray (Performer) (Broadway) Natasha Pierre and The Great Comet of 1812. Recent: Iphigenia in Aulis (CSC), Oklahoma! (Bard SummerScape), An Octoroon (TFANA, Soho Rep, P.S.122), The TEAM's Mission Drift (London's National, NYC COIL, etc.), The World is Round (Ripe Time) , We Play for the Gods (Women's Project) , All Hands (Hoi Polloi) , Eager to Lose (Ars Nova) , Banished Children of Eve (Irish Rep), and ongoing with Reverend Billy and The Church of Stop Shopping. M.F.A.: NYU Graduate Acting.

Ato Blankson-Wood (Performer) The Total Bent (The Public), Hair (West End/Broadway/Off-Broadway) Lysistrata Jones (Broadway/ Off-Broadway) Film: It's Kind Of A Funny Story. BFA NYU Tisch School of The Arts. MFA Yale School of Drama. Member of The Actors Center Workshop Company.

Rick Burkhardt (Performer) is an Obie-award-winning playwright, composer, director, and performer whose original music and text pieces have been performed in Australia, Europe, Taiwan, Canada, Mexico, and over 40 US cities. He studied Music Composition (PhD 2006) at the University of California, San Diego, and playwriting (MFA 2016) at Brown University.

Julian Fleisher (Performer) is a singer/songwriter/actor/producer who recently appeared as George Davis in February House at The Public Theater and as the Cat in Coraline at MCC. He wrote the music for the plays Almost, Maine and The Performers on Broadway and he is the composer/lyricist of the new musical Measure of Success with librettist Kirsten Guenther. Julian's nightclub act with his Rather Big Band has included such performing partners as Martha Plimpton, Mo Rocca, Molly Ringwald, Bridgett Everett and Jennifer Holiday. He's produced recordings for himself, Kiki & Herb and Ana Gasteyer (among others) and is the host of The Naked American Songbook which premiers on WNYC this October. As iTunes said about his recent CD release, Finally , "It's as if Fleisher can get away with anything. " juilanfleisher.com / @JulianFlei

JOSHUA WILLIAM GELB (Co-Creator) is a director, performer, and librettist whose recent projects include a re-imagining of America's supposed first musical The Black Crook at Abrons Arts Center. Also Bear Slayer (Ars Nova), Party in the USA (Incubator Arts Project/Edinburgh Fringe), Clara Not Clara: A Nutcracker (Minnesota Dance Theater/Knockdown Center), Love My Band (Dixon Place), D ukus (Target Margin Lab), S ometimes in Prague (Ice Factory/Joe's Pub/Polyphone Festival), and Blind Alley Guy (Incubator Arts Project). Upcoming projects include The Hunger Artist at the Connelly Theater in June. www.joshuawilliamgelb.com

STEPHANIE RYAN JOHNSTONE (Co-Creator) is a composer and activist-organizer with a fierce commitment to our collective liberation. Their original music has been at venues including Joe's Pub, HERE, 3LD, and CSC. As a music director, they've worked with Rachel Chavkin, Anais Mitchell, and Taylor Mac, and they were the associate music director of War Horse. They facilitate a queer/trans community choir in NYC , and their recent album, Love Songs for the Rest of Us , was developed through concert/conversations in living rooms across the USA. They are currently studying justice ministries at Auburn Seminary. stephanieryanjohnstone.com

 


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