Cast Set for Reading of Erik Ransom's Vampiric R & J Sequel CIVIL BLOOD
Broad Views on Broadway's 2nd Annual Summer Fresh Festival is set to present the world premiere staged reading of Erik Ransom's "Civil Blood (The Resurrection of Romeo)" which serves as a fantastical, tragicomic sequel to William Shakespeare's "Romeo & Juliet". The developmental reading will be directed by Rachel Klein ("Red Roses, Green Gold", "Around the World in 80 Days") stage managed by Laura Malseed* ("Afterglow", "Drunk Shakespeare") with assistant direction by Daniel Zuzalek (Lincoln Center Theatre Directors Lab). The reading will take place on Friday, August 31st with presentations at 2pm and 7pm at Molloy College Manhattan Studios 50 Broadway, Manhattan, NY.
The cast features Brandon Haagenson('Afterglow') as Romeo, Jamie Heinlein('Penny Penniworth', 'The Secretaries') as Mildred and Sheila, Ariel Estrada('Made in China') as Ranerius, Colleen Corcoran ('Anna') as Catalina de Habsburgo, Brandon Vukovic (Trinity Rep, Milwaukee Shakespeare) as The Minstrel & Klaus Nomi, Elliot Frances Flynn (New York Shakespeare Exchange) as Juliet & John with stage directions read by Scott Brieden ('Orion').
Written in iambic pentameter for a cast of six actors, "Civil Blood" revives the notorious Romeo of Montague from suicide, when he encounters Ranerius, an ancient vampire who has been stalking him since the Capulet Masquerade. Given a new deathless life in London, Romeo meets a mercurial minstrel, a droll chambermaid and a deformed Spanish princess with a talent for portraiture. Romeo causes a stir in the household, then flees to eke out his own vampiric life. Centuries elapse and we find Romeo in the East Village of New York City in 1982, where he catches a gender-swapped production of "Romeo & Juliet" and his heart his stirred by Joan, who expertly portrays him on stage. We discover that this production has awakened Joan to the fact that he identifies as male, thus adopting the name John. Romeo offers him eternity, but John doesn't want immortality in the wrong body, so Romeo must wait. When Ranerius and Catalina find Romeo in New York, they open old and fresh wounds alike. The tale culminates when the sun arises to kill the envious moon, who is already sick and pale with grief.
"Civil Blood" marks the 7th collaboration from writer/director team Erik Ransom andRachel Klein. The team, known for their gritty rock glamour style, met in 2013 and have since worked together on "Coming: A Rock Musical of Biblical Proportions," (book, music, and lyrics by Erik Ransom, Direction and Musical Staging by Rachel Klein), multiple productions, concerts and readings of "GRINDR the Opera," (book, music, and lyrics byErik Ransom, Direction and Choreography by Rachel Klein) which is currently playing at London's Above the Stag Theatre to rave reviews with five Off West End Award nominations, including Best New Musical and Best Production of a Musical. Erik and Rachel have also worked on the the development of "The Severed Hand of Neverland" at Musical Theatre Factory, (book, music, and lyrics by Erik Ransom, Direction and Choreography by Rachel Klein) and the New York Times acclaimed Off-Broadway production of "The Anthem" (lyrics by Erik Ransom, direction, co-choreography, and design by Rachel Klein) and the medieval romantic epic musical, "More Than All the World" which was produced at Theater for the New City by Lil Rascal Productions in 2016, after a successful developmental reading at the York Theatre earlier that year.
Erik Ransom (Playwright) is an internationally produced playwright, composer, librettist and performer based in New York City. "COMING: A Rock Musical of Biblical Proportions" was Erik's first foray as a playwright/composer and, within a year of starting the first draft, he was fortunate enough to see it fully produced at The Prince Music Theatre in February 2011 and later at Theatre 80 in New York. Erik penned the lyrics for the Off-Broadway musical spectacular: "The Anthem", which ran at The Lynn Redgrave Theatre in 2014 and his smutty opus, "GRINDR The Opera," has been covered by The Daily Beast, The Guardian, Salon.com and Newstalk Radio in Ireland among other news outlets and has played New York City, Orlando, Ft. Lauderdale Atlanta and Chicago. The world-premiere production of Erik's medieval musical epic, "More Than All the World" which was inspired by Marlowe's "Edward II" was produced at Theater for the New City in November, 2016. As a performer, Erik appears as François on Seasons 1 and 2 of the 2017 Daytime Emmy-nominated Amazon Prime series Tainted Dreams and appears in the feature film Happy Yummy Chicken alongside Taryn Manning of Orange is the New Black. He also wrote songs for the film. Erik is also a two-time champion of the York Theatre's Tune-in-Time improvised musical theatre writing competition and served as Head Comedy Writer for the Broadway Roast of Michael Musto, presented by Rosie O'Donnell and hosted by Bruce Vilanch. For more visit: www.ErikRansom.com
Rachel Klein (Director) is a NYC based director, of whose work The New York Times has praised: "What makes this show pop is the bracing vision of its director, Rachel Klein." Off-Broadway Direction: "Red Roses, Green Gold" (Minetta Lane Theatre/featuring the music of the Grateful Dead); "Around the World in 80 Days" (The Davenport Theatre); "The Anthem" (The Lynn Redgrave Theatre/starring Randy Jones, the Original Cowboy from the Village People); "Gay Bride of Frankenstein" (iStar Theatre Lab). Selected NYC Theatre: "Tink!" (New York Musical Festival); "More Than All the World" (adapted from Marlowe's "Edward II"); "Symphony of Shadows" (Jerome Robbins Foundation commission); "A Midsummer Night's Dream"; "Circus of Circus" (The House of Yes). Selected Regional and Workshops: "Hairspray" (Jenny Wiley Amphitheater); "Snow" (Playwrights Horizons); "54 The Musical" (Axelrod Entertainment); "Dracula" (JWT). Ms. Klein directed the roast of Michael Musto, featuring Rosie O'Donnell, Bruce Vilanch, Bianca Del Rio and Jinkx Monsoon. Rachel is a proud member of the SDC. For more info: www.rachelkleindirector.com
This developmental reading of Civil Blood (The Resurrection of Romeo) will take place on Friday, August 31st with presentations at 2pm and 7pm atMolloy College Manhattan Studios 50 Broadway, Manhattan, NY. Interested members of the industry may inquire after seats via the Summer Fresh Festival at: www.eventbrite.com/e/summer-fresh-festival-staged-reading-civil-blood-by-erik-ransom-tickets-48017512673