Gretchen Cryer, Melissa Errico & Orville Mendoza Set for Prospect Theater's EVERGREEN Holiday Concert This Weekend

Prospect Theater Company, under the leadership of Cara Reichel, Producing Artistic Director and Melissa Huber, Managing Director, will present a concert staging of Evergreen, a family friendly musical for the holidays at The TimesCenter (242 W 41st Street), with performances tonight, December 18 at 7pm and tomorrow, December 19 at 2pm and 6pm.

The concert will feature the Obie Award-winning Gretchen Cryer (I'm Getting My Act Together and Taking It On the Road), Tony Award nominee and Drama Desk Award winner Melissa Errico (Amour), and Orville Mendoza (Peter and the Starcatcher), alongside Pace University students Hillary Fisher and Joe Ottavi-Perez in the leading roles of Maya and Joshi.

The cast also features an ensemble of youth performers ages 8 to 15, including Abbie Anderson, Anabella Brizuela, Victoria Csatay, Ciela Elliott, Maddox Elliot, Virginia Franks, Andre Gulick, Gabrielle-Marie Kaufman, Irena Kogarova, Joy Kate Lawson, Jibreel Mawbry, Carys Mesinai, McKenzie Mullahey, Lily Peterson, Violet Prete, Nolan Shaffer, Brigit Eileen Tejada, Alexa Valentino, and Thomas Vaethroeder.

Recommended for ages six and up, Evergreen is an original (one act, 75-minute) holiday musical by Peter Mills and Cara Reichel, that follows Maya, a headstrong girl on a fantastic adventure to find the Earth's last living evergreens.

"In writing Evergreen, we set out to create an inter-generational story which taps into the magic of the holiday season -- the first quiet snowfall, the smell of the evergreen trees that appear lining the streets, and the gathering of families to celebrate traditions and pass along stories," said co-creator Peter Mills. "At the same time, we wanted to create a fantasy adventure that would excite the imagination of younger audiences, and inspire them to preserve our environment for future generations."

Evergreen is directed by Cara Reichel with music direction by Peter Mills. Musical staging is by Dax Valdes and the associate director is Simone Zamore Curbelo, Prospect's Director of Education. Proceeds from the performances of Evergreen will benefit Prospect's 2016 educational outreach initiatives.

Single tickets are $35, $25 and $15, and may be obtained through online purchase at www.ProspectTheater.org or by calling 212-352-3101. Tickets may also be purchased at the door.

A celebrated emerging lyricist, composer, and bookwriter, Peter Mills has been honored to receive the Kleban Prize for lyrics, the Cole Porter Award from ASCAP, and the Fred Ebb Award, among other recognitions of his work. He received Drama Desk nominations for his score and orchestrations of The Pursuit of Persephone. He is a founding member of Prospect Theater Company, and his original musical developed through Prospect have been performed around the country in regional settings, and internationally. Mills' musicals include The Taxi Cabaret, licensed by Samuel French; and Illyria, based on Shakespeare's Twelfth Night, licensed by Theatrical Rights Worldwide. Among his other musicals are The Underclassman; The Flood; The Rockae; Golden Boy of the Blue Ridge and the upcoming Death For Five Voices. With Susan DiLallo and Stephen Weiner, he wrote Iron Curtain (lyrics) which was developed at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center, and he is currently writing lyrics for the Broadway-aimed musical of The Honeymooners. He has recently participated in the Goodspeed/Johnny Mercer Writers Colony, the Weston Playhouse Writing Retreat, the Rhinebeck Writers' Retreat, and he received a 2015 Bogliasco Fellowship for research in Italy. www.pcmills.com

Cara Reichel is a theatrical director and maker of new musicals, and the founding Artistic Director of NYC's acclaimed Prospect Theater Company. She has collaborated frequently with award-winning composer/lyricist Peter Mills, bringing new musicals from concept to full production including Illyria, Golden Boy of the Blue Ridge, Honor, The Rockae, The Underclassman, The Flood, and the upcoming Death For Five Voices. Cara also collaborated with Mills, Susan DiLallo, and Stephen Weiner on Iron Curtain (2006 Innovative Theatre Award), and has worked with many other emerging and established talents, including Michele Brourman and Sheilah Rae, Mark St. Germain, and Carol Hall. Outside of NYC, Cara has recently directed at the Village Theatre's Festival of New Musicals (WA), Surflight Summer Theatre (NJ), and the Goodwill Theatre (Binghamton, NY). In 2015 she received a prestigious Bogliasco Fellowship in Genoa, Italy. She has received multiple "New Directors/New Works" Grants from the Drama League, and is a recipient of the "Lucille Lortel Award" from the League of Professional Theatre Women. www.carareichel.com

Launched in 2015, Prospect's IGNITE Series is an ongoing concert initiative at The TimesCenter, featuring today's new voices shaping tomorrow's musical theater. Reflecting Prospect's dedication to fostering and producing work by emerging artists, IGNITE Series programming will include premieres of original material by award-winning songwriters; cutting-edge creations straight from Prospect's annual Musical Theater Lab; concert presentations of musicals in development; debuts of commissioned work targeted to teen audiences, performed by the participants in Prospect's Summer Intensive training program; and more.

Additional Prospect Theater Company IGNITE Series events from Jan - June 2016 will be announced shortly.

The TimesCenter (www.TheTimesCenter.com ) is located at 242 West 41st Street, between 7th and 8th Avenues, in the heart of NYC's Times Square District. The venue features a 378-seat auditorium with state-of-the-art lighting, sound, and video capability, and a Steinway Concert Grand Piano.

Photo by Walter McBride



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