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Leah Hocking, Etc. Set for Big Tent Concert, May 23

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Big Tent: The Tammy Faye Bakker Musical will receive its first public viewing in a fully staged concert at Off-Broadway's New World Stages (340 West 50th Street) at 8pm on Wednesday, May 23, 2007. Produced by Tim Hur and directed by Ryan J. Davis (White Noise, "Mr. Broadway"), the reading will feature Leah Hocking (All Shook Up, The Wild Party) as Tammy, "You're the One That I Want" finalist Kate Rockwell as Jessica Hahn, and Allen Kendall as Jerry Falwell.

They will be accompanied by a full rock band.  The evening is free and open to the public. Reservations may be made by emailing bigtentrsvp@gmail.com.  As tickets are extremely limited, reservations for more than four people will not be accepted.

Big Tent focuses on the rise and fall of Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker's "Praise The Lord" (PTL) television network and it's controversial dealings with the late Rev. Jerry Falwell.

Conceived and written by Jeffery Self, Big Tent features music and lyrics by Ben Cohn and Sean McDaniel.  "A cultural icon for more than thirty years, Tammy Faye Bakker's phenomenal rise from farm girl to evangelist superstar has finally been put onstage with a terrific pop-country score.  Her unique style has made her beloved by mainstream Christians, as well as by gays and other outsiders whom she welcomed under her 'big tent.' In this ninety-minute, six character musical, we follow Tammy as she fights to maintain her dignity amidst sex and business scandals. Her perseverance in the face of private tragedy and public ridicule has made her a testament to the endurance of the human spirit," as described in press materials.

Cohn works as a musical director, pianist, and composer/arranger in and around NYC.  He is currently the assistant conductor and pianist for Wicked. Other Broadway credits include 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Wonderful Town, In My Life, and The Woman in White.  His touring, regional and off-Broadway credits include musical director of The Last Five Years and sub/assistant MD for The Gorey Details, and I Sing, and rehearsal accompanist for Brooklyn.  

Davis recently produced and directed "Mr. Broadway," a benefit at New World Stages, for The Ali Forney Center. Last summer, he directed the critically acclaimed hit musical, White Noise at the New York Musical Theatre Festival. Regionally, he has directed Hedwig & The Angry Inch in Rochester, NY, and in 2006 he directed the FringeNYC show Grace Falls, starring Andrew Keenan-Bolger. As an Assistant Director Off-Broadway, he contributed to Jacques Brel Is Alive... (dir. Gordon Greenberg), among others. He is the Creator and Executive Producer of Breaking In, a new web sitcom set in the world of New York Theatre, available free at www.breakinginblog.com.

Hur is an associate producer for the rock musical short, "Didn't This Used to be Fun" (starring Sean Lockhart) debuting in summer of 2007 and the Executive Producer of "Mr. Broadway", a charity event for The Ali Forney Center. He is working with Cliff Lovette in building a "Theater District" in Atlanta. He is a native Atlantian and is a proud 2005 graduate of The Georgia Institute of Technology. Focusing on Commercial Investment Property sales, he is currently working with the former Mayor of Atlanta at Massell Commercial Real Estate. He is currently a candidate for the prestigious C.C.I.M. Designation and specializes in transactions of income-producing real estate in Atlanta and New York City.

McDaniel is currently the drummer for the Grammy and Tony award winning Monty Python's Spamalot.  Other Broadway credits include Wicked, Lion King, Aida, Rent, Producers, Millie, Fiddler, Les Mis, Wonderful Town, Avenue Q, Assassins, and Nine.  Recently Sean has worked with Jennifer Hudson, Audra McDonald, Dolly Parton, and Rosie O'Donnell.  As a composer, he has written Owl Creek, performed at Ithaca College, and Big Tent, which will have its NYC concert premiere on May 23. 

Self recently conceived and produced the hit "Mr. Broadway" benefit for the Ali Forney Center. Before that he had assisted such Tony Award winning directors as Joe Mantello and Melvin Bernhardt. As a writer, Self has seen his musical Definition of a Housewife produced by Columbia University and Montclair Music Theater.  Other works have been produced by such regional companies as the Horizon Theater in Atlanta, Georgia and Artists Collective in Los Angeles, CA. He currently serves as a producer on the popular online sitcom "Breaking In."

For more information and excerpts from the score, visit the official Big Tent myspace: www.myspace.com/tammymusical.

Photo of Leah Hocking by Ben Strothmann

 


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