MCC Theater To Produce Workshop of New Musical HEARTS BEAT LOUD in February 2023

It will be directed by Obie Award winner Whitney White, and feature an original score and lyrics by Niko Tsakalakos, and book by Ngozi Anyanwu.

By: Oct. 28, 2022
MCC Theater To Produce Workshop of New Musical HEARTS BEAT LOUD in February 2023

MCC Theater will produce a four-week development workshop of a new musical, Hearts Beat Loud, to be presented on February 9 & 10, 2023.

Hearts Beat Loud illuminates the power and promise of music to connect us all. Based on the inspiring 2018 indie film set in Red Hook (starring Nick Offerman and Toni Collette), the stage version, directed by Obie Award winner Whitney White (MCC's soft), will be bold, fresh, and packed with captivating pop/rock music, featuring an original score and lyrics by Niko Tsakalakos (Fall Springs), book by Ngozi Anyanwu (Seven Deadly Sins) and arrangements by Brian Usifer (A Beautiful Noise). Hearts Beat Loud is a powerful new musical about fathers and daughters, music and memory, the inevitability of change and the bravery it takes to embrace it. MCC is producing the workshop in collaboration with Tamar Climan and Paige Price.

MCC Theater's development programs include workshops, PlayLabs and the recently added SongLabs, which help foster the MCC artistic community by providing writers intensive dramaturgical support, as well as the opportunity to work alongside professional directors and actors to engage public audiences in the development of new work. The series incorporates informal post-show gatherings for conversation between artists and audiences that enliven and stimulate the often solitary and insular writing and development process.

New works developed as part through workshops, PlayLabs and SongLabs have gone on to full productions at MCC, as well as at other nonprofit theaters in New York, around the U.S. and across the globe, adding vibrant new works to the contemporary theatrical canon.


MCC Theater is one of New York's leading nonprofit Off-Broadway companies, driven by a mission to provoke conversations that have never happened and otherwise never would. Founded in 1986 by Bob LuPone (1946-2022) and Bernie Telsey, and later joined by co-Artistic Director Will Cantler, as a collective of artists leading peer-based classes to support their own development as actors, writers and directors, MCC fulfills its mission of through the production of world, American, and New York premiere plays and musicals that challenge artists and audiences to confront contemporary personal and social issues, and robust playwright development and education initiatives that foster the next generation of theater artists and students.

MCC Theater's celebrated productions include Donja R. Love's soft; Ross Golan's The Wrong Man; Aziza Barnes' BLKS; Jocelyn Bioh's School Girls; Or, the African Mean Girls Play; Penelope Skinner's The Village Bike; Robert Askins' Hand to God (Broadway transfer; five 2015 Tony Award® nominations including Best Play); John Pollono's Small Engine Repair; Paul Downs Colaizzo's Really Really; Sharr White's The Other Place (Broadway transfer); Jeff Talbott's The Submission (Laurents/Hatcher Award); Neil LaBute's reasons to be pretty (Broadway transfer, three 2009 Tony Award® nominations, including Best Play), Some Girl(s), Fat Pig, The Mercy Seat, and All The Ways To Say I Love You; Michael Weller's Fifty Words; Alexi Kaye Campbell's The Pride; Bryony Lavery's Frozen (Broadway transfer; four 2004 Tony Award® nominations including Best Play, Tony Award® for Best Featured Actor); Tim Blake Nelson's The Grey Zone; Rebecca Gilman's The Glory of Living (2002 Pulitzer Prize finalist); Margaret Edson's Wit (1999 Pulitzer Prize); and musicals including Alice by Heart, Ride the Cyclone, Carrie, and Coraline. Many plays developed and produced by MCC have gone on to productions throughout the country and around the world.

Over the years MCC has worked with thousands of students through the innovative MCC Youth Company, school partnerships, and student matinee programs.

Executive Director Blake West joined the company in 2006. MCC opened the doors to its new home in Manhattan's Hell's Kitchen neighborhood, The Robert W. Wilson MCC Theater Space, on January 9, 2019, unifying the company's activities under one roof for the first time and expanding its producing, artist development, and education programming. MCC founding Co-Artistic Director Bob LuPone sadly passed away on August 27, 2022. MCC continues to honor his fierce need for engagement with the art, the artists, and the audience and remember the profound impact he had on everyone who entered its spaces.


Ngozi Anyanwu

(Book) the acclaimed Humanitas Award-winning playwright, dubbed by The New York Times as "emotionally astute and genuinely funny." Currently stars in the upcoming AMC series "Invitation to a Bonfire." Her recent plays include Seven Deadly Sins (Drama Desk Award) Good Grief, The Homecoming Queen, and Nike or We Don't Need Another Hero. Good Grief (Kilroys List 2016, semi-finalist Princess Grace, Humanitas Award) was produced at Center Theatre Group (the Kirk Douglas) in Los Angeles and Off Broadway at The Vineyard Theatre, in which Anyanwu also starred. In 2021, she also recently wrote and starred in her play The Last of the Love Letters at The Atlantic Theater Company.

Niko Tsakalakos

(Original Score and Lyrics), finalist for the Jonathan Larson Grant and the Kleban Prize in Musical Theatre. MacArthur Fellowship 2022. Musicals: Fall Springs (2019 world premiere at Barrington Stage Company), Into the Wild (La Vie Productions; developmental support: Playwrights Horizons, Encore Musical Theatre, Goodspeed Musicals, Rhinebeck Writers Retreat, Berkeley Repertory Theatre's Ground Floor, Perseverance Theatre), Pool Boy (2010 world premiere at BSC, 2012 NYU Steinhardt, 2018 Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera), Driving West (Ars Nova Uncharted Series). Awards: Sundance Institute Composer Fellow, Jonathan Larson Grant and the Kleban Prize in Musical Theatre Finalist, AntFest, ASCAP Plus Award, Vineyard Arts Project (2012), NAMT Writers Grant (2012), Playwrights Center Writing Grant (2009). MFA: NYU's Tisch.

Brian Usifer

(Music Supervision and Arrangements) is a New York City based music director, orchestrator/arranger, pianist, producer and composer. Most recently, he was the Music Director of Disney's Frozen on Broadway. He is currently the Associate Music Supervisor of The Book of Mormon on Broadway. Prior to that he was the Music Director of Kinky Boots on Broadway, which won 6 Tony Awards including Best Musical, Best Score, and Best Orchestrations. The cast recording won the 2013 Grammy Award for Best Musical Theatre Album and the West End Production won an Olivier Award for Best Musical. He was the Associate Music Supervisor for Kinky Boots on Tour, London, and in Toronto. Brian has played in the Broadway and off-Broadway orchestras of ... Spelling Bee, Avenue Q, Altar Boyz, Bloodsong of Love: A Rock & Roll Spaghetti Western, and The Book of Mormon. As an orchestrator and arranger, Brian's projects include A Beautiful Noise with music by Neil Diamond, The Heart of Rock and Roll with music by Huey Lewis at The Old Globe, Swept Away with music by The Avett Brothers at Berkeley Rep, Mr. Chickee's Funny Money with music by Motown legend Lamont Dozier at The Atlantic Theatre, Into the Wild by Niko Tsakalakos and Janet Allard, and The First Snow by Niko Tsakalakos. Additional shows in development include Galileo featuring music by Michael Weiner and Zoe Sarnak with a book by Danny Strong, and Hearts Beat Loud by Ngozi Anyanwu and Niko Tsakalakos. On TV, he wrote additional orchestrations for NBC's "Annie Live", "The Wiz Live", and can be heard as a pianist on "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel" on Amazon. As a music producer, his credits include a songwriting collaboration with Colin Donnell called The Nineteen Twenty.

Whitney White

(Director) is an Obie Award and Lily Award winning director, actor, and musician based in Brooklyn, New York. She is the current recipient of the Susan Stroman Directing award, an Artistic Associate at the Roundabout, and a part of the Rolex Mentor and Protege Art Initiative. Her original musical Definition was part of the 2019 Sundance Theatre Lab 2016 ANT Fest, and her five-part musical exploration of Shakespeare's Women and ambition, Reach for It, currently under commission with the American Repertory Theater in Boston, begins performance of Macbeth in Stride in October 2021. She has developed work with: The New York Times, Ars Nova, The Drama League, Roundabout, New York Theatre Workshop, 59E59, The Lark, The Movement, Jack, Bard College, NYU Tisch, Julliard, Princeton, SUNY Purchase, South Oxford, Luna-Stage/">Luna Stage and more. Upcoming projects include The Secret Life of Bees on the West End and the Broadway play Jaja's African Hair Braiding at MTC. Whitney is a believer in collaborative processes and new forms. Her musical discipline is rooted in indie-soul and rock. She is passionate about black stories, reconstructing classics, stories for and about women, genre-defying multimedia work and film. Past fellowships include New York Theatre Workshop 2050 Fellowship, Ars Nova's Makers Lab, Colt Coeur and the Drama League. MFA Acting: Brown University / Trinity Rep, BA Political Science, Certificate in Musical Theatre: Northwestern University.


is a Tony Award®-winning theatre producer with almost three decades of experience producing and general managing on Broadway. Currently, Tamar is producing the national tour of A Soldier's Play along with Roundabout Theatre Company. She is on the producing team of 1776 for the American Repertory Theater and serves as the Consulting Producer for the Tony Award® and Grammy-winning Jagged Little Pill for its North American and Australian tours. Previous producing credits include, on Broadway: Jagged Little Pill, Oklahoma!, Children of a Lesser God; West End: Waitress; and North American tour: Anastasia. She also serves as an advisor to Roundabout Theatre Company.

Tamar founded Richards/Climan, Inc. (RCI), Theatrical General Management firm, in 1997. While at RCI, Climan managed over 80 productions of plays and musicals written by such notable artists including Tracy Letts, David Mamet, Terrence McNally, Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty. She had the extraordinary opportunity to work with such notable actors as Angela Lansbury, James Earl Jones, Audra McDonald, Al Pacino, Sutton Foster and Bryan Cranston. Tamar was born in Montreal, Canada and is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania.

Paige Price

After a professional acting career encompassing Broadway, film and television, Paige was most recently the Producing Artistic Director of Philadelphia Theatre Company. The Tattooed Lady, which she commissioned at PTC, is receiving its world premiere there in 2022. Directing credits include numerous musicals, concerts and events across the US, and abroad. As a performer, she starred in the original cast of Broadway's Saturday Night Fever, the original cast of Disney's Beauty and the Beast and Smokey Joe's Café, and in film worked alongside Tom Cruise and some other fancy people. She is a member of the Advisory Board of Dancers' Resource, founded by Bebe Neuwirth. She is a founding Board member of NYC's Theater Subdistrict Council, a member of The League of Professional Theatre Women, board VP emeritus of the National Alliance for Musical Theatre and was the 1st VP of Actors' Equity Association from 2006-2017. Paige attended NYU Tisch School of the Arts. She hails from New Jersey and loves baseball.



Read reviews for the World Premiere of Walk on Through: Confessions of a Museum Novice at MCC Theater.

Video: Lance Bass Joins GUTENBERG! THE MUSICAL! as Special Guest Photo
Video: Lance Bass Joins GUTENBERG! THE MUSICAL! as Special Guest

Tony Award nominees Josh Gad and Andrew Rannells are back onstage at the James Earl Jones Theatre for their eagerly anticipated return to Broadway in Gutenberg! The Musical! written by Tony and Emmy Award nominees Scott Brown and Anthony King, directed by Tony Award winner Alex Timbers.

Listen: SPAMALOTs Nik Walker Visits THE ART OF KINDNESS Podcast For A Chat With  Photo
Listen: SPAMALOT's Nik Walker Visits THE ART OF KINDNESS Podcast For A Chat With Robert Peterpaul

Broadway star Nik Walker joined The Art of Kindness with Robert Peterpaul podcast this week for an inspiring interview. 

FOLLIES To Have Las Vegas Premiere In Spring 2024 Photo
FOLLIES To Have Las Vegas Premiere In Spring 2024

Stephen Sondheim and James Goldman's FOLLIES will get its Las Vegas premiere in a new production from Metropolis Theatricals in April 2024 at Alliante+Hotel+Spa.



Recommended For You