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Neuwirth, Menzel, Jackson Set For THE 24 HOUR MUSICALS At The Gramercy 4/13

On Monday, April 13, 2009, The 24 Hour Company will team with the Exchange to produce The 24 Hour Musicals at The Gramercy Theatre (127 East 23rd Street, between Park and Lexington Aves). Presented in association with New York Magazine, four brand new musicals will be written, cast, rehearsed and performed in a single day, featuring an star-studded line up of Broadway performers, composers, writers, directors, choreographers and musical directors.

Creative director Ted Sperling (musical director of Light in the Piazza, South Pacific and Guys & Dolls), will lead some of the theatre's brightest talent from Broadway, film and television as they collaborate under one roof, in one day, to create original musical theatre.

To date, THE 24 HOUR MUSICALS participating artists include Dr. Joy Browne (WOR Radio), Trip Cullman (The Drunken City, Some Men), Rachel Dratch ("Saturday Night Live," Minsky's), Jesse Tyler Ferguson (Spelling Bee, "The Class"), Rinne Groff (Saved!), Robin Goldwasser (People Are Wrong), Mandy Gonzalez (In The Heights), Julia Greenberg (People Are Wrong), Cady Huffman (The Producers, The Will Rogers Follies) Cheyenne Jackson (All Shook Up, Xanadu), Capathia Jenkins (Martin Short: Fame Becomes Me, Caroline or Change) Richard Kind (The Producers, "Mad About You"), Gabriel Kahane (Craigslistlieder, For the Union Dead), Nellie McKay (Threepenny Opera), Idina Menzel (Wicked, Rent), Bebe Neuwirth (Chicago, Fosse, "Cheers"), Benj Pasek (Edges), Justin Paul (Edges), Mo Rocca (Spelling Bee, "CBS Sunday Morning", NPR), Marnie Schulenberg ("As The World Turns"), Jonathan Marc Sherman (Things We Want, The Knickerbocker), Ted Sperling (Guys and Dolls, South Pacific), Scarlett Strallen (Mary Poppins) Tracie Thoms (Rent, "Cold Case"), Tamara Tunie ("Law and Order", "NYPD Blue") and Alicia Witt (Vanilla Sky, "Law and Order").

The creative process for THE 24 HOUR MUSICALS begins Sunday April 12th at 9 p.m. when all participating artists will convene at the National Arts Club on Gramercy Park with a prop or costume piece to inspire the writers. After the company is briefed, the actors and directors will leave the writers to create the book, music and lyrics for their 15-minute musicals just eight hours. At 7 a.m. Monday morning, the directors will return to read the completed musicals and finalize casting. An hour later, the actors will return to begin a twelve-hour rehearsal process. At 8 p.m., ink barely dry, the four new musicals will be performed for a live audience. Although the actors only have one day to memorize lines, lyrics and music, create characters and learn blocking, the musicals are performed without scripts in hand.

Following the performance, a VIP reception will take place at The National Arts Club.

Proceeds from The 24 Hour Musicals benefit the Exchange, a NYC not-for-profit that develops new theatre work through productions and its development center for innovative theatre companies and artists in the Catskills, the Orchard Project. Tickets for the event are $150 - $500.

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