Patricia Birch to Helm Industry Readings of New Musical THE ROAD TO RUIN

By: Nov. 06, 2017

Industry readings of The Road to Ruin, a new musical by William Zeffiro, will be presented November 9th and 10th at Manhattan's Swing 46.

Directed by five-time Tony nominee, two-time Emmy award winner, and Theatre Hall of Fame recipient, Patricia Birch, the musical features Dave Droxler (NY: Candide, Sweetee), Morgan Keene (NY: Midwestern Gothic, First Nat'l Tour: Newsies), Andy Huntington Jones (Broadway: Cats, Bullets over Broadway, Cinderella), Blake Stadnik (Regional: 42nd Street, Newsies, Les Miserables), Jordan Tyson (Sweetee), Sarah Ellis (First Nat'l tour: A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder), Rebecca Odorisio, Blair Alexis Brown (NY: A Scythe of Time), and Katy Blake (NY: Sweetee). David Caldwell (NY: Forbidden Broadway, Murder for Two) will music direct with media design by John Zieman.

It's 1928. Willis Kent (Dave Droxler) and his troupe of players have just arrived in town to present The Road to Ruin: A Musical Investigation Into The Gravest Threat Ever Confronting Our Way Of Life (sponsored by Radithor - America's glowing health sensation!). As they weave the tragic tale of Little Sally Canfield (Morgan Keene) -- a wanna-be puppy doctor who gets caught in a tragic downward spiral -- lessons are learned, laughs are had, and indecency becomes the only way to make a decent living.

The Road to Ruin is a modern musical take on the original exploitation films of the 1920's and 30's, which were shown in tents on the outskirts of small American towns under the guise of providing parental advice. What awaited inside were seedy thrills. While the 1920s provide the backdrop for the piece, the tale of naively allowing a charlatan to act as a gauge for morality remains relevant today.

Madeleine Blossom is the production stage manager, Stephanie Cowan serves as the executive producer with general management by Evan Bernardin Productions. Casting is by Michael Cassara, CSA.

The reading will be held at Swing 46 on November 9th @ 2:00 and November 10th @ 4:00pm. Though seating is limited, tickets can be requested by emailing

Patricia Birch is the recipient of two Emmy Awards, five Tony nominations, DGA nominations, Drama Desk, Billboard, Barrymore, Fred Astaire and MTV awards, and a Theater Hall of Fame award for her work as a choreographer in all media. Her vast directing credits include: I Sent A Letter To My Love, Really Rosie, Raggedy Ann, Elvis, The Mass, Band In Berlin (Barrymore Awards) The Snow Queen, Lawyers Lovers and Lunatics, Of Thee I Sing/Let 'Em Eat Cake, The Thomashevsky Project, Rossignol (with the San Francisco Symphony) Orphan Train, and Sweetie. She choreographed the original productions of You're A Good Man Charlie Brown, The Me Nobody Knows, Grease, A Little Night Music, Candide (Hal Prince's version), Diamond Studs, Over Here, Pacific Overtures, They're Playing Our Song, Gilda Radner Live From New York, Zoot Suit, Rosa, Street Scene, (Nyco) The Cradle will Rock, The Happy End, Parade, Robert Altman's A Wedding, (Chicago Lyric Opera), and Lovemusik. Select film credits include Grease, Grease 2 (which she also directed), First Wives Club, The Wild Party. Roseland, Big, Awakenings, Working Girl, Stella, Billy Bathgate, The Human Stain.

For television, Patricia choreographed "Unforgettable, with Love: Natalie Cole Sings the Songs of Nat King Cole" and "Celebrating Gershwin" for PBS's "Great Performances" series, which earned her two Emmys. She choreographed 11 episodes of "Boardwalk Empire," and the "Dance in America" musical sketches for "Saturday Night Live" featuring Gilda Radner, Steve Martin, and Bill Murray. Among others, she has directed and choreographed videos for Cyndi Lauper, Rolling Stones, Carly Simon, and George Antheil's A Jazz Symphony with New World Symphony.

David Caldwell composed music and lyrics for All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten and Uh-Oh Here Comes Christmas, both based on the writing of Robert Fulghum. He also composed music for Fulghum's novel Third Wish. Recently he composed music for Gotta Getta Girl, with lyrics by Peter Charles Morris, soon to be produced by AMAS, with Randy Skinner directing and choreographing. David was the music director of Forbidden Broadway from 2004 to 2014. He conducted the American premiere of Stephen Schwartz's Children of Eden. He recently music-directed Murder For Two Off- Broadway, as well as three shows in China, with Inner Mongolian authors and casts. He arranged and orchestrated Marvin Hamlisch's song "I'm Really Dancing" for Career Transitions for Dancers' 25th Anniversary Gala, featuring Angela Lansbury, Chita Rivera and Bebe Neuwirth. David is originally from New Hampshire. He is a graduate of Oberlin Conservatory. He is interviewed at length in Oliver Sacks' book about music and the brain, Musicophilia. He is on the faculty of the American Musical & Dramatic Academy, and is married to Alyssa H. Chase.

WILLIAM ZEFFIRO is the winner of seven Manhattan Association of Cabaret (MAC) Awards, two for Best Special Material Songs and five for Best Singing Instrumentalist, as well as the 2014 Midtown International Theatre Festival award for Outstanding Cabaret Performance. Appearances include the Café Carlyle, Town Hall, The Oak Room at the Algonquin Hotel and Lincoln Center. He played Richard Nixon at the York Theatre in the Musical Drama 'Jack' by Will Holt and Tom Sawyer for which he also composed additional music. His play "Frame 313" was produced at the Midtown International Theater Festival and his songs have been recorded and performed by Tony Award Winner, George S. Irving, along with Emily Bergl and Ann Morrison. Other projects include 'Houdini Among The Spirits' (with Chris Ceraso) and his just released CD "Better Than Nothing The Music Of Bill Zeffiro" a collection of his original songs. He is regarded as an expert on the music of Kay Swift, and produced the legendary Merkin Hall concert in 1986.Other writing projects include scripts for USA Television Network's UP ALL NIGHT, a musical 'Mommie Deadest," and an upcoming opera 'Truman and Nancy' based on the Ande Parks, Chris Samnee graphic novel 'Capote In Kansas'. He appears regularly at La Rivista on Restaurant Row in Manhattan.


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