Will Swenson and Beth Leavel to Lead Reading of BRAVE NEW WORLD: THE MUISCAL

By: Nov. 28, 2016
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Following its recent critically acclaimed premier at the North Carolina Stage Company this past May, BNW DEVELOPMENTAL, LLC will present a private developmental reading of BRAVE NEW WORLD: THE MUSICAL in Midtown Manhattan early December 2016.

Tony Nominee Will Swenson (Hair, LES MISERABLES, Murder Ballad) and Tony Winner Beth Leavel (The Drowsy Chaperone, Mama Mia!, Elf the Musical, Baby It's You!) will lead a cast that includes Dave Thomas Brown, Gerard Canonico and Tess Soltau in this musical adaptation of the classic groundbreaking novel by Aldous Huxley. BRAVE NEW WORLD: THE MUSICAL features a book by Ben Andron, Music by Jonnie Rockwell and Grammy & Emmy Award Winner John McDaniel and lyrics by Tony Nominee Bill Russell. Thomas Caruso who helmed the developmental premier in North Carolina will provide direction for this upcoming reading as well.

In the futuristic dystopian BRAVE NEW WORLD: THE MUSICAL, love, art, faith - the things that make us human - have been abolished in favor of sex, drugs, and constant distraction. World Controller Thomas Mond (Will Swenson), the ringleader and puppet-master of this world, is responsible for keeping his genetically engineered citizens happy, content, and distracted at all times. But when two of his subjects, Lenina and Bernard (Tess Soltau and Gerard Canonico) journey to a savage reservation, and return with a mysterious savage, John (Dave Thomas Brown), and his even more mysterious mother, Linda (Beth Leavel), the foundations of Controller Mond's World State will be rocked to its core.

Brad Simmons will be the Music Director for the reading. John McDaniel will provide musical arrangements and supervision.

Ben Andron (Book Writer) Andron's first play White's Lies was produced Off-Broadway in 2010. Other plays include Broken Snow (drama) & Breaking Bobby Stone (comedy). Ben worked closely with Disney TV Animation developing the animated series "Hunachi" for Jetix/ABC Family & wrote numerous episodes for the BBC animated series "Friends & Heroes." As a writer/producer of motion picture marketing, Ben has been creatively involved in the releases of major Hollywood films, including Batman v Superman, Inherent Vice (named Best Trailer of 2014), the Harry Potter films, and recently won two Clio Grand Key Awards for his work on Black Mass and The Lego Movie.

Jonnie Rockwell (Co-Composer) is the spiritual grandchild of renowned early 20th Century Czech opera composer & folklorist, Leoš Janá?ek. Jonnie Rockwell studied music & art at Skidmore, is a classically trained pianist and a preeminent synthesizer programmer. She toured for ten years with several progressive orchestras & rock bands, prior to her commitment to Brave New World. She received critical acclaim for composing the music for off-Broadway's 2014 The Anthem. She is also a successful & well-respected physician on Manhattan's Upper East Side. Dr. Rockwell's love of Huxley and the idea of a future free from disease, poverty and old age inspired her to go on this theatrical journey.

John McDaniel (Co-Composer, Music Supervisor, Arranger) is a Grammy and two-time Emmy Award winning Composer, Music Director, Arranger, Orchestrator, Theatrical and Record Producer and is the Artistic Director of the Tony Award winning O'Neill Theater Center's Cabaret and Performance conference. Broadway credits include Bonnie and Clyde (Drama Desk Nomination, Best Orchestrations), Catch Me If You Can, Brooklyn (Producer and Orchestrator), Annie Get Your Gun (Grammy Award, cast album Producer), Taboo, Chicago, Grease, Patti LuPone on Broadway and Company - the Original Cast in Concert at Lincoln Center. John won his Emmy Awards for The Rosie O'Donnell Show and was nominated for 5 consecutive years for Best Music Direction. Recent credits include Maltby & Shire's Waterfall both in Los Angeles and Seattle and The Daughter of the Regiment at Opera Theatre of St. Louis. John has enjoyed collaborations with Cab Calloway, Shirley MacLaine, George Burns, Al Jarreau, Tyne Daly, Joel Grey, Carol Burnett, Frederica von Stade, Betty Buckley and most recently, Bette Midler. He has been guest conductor at many Symphony Orchestras including San Francisco, Indianapolis, Utah, Buffalo, Colorado, Baltimore, Phoenix and his hometown St. Louis Symphony. He holds a BFA in Drama from Carnegie Mellon.

Bill Russell (Lyricist) is an internationally produced playwright, lyricist and director. Mr. Russell's musicals have been performed on and off-Broadway, in the Fringe and West End of London and all over America and the UK, including the Kennedy Center, La Jolla Playhouse, Old Globe Theatre and the Edinburgh Festival. Internationally his shows have been seen in Brazil, Japan, Israel, Germany, Thailand, Canada, Australia and Sweden. He received Tony Award nominations for the book and lyrics for the original production of Side Show which enjoyed a critically acclaimed Broadway revival in 2014 and five Drama Desk nominations including Best Revival of a Musical. Other shows include Pageant, Elegies for Angels, Punks and Raging Queens, The Last Smoker in America, and Lucky Duck. This summer, Unexpected Joy will have its world premiere on Cape Cod. He wrote lyrics for the Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular and the official theme for the Gay Games. In 2015, three original cast albums of his shows were released. Mr. Russell received honorary doctorates from Morningside College and the Boston Conservatory. He has shared decades of good times and theater-going with his now husband, Bruce Bossard. More at www.billrussell.net.

Thomas Caruso (Director) most recently directed the musical Southern Comfort by Dan Collins and Julianne Wick Davis at The Public Theatre in New York (Lortel Award nomination, OCC Award nomination). Dynamo: Seeing Is Believing at the Hammersmith Apollo in the West End of London and its subsequent UK Tour. Academia Nuts (NYMF, Best New Musical and Excellence in Direction Awards). He also directed the National Tour of the Broadway musical, Matilda, as well as the National Tour of the Broadway musical, Ghost. Other NYC & regional directing credits include numerous new plays and new musicals at Bay Street, Rattlestick, The Play Company, EST, SPF, New York Stage & Film, Penguin Rep, Studio Arena Theatre, 59E59, Barrington Stage, CAP21, Theatreworks, Palo Alto, among others. Broadway Associate Director credits: Matilda, Ghost, Follies, Bombay Dreams, Master Class and Mamma Mia! Thomas was awarded the California Film Award for Best Direction for his direction of his film Zombie, based on the novella by Joyce Carol Oates.

Brad Simmons (Music Director) is a Broadway, film & stage Music Director based in New York City. Projects include Lysistrata Jones, Mr & Mrs Fitch with John Lithgow, Brave New World, Clear, Hood, the film Hello Again and the hit late-night show Backstage at 54 Below, where NPR named him "The Man". Brad has worked with Broadway's leading ladies Audra McDonald, Tonya Pinkins, Alice Ripley, Carolee Carmello, Rebecca Luker, Donna McKechnie, Leslie Uggams, Martha Plimpton, Tovah Feldshuh and recording artists Sandi Patty and The B-52's Kate Pierson. He regularly performs at Birdland, Joe's Pub, Rockwood Music Hall, Metropolitan Room and Feinstein's/54 Below either as a solo artist (In the Company of Strangers: The Music of Paul Simon) or sharing the stage with Christina Bianco, Von Smith, Erich Bergen or most recently with Matt Baker and Eric Yves Garcia in Piano Men. Other career highlights include the films Camp and The Last Five Years and composing A Woman Onstage, A Dickens of a Carol and A Kiss from Alexander with Stephan DeGhelder. Lastly, Brad proudly leads the Junior Fellows program at The Eugene O'Neill Theater Center's Cabaret & Performance Conference, now in its seventh season. More info at www.thebradsimmons.com

BNW DEVELOPMENTAL, LLC (Producer) was established to further develop and enhance the musical adaptation of Aldous Huxley's Brave New World prior to a Broadway production.