Averre, Meurer & Saltzman Team on New NASCAR Musical; Workshop Set for This Month in Austin

The University of Texas at Austin Department of Theatre and Dance will hold a free workshop performance of HELLDRIVERS OF DAYTONA in the Oscar G. Brockett Theatre on January 15th-16th at 7:30pm. A new musical with music by Berton Averre (The Knack), lyrics by Rob Meurer ("Sailing") & book by Mark Saltzman (The Tin Pan Alley Rag, The Adventures of Milo and Otis).

HELLDRIVERS OF DAYTONA puts the pedal to the metal in this NASCAR musical where tensions race and drivers compete for the top slot in the 1965 Daytona Speedway Jackpot 500. Amidst a sea of tanned surfers, speedway groupies, motorheads and bikinis, Lucky Stubbs must find a way to win his dream girl, Pepper Johnson, from rival driver Count Porcini Portobello, a dangerously enticing European hotshot. The race for love and glory is on in this spoof of 1960s rock n' roll movies that's fast, furious and funny.

The performance is free and open to the public. Reservations are strongly encouraged and can be sent to Moorpark.mark@Gmail.com. The Oscar G. Brockett Theatre is located in the F. Loren Winship Drama Building on The University of Texas at Austin campus (300 E. 23rd Street, Austin, Texas 78712)

About the Creative Team:

Mark Saltzman (Book) - Beginning his career with Jim Henson and the Muppets, Mark Saltzman won seven Emmy Awards for his songs and sketches for Sesame Street (including the words and music for "Caribbean Amphibian"). For the movies, he wrote The Adventures of Milo and Otis and Three Ninjas Kick Back. For network tv, the WGA-Award nominated Red Sneakers with Gregory Hines, and the Emmy-winning tv musical Mrs Santa Claus starring Angela Lansbury with songs scored by Jerry Herman. Mark's stage musical The Tin Pan Alley Rag was produced at New York's Roundabout Theater, the Pasadena Playhouse and throughout the country. Member of Dramatists Guild, graduate of Cornell. For more information on Mark Saltzman and his upcoming works, visit www.MSaltzman.com.

Berton Averre (Music) - Berton has had a lifelong love affair with popular music. As the lead guitarist of the rock group The Knack, Berton co-wrote their hit single, "My Sharona," which was awarded Billboard magazine's 1979 Song of the Year, and their first album set a record for going gold in two weeks. From The Knack, Berton went on to session dates and tours with such disparate performers as The Doors' Robbie Krieger, Bette Midler, The Cowsills, and Sarah Brightman. In 1993 he joined the respected Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop, where he met his partner in crime, Rob Meurer.

Rob Meurer (Lyrics) - Rob's musical theatre collaborations with Berton Averre have been seen in productions and festivals in Chicago, Los Angeles, and regionally, as well as featured in the ASCAP/Disney Workshop. Rob came to prominence in 1980 through his keyboard and arranging work on Christopher Cross' Grammy-sweeping debut album, and has toured internationally with major acts. He was Music Director for Shelley Duvall's celebrated Showtime series, Faerie Tale Theatre, and been awarded gold and platinum records as well as being thrice cited for excellence by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. Helldrivers has been more fun than anything.

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