CUTTING-EDGE COMPOSERS Held At the Laurie Beechman Theater 7/27
Josh Young presents Cutting-Edge Composers, A New Generation of Musical Theater Songwriters
Directed by Laura Pietropinto with Music Direction by Julie McBride, Cutting-Edge Composers will take place on Monday, July 27th at 9:30pm at the West Bank Cafe's Laurie Beechman Theater (407 W. 42nd street).
With music by Brad Alexander and Adam Mathias, Eli Bolin and Sam Forman, Bobby Cronin, Adam Gwon, Zina Goldrich and Marcy Heisler, Rick Hip-Flores, Peter Lerman, Brian Lowdermilk and Kait Kerrigan, J. Oconer Navarro and Joel B. New, and Benj Pasek and Justin Paul. See Bios Below.
Scheduled to perform are Josh Young (Les Miserables), Krysta Rodriguez (The Addam's Family), Phoebe Strole (Spring Awakening), Gemma-Ashley Kaplan (The Hatpin), Marty Thomas (Xanadu), Pearl Sun (Happiness), Kate Pazakis (Jerry Springer the Opera), Zachary Prince (Jersey Boys), Allison Posner (Factory Girls), Kerry O'Malley (Into the Woods), Steven Booth (Ave Q, Glory Days), and Lilli Cooper (Spring Awakening).
All seats for Cutting-Edge Composers are $15. Tickets are available at the door. For reservations call (212) 695-6909. For more information, check out www.cuttingedgecomposers.com.
Brad Alexander's music has been featured on VH1, Showtime, Sony Records and at theaters across the country. He wrote the music for TheatreworksUSA's Just So Stories, Lilly's Big Day (from If You Give A Pig A Pancake), the upcoming I Have To Go, and Click, Clack, Moo, coming soon to the Lucille Lortel Theater and directed by John Rando. Brad and collaborator Adam Mathias won the 2008 Richard Rodgers Award and 2007 Jerry Bock Award for See Rock City & Other Destinations, which premiered at Barrington Stage Company and was recently workshopped with Transport Group Theatre Company. Brad is a member of The BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop, National Academy of Popular Music, National Alliance for Musical Theatre, and The Dramatists Guild of America. www.bradalexander.com
Eli Bolin is the music director, songwriter, and a founding member of the Striking Viking Story Pirates, a NYC-based Arts-Education group that turns stories written by kids into songs and sketches. In the last year, the Story Pirates have taught and performed in L.A., Boston, Houston, Florida & the Kennedy Center for President Obama's inauguration. Eli graduated from Northwestern University, where he composed the off-Broadway and international hit I Sing! with Sam Forman. Their children's musical Schmoozy Togetherness just premiered in July at the Williamstown Theatre Festival as the festival's first-ever original children's musical. Eli also recently released his first solo album, Lemonade and wrote music for Kristen Schaal's special on Comedy Central. http://elibolin.net, http://storypirates.org
Bobby Cronin is the composer/writer of Bratt Camp, which was recently produced at Chicago's LaRed Music Theatre. He is also the composer/lyricist for ‘Til Death Do Us Part and an untitled Kate Pazakis vehicle with book by Harry McEwan. His musical adaptation of A Christmas Carol written with Angelyn Benson has had five regional productions and a mini-tour. He also wrote a new book for the Ergo Theatre Company revival of Personals and co-wrote the musical That's Andy. A member of ASCAP and graduate of Yale University, Cronin's music has been performed in various venues from NYC to Japan, including Symphony Space, Lincoln Center and The Minskoff Theatre. http://bobbycronin.com
Sam Forman co-wrote (with composer Eli Bolin) the musical I Sing! (A cast recording of the York Theatre Production is available in stores worldwide from Jay Records). Other plays and musicals include: The Rise and Fall of Annie Hall (The Lion Theatre, dir. Sam Gold ; Theater J, Washington DC dir. Shirley Serotsky) ; Schmoozy Togetherness (Williamstown Theatre Festival, dir. Johanna McKeon) The Grille Room (Cherry Lane Mentor Project dir. Thomas Kail), Quarterlife (workshop dir. Mark Brokaw) Please Stop Talking (Cherry Lane Theatre, dir. Erwin Maas), Fringical! (Ars Nova, dir. Thomas Kail) The Quiet Game (Hangar Theatre, Ithaca NY, dir. Daniel Kramer). Upcoming: Broadway's Next Season (dir. Alex Timbers)
Adam Gwon is a MacDowell Colony fellow, a musical theater fellow at the Dramatists Guild, and received the 2008 Fred Ebb Award for excellence in musical theater writing. A member of ASCAP and the Dramatists Guild, his works have been produced at the Kennedy Center, NAMT, NYMF and The Johnny Mercer Foundation. His song "Running" was nominated for a 2009 MAC Award. Gwon's musical Ordinary Days will be produced in the 2009-2010 season at the Roundabout Theatre Company, and he's currently at work on several new musical commissions. http://www.adamgwon.com
Composer Zina Goldrich was recently nominated for a Drama Desk award for Outstanding Music for the Off-Broadway show, Dear Edwina, written with lyricist Marcy Heisler. Other Goldrich & Heisler productions include Junie B. Jones (2005 Lucille Lortel Nomination, Best Musical), Allison Under the Stars (Workshop, Second Stage), and Adventures in Love (Ordway). Current projects with Heisler include Ever After, based on the 20th Century Fox film, and an original musical with author and fashion expert, Clinton Kelly. She is also the co-author of Goldrich and Heisler, Songbook Volume 1, now in its fifth printing. An accomplished television composer, Goldrich scores episodes of Nickelodeon's Emmy Award winning Wonderpets, as well as Third and Bird for the BBC. She has also written music for many Disney projects, including Johnny and the Sprites, Pooh's Learning Adventures, and The D Show. Goldrich was a co-recipient of ASCAP's Richard Rodgers New Horizon Award, the Seldes-Kanin Fellowship, a Larson award and was a Joseph Papp Artist in Residence at Second Stage. She studied under the tutelage of Jerry Goldsmith at USC's Scoring for Motion Picture and Television Program, and has played keyboards for numerous Broadway shows including Avenue Q, Oklahoma and Titanic, where she also conducted. http://www.goldrichandheisler.com/Home.html
Author Marcy Heisler has been collaborating with composer Zina Goldrich since 1993, providing book and lyrics for Dear Edwina (2009 Drama Desk Nomination, Outstanding Lyrics), Dear Edwina Junior, and the Lucille Lortel Award Nominated Junie B Jones. As a lyricist, Ms. Heisler has contributed songs for many Disney projects, including Johnny and The Sprites (Disney Television), Pooh's Learning Adventures (Disney Toon Studios), and The D Show (Disney Interactive). As an adaptor, she wrote new versions of 101 Dalmatians, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty and The Jungle Book for Disney Theatricals. Other productions include Adventures in Love (Ordway Theatre), Allison Under the Stars (Workshop, Second Stage Theatre), and The Marcy and Zina Show, which tours around the country and Canada. Ms. Heisler was a co-recipient of ASCAP'S 2002 Richard Rodgers Theatre Award, and was a Joseph Papp Artist in Residence at Second Stage Theatre. She recently collaborated with composer Michael Picton on songs for Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Circus 137th Edition. Current projects with Goldrich include a musical adaptation of 20th Century Fox's Ever After, and an original musical with bestselling author and fashion expert Clinton Kelly. Alphabet City Cycle, a collection of her poems set to music by Georgia Stitt, was recorded by Kate Baldwin and released by PS Classics this past Spring. She is also the co-author of Goldrich and Heisler, Songbook, Vol. 1, now in its fifth printing. An active member of the Publications Committee of the Dramatists Guild, Ms. Heisler is a contributing writer to Dramatist magazine. She graduated with High Honors from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts Dramatic Writing Program, and previously studied acting at Northwestern University. http://www.goldrichandheisler.com/Home.html
Rick Hip-Flores has recently played in the orchestras of Billy Elliot, The Radio City Christmas Spectacular, and Spelling Bee. As a musical director and conductor, credits include High School Musical (MUNY), Singin' in the Rain (North Shore Music Theatre), Jacques Brel (Zipper Theatre), Breaking Up is Hard to Do (Actors' Playhouse), Shakespeare on Broadway (Symphony Space), 8 by Tenn (Hartford Stage), Henry and Mudge, A Christmas Carol (TheatreworksUSA), and numerous productions for Musicals Tonight. As a composer and lyricist, Rick has written songs for Neon Mirage (Humana Festival, 2006), A Tooth Fairy Tale, My New York (Vital Theater), Dido and Aeneas (Prospect Theater), Tartuffe, As You Like It (Worth Street Players), and the Columbia University Varsity Show. His songs have been recently featured in the York Theater's NEO3 Concert, and 4@15 series.
Peter Lerman is a composer and lyricist whose musicals include Back There, To Memphis (with the intention of returning), and Problem Child. Next month, he will perform a solo concert of his songs at The Kennedy Center's Millennium Stage. He is a graduate of Columbia University, where he wrote music and lyrics for the Columbia Varsity Show. Peter is currently working on an album and an original musical. http://www.myspace.com/peterlerman
Brian Lowdermilk and Kait Kerrigan have been awarded the Jonathan Larson Award, a Dramatists Guild Fellowship, and are members of the BMI Musical Theatre Advanced workshop, ASCAP and the Dramatists Guild. Separately, Kait Kerrigan is the 2009 recipient of the Kleban Award for Most Promising Musical Theater Librettist and Brian Lowdermilk has been awarded the Richard Rogers and Alan Menken awards for his works. They have written numerous musicals together including The Unauthorized Autobiography of Sam Brown, Tales from the Bad Years, and their off-Broadway debut Henry and Mudge. http://kerrigan-lowdermilk.com
J. Oconer Navarro is an award-winning composer/lyricist and musical director based in NYC. As a writer, he is the recipient of a 2009 Musical Theatre Society of Emerson College New Works Festival production, 2008 NYU Alumni Grant made possible by the Frederick Loewe Foundation, 2007 Jonathan Larson Performing Arts Foundation Grant, 2006 Margo Lion Award, and 2005 Paulette Goddard. He was musical director for the acclaimed Adding Machine Off-Broadway, and some favorite NYC music department credits include: The Apple Tree, Curtains, Mary Poppins, Pig...Pancake, Rooms: a rock romance, plus countless readings, workshops, and concerts of new work. Regionally, he has served as musical director at Barrington Stage Company, The Hangar Theatre, Theatreworks (Palo Alto), Two River Theater Company, Westport Country Playhouse, and will make his Kennedy Center debut this fall. BS 2004 Vanderbilt University, MFA 2006 NYU. www.joconernavarro.com
Joel B. New is an award-winning composer/lyricist. He is the proud recipient of a 2008 Jonathan Larson Performing Arts Foundation Grant. He has been praised as one of today's "most exciting contemporary musical theatre writers." (BroadwayWorld.com) Joel recently had a concert of his work produced at Lincoln Center as part of John F. Znidarsic's acclaimed Songbook series. The evening boasted performances by Broadway's Becca Ayers, Donna Lynne Champlin, Lisa Howard, Megan McGinnis, Jonathan Rayson, Tory Ross, and Tony Yazbeck. His projects include Awakening (with composer J. Oconer Navarro and director Jen Bender), Looking Around / Looking Back (with singer TJ Moss and director Jessica Hutchinson), and Stand Clear. His work has been seen and developed at Dreamlight Theatre Company, Oklahoma City University, Ars Nova, Margo Lion, Ltd., Clear Space Productions, Broadway Cares, NYMF, Scott Alan's "Monday Nights, New Voices," Lincoln Center, and many others. He's currently preparing for a workshop of Stand Clear. Joel holds an MFA in Musical Theatre Writing from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts and a BM in Musical Theatre Performance from OCU's Bass School of Music. http://www.joelbnew.com
Benj Pasek and Justin Paul began their collaboration as freshmen at The University of Michigan. They are the winners of a 2007 Jonathan Larson Award and at age 21 became the youngest recipients in the history of the foundation. They were honored as 2007-2008 Dramatist Guild Fellows and were listed as part of the "50 To Watch Upcoming Playwrights and Composers" by The Dramatists Magazine. The team's musical revue, EDGES, has been performed numerous times at various professional venues and colleges throughout the country. Pasek and Paul are writers for John Tartaglia's Disney Channel television series, Johnny and the Sprites and contributed music to Off-Broadway's upcoming White Noise (A Cautionary Tale) which won Talkin' Broadway's 2006 Summer Theatre Festival Citation for Outstanding Original Score. They have recently played sold-out shows at Joe's Pub and Ars Nova in New York City featuring a host of Broadway talents and were invited to participate in the first ever Johnny Mercer Songwriting Festival funded by the American Musical Theatre Project. They are currently developing several original book musicals. http://www.pasekandpaul.com