L'ogan J'ones, Julia Mattison, Ali Stroker and More Set for OKAYBETTERBEST Concert Tonight at Feinstein's/54 Below
OkayBetterBest, a new musical written by Rhonda Kess and Michael Weems and directed by Tony-nominee Marcia Milgrom Dodge, will be presented at Feinstein's/54 Below (254 W 54th St, New York) as a special concert tonight, September 20 at 9:30pm.
The cast includes Stephanie Gibson (Cinderella), L'ogan J'ones (The SpongeBob Musical), Julia Mattison (Godspell), Eric William Morris (Be More Chill), Stephanie Jae Park (The King and I), and Ali Stroker (Spring Awakening) with additional cast members to be announced soon.
Tickets range from $25 to $35, with premium seats available for $60, available for purchase at 54below.com. Additional $5 If Purchased At Venue. $25 Food & Beverage Minimum.
Industry members interested in attending should email OkayBetterBest@gmail.com and indicate their affiliation.
OkayBetterBest brings the war of the sexes from NYC bars to the stage. The score, a mix of pop and musical theatre, accompanies the characters as they endure the painful lows and blissful highs of dating in a digital age. The show asks: can revenge be acquired by jilted women as they mercilessly seek a patsy for one night? Tricia and her girlfriends are out on the prowl, rebounding from past heartbreak. When Tricia's plans to find Mr. Right Now don't go as planned, the evening becomes a more personal battle. The concert will include selections from this new musical such as 'One More Round', 'Just Like That', 'Next', 'Sweeter Than Sweet', 'Never Too Old to Rock n' Roll', and others.
Marcia Milgrom Dodge (Director) received a 2010 Tony Award Nomination for Best Director of a Musical for her celebrated Broadway revival of Ragtime. She has directed and choreographed in acclaimed regional theatres such as The Muny, Ford's Theatre, Pioneer Theatre, Center Stage, Cincinnati Playhouse, The Kennedy Center, Denver Center, Glimmerglass Festival, Pittsburgh Public, St. Louis Rep, Maltz Jupiter, Drury Lane, Bay Street, Arena Stage, Goodman, Music Circus, New York City Opera, The Public, Huntington, Goodspeed, La Jolla Playhouse, The Alley and abroad at the Royal Opera House (Oman), Fredericia Teater (Denmark), Nanta Theatre (Seoul) and the Wintergardens Theatre (England.) Dodge is also a playwright, a teacher, a wife, a mother and a proud executive board member of the Stage Directors & Choreographers Society. Upcoming projects include Gypsy (Maltz Jupiter Theatre) and Empire The Musical (Broadway bound.) For more, visit: www.marciamilgromdodge.com.
RHONDA KESS (Composer) started her musical career as a Conductor/Pianist, conducting opera and musical theater in the States and the UK. Specializing in contemporary opera and Musical Theater, Miss Kess founded the Music Theater Company The New Music Settings Ensemble, which specialized in contemporary and 20th century staged works. Specializing in the American musicals of Kurt Weill, Miss Kess was the Music Director for the new concert version of Johnny Johnson, with a new text by Tony Kushner, which was first performed at Merkin Hall. Rhonda went on to conduct this version in Royal Festival Hall with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, making this the British premiere of Weill's Johnny Johnson. Following the success of Johnny, Rhonda conducted the British premiere of Weill's Knickerbocker Holiday at the Barbican Centre with the English Chamber Orchestra and soloists, in her own concert version. Other premieres included selections from Weill's Lady in the Dark and Seven Deadly Sins. One of Rhonda's frequent collaborators is Marni Nixon: They first worked together in Los Angeles at the Bing Theater, in the West Coast Premiere of Miss Donnithorne's Maggot, and consequently have worked together through the years in New York at Merkin Hall, with the Brooklyn Philharmonic, the New Music Today Ensemble, and the Ordway Theater in St. Paul with the St.Paul Chamber Orchestra. While living in London Miss Kess taught Musical Theater at Trinity College of Music, and served as Education and Music Theater Conductor for the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Rhonda was the first woman to conduct the London Sinfonietta in Queen Elizabeth Hall, and the first woman to conduct in Mexico City, conducting the National Symphony Orchestra of Mexico as part of the Prokofiev Centennial. Rhonda first conducted in New York at Merkin Hall as part of the first New York International Festival of the Arts, leading members of the Brooklyn Philharmonic and soloists in the New York premiere of Harrison Birtwistle's chamber opera Punch and Judy. As an active vocal coach in Los Angeles, working with singers and actors, Rhonda appeared on "The Tonight Show" with rapper Ludacris, with both of them trying to teach Jay Leno how to sing. She is the composer for Lenya: Life to Legend, A Woman On Top, and Lost and Found. OkayBetterBest is her second collaboration with writer Michael Weems.
Michael Weems (Book) is an award-winning, Houston-based playwright. His plays have been seen across the United States and several other countries. Recent publications include: Five Fears of Fatherhood (Original Works Publishing), Dream Lover (Smith & Krauss Best New American Plays - 2014), A Few Miles Away (Plays, The Drama Magazine for Young Audiences), and A Common Martyr (Next Stage Press). Recent productions include: Give Take (Cone Man Running Productions - Co-written with Bryan Maynard), The High and Low Search (Black Book Productions - NYC), Dream Dream Dream (Otherworld Theatre Festival - Chicago), 132 (Warner Int'l Theatre Festival & 15 other standalone productions in the past few years) and Heartbreak USA (SRO Productions, Houston TX - book, lyrics, concept). Michael is a graduate of Lyndon State College in Vermont (Bachelors of Science in Psychology) and is currently enrolled in the MFA Playwriting program at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. He is a proud member of the Dramatist Guild of America. Playsofweems.com