'The Coterie Un/Plugged, Volume One: Lauren Worsham and Friends' Premieres at the Canal Room, 2/22

'The Coterie Un/Plugged, Volume One: Lauren Worsham and Friends' Premieres at the Canal Room, 2/22

THE COTERIE, an up-and-coming downtown opera-theater company, will present a benefit concert The Coterie Un/Plugged, Volume One: Lauren Worsham and Friends at the Canal Room on February 22nd at 7:30PM. The evening will feature Lauren Worsham (Candide, Spelling Bee) and special guests including Tony nominee Barbara Walsh (Falsettos, Company), Theresa McCarthy (Floyd Collins, Titanic) and Andrew Nolan (Wooster Group's La Didone).

The company will present work from composers Christine Donkin, Andrew Gerle (Meet John Doe), Kristin Hevner (Il Sogno, Bully Pulpit), Obie award-winner Kyle Jarrow (Whisper House, A Very Merry Unauthorized Childrens' Scientology Pageant), Nick Martin (Searching for Heartbreak), Julia Meinwald (Disappeared), Taylor Mac (The Lily's Revenge), Jeff Myers (The Hunger Art), Josh Schmidt (The Adding Machine), Royce Vavrek (Dog Days) and Daniel Zaitchik (Picnic at Hanging Rock).

Ninety percent of the songs are new works commissioned by THE COTERIE. Andy Einhorn (Sondheim on Sondheim) provides music direction for the evening, while Drama Desk Award nominee Tom Ridgely (Marco Millions (based on lies)) will serve as stage director. More composers and performers will be announced shortly.

Founded by soprano Lauren Worsham (executive director) and librettist Royce Vavrek (artistic director), THE COTERIE creates new works of music theater that feature sophisticated scores and narratives that speak to a contemporary audience. Eager to cultivate an operatic vernacular for the 21st century, The Coterie does not shy away from amplification, provocative subject matter, or popular musical influence: our projects are sung-through classical music hybrids that often graft rock, pop, jazz, musical theater, and folk strands into their D.N.A. The drama is never subservient to the music, and the performers are equal singers and actors.

Lauren Worsham has appeared in New York as Cunegonde in New York City Opera's Candide and in Jerry Springer the Opera (Ensemble) at Carnegie Hall. She also performed the role of Olive in the first National tour of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. Lauren has participated in workshops and readings of Picnic at Hanging Rock (Daniel Zaitchik) at the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center, Mermaid in a Jar (Royce Vavrek/Rachel Peters) and The Chemist's Wife (Julianne Wick-Davis/Rachel Jett/Will Aronson) at Tisch, Le Fou (Bekah Brunstetter/Julia Meinwald/Robert Shapiro) at New Georges and Mirror, Mirror (Sarah Treem) at Playwrights Horizons. Her regional theatre credits include Into the Woods (Cinderella) directed by Moises Kaufman at Kansas City Repertory Theatre, Master Class (Sophie) at Paper Mill Playhouse, The Light in the Piazza (Clara) at Weston Playhouse, and The Fantasticks (Luisa) at Emelin Theatre. Lauren is the 2009 2nd place award winner of the Kurt Weill Foundation's Lotte Lenya competition. She is also the co-founder and executive director of the downtown opera company, The Coterie. Lauren graduated cum laude from Yale University, with a B.A. in Spanish Literature.

Royce Vavrek is a multi-disciplinary narrative artist from Grande Prairie, Alberta, Canada. His libretti include Dog Days (Zankel Hall); Bully Pulpit (Metropolis Opera Project); Vinkensport, or The Finch Opera (Bard Conservatory); The Hunger Art (American Lyric Theater; Center City Opera Theater); and Nora at the Altar-Rail (A.L.T.). A founding member of The New Ensemble, he contributed lyrics to nonplay andBlack Snow in collaboration with composer Andrew Gerle. As a filmmaker, Royce wrote and directed From Sky and Soil (Corus Young Filmmakers Initiative), I Will Not Be Sad Anymore (Quebec Cooperative Filmmakers Initiative), and Pig and Bear (Frigid Fest NY). Upcoming projects include ...of the Flesh with Jay Anthony Gach (A.L.T.), The Bear Dance with Nick Martin, 1882 with Mark Baechle, andThe Wild Beast of the Bungalow with Rachel Peters. Artistic Director of opera-theater company The Coterie, founded with soprano Lauren Worsham. B.F.A: Concordia University, Montreal; M.F.A: NYU.

Andy Einhorn: Broadway/UK/National Tour: The Light in the Piazza; National Tours: South Pacific, Sweeney Todd (LA Drama Critics Circle Nomination Best Music Direction), White Christmas, The Lion King, Mamma Mia!; Audra McDonald's coach/pianist: Poulenc's La Voix Humaine/La Chiusa's Send (HGO). Roundabout Theatre Company: Ordinary Days. Workshops: Los Otros (CTG), iSondheim, February House, Disney's The Little Mermaid. Regional: She Loves Me (Oregon Shakespeare Festival), Ordinary Days (Orchestrations, ATF), American Vaudeville (Alley Theatre), Street Scene, The Boy Friend (Goodspeed). Pianist: Lotte Lenya Competition. Music director/pianist: Audra McDonald (Philadelphia Orchestra debut), Aaron Lazar, Michael Cerveris, Kelli O'Hara. Orchestrations/arrangements: Paulo Szot, Natalie Toro, Diana DiMarzio. Honors graduate, Rice University. Upcoming: Conducting Sondheim on Sondheim at Studio 54.

Tickets for the performance are $20 in advance, $30 at the door and are available through www.canalroom.com.

For more information please visit www.coteriedowntown.org.

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