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Stephen Cole, Announces The Debut Of Two Musical Theater Creations

Stephen Cole, Announces The Debut Of Two Musical Theater Creations

Award winning Book Writer/Lyricist, Stephen Cole, announces the Debut of two Musical theater creations, "Merman's Apprentice" written with David Evans; and "Casper the Friendly Musical, " written with Matthew Martin Ward.

Sonoma Arts Alive will present Merman's Apprentice on the Rotary Stage in Andrews Hall opening September 27th and running through October 13th, 2019.

Show Synopsis: It's 1970. The golden age of musical theatre is drawing to an end. But young Muriel Plankenstein of Brooklyn doesn't know that! She runs away from home to become a Broadway star, and, in true Broadway tradition, runs right off the train and into the Queen of Broadway, Ethel Merman. Ethel takes a liking to the kid and takes her to a Hello, Dolly! rehearsal where they sing together... and, you guessed it! Merman takes Muriel under wing, making little Muriel Plankenstein, Merman's Apprentice.

Starring Dani Innocenti Beem (Gypsy, Hello, Dolly) as Ethel Merman, and Emma Sutherland (Gypsy, Hello Dolly) as her apprentice. Blakenstein. Featured players include Patrick Barr, Scharypearl Fugitt, Madison Griego, Julia Holsworth, Ron Lam, Madison Lewis, Michael Lumb, Sean O'Brien, Jerome Sadhu, JT Soares, Cat Smith. Jamie Love and Larry Williams Direct. Music Direction by Sherrill Peterson. Written by Stephen Cole (off-Broadway musical After the Fair) and composed by David Evans (Conductor of Wicked on Broadway), Sonoma Arts Live is thrilled to act as the out-of-town incubator for this play, which the authors plan to take back East, where it's already had two sold-out performances at Bird Land, NYC. Co-Producers- Suzy & Wulfrid Oberlin. For tickets, please visit the link:

The Children's Theatre of Cincinnati will present CASPER The Friendly Ghost Cincinnati at the Taft Theatre opening October 12th and running till October 21st, 2019TCT takes Casper center stage in this world-premiere musical adaptation for young audiences!

Everyone's favorite friendly ghost and his three uncles live a rather uneventful existence in the family mansion. Fifty years after their lives were cut short in a lightning storm, Magdalena, their former maid, re-enters their (after)lives! Now a celebrity TV Host, she is looking for the deed to the mansion... not because she wants the house, but because she believes there's a message on the back that will lead her to a "great treasure". As competition reality TV is all the rage, she hosts a live treasure hunt in the mansion on Halloween. One lucky young contestant could win $1 million if they find the deed! It is up to young Casper and his new friends, the contestants, to save the mansion from Magdalena, and discover the greatest treasure of all! Director: Roderick Justice. Choreographer: Eric Boyd. Cast to be announced. 2019 marks the 80th anniversary of Casper's debut, entertaining generations through comics, books, television, film, and now the stage! The show is written by Stephen Cole with Matthew Martin Ward. "Casper" will debut October 12th, 2019. Produced in special arrangement with Universal Theatrical Group. For ticket information, please visit:

Stephen Cole is an Award-Winning musical theatre writer whose shows have been recorded, published, and produced from New York City to London to the Middle East and Australia and Edinburgh, Scotland. Through his 30-year career, Stephen's book writing/lyricist brilliance, has been seen and heard, in his musicals which include: The Off-Broadway musical AFTER THE FAIR (music by Matthew Martin Ward,) which was also produced in Dallas and London to great acclaim. The NIGHT OF THE HUNTER (music by the late Claibe Richardson) won the prestigious Edward Kleban Award and was produced in San Francisco and NYC and Dallas featuring Davis Gaines, Julie Johnson and a 24- piece orchestra. SATURDAY NIGHT AT GROSSINGER'S (music by the late Claibe Richardson) has had successful runs in Dallas, LA and Florida. Well-known actors, Hal Linden and Dee Hoty, starred in the world premiere of his musical adaptation of DODSWORTH (music by Jeffrey Saver,) and Off Broadway saw the run of the hilarious PIANO BAR at the Triad.

In 2005 Stephen and composer David Krane were commissioned to write the first American musical to premiere in the Middle East and the result was ASPIRE, which was produced in Qatar. Their amazing and hilarious cross-cultural experiences resulted in yet another musical about the creation of the show entitled THE ROAD TO QATAR! which was produced to rave reviews at the Lyric Stage winning Best New Play or Musical from the Dallas-Ft. Worth Drama Critics Forum. In addition, it had a successful Off-Broadway run at the York Theatre Company. "QATER" was presented as part of London's Landor Theatre Page to Stage Festival and the prestigious Edinburgh International Festival garnering 5 and 4 star reviews and nominations as Best Music, Lyrics, Book and Best Musical of the Festival.

i??TIME AFTER TIME had its world premiere in Feb. 2010 at the Pittsburgh Playhouse under the direction of Gabriel Barre and was subsequently produced in Connecticut under the direction of the late Kevin Gray. Other produced shows include two family musicals commissioned by Walden Media: MERLIN'S APPRENTICE (Music by Matthew Ward) and ROCK ODYSSEY (Music and Lyrics by Billy Straus). ROCK ODYSSEY has just completed an unprecedented ten year run at the Adrienne Arscht Center in Miami. Stephen conceived/wrote/directed MY HEART BELONGS TO MARY, a celebration of the career of Mary Martin. An Off Broadway expansion of this became INVENTING Mary Martin and ran at the York Theater Company; starring Emily Skinner, Jason Graae, Lynne Halliday and Cameron Adams.

Works in progress include THE BLACK AND WHITE BALL (with Todd Ellison), which was been chosen by Chicago's FWD Theatre Project to be their first in a series of developmental musicals and had a sold out concert version in Chicago. GOIN' HOLLYWOOD (with David Krane), a work in the development stage.

Stephen has written continuity, narration, and special material for twenty different Drama League Shows including all-star tributes to Kander and Ebb, Liza Minnelli, Chita Rivera, Terrance McNally, Liz Smith, Peter Stone and most recently Angela Lansbury, Patti LuPone, Kristin Chenoweth and Audra McDonald. In addition, Stephen has written material for include Marlo Thomas, Tyne Daly, Bernadette Peters, Christine Baranski, Hal Linden, Chita Rivera, Gavin MacLeod, Dee Hoty, Christine Ebersole, Keith Carradine, Joanne Worley, Lauren Bacall, Matthew Broderick, Michael Rupert, Joel Grey and many others.

Besides his published books including Marni Nixon's memoir I COULD HAVE SUNG ALL NIGHT (in development as a feature film) and THAT BOOK ABOUT THAT GIRL, Stephen's recently won First Prize from Hickory Stump Magazine for his short story "Sisters Through a Window" and had another of his stories, "Over the Hill" featured in their summer issue.

Stephen is also the recipient of a Gilman -Gonzales Falla Commendation for musical theatre. Stephen was also named one of Variety's 50 Creatives to Watch- 2000. New work in progress: a musical version of Stephen's short story LIP SERVICE entitled AIN'T IT THE TRUTH (music by David Evans).

For additional information on Stephen, please visit the website @

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