Christmas In July: Battle of the Christmas Musicals Announced

Christmas In July: Battle of the Christmas Musicals Announced

On Saturday, July 1, from 7 pm to 10:30 pm, Brookfield Theatre presents Christmas in July: Battle of the Christmas Musicals. This festive event treats audiences to 45-minute previews of 3 brand new holiday-themed musicals. At the end of the evening, audiences vote for their favorite and the winning show will be performed as a full-length staged reading in December. Come meet the writers, enjoy the shows, and vote for your favorite musical!

FREE EVENT (donations welcome)

THE MUSICALS:
1. "The Christmas Bride" book by MK Wolfe, music & lyrics by Noel Katz

Director & Musical Director Noel Katz
Starring: Megan Poulos, Cait Kelly, Georgia Fender, Connor Coughlin, David Arthur Bachrach, Joshua Spencer, Grant Tambellini, Matthew Griffin

"The Christmas Bride" is a joyous holiday tale of love lost and found, home and family, faith and forgiveness. From the bright English countryside to the dark underbelly of London town, this charming musical based on a Charles Dickens Christmas story follows young Marion Jeddler on her journey of discovery through a world filled with delightful Dickensian characters and featuring a lively musical theater score.

2. "Christmas Letters" book, lyrics, and additional music by Paul Cozby, music and arrangements by Laura Bergquist

Director Lou Okell, Musical Director Laura Berquist
Starring: Rebecca Pokorski, Steven Stott, Jessica Schwartz, Edmound Fitzpatrick

"Christmas Letters" is an original musical comedy unfolding in a series of comic and poignant vignettes with four actors bringing 46 characters to life celebrating everything that drives us crazy about Christmas...and why we love it anyway. From receiving that first obnoxious Christmas letter to taking the family picture, from dealing with in-laws, to facing unassembled gifts on Christmas Eve, "Christmas Letters" shows why sometimes we want to "wreck the halls" and why were wistful when Christmas is over.

3. "Come Find Me" book by Holly Reed and Eric Mears, lyrics by Holly Reed, music by Holly Reed & Kelvin Reed

Director Lou Okell, Musical Director Kelvin Reed
Starring: Holly Reed, Craig David Rosen, Colin Larson, David Jurman, Morgana Kate Watson, Brandon Zenevitch

"Come Find Me" tells the story of Ben, an autistic child, and his widower father Harry. When Harry is deployed on a secret military mission in the weeks before Christmas, Ben is left in the care of a grad student caregiver. He struggles with the prospect of spending the holidays without family. With the help of some creative elves and the power of belief, Ben and Harry not only find each other, but a new sense of the meaning of the season.

Join us for a reception with the authors after the readings.

ABOUT THE AUTHORS:
1. "The Christmas Bride" book by MK Wolfe, music & lyrics by Noel Katz

MK Wolfe is a playwright and lyricist whose plays and musicals have been professionally staged in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Burbank, Pasadena, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Maine. Most recently her musical THE SOCK WHO LOST HIS MATE (book, lyrics; music by Thomas Adams) kicked off the 4th Annual Children's Theater Festival in New York, and her play ANYTHING HELPS GOD BLESS (co-authored with Al D'Andrea) had a sold-out workshop production on its way to full production this fall. Currently living in Portland Maine, she is the producing director of Snowlion Repertory Company, a professional theater devoted to creating, developing and producing new works for the stage. Other writing work has appeared in webzines, industry publications and national magazines (most recently FUNNY TIMES), and her short story RATIONS was just published in the sci-fi anthology ALL THE KINGS MEN (Deeper Meanings Publishing; Shane W. Smith, editor). As a former zookeeper and animal handler in Los Angeles, she also creates and performs fun zoology lectures and counts her multimedia AVIAN OLYMPICS among her favorite works. www.snowlionrep.org

Noel Katz's career began over 40 years ago, with the Hollywood improv troupe, OFF THE WALL, where he worked with the then-undiscovered Robin Williams. He returned to his native New York as the youngest member of the BMI musical theatre writing workshop under Lehman Engel. Hes had sixteen musicals produced, including SUCH GOOD FRIENDS, which premiered in the 2007 New York Musical Theater Festival, winning three NYMF Awards and two Talkin' Broadway Citations, including Best Musical. He wrote a musical comedy in which he actually married casting director Joy Dewing at the Soho Playhouse, with singing bridesmaids, preacher, parents, and four-year-old flower girl. His Gilbert and Sullivan-esque backstage mystery, MURDER AT THE SAVOY, sold out at the 50th Edinburgh Festival, got five stars from THE SCOTSMAN, and has since been produced four more times in Great Britain. Most recently, his revue, THINGS WE DO FOR LOVE was revived in cabarets in both New York and Los Angeles. His other musicals include THE HEAVENLY THEATRE, ON THE BRINK, AREA 51, and five revues for Second City.

2. "Christmas Letters" book, lyrics, and additional music by Paul Cozby, music and arrangements by Laura Bergquist

Paul Cozby - Book, Lyrics and Additional Music - A Texan by birth and New Yorker by choice, Paul is an award-winning playwright and writes book, music and lyrics for his own original musicals, including Babes at Sea, Panther City and Richard M. Nixon High School Presents Cyranose! the Musical. With his collaborator, Broadway conductor Laura Bergquist, Paul wrote book, lyrics and additional music for Christmas Letters, a new musical comedy about all the drives us crazy about Christmas . . . and why we love it anyway. Bull Market Productions produced Paul's musical send-up of the business world The Day Traders at The Triad in New York, and that show launches this year at sales meetings and business conventions nationwide. Paul wrote a new book and additional lyrics for composer Bert Draesel and lyricist Nancy Leeds for The Dancing Princess, a family musical based on the beloved children's book by New York author and illustrator Judith Gwyn Brown. The Dancing Princess was a finalist for the Eugene O'Neill Center National Musical Theater Workshop. Paul also collaborated with Tom Hyndman on a musical in development Fictitious: A Completely Unauthorized Musical Parody Definitely Not Based on the Life of Arnold Schwarzenegger. Fictitious was performed Off Broadway as part of the 2016 Sound Bites 10-Minute Musical Festival. Additionally, Lone Star Theatre Co. produced Only Humans Like My Music The Songs of Paul Cozby, a sold-out night of Paul's works at New York's Laurie Beechman Theatre. And Paul was honored to write the script for American Opera Projects Gala Opera Does Broadway Does Opera celebrating the life and work of Stephen Schwartz. Through their company, The Musical Machine, Paul and his wife, Sherry, associate produced with Tony-winning producer Van Dean the world premiere and Off Broadway debut of Rooms A Rock Romance, directed by Scott Schwartz. And Paul was proud to be one of producer Ken Davenport's POGs (People of Godspell), helping bring that beloved musical back to Broadway. A newspaper reporter and editor in a previous life, Paul enjoys writing about New York and theater. And he currently serves as communications director at Fellowship for Performing Arts, producers of the Off Broadway hit The Screwtape Letters. Paul and Sherry live on New York's Upper West Side with their Chihuahua, Whinnie. None of their five kids went to the University of Texas, and Paul will get over that someday. Paul talks all things musical at his blog/website PaulCozby.com

Laura Bergquist - Music/Arrangements - As an experienced Broadway Music Director/Conductor Laura brings a wealth of practical knowledge and insight to New York performers and production teams. Classically trained as a singer, she performed leading roles in opera and musical theatre before focusing her full-time energies as a musical director, conductor, vocal coach and composer/arranger. Laura conducted National and International Tours of THE KING AND I, TITANIC and MISS SAIGON. She is a frequent guest conductor in regional theaters and a clinician in universities and churches. As an ASCAP Awards recipient for composition, her personal catalogue includes more than 60 works in print and several recordings. Laura was the original Musical Director for JANE EYRE as well as a contributing arranger.On Broadway, she was Musical Director and Conductor for ALLEGIANCE: A NEW MUSICAL (Marc Acito, Jay Kuo, Lorenzo Thione, directed by Stafford Arima) starring Lea Salonga, George Takei and Telly Leung. Current projects include World Premieres of DADDY LONG LEGS (John Caird & Paul Gordon - additional arrangements by Laura), Jane AustenS: EMMA (Paul Gordon - The York Theatre) and SENSE AND SENSIBILITY (Paul Gordon, directed by Barbara Gaines - produced at Chicago Shakespeare and The Old Globe).

Regional work as Musical Director and Conductor include The Old Globe, Paper Mill Playhouse, Chicago Shakespeare, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, TheatreWorks, Northlight, Cleveland Playhouse, Rubicon Theatre, Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, Lyric Theater of Oklahoma, Music Theatre of Wichita, The Forum Theatre, Arizona Theatre Company and Baltimore Center Stage. Laura has also performed with NY Cabaret performer, Steve Ross, is Music Director and Conductor for Broadway Backwards and works as a Casting Consultant with Disney Theme Parks and Cruise Line casting around the world.In New York she has been the Music Director and Arranger for numerous readings and workshops including NAMT, New York Stage and Film, New York Musical Theatre Festival, Midtown International Theatre Festival and performed at Joes Pub, 54 Below, Avery Fisher Hall, Symphony Space and Merkin Hall. She is regularly called onas a musical director and arranger for concerts, auditions, workshops, industrials and showcases. Laura lives in New York City with her amazing husband, Joe, and maintains a large coaching studio in Hells Kitchen.

3. "Come Find Me" by book by Holly Reed and Eric Mears, lyrics by Holly Reed, music by Holly Reed & Kelvin Reed

Holly Reed - Book, Lyrics, Music - With an extremely active muse, a surplus of passion, and a resolute drive to achieve, Holly proudly embraces the title of creative multi-hyphenate. Having established an award-winning design firm as well as enjoyed a lifelong performance and directing career on both the musical and theatrical stage, Holly is blessed to be able to embrace multiple aspects of her creativity.Holly is the owner and creative director of Reed Creative Group, a design firm serving a variety of regional and national clientele. On the stage, her favorite roles include Nancy (Oliver!) and Corrie ten Boom (The Weaving, regional premiere). She has also been cast in a variety of commercials and short films. She is a member of the Dramatists Guild, ASCAP, and Dallas STAGE. Holly holds a BFA from the University of Texas at Arlington. She has taught voice and piano and directed multiple children's and student choirs. Holly currently lives in Texas with her husband (Kelvin) and three children.

Kelvin Reed - Music - Kelvin has served as a Music and Worship Pastor for over 25 years. He is currently serving at Green Acres Baptist Church in Tyler, Texas, and weekly leads a congregation of over 4000. He is an avid pianist, composer and arranger and has produced several recording projects with various choirs. His choral groups have performed in Chicago, Denver, New Orleans (with Lenny Kravitz), New York City, St. Louis, and Washington, D.C. Kelvin is from Clearwater, Florida, where he grew up developing a love for music in the church. He received a Bachelor of Music Education at Carson-Newman College in Tennessee, and a Master of Arts in Christian Education from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Eric Mears - Book - Eric Mears is the Director of Forensics at Flower Mound High School in Texas. In this capacity, he has coached multiple actors to state and national level contests in high school dramatic events. Mr. Mears also serves as an adjudicator for the University Interscholastic League, Texas Forensic Association, and National Speech and Debate Association. As a student, Mr. Mears competed in solo and duet dramatic events through forensics and appeared on stage in five productions. He is also an avid pianist and arranger. He and his wife have two children and currently reside in Lewisville.

Reservations: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/2964680


Related Articles

Connecticut THEATER Stories | Shows  Like BWW CT  Follow BWW CT


From This Author BWW News Desk

Before you go...

Like Us On Facebook
Follow Us On Twitter
Follow Us On Instagram