LOVE SONGS PLAYAROUND SHAKESPEARE Runs This Week in Ann Arbor

LOVE SONGS PLAYAROUND SHAKESPEARE combines the lyrical and romantic songs from a new contemporary musical, LOVE SONGS-A Musical (Music & Lyrics by Steven Cagan, veteran composer/conductor, DREAMGIRLS Musical Director), with some of Shakespeare's most passionate, poetic love scenes, enhanced by modern visual technology and dance.

The show has been conceived and produced by John Neville-Andrews (creator/producer/director EL GRANDE DE COCA-COLA), and reunites the longtime supporter of LOVE SONGS-A Musical and Cagan. In 2001, Neville-Andrews produced one of the first staged workshops of LOVE SONGS-A Musical, at the University Of Michigan, where it won the prestigious Festival Of New Works competition.

This unique marriage of romantic, contemporary melodies and lyrics, with the expressive verse of the world's most famous playwright, brings a new and refreshing fusion of musical theatre and dramatic theatre experience to the audience. The use of HD Video will be an intrinsic part of the production, along with choreographed interludes and hip-hop parodies of Shakespeare's plays.

LOVE SONGS PLAYAROUND SHAKESPEARE runs today and tomorrow, March 26th and 27th at 7:30pm in the Duderstadt Video Studio at University Of Michigan-Ann Arbor. Admission is free and the performances are open to the public. More information can be found here - www.events.umich.edu/event/21673. For more information, visit www.lovesongs-amusical.com or visit www.facebook.com/lovesongsamusical.

ABOUT JOHN NEVILLE-ANDREWS - John Neville-Andrews came to this country as co-author/actor/director of the enigmatic comedy EL GRANDE DE COCA-COLA (Drama Desk Award - Best Foreign Musical, 1973, filmed for HBO) and BULLSHOT CRUMMOND (made into a movie by George Harrison's Handmade Films Company). Since then he's directed or acted for numerous theatres across the country, such as Yale Repertory Theatre, American Players Theatre, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Long Wharf Theatre, Off Broadway and on Broadway (THE ELEPHANT MAN, Tony Award - Best Play). As Artistic Producer of the Folger Theatre in Washington, D.C., he garnered critical acclaim for his benchmark productions of Shakespeare and the classics. For the 2000 Tony Award-winning Utah Shakespeare Festival he directed CYRANO DE BERGERAC, THE COMEDY OF ERRORS and MISALLIANCE. Under his leadership at the theatre, he won a HELEN HAYES AWARD for "Outstanding Resident Production" of THE MISER. During his 10 year tenure as the Artistic Producer of the Michigan Shakespeare Festival, Mr. Neville-Andrews was instrumental in the theatre achieving the status of The Official Shakespeare Festival of the State of Michigan. He is the former Artistic Producer of the innovative New Works Festival at the University of Michigan, a showcase for the development of new plays, musicals and screenplays. Mr. Neville-Andrews is in his 21st year of teaching acting and directing at the University of Michigan and in 2012 he was awarded the prestigious Claribel Baird Halstead Collegiate Professorship.

ABOUT STEVEN CAGAN - From musical director for the First National Company of DREAMGIRLS, (starring the extraordinary Jennifer Holliday), to composing, arranging and conducting for some of the great performers of our time, including Melissa Manchester, Bette Midler, Diahann Carroll, and Georgia Brown, to his work for film, television and Madison Avenue, Cagan has done it all in the music world. He is a classically trained musician, graduating from the esteemed New College at Hofstra University. He wrote and arranged many popular jingles for television and radio for Chevrolet, Ford, State Farm Insurance, Coppertone, and many others. Concurrently, he composed a number of ballet scores for Tony-winning choreographer-director Lynne Taylor-Corbett's Theatre Dance Collection. Among his early film assignments was as arranger and orchestrator for Woody Allen's classic, TAKE THE MONEY AND RUN. Later, his original score for the 1979 remake of the horror film THE CAT AND THE CANARY helped make it a cult favorite. He has scored countless TV series and specials, including those with SPINAL TAP, Robert Klein, Michael Keaton, Lainie Kazan and Rob Reiner. He appeared as guest musical director on the famed "Tonight Show with Johnny Carson" numerous times. Steven has guest conducted the Atlanta, San Francisco, Dallas and Honolulu Symphony Orchestras, the Ravinia Festival Orchestra, the Houston Pops, and others. While LOVE SONGS-A Musical has had many readings and various productions, he is thrilled and excited by this newest incarnation and, especially, to be working with Neville-Andrews once again.

ABOUT DOUG WALTER - As writer, performer and conductor Doug Walter has shared the stage with artists Smokey Robinson, Herb Alpert, Roberta Flack, Cyndi Lauper, Nelly Furtado, and Ben Vereen, among many others. His experiences as pianist/Music Director have included performing and arranging for Paul Williams, Connie Francis, Sally Kellerman, Suzanne Somers, Rita Moreno, Michael Feinstein and Carol Burnett. He was a member of the house band on TV talk shows hosted by Suzanne Somers and Howie Mandel, in addition to writing and/or arranging much of the music. His orchestrations have been heard regularly for years on daytime shows The Young and the Restless and The Bold and the Beautiful, as well as in the features The Snow Queen, The Snow Queen's Revenge and The Ugly Duckling, and, more recently, in the Disney movies The Muppets; A Muppets Christmas: Letters to Santa, and Muppets Most Wanted. Broadway credits include serving as pianist/Music Director and Orchestrator for Suzanne Somers' The Blonde in the Thunderbird and contributing orchestrations to Michael Feinstein's and Dame Edna's All About Me. Doug recently orchestrated Harmony, a new musical by Barry Manilow and Bruce Sussman, with his orchestrations appearing on a number of Mr. Manilow's albums over the course of the last decade. He also conducted his own orchestrations on Daft Punk's latest album, Random Access Memories, which was awarded the 2014 Grammy for "Album of the Year."



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