Performance Network Theatre Opens BRILL World Premiere, Jan 10


Performance Network Theatre with the support of The Ann Magazine presents the world premiere of Brill, a play with music written by Ann Arbor playwright, David Wells, with music by Frank Allison (from Frank Allison and the Odd Sox) on January 10, 2013 at 7:30pm at the Performance Network Theatre on 120 East Huron Street, Ann Arbor, Michigan.

This emotional and inspiring comedy directed by David Wolber, starring Phil Powers (God of Carnage, Drowsy Chaperone) and Sarah Ann Leahy (Circle Mirror Transformation) takes place in 1959 at the world-famous Brill Building in Manhattan where a musician could write, produce, and promote their material all within one building. Tickets can be purchased online at or by calling 734-663-0681. 

In addition to the world premiere of this enriching new piece, Performance Network Theatre joins with the Ann Arbor District Library for a night of Big Band music featuring The Paul Keller Orchestra, one of Michigan's finest, oldest, most-respected and well-traveled jazz big bands on Monday, January 7 at 7pm in the Multi-Purpose room at the library.

Performance Network Theatre stays true to their mission to engage, challenge, and inspire audiences and artists by offering unique theatrical experiences and opportunities in Southeastern Michigan. Emerging playwright David Wells was selected to showcase Brill at Performance Network Theatre's Fireside Festival of New Works last year as a staged reading starring Powers and Leahy. The script was so well received by the audience that Performance Network Theatre added the piece to the 2012-2013 mainstage season.

"The Brill Building in the 1950's was wall-to-wall music, and it just seemed like this amazing backdrop for a story about songwriters, especially when one of them is a big band songwriter who's watching this new thing called rock-and-roll put him out of business. Performance Network Theatre's support of new work is incredibly valuable and important, and I can't wait to see how the play continues to develop during rehearsals," said Brill playwright David Wells. Audiences have the opportunity to discover the genius behind Wells' script at Cultural Conversations: an in-depth discussion led by Carla Milarch on Sunday, February 3 at 6:30pm (reservations are recommended and can be made online or by calling the box office).

In this "lyrical" comedy set in 1959, a washed up Big Band songwriter faces the inevitability of rock and roll when a young woman shows up at his office with her guitar, her aspirations, and more than a few secrets. Can this odd couple make beautiful music together - or will their Culture Clash land one of them out on the streets? Brill explores the recent history of American music and the challenges that must be accepted to conquer change.

Be sure to arrive an hour early for the PNT's themed happy hours. Before every performance, enjoy a beer for two dollars provided by Ann Arbor's Brewing Company or a glass of wine for three dollars from Everyday Wines. Please note, you must be a member to purchase alcohol (Memberships are $5 for the month or a $65 tax-deductable donation for the year).

Tickets can be ordered by calling Performance Network's Box Office at 734-663-0681, online at or at Performance Network Theatre (120 East Huron St., Ann Arbor, 48104) Monday Saturday 11-6 or one hour before a performance. Tickets are $22-$41), with discounts available for seniors, members, students and groups. There is a Pay-What-You-Can performance on January 10 (with a suggested donation of $15).

Founded in 1981, Performance Network Theatre has grown from a fledgling company to Ann Arbor's only resident, professional theatre. The Network reaches 40,000 theatre patrons and children each year through the year-round Professional Series and The Children's Theatre Network. Performance Network also presents the Fireside Festival of New Works and a series of classes on theatre-related topics. The Network provides uncompromising artistic leadership in the region and produces works that engage, challenge and inspire audiences and artists.

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