BWW Feature: IRISH CHUTZPAH at Feinstein's 54 Below
Ten weeks ago a young Irish composer and lyricist made a gutsy decision to showcase her previously successful musical Big Shot for a single pivotal performance. Lauryn Gaffney's goal: to peg her dream on the musical theater mecca of Broadway. Partnering with her equally dauntless co-producer, Grainne Mac Neill, the ladies worked tirelessly with their cast and crew to refine and sharpen their production. On February 22nd they performed to a sold out audience at The Helix in Dublin. Their tenacity paid off. The production was a deserved success but more importantly it sent ripples across the pond.
Broadway World is happy to announce that on August 7th, composer, lyricist and performer Lauryn Gaffney will make her New York debut at Feinstein's 54 Below. Performing musical numbers from Big Shot and her collection of new original songs, Gaffney will be accompanied by sterling cast members from their London and Dublin productions as well as exciting New York talent.
A New York institution, 54 Below is an elegant cabaret club featuring "intimate performances from Broadway's great legends and brightest new stars." Broadway producers Steve Baruch, Richard Frankel, Marc Routh and Tom Viertel launched 54 Below in 2012. Three years later they forged a creative alliance with singer, pianist and five-time Grammy nominee Michael Feinstein and the club became Feinstein's 54 Below.
Playwright and songwriter Gaffney premiered her original Irish Musical Big Shot in 2014 at age 21 and followed a year later with her international debut at the Annual San Diego Fringe Festival. Receiving standing ovations every night of their 2 week run, the show travelled south to perform in the world's first binational fringe festival in Tijuana, Mexico. In 2016 the production continued to gather an enthusiastic following at the London Irish Centre.
Big Shot follows the gritty life of a young Irish artist in the Big Apple and her encounters with two men from the opposite ends of town both vying for her attention. Read Broadway World's full review of the February showcase here.
Gaffney and Mac Neill have a clear vision for the future of Big Shot. Never complacent after a success, they are continuously dreaming, planning and executing. They race ahead with infectious enthusiasm which will win them supporters every step of the way. You certainly need chutzpah to bring a musical on the long and bumpy road to Broadway. These ladies have it, in abundance.