TREASURE ISLAND Musical Makes World Premiere at Theatre Three Tonight, 9/15

By: Sep. 15, 2012
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TREASURE ISLAND, a new musical adventure, will premiere this fall at Theatre Three (412 Main Street) in Port Jefferson, NY from tonight, September 15 to October 27, 2012.

With book by Sherman Yellen, Lyrics by Will Holt, and music by Gary William Friedman, TREASURE ISLAND tells the classic and thrilling Robert Louis Stevenson story of young Jim Hawkins, who sets sail in search of fortune, little knowing he has boarded a pirate ship. Buried treasure and danger abound. Surprises await Jim, too, - including that most unforgettable of pirates: Long John Silver. A classic pirate tale and a coming-of- age story, TREASURE ISLAND is a swashbuckling musical for the entire family.

TREASURE ISLAND is directed by Jeffrey Sanzel, the Artistic Director of Theatre Three since 1993. A director, actor and playwright, he is best known for performing in /directing his play FROM THE FIRE: VOICES OF THE HOLOCAUST, a touring production that has been seen across the U.S. and Canada for the past sixteen years. He is the founder of the company’s annual festival of one-act plays for which he has directed and produced some seventy world premieres. His production of A CHRISTMAS CAROL has been seen by Long Island audiences for nearly a quarter of a century. In 2008 Sanzel was honored by the Port Times Record, who named him “Man Of The Years in Arts.”

TREASURE ISLAND is being produced as a Theatre Three Mainstage production which has seen the world premieres of the musicals SUMMER OF ’69: A RETURN TO WOODSTOCK (which later transferred to off-Broadway) as well as 1968: ROCK THE WORLD. Dramatic world premieres have included THE FACULTY ROOM, THE IRISH LEGACY, and BEFORE I WAKE.

Sherman Yellen was nominated for a Tony Award for his book for The Rothschilds, with music by Jerry Bock and lyrics by Sheldon Harnick.

Sherman’s plays include STRANGERS, a biographical drama about the novelist Sinclair Lewis that was produced on Broadway at the Golden Theatre, the comedy sketch ‘Delicious Indignities,” which was a highlight of Ken Tynan’s erotic revue OH CALCUTTA, and, more recently, December Fools, produced by the Abingdon Arts Complex in NYC in ’06, Budapest, and Before and After.

Yellen wrote the libretto for the Richard Rodgers/Sheldon Harnick musical Rex, revised by Yellen and Harnick for the York Theatre’s Musicals in Mufti series, followed by a premiere at the Toronto Light Opera Company.

With the late composer Wally Harper, he began his work as a lyricist/librettist with Say Yes, a musical set in the world of the 1939-40 New York World’s Fair, which had its beginnings under the auspices of the Eugene O’Neill Musical Theatre Conference in New York, supervised by Paulette Haupt, and Josephine Tonight!, a musical about the early life of Josephine Baker, which was recently produced at Metro Stage in Alexandria, Va, and Blackbird in Sarasota, Florida.

Yellen’s screenplays have won him two Emmy Awards and a Peabody Award, first for his writing in the PBS series The Adams Chronicles, and later for An Early Frost on NBC.

Other works include the TV musical version of Jekyll/Hyde with Kirk Douglas, a CBS movie of Phantom of the Opera with Maximillian Schell, and an NBC version of Great Expectations with Michael York. His Hallmark drama Beauty & the Beast with George C. Scott was nominated for an Emmy and won the Christopher Award. He has received the Charles Flint Kellogg award in Arts and Letters from Bard College, and he is a frequent contributor of essays on the arts, literature, and politics on The Huffington Post.

Will Holt is a singer, songwriter, librettist, lyricist and composer known initially as a folk performer and as an interpreter of the music of Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht in performances and recordings with Martha Schlamme.

Holt’s Broadway credits include the lyrics for THE ME NOBODY KNOWS, which won him the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Lyrics and a Tony nomination for Best Lyrics and MUSIC IS, the book and lyrics for COME SUMMER and PLATINUM, and the books for OVER HERE, the Andrews Sisters musical looking at the home front during WWII , ME AND BESSIE, and A Kurt Weill CABARET, in which he performed, in addition to translating some of the lyrics.

Other theater credits include A WALK ON THE WILD SIDE, for which he wrote book, music and lyrics, and won the Los Angeles Dramalogue Critics Award, the Outer Critic’s Circle Award winning TAKING MY TURN, and JACK, an opera about JFK that was produced in Dublin, Ireland.

Holt wrote English lyrics for “Lemon Tree”, based on the Brazilian folk song “Meu limão, meu limoeiro”. It was recorded by several artists, including Peter, Paul and Mary and Trini Lopez. The song was featured in television commercials for the furniture polish Lemon Pledge.

Holt also wrote the English Lyrics for “One Of Those Songs”, which was recorded by Brenda Lee, among others, and “Raspberries, Strawberries”, recorded by the Kingston Trio.

He is currently writing the score for THE JAZZ SINGER, depicting the rise and fall and rise again of Al Jolson.

Gary William Friedman is the composer of the Broadway musical THE ME NOBODY KNOWS, which won the OBIE Award for Best Musical, the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Music, and garnered five TONY Award nominations, including Best Original Score. Other musical theater credits include TAKING MY TURN, for which he won the Outer Critic’s Circle Award (the show was subsequently presented on PBS Television's Great Performance Series), and PLATINUM, which had a recent production at the 2010 NYC Fringe Festival. His musical THE LAST SUPPER, based on Leonardo da Vinci’s struggle to create the famous mural is performed annually in church and community theaters, during the Lent season.
Friedman has co-produced and composed original material for several internationally-acclaimed jazz recordings by his wife, vocalist and lyricist, Stevie Holland. He collaborated with Ms. Holland on their one person musical: LOVE, LINDA: THE LIFE OF MRS. Cole Porter.

Friedman has scored several features, and highly acclaimed television films. He also served as Music Director for T.V.'s "The Electric Company", for which he wrote many songs, including the popular "Spider Man Theme Song".

His orchestral, operatic and dance works have been commissioned and performed at venues such as the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Lancaster Music Festival, the Columbus Symphony, and Encompass New Opera Theatre. Ligeia, an orchestral chamber work inspired by the short story of the same name by Edgar Allan Poe, recently had its world premiere with the Pit Stop Players at The DiMenna Center for the Arts in NYC. A selection of Friedman’s symphonic works has been recently recorded and released on the CD Colloquy.

TREASURE ISLAND will be performed as follows:

Saturdays - Sept 15, Sept 22, Sept 29, Oct 6, Oct 13, Oct 20 and Oct 27 at 8:00 PM;
Sundays - Sept 16, Sept 23, Sept 30, Oct 14 and Oct 21 at 3:00 PM;
Wednesday – Oct 10 at 2:00 PM;
Thursdays – Oct 18, and Oct 25 at 8:00PM;
Fridays – Sept 21, Sept 28, Oct 5, Oct 12, Oct 19 and Oct 26 at 8:00 PM.

Tickets are $23-30, Children ages 5-15, $15 for all performances. For reservations, call Theatre Three at 631-928-9100 or visit

Pictured: Steve McCoy as Long John Silver and Hans Paul Hendrickson as Jim Hawkins. Photo Credit: Peter Lanscombe, Theatre Three Productions.


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