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BWW Interview: Michael Berns' BLOOD ROCK: THE MUSICAL On The Road To Broadway

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Broadway Sings Blood Rock The Musical is available in its worldwide release on all streaming music platforms including iTunes and Apple Music.

BWW Interview: Michael Berns' BLOOD ROCK: THE MUSICAL On The Road To Broadway

Songwriter, vocalist, and music producer Michael Berns has been keeping busy during these quarantined times producing a six-song EP of his theatrical show BLOOD ROCK: THE MUSICAL. With the able vocal assist from his Broadway friends (Andy Mientus, Damon Daunno, Jennifer DiNola and Robert Torti), and his new writing partner Ralph Pezzullo, Broadway Sings Blood Rock The Musical has been created.

Thank you for taking the time for this interview, Michael!

As a songwriter, vocalist, musical producer who's has written over a hundred songs and toured in concerts, how did you first set on the idea of creating a theatrical piece, your BLOOD ROCK: THE MUSICAL?

I had always been interested in vampires, and for many years I contemplated the idea of doing some kind of vampire show, but it wasn't until I created the "After Hours Blood Bank" where the vampires make Blood Rock from the blood they draw, that the concept for the show really came to life, as the After Hours Blood Bank is really the engine that drives the story.

BWW Interview: Michael Berns' BLOOD ROCK: THE MUSICAL On The Road To BroadwayHow smooth has the road been from the (eight-performance run) at the Odyssey Theatre in 2018 to a new six-song EP premiering September 18? What major pitstops did you have to make along the way?

With writer Ralph Pezzullo joining the creative team, we have added a significant number of new songs penned by the Berns/Pezzullo partnership. There are more than 50 songs in the show now. We were hoping to take the next steps with our production this year but due to COVID, of course, everything in the live arena has been cancelled.

What cosmic forces brought you and Conwell Worthington together to work on the musical and the EP?

BWW Interview: Michael Berns' BLOOD ROCK: THE MUSICAL On The Road To BroadwayWhen I was a teenager, I saw one of Conwell's productions of Disney's BEAUTY AND THE BEAST when it came into town. It was a really wonderful production, and I'm so fortunate that he came to see the original run of BLOOD ROCK: THE MUSICAL at the Odyssey Theater, and has since joined the BR Team with the intention of bringing the show to its next stage.

Would you consider one of the reasons for recording this EP to act as a calling card for Broadway backers?

I certainly hope the EP can showcase some of the songs from the show, and attract Broadway backers with its pop sensibility. I think this EP gives listeners a taste of the love story between the characters Thomasina and Rohan, with the newly added ballad "Heart For You To Break," performed by Damon Daunno and Jennifer DiNoia, and then you get a good dose of showmanship from the character Carnoli in a song like "A Thousand Years," performed by Robert Torti.

BWW Interview: Michael Berns' BLOOD ROCK: THE MUSICAL On The Road To BroadwayYou have Kay Cole lined up as director and choreographer for your next reincarnation of BLOOD ROCK: THE MUSICAL. Do you have an eye on any particular theatre in Los Angeles?

Before COVID hit, we were planning to split our next L.A. run between The Broad Stage in Santa Monica and the El Portal Theatre in North Hollywood, with shows at both locations.

What changes would an audience member who's seen your 2018 production notice in your upcoming on

Everything, from the sets, to the costumes, to the lighting, has been supercharged. Also, the love stories are expanded upon in more detail.

If live theatre doesn't open up for a while longer, do you have alternative plans to produce BLOOD ROCK: THE MUSICAL online?

BWW Interview: Michael Berns' BLOOD ROCK: THE MUSICAL On The Road To BroadwayWe would love to do a streaming version of the stage production. I think Lin Manuel Miranda and his success with HAMILTON streaming on Disney Plus has opened the door for productions to see streaming as a real possibility to reach a much larger audience. I hope we see a lot more stage productions turn on the cameras and stream!

How did you connect with the Broadway talents you have singing on Broadway Sings Blood Rock The Musical?

When I was just nine years old, I saw Robert Torti in Andrew Lloyd Webber's STARLIGHT EXPRESS on Broadway, and I thought he was the most amazing talent I had ever seen. He was playing the part of Greaseball, a role that earned him a Tony nomination for his performance. I knew I always wanted to work with him, so it's very special to have Robert on this record, and to have been able to produce the vocals he contributed.

BWW Interview: Michael Berns' BLOOD ROCK: THE MUSICAL On The Road To BroadwayI feel like I have a similar story for Damon Daunno and Andy Mientus. After I saw Damon perform a song from OKLAHOMA! at the 2019 Tony Awards, where he was nominated for Best Actor, I was just blown away by his abilities as a singer. I said to myself, "He's in! He's gotta be in BLOOD ROCK!"

And Andy is just one of those incredible talents I've seen in many shows and thought he'd be a great "Paul."

Good chance any of those featured on the EP be part of the Broadway cast?

This cast did an incredible job bringing these songs to life while recording at Threshold Studios in NYC, and Adrenaline Studios in Las Vegas. I would love to see them in our next live stage production. Jennifer DiNoia (Elphaba in WICKED on Broadway) had such great chemistry with Damon in their duet as they performed the ballad "Heart For You To Break," I think everybody is hoping to see them bring that energy to a live stage production.

BWW Interview: Michael Berns' BLOOD ROCK: THE MUSICAL On The Road To BroadwayTell us what it meant to you to have Bela Lugosi, Jr. attend your show at the Odyssey in 2018?

It was an honor to have him there, and a lot of fun hearing stories about his father playing the original Dracula.

Thank you again, Michael! Break a leg on your road to Broadway!

You can access Broadway Sings Blood Rock The Musical in its worldwide release on all streaming music platforms including iTunes and Apple Music.


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