'One Red Flower' to Have Reading with McGovern in LA
ONE RED FLOWER, a new musical production starring Maureen McGovern, Elijah Kelley (Hairspray) and Hunter Parrish (Weeds), produced and created by Emmy Award-winning director Paris Barclay, is presented in a staged reading format on Tues., June 24 & Tues., July 1 as part of the Fashion Forms 'Plays-in-Progress' series at Rubicon Theatre in Ventura. Inspired by Vietnam veterans' letters, ONE RED FLOWER, will have two additional readings benefiting New Directions and Rubicon Theatre's Innovation Fund on Fri. & Sat., July 11 & 12 at the Brentwood Theater, sponsored by HBO, Showtime, ASCAP, the Richard and Harriet Orkand Foundation and Paradigm.
With original music by Barclay and directed by Ken Sawyer, ONE RED FLOWERr's book and lyrics were adapted for the stage by Barclay from the book Dear America: Letters Home From Vietnam, edited by Bernard Edelman for the New York Vietnam Veterans Memorial Commission. Actual letters written by Vietnam War soldiers and their loved ones featured in Dear America, serve as the source material for the play. Evoking a particular time and place in the American landscape and psyche, One Red Flower is an interpretive presentation of the soldiers' real feelings and experiences. The musical play poignantly expresses and conveys the raw emotions and the human toll of war, in effect, speaking directly to a contemporary America at war today.
Serving on the Benefit Committee for this special presentation are Oscar winners Helen Mirren, Taylor Hackford, Bruce Cohen and Stephen Schwartz (whose ASCAP Workshop originally helped to develop the work). Other notables lending their support include actors Anthony Edwards,Neil Patrick Harris, Katey Sagal, Jerry O'Connell, Rebecca Romijn and Blair Underwood; directors Michael Apted, Walter Hill, and Rodrigo Garcia; and producers Gil Cates,Thomas Schumacher, and Bonnie Curtis. Rich Willis serves as Honorary Chair.
The July 11 & 12 ONE RED FLOWER performances benefit New Directions (www.NewDirectionsInc.org), an organization whose mission is to empower veterans and facilitate their successful return to families and society; and The Rubicon Innovation Fund which underwrites special projects and initiatives for the development and creation of bold new works, and the productions of existing works in reconceived, re-imagined and reinvigorated forms.
"We've been entrusted with the words of many loved ones lost to war," Barclay says, "and we've chosen to honor them with a play that brings us back to the war, but shows the hope and humanity that many soldiers found in it."
A director, playwright and composer, the multi-talented Paris Barclay garnered two Emmys for Outstanding Directing as well as a DGA Award for his work on NYPD Blue and was Emmy nominated for directing an episode of The West Wing. Barclay was also the recipient of an NAACP Image Award for Best Drama Series (City of Angels) as well an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Direction (Cold Case).
Barclay's latest TV project is the new HBO series In Treatment, for which he also serves as co-executive producer and principal director. Among the many television series directed by Barclay include Lost, CSI, Law & Order, Monk, The Shield and Weeds, to name a few. Barclay has written 16 musicals, such as Order My Steps which he co-wrote and directed for The Cornerstone Theatre Company and has contributed original songs to shows including Romper Room, Clueless and his own TNT pilot The Big Time.
With a career spanning over 35 years, Maureen McGovern is best known for her chart topping hit songs featured on the soundtracks of major films such as "The Morning After" (The Poseidon Adventure), "Can You Read My Mind" (Superman) and "We May Never Love Like This Again" (The Towering Inferno).
On Broadway, McGovern starred in Nine with the late Raul Julia and 3 Penny Opera opposite pop superstar Sting. In addition, she appeared in Little Women, The Musical and The Pirates of Penzance on Broadway as well as the recent national tour of The King & I. In One Red Flower, she reprises the role of "Eleanor" which she created in the play's 2001 World Premiere (then titled Letters from Nam). "A Long and Winding Road," McGovern's latest CD release, has received critical praise from The New York Times.
Elijah Kelley starred as "Seaweed" in the film version of last year's box office hit Hairspray, stealing scenes from a star-studded cast including Queen Latifah,John Travolta, Amanda Bynes and Michelle Pfieffer. Among Kelly's film credits are roles in the recently released Take the Lead in addition to 28 Days, Heaven's Fall, Rome and Jewel and Fled.
Hunter Parrish currently stars on the 4th season of the critically acclaimed, Emmy nominated Showtime series Weeds, with Mary Louise Parker and Kevin Nealon. He'll soon be seen on the big screen, starring in the upcoming Warner Bros feature film 17 Again with Zac Efron and Matthew Perry. Freedom Writers, RV and Down in the Valley are among some of Parrish's film credits. He's also guest starred on TV series including Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, CSI and Close to Home.
Award-winning director Ken Sawyer earned five Ovation Awards, four Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Awards and was the recipient of the LA Times' "Critics Choice," all for his work on the Los Angeles premiere of The Woman in Black. This past winter he directed an adaptation of Crime and Punishment at The Actor's Co-op and he is currently at work on an original new production, Lovelace: A Rock Opera which recently had workshop presentations at The Hayworth Theater.
One Red Flower was developed through the ASCAP Foundation/Disney Musical Theater Workshop; In The Works, a joint venture of The Kennedy Center and The ASCAP Foundation; and with the Rubicon Theatre Company's New Works program, headed by Michael Jackowitz. The show was first presented at Boston's North Shore Music Theater (2001), with subsequent productions at Seattle's Village theatre (2002), at Pittsburgh's Carnegie Mellon University (2003) and Arlington, Virginia's Signature Theater (2004). One Red Flower is a participant in the Festival of New American Musicals.