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SERRANO THE MUSICAL Makes World Premiere Tonight at the Matrix Theatre

Serrano NY, LLC is thrilled to present the World Premiere of SERRANO THE MUSICAL, book and lyrics by Madeline Sunshine, music by Robert Tepper, musical direction by Jeff Rizzo (Sunset Blvd. The Wizard of Oz), choreography by Peggy Hickey (A Gentlemen's Guide to Love and Murder) and directed by Tony nominee Joel Zwick (Dance With Me, "My Big Fat Greek Wedding"). SERRANO THE MUSICAL will begin previews on Thursday, January 8, 2015 and will open tonight, January 16 at 8pm and run through Sunday, March 29 at the Matrix Theatre, 7657 Melrose Ave. in West Hollywood.

"Cyrano" meets "The Sopranos" in this World Premiere musical! Serrano D'Angelo is a renaissance man - poet, connoisseur of arts...and the enforcer for the Reyo crime family. Don Reyo seeks Serrano's help in educating his nephew Vinnie, a handsome but foul-mouthed young mobster. The goal: to take the "crude" out of Vinnie so he can seduce the beautiful and refined daughter of a judge who sits on a case involving "The Family." If Vinnie succeeds, the judge would be compromised and have to recuse himself from the case; and the next judge in line is owned by the mob. Serrano accepts Don Reyo's challenge only to discover that the judge's daughter is the beautiful Rosanna, the woman with whom Serrano is secretly in love.

ABOUT THE CREATIVE TEAM AND CAST

JOEL ZWICK (Director) is best known in the film world for directing "My Big Fat Greek Wedding," the highest-grossing romantic comedy of all time. But Theatre is where he got his start, directing the La Mama Plexus for Ellen Stewart at La Mama E.T.C. - the iconic New York theatre company that has launched the careers of some of the most famous people in theatre Mr. Zwick has directed both on Broadway, where he was nominated for a Tony for his production of "Dance With Me" as well as off-Broadway and touring companies that have travelled around the country. Mr. Zwick has also directed the Broadway production of Hershey Felder's George Gershwin Alone at the Helen Hayes Theatre. He and Hershey Felder have collaborated on Monsieur Chopin, Beethoven as I Knew Him, and Maestro. Mr. Zwick is also one of Hollywood's most prolific directors of episodic television, with more than 600 episodes to his credits - including 19 pilots that have gone on to become series. Mr. Zwick taught drama at Yale University, Brooklyn College, Queens College, Wheaton College, and the University of Southern California. He is a graduate (B.A., M.A.) of Brooklyn College. He is currently directing for the Disney Channel and has been at the helm of Suite Life on Deck, Dog With a Blog, Jessie, Shake it Up, Girl Meets World, and I Didn't Do It.

PEGGY HICKEY (Choreography) is one of the most versatile choreographers today, working extensively in television, film, theatre, and opera. Her Broadway credits include A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder which won the Tony this year for Best Musical. Peggy has also choreographed the hit show My Fair Lady starring Kelli OHara, Kelsey Grammar and Brian Dennehey at Lincoln Center with the New York Philharmonic, The Most Happy Fella starring Paul Sorvino for New York City Opera and Lucky To Be Me, The Music Of Leonard Bernstein also for NYCO. Ms. Hickey collaborated with Monty Python's Eric Idle on An Evening Without Monty Python which played in both New York and LA. Peggy is a two-time recipient of the Connecticut Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Choreography for Brigadoon and On The Twentieth Century at the renowned Goodspeed Opera House in Connecticut.

Peggy was awarded the MTV Video Music Award for Best Choreography for her work on Grammy-Award winner Beck's "The New Pollution." Peggy also was nominated for an MTV Movie Award for Best Dance Sequence in a Feature Film for her work on the box-office hit, "The Brady Bunch Movie" for Paramount.

Peggy also works extensively in opera, and has collaborated with such renowned artists as Placido Domingo, Samuel Ramey, Denyce Graves, Susan Graham, and Franco Zeffirelli among others. Her work has been performed at Los Angeles Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, San Francisco Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Seattle Opera, Canadian Opera Company, Santa Fe Opera, Palm Beach Opera, and the Julliard School. Upcoming projects include directing and choreographing Hansel And Gretel for The Little Orchestra Society at Lincoln Center, choreographing The King And I for the Chatalet, Paris and The Ghosts Of Versailles starring Patricia Racette and Patti La Pone for Los Angeles Opera.

JEFF RIZZO (Musical Direction) has done many productions of musicals throughout the country. He traveled to Japan in 2011 with Joseph...Dreamcoat, experiencing the earthquake and the nuclear meltdown. Jeff toured China in 2007 with 42nd Street, and previously a two-year run of the 2002 national tour in the United States. He was the audition accompanist for the film of Dreamgirls. He musically directed Madison Square Garden's The Wizard of Oz starring Roseanne, the subsequent national tour, and the Grammy nominated cast recording starring Mickey Rooney and Eartha Kitt. Jeff was associate conductor of the US premiere of Sunset Boulevard starring Glenn Close at the Shubert Theatre in Los Angeles. He toured three years with Annie, as associate conductor of the 2nd National Tour and conductor of the 4th National Tour. Jeff is on the faculty of the American Music and Dramatic Academy (LA campus). As a composer his work includes the scores for Jailbirds on Broadway, Wanna Play?! (published by Baker's Plays), and a new musical version of A Christmas Carol. With partner Eric Andrist, he co-founded the Musical Theatre Guild. Born in Utica, New York, raised in Sacramento, California, and graduated from the University of Southern California, Jeff makes his home in Los Angeles.

MADELINE SUNSHINE (Book/Lyrics) Lyricist: Songs for Sesame Street, theme songs for TV series including Webster, and The People Next Door. Pop songs recorded by Dr. John, Paul Anka, Janie Frickie, the Muppets and many others. Television: Writer/Producer and show runner for the hit TV series Webster, The People Next Door and The Julie Andrews Show. Film: Screenwriter: Say Nothing, starring William Baldwin and Nastassja Kinski; Co-Writer with Blake Edwards, Son of the Pink Panther, starring Roberto Benigni. Author: Young Adult novels for publishers Scholastic and Bantam; children's books for Sesame Street, Golden Books, Scholastic, and Harper and Row. Awards: People's Choice Award, NAACP Image Award, nomination for "Best Comedy Writing" by the Writers Guild of America.

ROBERT TEPPER (Music) Songwriter: Wrote hits for many artists including Pat Benatar, Australia superstar Russell Morris, Danny Tate, Paul Anka, and the mega hit Into the Night which garnered him a Grammy nomination. Most recently Usher has picked up one of Robert's songs for his new album. Songs for Film and TV including: Rocky IV, Say Nothing, and many others. Producer and Mixer: Worked with some of the top producers including Joe Chicarilli (Elton John, Frank Zappa, U2), and collaborated with some of the biggest hit makers including Jeff Silbar (Wind beneath My Wings) and Steve Pocaro from Toto. In addition, Robert has released two albums of his own and was the lead singer for the revamped Iron Butterfly.

TIMOTHY MARTIN GLEASON (Serrano) This show marks Tim's 4th time performing in a World Premiere musical since moving to LA in 2010. Others include playing "Walt Disney" in When You Wish at the Freud playhouse and the role of "Sam" (Tom Hanks role) in the World Premiere of Sleepless in Seattle, The Musical, at The Pasadena Playhouse. In his short time in Los Angeles, Tim has booked close to a dozen TV spots, including several commercials and guest spots on shows including "Undercovers" (NBC), "Criminal Minds "(CBS), "The Closer" and "Monday Mornings" (TNT). Tim also stars in the upcoming comedy on Amazon called "The Kicks."

Prior to Los Angeles, Tim played "The Phantom" in the Broadway touring company of The Phantom of the Opera. Before that, Gleason made history by performing the role of the romantic lead "Raoul" (on Broadway, Tour and in Vegas) more than anyone else in history...over 2,600 times. Gleason never studied acting or singing as a kid, and headed into corporate America for 5 years before deciding to pursue a career as an actor. Along the way, Tim has had the great fortune of originating several other roles for the theatre, including "Raoul" in Phantom: The Las Vegas Spectacular, "Romeo" in Terrence Mann's musical Romeo & Juliet, The Rock Opera at Goodspeed Opera House and "Adam Gernstein" in The Rhythm Club at The Signature Theatre, a role for which he received a prestigious Helen Hayes Award nomination.

The Cast of SERRANO THE MUSICAL will also feature: Suzanne Petrela (Pasadena Playhouse Mask, Life Could Be A Dream) as Rosanna, Chad Doreck (Off-Broadway - Altar Boyz) as Vinnie and Jay Winnick, Chad Borden, Tom G. McMahon, Craig McEldowney, Valerie Perri, Peter Van Norden, Matthew Henerson, and Kristina Miller.

SERRANO THE MUSICAL is presented by Mark Wolper, Steve Sunshine, David Geha, Spencer Proffer and Phillipa Sledge in association with Presenting Producer Beth McCauley and Executive Producers: Stamatios Hiotis, Paula Mae, Stephanie London, Ann Lopez and Barry Meyer. This Los Angeles World Premiere is Produced by Leigh Fortier.

The SERRANO THE MUSICAL Design Team features: Set Design by Stephen Gifford, Lighting Design by Leigh Allen. Costume Design by Michael Mullen. Hair & Wig Design by Bryon Batista. The Casting Director is Michael Donovan, CSA.

SERRANO THE MUSICAL will preview on Thursday, January 8; Friday, January 9; Saturday, January 10 at 8pm; Sunday, January 11 at 3pm; Wednesday, January 14 & Thursday, January 15 at 8:00pm and will open on Friday, January 16 at 8pm and run through Sunday, March 29 at the Matrix Theatre, 7657 Melrose Ave. in West Hollywood.

Performances are Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00pm; Sundays at 3:00pm. Ticket prices are $34.99 for all performances. $25.00 for Previews. Tickets are available online at www.serranothemusical.com or by calling 1-323-960-7774.

Pictured: Timothy Martin Gleason will star as Serrano in World Premiere of "SERRANO THE MUSICAL."



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