Video Game Musical CLAUDIO QUEST to Make West Coast Debut at Chance Theater
Chance Theater, Anaheim's official resident theater company, is pleased to announce its West Coast premiere production of ... Claudio Quest. With music, lyrics and book by Drew Fornarola and Marshall Pailet, direction by Pailet, choreography by Maxx Reed and musical direction by Ryan O'Connell, Claudio Quest will preview from January 27 through February 3; regular performances will begin February 4 and continue through February 26 at Chance Theater @ Bette Aitken theater arts Center on the Cripe Stage.
A new musical comedy that follows a very super hero, his less super little brother, and one butt-kicking princess, as the three embark on a mission to overcome killer eggplants, a love-starved platypus, and their own 8-bit existential crisis.
Marshall Pailet's unique brand of storytelling was introduced to Chance audiences in 2013 with Triassic Parq - The Musical. The show was a wacky musical adventure through "that one dinosaur park", but told from the perspective of the dinosaurs. The show was a hit, going on to be nominated for eleven Ovation Awards, and winning three (including Best Musical). In 2013, Marshall was also Chance Theater's resident playwright, presenting staged singings of two new musicals -- Who's Your Baghdaddy (which was Off-Broadway last year and a New York Times Critic's Pick) and the first act of Loch Ness (which was later produced in full as part of Chance Theater's 2015 Season).
"I'm thrilled to be returning for a third time to the Chance," said Marshall Pailet, at no encouragement from Chance staff. "The level of support I've received here rivals anywhere I've worked. The staff is dedicated, talented and fiercely committed, and the audience is adventurous and generous. It really is an ideal place to develop new work."
So where did this whole idea come from, and why did it strike such a chord with audiences at the New York Musical Theatre Festival, where it was first produced?
"Drew and I wrote Claudio Quest as a kind of twisted homage to old-school 8-bit video games. The target audience was initially nostalgic Gen Xers and Millennials," explained Pailet. "We've been excited to see audiences of all ages embrace these quirky, fun, at times dark, but always relatable characters. And after many years of development and two successful festival productions, we're excited to finally share Claudio Quest with the world in our first fully realized production!"
Founding Chance Artist Casey Long saw something deeper in the show as well, "The musical goes behind the 1's and 0's of a videogame program to flesh out some familiar looking characters. They're trapped in a time loop of the 'princess-gets-kidnapped-Claudio-saves-the-day-and-brother-Luis-watches" variety. Between the big belly laughs, strong flashes of nostalgia and Pailet and Fornarola's great music, is an examination of what makes a hero, and whether our identity is an established set of factors or something that never stops developing."
Preview performances run January 27 - February 3, 2017, playing Fridays at 8pm, Saturday at 8pm and Sunday at 7pm. The regular run continues February 4 -26, 2017, with performances on Fridays at 8pm, Saturdays at 3pm & 8pm and Sundays at 3pm. Special performances on Wednesday, February 8 at 7:30pm and Thursday, February 16 at 7:30pm. All shows at Chance Theater @ Bette Aitken theater arts Center on the Cripe Stage, 5522 E. La Palma Ave., Anaheim, CA 92807. Tickets: $31.00 - $45.00. Call (888) 455-4212 or visit www.ChanceTheater.com. Discounts available for seniors, students and military.
MEET THE TEAM:
Drew Fornarola (Music/Lyrics/Book) is a songwriter and playwright from New York. This season he was represented off-Broadway by STRAIGHT (2016 New York Times Critics' Pick, Dramatic Publishing Co); other theater credits include Claudio Quest (winner of six 2015 NYMF Awards for Excellence); Molly Shannon's Tilly The Trickster (Atlantic Theater Company, collaboration with Saturday Night Live's Molly Shannon); Thucydides (Winner of Samuel French Play Festival); Vote (for Me!): A Musical Debate (London Theatre Workshop, Roy Arias Theater off-Broadway); COLLEGE The Musical (MTVu Award, Hippodrome State Theatre); and 2 musicals for children. He also co-wrote the score for DreamWorks' VeggieTales Noah's Ark (2015) starring Wayne Brady. Drew received the NYMF Award for Excellence in Lyrics and John Wallowitch Award for Songwriting, was a finalist for the 2014 Kleban Award and 2009 Richard Rodgers Award, and is a four-time MAC Award nominee. Concerts of his songs have been presented at Lincoln Center, 54 Below, Broadway au Carre (Paris), and London Theatre Workshop, among others. www.drewfornarola.com
Marshall Pailet (Music/Lyrics/Book/Director) is a director, writer and composer for musical theater, plays, animated films, and is the proud owner of a wildly untrained, but ultimately well-meaning terrier-mix. He directed, composed, and co-wrote the Off Broadway musicals Who's Your Baghdaddy; or How I Started the Iraq War (New York Times Critics' Pick) and the now internationally licensed Triassic Parq (Chance Theater '13; Ovation Award, Best Musical; Ovation Nom; Best Director). Other Theater: Claudio Quest (winner of six 2015 NYMF Awards for Excellence); Loch Ness (Chance Theater '15; Best Musical, OC Weekly); Shrek the Halls (DreamWorks Theatricals); The Chocolate Tree (NAMT). Film: VeggieTales: Noah's Ark starring Wayne Brady (Original Songs). As Director Only: Nikola Tesla Drops the Beat; The Voice Within; Eudaemonia; Uncle Pirate; Stuck; The 49 Project; Thursday; With Kings in the Back; Bat Boy; Escape Artists; One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. Upcoming: Who's Your Baghdaddy (Off Broadway return); Wonderland (Atlantic Theater Company); Middle School Mysteries (Two River Theater). He is also on faculty at Molly College, Cap 21, and the Broadway Dreams Foundation. Graduate Yale University. www.marshallpailet.com
In addition to Pailet & Fornarola, the production team for Claudio Quest includes choreographer Maxx Reed, music director and orchestrator Ryan O'Connell (A Chorus Line), scenic designer Fred Kinney (A Chorus Line), lighting designer Matt Schleicher (Ovation Award nominee for Chance's production of Lysistrata Jones), animator Justin Melillo, Sound Designer Ryan Brodkin (A Chorus Line), costume designer Rachael Lorenzetti (The Big Meal), props master Masako Tobaru, and stage manager Courtny Greenough.
Claudio Quest will feature returning Chance artists Andrew Puente (Dogfight), Monika Pena (A Chorus Line), Kim Dalton (Dogfight), Miguel Cardenas (The Secret Garden), Kellie Spill (Ovation Award winner for Triassic Parq), Ashley Arlene Nelson (Little Women - The Broadway Musical), Joseph Ott (A Chorus Line), and Jimmy Saiz (Little Women - The Broadway Musical). Beau Brians, Amy Rebecca King, Elise Borgfeldt, Jack Reid, and Dylan Shube make their Chance debut with this production.
Mary Kay Fyda-Mar is the Executive Producer for the Chance production. Bette & Wylie Aitken are the Season Producers for the entire 2017 schedule.
Proud to be one of the leading ensemble-driven theatre companies in Southern California, CHANCE THEATER recently received a National Theatre Company grant from American Theatre Wing. The Chance has won six Ovation Awards, including two for Best Production of a Musical - Intimate Theater for its West Coast premiere of Triassic Parq - The Musical and Southern California premiere of Jerry Springer - The Opera, as well as four LADCC Awards, including the Polly Warfield Award for Outstanding Season. The Anaheim City Council named Chance Theater "the official resident theater company of Anaheim", and Arts Orange County has twice named the Chance as "Outstanding Arts Organization". Known for using bold and personal storytelling to promote dialogue and connection within the Southern California theatrical landscape, the Chance is committed to contributing to a more compassionate, connected and creative community. As a constituent member of Theatre Communications Group, Network of Ensemble Theaters, and the LA Stage Alliance, Chance Theater continues to bring national attention to the Southern California and Orange County theater scenes.