Broward Stage Door Theatre to Present WHAT'S NEW PUSSYCAT? THE SOUNDTRACK OF AN ERA, 8/22-9/28
When Broward Stage Door Theatre's artistic director Derelle Bunn mentioned to director Michael Leeds and choreographer Kevin Black that she had an open time slot for a show, and asked them if they'd be interested in 'doing something', they jumped at the chance. "Kevin and I have wanted to work together for a while, and this was a terrific opportunity," says Leeds. "And then, of course, the question became - what should we do?!"
The result of their collaboration is What's New Pussycat? The Soundtrack of an Era, which will open at the Broward Stage Door Theatre on August 22nd, and run through September 28th.
"What's New, Pussycat was originally going to be a revue of just Burt Bacharach songs," Leeds explains. "But as Kevin and I started listening to Bacharach's music, we kept being distracted by other great songs of the same era. So we decided to expand the show to include The Mamas & The Papas, Simon & Garfunkel, Petula Clark, Dusty Springfield, Etta James, Ray Charles, The Righteous Brothers, The Fifth Dimension and all those Motown greats like The Four Tops, The Temptations, The Supremes, The Ronettes, as well as incredible composers and writers like Henry Mancini, Michel LeGrand, and of course, Burt Bacharach!
"Creating the piece took careful deliberation, Leeds continues: "From past experience, both Kevin and I have learned that though there are no "rules" to creating a musical revue, there are some guidelines. First, of course, is what songs are the most popular; the songs the audience is coming to hear."
Leeds and Black have tapped Carbonell Award-winner Eric Alsford as musical director/arranger for What's New Pussycat?, and have assembled a top-notch cast for their production. Shane Tanner, Mike Westrich, Clay Cartland and Leah Sessa all have impressive South Florida resumes. Two additional performers from New York will round out the six-person ensemble.
Although he is primarily recognized as one of South Florida's finest and busiest directors, Michael Leeds has also had great success as a playwright, screenwriter, and choreographer. He co-wrote and directed the Broadway musical Swinging on a Star which received a Tony Award nomination for Best Musical as well as a Drama Desk Award nomination and a Theatre World Award. Off-Broadway Leeds directed and choreographed Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah - The Songs of Allan Sherman, starring Tovah Feldshuh & Mary Testa, for which he was nominated for a Drama Desk Award for Best Director and Best Choreographer. His production of the European premiere of Arthur Miller's Playing For Time won a Festival Fringe First Award. For film, he choreographed End of Summer, starring Jacqueline Bisset and Peter Weller and co-wrote The Simian Line starring William Hurt and Lynn Redgrave, and The Last Film Festival, starring Dennis Hopper and Jacqueline Bisset. Leeds' plays include The First Step, Who Killed Joan Crawford, and The Gift. His many South Florida productions include Mack and Mabel (Carbonell Award Best Musical), The Light In The Piazza, and A Little Night Music, (both nominated for Best Musical, and a Silver Palm Award for Direction for Night Music). As Assoc. Artistic Director for Island City Stage, his production of The Timekeepers garnered six Carbonell Awards including Best Direction and Best Production of a Play. Michael also teaches a weekly adult acting class. www.LeedsWorkshop.com
Kevin Black is the owner and artistic director of Kevin Black Productions. His expertise, experience, and creativity in directing and choreography, as well as in set, costume, and lighting design have built him a solid reputation as one of the top 'go-to guys' in South Florida. Kevin's most recent work includes 8 Track, I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change, and Rags at The Plaza Theatre in Manalapan. He directed and choreographed Spamalot, Tommy, and The Rocky Horror Show for Entr'Acte Theatrix performing at The Crest Theatre in Delray Beach. Kevin has also produced South Florida tours of La Cage Aux Folles, The Jazz Singer, Smokey Joe's Café, Funny Girl, Victor/Victoria, Cabaret and Dreamgirls. And his most recent creation for Stage Door, On the Radio, was extremely successful. Kevin's work can currently be seen at the Villa de Palmar Resorts in Cabo, Mexico; Kevin is also the Artistic Director for CAST (Career in the Arts, School of Talent) located in Miramar, Florida.
What's New Pussycat? The Soundtrack of an Era will run from August 22nd - September 28th at The Broward Stage Door Theatre in Coral Springs. The theatre is located at 8036 Sample Road, in Coral Springs.Tickets for What's New Pussycat? are $38 - $42; $16 student tickets are also available. Tickets may be purchased at the Broward Stage Door Theatre box office at 954-344-7765 or on line at http://www.stagedoorfl.org. For more information about What's New Pussycat? and/or The Broward Stage Door Theatre, please visit www.stagedoorfl.org.