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TONYA & NANCY: THE ROCK OPERA to Kick Off NYMF This July

Tonya & Nancy: The Rock Opera gets its NY premiere as it kicks-off the New York Musical Theatre Festival (NYMF) this July. Tonya & Nancy: The Rock Opera has a concept, book and lyrics by Elizabeth Searle, music by Michael Teoli, and will be directed by David Alpert (If/ Then), with musical direction by Henry Aronson (Rock of Ages), and choreography by Marc Kimelman (A Bronx Tale). Tonya & Nancy: The Rock Opera will play at the PTC Performing Space (555 West 42nd St.) from July 9 - July 16, 2015. The New York Musical Theatre Festival and Paul Boghosian / Harborside Film, LLC present Tonya & Nancy: The Rock Opera with General Management/ Creative Consulting by Kimberly Loren Eaton/Theatrum Mundi Productions, LLC & Evan Bernardin.

In 1994, skater Nancy Kerrigan was attacked with a 'knee whack' and suspicions were focused on fellow Team USA skater Tonya Harding. Tonya & Nancy: The Rock Opera is a dark musical comedy, with heart, about the feud between Olympic figure skaters Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan, with a score in the style of Queen meets the Trans-Siberian Orchestra.

"It was one of the first crazy tabloid stories that took over 24/7 news coverage. One of my inspirations for pursuing it was that at that time, the conservative commentator George Will made the comment, 'This is a ridiculous story that has nothing whatsoever to do with life in America today.' And I thought, ridiculous story, yes, of course. But it has everything to do with life in America." Tonya & Nancy: The Rock Opera, book writer Elizabeth Searle

Cast stars Tracy McDowell (Broadway: MOTOWN, RENT) as Tonya Harding and Jenna Leigh Green (Broadway: Wicked. TV: "Sabrina the Teenage Witch) as Nancy Kerrigan, Nancy Liz McCartney (Broadway: Ever After, Annie, South Pacific) as Mom, Tony LePage (Broadway: Rock of Ages) as Jeff Gillooly, with Andrew Aaron Berlin (National Tour: A Christmas Story), Heidi Friese (National Tour: How the Grinch Stole Christmas), Chase Kamata (Regional: Miss Saigon), Tatiana Lofton (Regional: Little Shop of Horrors), Ryan MacConnell (TV: "Smallville," "Battlestar Galatica"), and Dwayne Washington (UK: RENT).

Creative team includes: Starlet Jacobs (Scenic & Properties Designer), Vanessa Leuck (Costume Designer), Rui Rita (Lighting Designer), Alex Hawthorn (Sound Designer). Stage Management by Kelly Martindale, and Casting by Daryl Eisenberg.

The rock opera is based on the one-act chamber opera Tonya & Nancy: The Rock Opera, which premiered to a media whirlwind at the American Repertory Theater's Zero Arrow Theater. It was selected as one of the top three new one-act operas by Opera Vista in Houston in 2007. In 2010 and in 2014, a full production of the opera was produced company in Minneapolis/St. Paul. In 2008, Elizabeth Searle and Michael Teoli, began to expand the opera into a rock opera and was produced in Portland, Oregon. The show opened in Portland to strong reviews ("Brilliant and touching"; the Portland Mercury). Tonya Harding, a Portland native, enthusiastically attended the opening night performance. It was nominated for two Portland Area Music awards. Since its initial run, the show has been re-worked and further developed, with songs showcased at a Boston Cabaret and selected for performance at the L.A. Playwrights' Arena, Hot Night in the City, in May, 2010. In 2011 a new 'club version' of the show premiered at American Repertory Theater's Oberon theater in Boston in January 2011 and drew enthusiastic sold-out audiences during two consecutive snowstorms. Since then, Tonya & Nancy: The Rock Opera has been a finalist in NYC's NAMT musical competition. The show was most recently performed in Feb. of 2014 sold-out club dates in Hollywood, produced by the Los Angeles Rock Opera Company in association with Harborside Films, LLC. The chamber opera version of the show was also playing in Feb. of 2014 in MN.

DETAILS:

Tonya & Nancy: The Rock Opera

Book and lyrics by Elizabeth Searle; Music by Michael Teoli

Direction by David Alpert; Musical direction by Henry Aronson; Choreography by Marc Kimelman

Performance Schedule:

Thursday, July 9 at 8pm, Saturday, July 11 at 5pm, Sunday, July 12 at 8pm,

Tuesday, July 14 at 9pm, Thursday, July 16 at 1pm

PTC Performing Space (555 West 42nd Street)

Tickets are $27.50, and are available by visiting nymf.org or by calling 212-352-3101

For more information on Tonya & Nancy: The Rock Opera

Please visit: www.tonyaandnancytherockopera.com.

WHO'S WHO:

DAVID ALPERT (Director) is a New York City based director, most recently represented on Broadway as the Associate Director on IF/THEN written by the Pulitzer Prize winning team of Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey, directed by Michael Greif. On Broadway he served as the Associate Director for the Tony-Award winning production of The Trip To BOUNTIFUL (also at the Center Theatre Group in Los Angeles), and assisted on The Best Man as well as Guys And Dolls. At the Guthrie Theater, David assistant directed the world-premiere of Tony Kushner's The Intelligent Homosexual's Guide... As an Associate Director, David has worked on Talley's Folly (Roundabout), The Old Friends (Signature), FlashdancE (National Tour), A Walk On The Moon (NY Stage and Film), and White Noise (Whoopi Goldberg, producer). Selected New York credits as Director: Death Note (Music by Frank Wildhorn), The Moon And The Sea (by Creighton Irons), Barnyard Follies (by Sam Carner), The Wonderful Mr. & Mrs. O'leary (by Matte O'Brien), Joseph...Dreamcoat, The Four Of Us, Do Me A Little (NY International Fringe Festival), Everything Is Fine (ASCAP/Stephen Schwartz), HERE TODAY (Theatre Row), 8minute Musicals (NYMF), Cocaine: The Band: The Musical starring Tony-Award winner Lena Hall (NYMF), concerts at Joe's Pub, Lincoln Center, the Metropolitan Room, Sweet Caroline's, the Duplex and the Laurie Beechman Theater. Selected Regional: VANYA & SONIA... (Farmers Alley Theatre), Urinetown, Little Shop Of Horrors, 1776 (Guthrie Theater, directing intern), Cherry County Playhouse, Mason Street Warehouse. Every year, David proudly presents the LIVING FOR TODAY concert series, which brings together Broadway performers for a night of music to benefit Gilana's Fund, a non-profit organization that supports educational programming celebrating acceptance. The Fund was created in 2007 after David's sister Gilana passed away at the age of 26, and to date Gilana's Fund has raised nearly $50,000. He has taught for Broadway Arts Factory, Camp Broadway, The Usdan Center, Play Group Theater, Muskegon Civic Theatre, Kalamazoo Civic Theatre, Western Michigan University, as well as Audition Prep classes for professional actors in New York City with Kaitlin Shaw of Tara Rubin Casting. In 2006, David was selected to direct a new play at the American College Theatre Festival. David is an associate member of SDC, and graduated summa cum laude from Western Michigan University with a BA in Directing, as well as a BA in Stage Management.

ELIZABETH SEARLE (Libretto, Concept and Book) first wrote about 'Tonya & Nancy' in her novella Celebrities In Disgrace, which the New York Times Book Review called 'a miniature masterpiece.' She is the author of four books of fiction: My Body To You, Celebrities In Disgrace, A Four-Sided Bed and most recently Girl Held In Home. She created both the concept and libretto for both Tonya & Nancy: The Opera and Tonya & Nancy: The Rock Opera. The one-act Tonya & Nancy opera, with music by Abigail Al-Doory Cross, has been performed in Boston and at Opera Vista in Houston, TX, where it was chosen as one of the top three new operas of the year. It was produced in Minneapolis/St. Paul in 2010 and in 2014, with Previews 'on ice.' Elizabeth's novel A Four-Sided Bed is now in development as a feature film. Bravo Sierra Pictures produced a short film of Elizabeth's Celebrities in Disgrace. The film premiered at the Woods Hole International Film Festival and has screened at festivals around the country. Elizabeth's one-act play Stolen Girl Song was performed in ME and MA in 2013. Elizabeth's theater works have been featured in stories on GOOD MORNING AMERICA, CBS, CNN, NPR, the AP and more. She teaches fiction and scriptwriting at Stonecoast MFA and lives in Arlington, MA with her husband and son.

MICHAEL TEOLI (Composer, Music Director, and Additional Lyrics) is an award-winning Film and Theatre Composer based in Los Angeles. Before graduating from the Berklee College of Music in Boston, he worked on Howard Shore's Music Team for The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King. Since then, he has worked on the music for over 50 films. His score to the feature 41 won BEST ORIGINAL SOUNDTRACK at the Director's Chair Film Festival in Staten Island, NY. Teoli's first full-length musical, Tonya & Nancy: The Rock Opera premiered in Portland, OR in 2008, had two stints at A.R.T's Club Oberon in Boston, a NYC reading produced by The Broadway Consortium, and most recently a stint at The King King Hollywood. His second musical, CarnEvil enjoyed a World Premier at Sacred Fools Theatre in Hollywood. Michael provided Music Direction, Arrangements and Additional Music for Doomsday Cabaret and Exorcistic: A Rock Musical Parody each winning BEST MUSICAL at the Hollywood Fringe Festival in 2012 and 2013 respectively. This past year saw Michael worked on three feature films, several short films and webisodes and released his first album, Absolutely Filthy Trax available on CD Baby. The World Premier of his new musical, The Werewolves of Hollywood Boulevard took place in June 2014 at The Lilian Theater in Los Angeles.

HENRY ARONSON (Musical Direction) Broadway: MD, "Rock of Ages","Grease", "The Times They Are A-Changin'","In My Life", "Little Shop", "Rent", "Rocky Horror", "Starmites"; associate conductor, "Cry Baby", "Good Vibrations", "Parade", "Saturday Night Fever", "Mail", "Prince of Central Park"; conductor, "The Who's Tommy". Has orchestrated and performed with the classical/rock fusion orchestra Rocktopia. Composer/lyricist of "Loveless Texas", developed at Rhinebeck Writers Retreat and scheduled for 2015 workshop and 2016 production by Boomerang Theatre.

MARC KIMELMAN (Choreography) recently choreographed Stratford Shakespeare Festival's Man of La Ma Mancha, Theatre 20's Company, directed by Gary Griffin, In The Heights, and Once on this Island (Dora Award winner for Outstanding Choreography). He was assistant choreographer for Broadway's Jesus Christ Superstar (Tony nominee for Best Musical Revival) and the National tour of Queen's We Will Rock You. He was associate choreographer for the Broadway workshop of Hands on a Hardbody, Paper Mill Playhouse's Once on This Island, and for Broadway-bound A Bronx Tale.

PAUL T. BOGHOSIAN / HarborSide Films (Producer) Winning audience favor and WOW reviews for productions in Portland (OR), Boston and Los Angeles, Paul T. Boghosian is proud to present a sensational new production of Elizabeth Searle's (with music by Michael Teoli) Tonya & Nancy: A Rock Opera for the 2015 New York Musical Theatre Festival. Mr. Boghosian has over 30 years of experience producing award-winning theatricals, television documentaries and public affairs programming as well as feature films for US and international audiences. He is the founder and CEO of HarborSide Films (Boston, MA). In 2008, Boghosian's initial foray into producing theater was the critically acclaimed New Repertory Theater production of According To Tip, based on the life and political career of legendary Speaker of the House, Thomas P. O'Neill. Tony Award winning actor Ken Howard took on the iconic role and received stellar reviews in the Boston media and the play won the IRNE award for Best New Play in New England. A 2011 Lyric Stage production featuring humorist (and Tip playwright) Dick Flavin was also well-received, toured throughout New England and was again produced by Mr. Boghosian. Mr. Boghosian is also working with Elizabeth Searle on film and theatrical (musical) versions of Marta At Club Tropicana, written by Searle, award-winning playwright Melinda Lopez and with music by Grammy nominated artist Elio Villafranca. Additionally, Boghosian is collaborating with author Robert G. Pushkar to produce his play The Four Mrs. Hemingways in Boston and Toronto. Paul T. Boghosian earned an MBA from Columbia University and a BA in Economics and Political Science from Northeastern University. In addition to his work in the entertainment industry, he is also active as the president of the English Speaking Union Boston Branch, serves on the Board of Directors of the BoSox Club and is past president and currently a board member of the Columbia Alumni Association of Boston.

NEW YORK MUSICAL THEATRE FESTIVAL nurtures the creation, production, and public presentation of stylistically, thematically, and culturally diverse new musicals to ensure the future vitality of musical theatre. Now in its twelfth year, the Festival is the largest musical theatre event in America. The preeminent site for launching new musicals and discovering new talent, the Festival provides an affordable platform for artists to mount professional productions that reach their peers, industry leaders, and musical theatre fans. More than 90 Festival shows have gone on to productions on and Off-Broadway, in regional theaters in all 50 states, and in more than 20 countries worldwide. Festival alumni have received a wide array of awards including the Tony Award and the Pulitzer Prize. In 2013, NYMF received a special Drama Desk Award in recognition of its work "creating and nurturing new musical theatre, ensuring the future of this essential art form."

Pictured: Tracy McDowell as Tonya Harding and Jenna Leigh as Nancy Kerrigan. Photo by Robert Pushkar.

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