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New 42nd Street Studios Presents SHOOT THE PIANO PLAYER 11/16

This Tuesday, November 16, at the New 42nd Street Studios, a new musical, Shoot the Piano Player, will be presented in two readings. This is a jazz-infused musical adaptation of David Goodis' novel Down There which was the inspiration for Francois Truffaut's famous French New Wave film. Goodis was a prolific writer of several novels and screenplays (Dark Passage which was adapted for the screen with Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall and later for television with David Janssen as The Fugitive, The Unfaithful and as well as an unproduced adaptation of The Lady in the Lake by Raymond Chandler). His writing captures the gritty underbelly of a city, particularly his hometown Philadelphia.

In this version of the telling, which is set in the l950s, Eddie is a washed-up classical pianist playing gigs at a Southside bar in Philadelphia. When his estranged brother gets in trouble, Eddie, against his will, is dragged into his brother's seedy world and is forced to flee for his life.
Shoot the Piano Player is a moving portrait of a man facing the demons of his past, the loss of loved ones, race and struggling for survival in a world gone mad.
Under the spell of the story, which has long been recognized as one of the best noir fictions, Margot Harley optioned the novel and began putting a creative team together. David Sherman, the composer, has worked with Angela Lansbury on an Evening of Dorothy Parker, wrote "Together Just Like This" for Billy Stritch and with his band toured the U.S. and UK for six years and produced three albums. Lois Walden, a songwriter and author of the recently published novel One More Stop published by Arcadia Books, wrote the lyrics. She has written for Kathleen Battle, Dionne Warwick, and wrote the lyrics for American Dreams Lost and Found by Studs Terkel. Charles Smith is currently represented at Woodie King's New Federal Theatre with Knock Me a Kiss. Earlier his Joseph Jefferson award-winning play Free Man of Color was presented at 59E59 as the newly titled Freed; an Off-Broadway production is planned. The director, Carlos Armesto, is Artistic Director of Theatre C, a New York City-based company devoted to creating arresting theatre from unusual and unexpected collaborations. Recent productions, which Carlos directed include The Who's Tommy and Kingdom. Theatre C also won three Innovative Theatre Awards for its inaugural production of Jesse Zaritt's Binding, which was part of the soloNOVA Arts Festival at Performance Space 122 in May of this year. Carlos Armesto won the Princess Grace Special Project Award, 2010, for Theatre C's next production of Kyoung H. Park's disoriented, which will be presented in February 2011 at the Peter Jay Sharp Theatre.

The cast includes Matthew Hydzik, who is currently Tony in West Side Story, and will be playing the lead of Eddie. Nikki James, who is playing the love interest Lena, just finished shooting an episode of 30 Rock. Derek Smith (Feather/Woodling) is starring in the role of Scar in The Lion King. Natalie Venetia Belcon (Harriet) was the brilliant Gary Coleman in Avenue Q. Other cast members include Thomas Cannizzaro, Anthony Fusco, Amirah Vann, Doug Eskew, C. Mingo Long, Starr J. Busby, Kent Overshown, and Curtis Wiley, Jr.

For additional information contact Margot Harley. For Producer reservations, please RSVP at rsvp@theatrec.org or call Theatre C's reservation line at (646) 237-6973.

 


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