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New Musical ON THE RAILS to Premiere This Fall Off-Broadway

ALGONQUIN THEATER PRODUCTIONS and JASON HEWITT proudly present the world premiere of On the Rails, a new musical with book by Tony Sportiello (Second Chance, National Pastime), music and lyrics by Al Tapper (Sessions, An Evening at the Carlyle), arrangements and musical direction by David Wolfson, and directed by Misti B. Wills (In Search of Euphoria).

The Off-Broadway engagement will take place at the Roy Arias Theatre (777 8th Avenue, New York, NY 10036). Performances begin Tuesday, September 13th and continue through Tuesday, November 15th, 2016. Opening Night is Sunday, September 18th at 7:00 pm.

On the Rails features three tales of three very different couples, all portrayed by two actors, set on board a mystical, and timeless locomotive, guided by a melodic train conductor. Discover life and death, love and heartbreak, ambition and despair as we journey forward, each to our own surprising and inevitable destination in this new intriguing musical by Tony Sportiello and Al Tapper.

Featuring scenic design by April Bartlett, lighting design by Michael O'Connor, costume design by Jacob A. Climer, and sound design by Josh Liebert. Production stage management by Kacey Gritters.

Casting will be announced soon.

Tickets are $60.00 ($40 Students and Seniors) and can be purchased online at or by calling 212-352-3101.


TONY SPORTIELLO (Book) has had his plays produced all over the world, including New York, London, Los Angeles, China, Russia and Cooperstown, New York. His plays Contract Time and National Pastime are in the library of the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame. His short play Checkmate is soon to be a short film produced by Arlington Place Pictures. He is the Artistic Director of Algonquin Theater Productions, which has produced the Off Broadway shows Sessions, An Evening at the Carlyle, The Devil and Billy Markham and National Pastime.

AL TAPPER (Music/Lyrics) while attending Boston University, Al Tapper wrote his first musical at the age of 20. Since then he has written special material for regional productions, has produced two albums of his own songs, composed five musicals, a ballet a rhapsody, and a capriccio. He has written two straight plays and four books, and produced two documentary films. Al Tapper composed the ballet The Seduction of Bathsheba, whose premiere performance at Mechanics Hall was presented by the Central Massachusetts Symphony Orchestra 1988. Al's five musicals have also garnered success throughout the years opening in various cities on the eastern seaboard. Beginning in 1992, Davidopened as a workshop production at 890 Broadway in New York Cityand in Washington, D.C. in 1994 at the Washington Jewish Theater. His off-Broadway musical, iMperfect Chemistry, for which he composed the music and created the story, opened at the Minetta Lane Theater in New York City in April of 2000. The musical revue From Where I Stand opened at the Laurie Beechman Theatre in March of 2004. Sessionsa new musical opened at the Peter Sharp Theater (Playwrights Horizons) and the Algonquin Theater and ran for over 400 performances. It was translated into Spanish and played in Mexico where it won the best musical of the year in 2011. He wrote the musical "An Evening at the Carlyle" which ran at The Algonquin Theater and was reviewed as 'best show of the Summer'... 2010 by UPI. National Pastime which played at the Keegan Theater in Washington DC in 2011 and was chosen to be considered for a Helen Hayes Award. Al Tapper has written four books on humor that were published by Andrews McMeel and Company and MJF Publishing. The books entitled, "A Guy Goes Into a Bar"; "A Minister, a Priest And a Rabbi"; "A Guy Goes Into a Doctor's Office."His latest book"A Guy Goes Into a Gym", is a collection of self-help jokes that give readers a "humorous dose of misguided makeovers." In 2003,Al Tapper wrote a novella called, "Conversations with Max" and his play Bettingers Luggage, takes a nostalgic look back, warts and all, at a family business in the old neighborhood of New York's Lower East Side's as the generations struggle, love and grow apart. Al Tapper produced the documentary film entitled "Broadway: The Golden Age, By The Legends Who Were There" written anddirected by Rick McKay. The film shares the stories of such legendary Broadway stars as Carol Burnett, Angela Lansbury, Shirley Maclaine, Jeremy Irons, Gena Rowlands, Jerry Orbach, Martin Landau, Bea Arthur, Stephen Sondheim, and Eli Wallach and dozens of others, while illustrating their tales with amazing, rare, archival performance footage and their own home movies and photos. "Broadway" has won standing ovations and thirteen Best Film, Documentary and Audience Awards at sold-out screenings at festivals all over the country this past year. He is currently producing "Broadway...The Jewish Legacy" and the the contributions of Jewish Composers and lyricists. The movie presents the views of Hal Prince, Mary Rodgers, Sheldon Harnick, Maury Yeston, The George and Ira Gershwin estate, Jamie Bernstein, John Kander and numerous other interviews. Tapper also produced the PBS television special "My Sinatra: The Songs and the Stories" a musical tribute starring Cary Hoffman in 2002. Al Tapper was born in Worcester, MA and currently resides in Boca Raton, FL and New York City. He is a member of the Dramatists' Guild of America and a member of ASCAP (American Society of Composers and Publishers). Further information can be found at his website:

MISTI B. WILLS (Director) recently directed the NYC premiere of A Pound in Your Pocket with music by Charles Strouse and Lee Adams. Her sold out 2015 NYC Fringe Festival show Shake the Earth just completed a west coast tour. Other credits include: Off-Broadway: In Search of Euphoria (Fidelity Futurestage Program, New World Stages), Tempest (Assistant Director, La MaMa, ETC., NY Times Critics Pick), Twilight the Musical (Assistant Director, New World Stages, ) Off-Off Broadway: Shake the Earth (2015 NY Fringe Festival, Theater is Easy Best Bet), The Drunken City (Jump for Joy Productions, NY Workshop Theatre), Afterlight (Cherry Lane, 2009 NY Fringe Festival), Songs for a New World, Twelfth Night (Shakespeare's Sister Company), The Pearl Merchant (Threads Theater Company). Regional Credits include My Fair Lady (Forestburgh Playhouse), and New York Water (Depot Theatre). Misti has been on the faculties of The NY Film Academy, The American Academy of Dramatic Arts and Long Island University in Brooklyn. Member of Stage Directors and Choreographers Society.

JASON HEWITT (Executive Producer) productions have been nominated for six Audelco Awards, five New York Innovative Theater Awards, a Helen Hayes Award, as well as three ATEB awards in Mexico. From 2007 through 2010, the musical Sessions played Off-Broadway, before being presented internationally in Mexico where it won Best Production. Other Off -Broadway: National Pastime, An Evening at the Carlyle, Melvin Van Peebles' Unmitigated Truth, Same Train, Early in the Mourning (staged reading at Signature Theatre featuring Estelle Parsons, Jerry Stiller, and Peter Frechette), and Titanic Voices (Waldorf Astoria, National Arts Club, New York Historical Society). From 2010 through 2015, he served as the Managing Director of The Peoples Improv Theater in Manhattan. He was the Assistant Director for the National Tour of Oklahoma! and served as the Assistant Production Manager for both the Broadway revival of LES MISERABLES and the Los Angeles production of Wicked. In a ten-year career with the firm of Alan Wasser Associates, he was a part of the management team for twenty Broadway shows: LES MISERABLES (Original and Revival), The Phantom of the Opera, Miss Saigon, Swan Lake, Fosse, Seussical, Putting It Together, Oklahoma!, The Sweet Smell of Success, Hollywood Arms, All Shook Up,Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Chita Rivera: The Dancer's Life, Festen, LeStat, Martin Short: Fame Becomes Me, A Chorus Line, Grey Gardens & Journey's End. Aside from his work as a producer and general manager, he was seen on stage as Nixon in Frost/Nixon in the first post-Broadway production of the show in New York City. Film Credits include playing Tom Hanks in the recent movie The Hereafter Hotline. On television, he was featured as Morgan Fairchild's husband in the Lifetime Network series "The Haunting of . . ."

ALGONQUIN THEATER PRODUCTIONS was conceived in 2004 and has produced several productions, including the long running Off Broadway musical Sessions (300 performances), The Devil and Billy Markham, LOL, The Chosen Wife and National Pastime. National Pastime has been produced in New York, Washington, Phoenix, Austin, Scranton and most recently Bucks County Playhouse.

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