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Out of the Box Theatrics Presents Reading of MOMMIE DEAREST

By: Sep. 01, 2017
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Off Broadway's Out of the Box Theatrics (Elizabeth Flemming, Producing Artistic Director and Ethan Paulini, Associate Artistic Director) present Mommie Dearest. Based on the legendary bestselling memoir by Christina Crawford, this new musical adaptation has a book by Christina Crawford, music by David Nehls (The Great American Trailer Park Musical), and lyrics by both Crawford and Nehls.

The focal point of the musical Mommie Dearest is the mystery meaning of language in a will, disinheriting the two eldest adopted children of a famous Hollywood movie star and made public after her death. Told primarily from the coming-of-age point of view of a brother-sister pair as they grow up, struggle with adversity and try to remain family even as they are forced down different paths, the musical explores three decades of American culture.Their story is a triumph of the human spirit when set against unrepentant cruelty.

The reading is directed by Joe Barros (Bastard Jones, Cagney, Gigi, Artistic Director of New York Theatre Barn), with music direction by Drew Wutke (Fiasco's Into the Woods). The cast includes Alison Lea Bender, Jeremy Benton (Cagney, 42nd Street), Peter Cormican (The Phantom of the Opera, Follies), Hannah Rose DeFlumeri (Bullets Over Broadway), Madeleine Doherty (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The Producers), Tari Kelly (Groundhog Day), Deven Kolluri (The Boy Who Danced On Air), Charlie Levy, Nicole Lewis (Hair) CJ Pawlikowski (The Book of Mormon), Krista Pioppi (Lazarus), Tina Scariano, Adam Shapiro (The Normal Heart, Bastard Jones), Raleigh Shuck (Beaches), Osh Ghanimah (The Boy Who Danced On Air) and Blake Sheridan.

The reading will take place at 1:30pm on Monday, September 11th, 2017. Seating is limited. Industry inquiries can be made by emailing

Out of the Box Theatrics, led by Founder and Producing Artistic Director Elizabeth Flemming and Associate Artistic Director Ethan Paulini, is a New York-based, nonprofit Actors' Equity producing organization, dedicated to producing new and classic works while challenging audiences to experience work outside of their expectations. Committed to hiring a diverse company of actors, regardless of gender, race, creed, ethnicity, or physical handicap, Out of The Box Theatrics allows audiences to experience work from a fresh perspective in site-specific locations. 2017 marks their first full season, following their 2016 inaugural production of You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown. After sold out and acclaimed runs of "Master Harold"....and the Boys and The Owl and the Pussycat, the MainStage season concludes with Jason Robert Brown's Songs for a New World. This season will also feature the new reading series Building the Box, a series of open mics and a gala benefit concert. For more information, visit

Christina Crawford (Book/Lyrics/Source Material) Born in Hollywood, Christina attended college at Carnegie Mellon, then worked as an actress for fourteen years in theatre, film and television. She returned to UCLA to graduate magna cum laude and received her master's degree from the Annenberg School at USC. In public relations management at Getty Oil headquarters, she produced a documentary on founder J. Paul Getty. And, in 1978 her legendary memoir Mommie Dearest was published, staying on The New York Times best-seller list for a year. Since then, Christina has written six books, three of which will appear in November 2017 as worldwide English language Ebooks from Open Road Media. Ms. Crawford has produced, written and appeared in award-winning documentary film and regional TV shows. She is a business woman and social activist. As co-lyricist and bookwriter, she is excited to be working with good friend, composer and co-lyricist David Nehls to create the musical based on her memoir, Mommie Dearest. She is a member of the Dramatists Guild.

David Nehls (Music/Lyrics) has supplied music and lyrics for the following: The Great American Trailer Park Musical (Dodger Stages, 2007 National Tour, 2004 NYMF Festival, 2008 Edinburgh Festival, produced regionally), Broadway Bares 19 and 20 (opening numbers for both years) as well as the 2016 opening number for Broadway Bares Fire Island, I'll Be Home For Christmas (world premiere 2016 at the Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities), The Watercoolers (2002 Off-Broadway, 2007 National Tour, continuing industrials), It's A Wonderful Life (1993 National Tour, produced regionally), Killer Wigs from Outer Space (2017 NYMF, 2016 workshop production at CU Boulder, short animation project, 2013 GenCon Selection, Terror Film Festival, 2013 in Philadelphia), and The Great American Trailer Park Christmas Musical (premiere at Stages Rep, Houston, produced regionally). As a musical director, David has conducted and MD'd 50 productions at the Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities in Colorado, and has also worked regionally as MD at such theaters as The Riverside Theatre, The Aurora Fox, Theatre Aspen, and ICA Boston. He has also acted as musical director/composer/arranger/ musical supervisor for Carols for a Cure, a holiday CD benefitting Broadway Cares/Equity FightsAIDS from 1998-2005. He is a member of the Dramatists Guild.


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