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Elice co-wrote with Marshall Brickman the smash hit “Jersey Boys” for which they were Tony-nominated and which they followed up with “The Addams Family.”


Because musical book writing is so often misunderstood, these uncelebrated heroes are the first to be blamed, last to be praised - when mentioned at all. On this episode of "THEATER: All the Moving Parts", host Patrick Pacheco welcomes Rick Elice, one of Broadway's top musical book writers. The show premieres Friday, February 19th at 9:30PM on CUNY TV and streams at THEATER: All the Moving Parts starting February 22nd.

Elice co-wrote with Marshall Brickman the smash hit "Jersey Boys" for which they were Tony-nominated and which they followed up with "The Addams Family." Elice, who was also Tony nominated for "Peter and the Starcatcher," most recently wrote "The Cher Show," the biographical musical about rock icon, Cher. In a frank and funny interview, Elice recounts the trials of capturing the mercurial star who remained unconvinced that musicals were designed to capture the essence, not the documentary truth, of a life. Elice also recalls that his friend, writer Peter Stone ("1776" "Titanic"), advised him that musicals were "talked into existence" and "negotiated through tantrum." Which has been true, he wryly observed, but added he thought they were supposed to be "my tantrums." He also discusses the new challenges of finding the theatrical sweet spot for "Smash," a show created first for the medium of television.

Patrick Pacheco says, "Rick has an impeccable grasp of storytelling, gleaned from studying all the greats in the field, including Arthur Laurents, Hugh Wheeler, Peter Stone, and the legendary Stanley Donen ("Singing in the Rain"), a friend and mentor. What also helps is that he is a theatrical Everyman, having acted, sung and danced, stage managed, swept floors, designed and run lights and written ad copy for shows. Add to that list, a wonderful raconteur."

"THEATER: All the Moving Parts" is a CUNY-TV show, featuring in-depth interviews with top theater artists, including playwright Theresa Rebeck, musical director Casey Nicholaw, intimacy director Claire Warden and choreographer Sergio Trujillo. Of Pacheco, Rebeck said, "I felt like I was being interviewed by someone who knows me better than I know myself." Go to THEATER: All the Moving Parts to see these and other episodes.

Patrick Pacheco is an Emmy-winning commentator and journalist whose work has appeared in The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal,, and many other periodicals. He wrote the 2009 Disney documentary "Waking Sleeping Beauty," and is the co-writer, with Maria Cassi, of the play, "My Life with Men...and other animals." He is the writer and editor of the Amazon best seller "American Theatre Wing, An Oral History: 100 Years, 100 Voices, 100 Million Miracles."

Rick Elice is a writer who has had four shows on Broadway: Jersey Boys, The Addams Family, Peter and the Starcatcher, and The Cher Show. A few more are in the pipeline, including: The Princess Bride, Smash, and Water for Elephants. His last acting gig was in 2003, as a porn star for Elaine May, in her off-Broadway play, Adult Entertainment. (How could I say no?) Rick's book, Finding Roger, An Improbably Theatrical Love Story, a tribute to his extraordinary husband, Roger Rees, is published by Kingswell.

STREAMING on THEATER: All the Moving Parts starts Monday, December February 22nd.

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