'Serenade' New Musical by Tony-Winner Sheinkin Debuts 12/1
Jaradoa Theater will present Serenade, a world premiere of an original musical, beginning Saturday, December 1 through December 15 at Teatro LA TEA (107 Suffolk Street, between Delancey & Rivington). The book and lyrics for Serenade are by Rachel Sheinkin, winner of the 2005 Tony Award for Best Book of a Musical for The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. She also co-authored Off-Broadway's Striking 12, which launches a nationwide tour October 26. The kinetic score for Serenade, composed by Nils Olaf Dolven, mixes electronica, pop and classical elements. Rachel Sheinkin and Nils Olaf Dolven created the musical at NYU's Tisch Graduate Musical Theater Writing Program.
"Serenade follows a young silhouette maker on his odyssey of discovery after arriving in the big city. The musical journey propels him through all the adventures, struggles, and the first flush of love he experiences in this new and strange metropolis," explain press notes.
Joshua Henry and Anika Larsen head the cast of Serenade, under the direction of April Nickell. Also featured in the company are Sara Andreas, Anton Briones, Michael Fielder, Chris Harbur, Amanda Hunt, Nicole Lewis, Mario Martinez, Kelly McCreary, Eileen Rivera, Alison Solomon, Cara Scherker, and Courtni Arlene Wilson. The choreographer for Serenade is Luis Salgado and the musical director is Jared Stein.
Joshua Henry appeared in the hit musical In the Heights, which is transferring to Broadway this season. He also played Judas in the Paper Mill production of Godspell. Anika Larsen is currently appearing on Broadway in Xanadu. Other Broadway credits include Rent and All Shook Up. Anika was seen Off-Broadway in Zanna, Don't!, Miracle Brothers and How to Save the World and Find True Love in 90 Minutes.
Director April Nickell has directed in New York City for the Neva Theater Company and Haven Productions, and she collaborated on Anika Larsen's solo show Shafrika, the White Girl. Choreographer Luis Salgado is in the cast of In the Heights and is the assistant to the choreographer on that production. He also appeared in The Mambo Kings and Fame, and he recently co-directed and choreographed the original musical Mezcla in Peru.
Scenic design for Serenade is by Tobin Ost, with costumes by Andrea Varga, sound by Mike Farfalla, and lighting by Herrick Goldman.
Jaradoa (Just A Roomful of Artists Doing Outreach And) Theater is proudly presenting Serenade as its debut production. The company is a member-based group of theater artists actors, directors, writers and designers who have come together to promote mercy, beauty, and truth through performance and service. Jaradoa Theater is dedicated to compassionate action, authentic storytelling, collaboration, diversity, and play. They are committed to creating theater while serving the community at large through theater outreach and partnerships with relief organizations. Jaradoa Radio Theater is just one of the company's current public services, with monthly performances of a radio play at centers for low-income and homeless elderly. In addition, Jaradoa recently instituted a playwriting workshop at an alternative to incarceration program for 12-18 year olds, and they are working with public middle schoolers struggling with literacy, using theater and acting techniques to help them read to comprehend. Jaradoa is currently developing outreach programming for public schools and afterschool programs, with an eye toward expanding their theater outreach to hospitals, veteran centers and prisons.
The playing schedule for Serenade will be Saturday December 1 at 7PM; Monday December 3 at 8PM; Wednesday December 5 at 12PM & 8PM; Sunday December 9 at 7PM; Monday December 10 at 8PM; Wednesday December 12 at 12PM & 8PM; Thursday December 13 at 8PM; Friday December 14 at 8PM; Saturday December 15 at 2PM & 8PM.
Photos: Joshua Henry and Anika Larsen