VIVA PATSHIVA Gypsy Rock Opera Opens 3/6 At Interart Theater

Long Live The Party! Drink and Dance, Gypsy Style!

"Bacchanalian gypsy sounds pulse at the heart, but these folks are clearly caught up in punk, ska, jazz and seedy cabaret, all elements of which they knit into a convincingly schizophrenic whole. Patshiva's main weapon is a trio of singers who are all extreme personalities, inflated egos that deliver in-character with complete conviction." - Martin Longley,

Viva Patshiva means "Long Live The Party" in the Roma language and the party starts on March 6, running every Friday and Saturday through May 16 at the Interart Theatre, 500 West 52nd street (at 10th Avenue). Book and lyrics are by David Jenness ("Born To Warp") and the catchy score is built on melodies from Transylvanian and Hungarian Roma, played by some of New York's top Gypsy and Balkan musicians.
The featured roles are sung by Chemda, the Israeli-American pop singer and comedienne ("Conjure One," Nettwerk records, "Keith And The") and Ray West, lead singer of the 90's metal band "Spread Eagle" ("Switchblade Serenade," MCA/Universal). Gypsy choreography is by Andrea Kalan, a Hungarian Gypsy dancer, with additional choreography by Aaron Haskell.

The story concerns a clan of Roma musicians and dancers who have settled in a seedy section of Brooklyn. The man who smuggled them into the US is demanding payment, and their only hope lies in a romance between a sizzling exotic dancer and a wealthy motivational speaker who is infatuated with her. The plot hinges on the moody Gypsy dancer who lives at the speed of emotion. When she actually falls for the American, the cross-cultural affair becomes a matter of life and death. Along the way, there are unforgettable love songs, drinking songs, dirty songs, and breakup songs - with clever lyrics, fleet-footed dancing, and comedic riffs on love, marriage and the American Dream.

Directed by Paul Smithyman and presented by the Interart Development Series, which since 1996, has provided an environment of creative freedom for a wide variety of theater artists to develop new works. Among the artists the Interart has presented are: blessed unrest, The Shalimar, The Talking Band, Brett C. Leonard, Stephen Adley Guirgis, Tea Alagic, Wendy Kesselman, Tina Shepard, Timothy Haskell.
The Interart Theatre has been transformed into an underground party hangout. It's the perfect place for a Patshiva, a unique Gypsy party experience that combines food, drink, music and dance and lasts until there is nothing left. In the true spirit of the Roma patshiva, the ticket price includes unlimited beer and wine.

Prior to the 90 minute show, Gypsy dance instruction is open to anyone who wants to learn and all are encouraged to join the cast in the dances. Following the show, a Roma-style After Party continues the celebration.
Doors open at 7:30 with authentic Gypsy dance instruction. The show commences at 8:30. Tickets are priced at $20 and include all you can drink beer and wine (age 21 and up). They can be purchased in advance at SmartTix - (212 868 4444 or visit and type "Viva" into the search bar).

For more information, visit
About Viva Patshiva

Viva Patshiva is a product of the alternative comedy, music and performance scene in New York's Lower East Side, which uses Gypsy melodies from Transylvania and Hungary as its soundtrack. The group has developed its unique party entertainment style at such downtown venues as the Bowery Poetry Club, Duvet and Drom. They were one of 17 international Gypsy bands invited to play the 2008 Droma Gypsy Festival. In December 2008, they played a command performance at the Hungarian Consulate in New York. Their acclaimed CD, "Reasons To Live" (Sacred Clowns Records), is available from CD Baby
Press Contact: Maria Rachidi,, 646-345-4077

Viva Patshiva Facts

Creative Team:
Book and Lyrics: David Jenness
Music: Gypsies of Transylvania and Hungary, additional music by Jesse Kotansky, Chemda, Raven Solano, Aaron Szekely, David Jenness, Tom Cirillo, Anand Mukerjee, George Kalan
Producer: Sally Montufar
Director: Paul Smithyman
Assistant Director: Gerry Cosgrove
Stage Manager: Amy Ouzoonian
Choreography: Andrea Kalan, Aaron Haskell
Lighting: Solomon Weisbard
Costumes: Polina Roytman
Sound: Paul Ruest

Chemda, vocals
Ray West, vocals
Lauren Hennessy, vocals
Raven Solano, vocals
Andrea Kalan, percussion, vocals
David Jenness, bass
Jesse Kotansky, violin
Tom Cirillo, drums and percussion
Aaron Haskell, vocals
George Kalan, viola, acoustic guitar
Anand Mukherjee, electric guitar
Special musical guests:
Jake Shulman-Ment, violin
Terri Conti, accordion

Show schedule - Friday and Saturday nights:
March 6, 7, 13, 14, 20, 21, 27, 28
April 3, 4, 10, 11, 17, 18, 24, 25
May 1, 2, 8, 9, 15, 16

Evening Agenda:
7:30 - 8:30 Gypsy dance instruction
8:30 - 10:00 Viva Patshiva - the show
10:00 until... AfterParty - Gypsy dancing, Special guests

Ticket Price:
$20, includes pre show dance instruction, live musical, AfterParty and free beer and wine


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