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WELCOME TO THE KINGDOM OF SAUDI ARABIA to Make U.S. Debut at 59E59 Theaters This Fall

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59E59 Theaters welcomes Monk Parrots with the US premiere of the new musical WELCOME TO THE KINGDOM OF SAUDI ARABIA, book by Luke Landric Leonard; lyrics by Katie Pearl and Mr. Leonard; music by Peter Stopschinski; and directed by Mr. Leonard.

WELCOME TO THE KINGDOM OF SAUDI ARABIA begins performances on Thursday, October 8 for a limited engagement through Sunday, October 25. Press opening is Sunday, October 11 at 3:30 PM. The performance schedule is Tuesday - Thursday at 7:30 PM; Friday and Saturday at 8:30 PM; and Sunday at 3:30 PM. Performances are at 59E59 Theaters (59 East 59th Street, between Park and Madison Avenues). Tickets are $18 ($12.60 for 59E59 Members). To purchase tickets, call Ticket Central at (212) 279-4200 or go to www.59e59.org.

This dark musical comedy set in Dharhan takes an intimate look at the barriers between genders and cultures through the lives of American expatriates. This new musical from downtown darlings Monk Parrots features a Saudi-pop fusion score by Peter Stopschinski (Austin's Rude Mechs) with lyrics by Obie Award-winner (and long-time collaborator with Lisa D'Amour) Katie Pearl.

The cast features Jessie Dean (After an Earlier Incident at LaMaMa), Ruthy Froch (Marie at Dixon Place), John Gasper (Requiem for Black Marie at Incubator Arts Project), Joey LePage (Bum Phillips All American Opera at LaMaMa), Christopher Michael McLamb (Unexplored Interior at the Cherry Lane Theater), Sarah Grace Sanders, and John Smiley.

The design team includes Eric Nightengale (lighting design); Alison Heryer (costume design), Allee Ilardi (prop design), and Mariah Ilardi-Lowy (makeup design). Emily Hawthorne is the translator/dramaturg.

Luke Landric Leonard (book writer/director) is a stage director and concept designer for theatre and opera and the Artistic Director of Monk Parrots, a New York based experimental theater company. Luke's stage productions have been described as "outstanding" by The New York Times, "pure theatrical experience" by nytheatre(dot)com, and "visually arresting" by Austin American-Statesman. Directing credits include: Bum Phillips: All-American Opera (La MaMa ETC), Here I Go (59E59 Theaters), The Turn of the Screw (Symphony Space), and The Difficulty of Crossing a Field (2010 nominee--Austin Critics' "Best Opera"). Upcoming projects include the world premiere dark musical comedy, Welcome to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, at 59E59 Theaters and the Australian premiere of The Difficulty of Crossing a Field, produced by Gertrude Opera and The Opera Studio of Melbourne. Luke is Adjunct Associate Professor of Theatre at LIU-Post and holds a MFA from The University of Texas at Austin where he studied directing and studio art.

Peter Stopschinki (composer) composed and recorded string arrangements and organ on Grupo Fantasma's 2010 Grammy Award winning album La Existential. He also composed the music for Madeleine George's play The Curious Case Of Dr. Watson that was nominated for the 2013 Pulitzer Prize in Drama. His musical with creator E.J. Stapleton, The Calico Buffalo, was chosen top 10 in the 2014 New York New Musical Theater Festival. Peter is composer for Rude Mechs' production I've Never Been So Happy, a western musical which was developed as a selection in the NEA New Play Development Program and played in Washington, D.C. and Austin, TX. It was picked up by Centre Theater Group for a four week run in L.A. at the Kirk Douglas Theater. Peter's opera with librettist Kirk Lynn and director Luke Leonard about Bum Phillips and the Houston Oilers premiered at the historic La MaMa to rave reviews. Peter's concerto for harp, strings and percussion was featured at the 2014 Orchestra Gala Night at the gathering of the American Harp Society in New Orleans in June. Members of the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra were conducted by Peter Bay and the solo harp part was performed by Elaine Barber.

Katie Pearl (lyricist) is a Obie Award-winning theater artist best known for her 16 year history making experimental work with playwright Lisa D'Amour. Recipient of the Lee Reynolds Award for eight hour How to?Build a Forest, given annually to a woman whose theatre work has helped illuminate the possibilities for social, cultural, or political change. Milton, a performance based on interviews, examines what it feels like to be American in 2014 and recently premiered in Milton, NC.


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