Musical Comedy GIOVANNI THE FEARLESS Comes to Theater for the New City
Theater for the New City, Crystal Field, Executive Director, presents Giovanni The Fearless, a new commedia dell'arte folk opera ideal for all audiences, including grandparents, parents and their kids. This romantic musical comedy has book and lyrics by Carolyn Balducci and music composed by Mira J. Spektor. Lissa Moira directs a cast of 13, including Amanda Alyse Thomas, Matt Angel, Kimberly Bechtold, Torian Brackett, Jef Canter*, Kareem Elsamadicy, Xi Lyu, Zen Mansley, Douglas McDonnell, Amelia Sasson, Matthew Serra, David F. Slone, Esq., and Amanda Yachechak. Performances will be staged at the Johnson Theater at Theater for the New City, 155 First Avenue (bet. 9th and 10th Streets), New York, NY 10003 from May 12-21, 2017. *Member, Actors' Equity Association. AEA Showcase.
Giovanni The Fearless is a family-friendly commedia dell'arte folk opera about the power of love, a troupe of traveling actors, an old castle, two young lovers, and a couple of ghosts. When Giovanni encounters the Bombasto Family commedia troupe, he becomes enchanted with the star of the show, the beautiful Colombina. Tricked by Colombina's father and siblings into believing that a treasure lies hidden in a nearby haunted castle, he deals first with a fake Ghost (a giant puppet constructed by the Bombastos), and then an actual Ghost. In the end, he discovers that the real treasure is his love for Colombina. Spectacular projections by Bank Street Films, clowning, tumbling, puppetry, special effects and on-stage musicians enhance this romantic musical comedy.
This is first full professional production of Giovanni The Fearless after abridged concert versions were performed at the Dramatists' Guild (2010); Havoc Theatre/Abingdon Theatre Complex (2011); and Nimoy/Thalia at Symphony Space (2012).
Musical Director: Cristina Dinella; Projections: Bank Street Films; Choreographer: J. Alan Hanna; Set Designers: Marc Marcante & Lytza Colon; Costume Designer: Lytza Colon; Lighting Designer: William Geraldo.
Eight performances will be staged from May 12-21, 2017: Friday at 8pm; Saturdays at 3pm & 8pm; and Sundays at 3pm.
Carolyn Balducci (book and lyrics) - Carolyn's publications and productions include novels, poetry, creative non-fiction, plays, articles and reviews. From 1977 to 2002 she was a member of the Creative Writing Faculty of the Residential College of the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. She taught screenwriting at NYU's Grad Film Program and writing at SUNY Stony Brook. Her books include a biography of Nobel-prize winner, Grazia Deledda (Houghton Mifflin) as well as a biography of American Transcendentalist, Margaret Fuller (Bantam). Her novels, IS THERE A LIFE AFTER GRADUATION, HENRY BIRNBAUM? (Houghton Mifflin) and EARWAX (Houghton Mifflin) have been translated into several languages, cited for distinctions and optioned for film. Her works for theatre include translations of contemporary as well as classical comedies Lysistrata; La Calandra; and La Veniexiana and original works such as Alcuin, a Fierce and Eloquent Plea for the Rights of Women based on the 1798 novel by Charles Brockden Brown; The Hamptons Quartet adapted from Chekhov's stories; and most recently, Maestro Pirandello as Recalled by Marta Abba. Screenplays include "Best Interest," "Otto of the Silver Hand" and adaptations of her own novels. Carolyn is a member of The Dramatists' Guild, BMI and the League of Professional Theatre Women. She's listed in Who's Who, Contemporary Authors, Something About the Author, Poets & Writers Directory, etc. Distinctions include a commendation from S.I.A.E. (Italian Society of Authors and Publishers); ALA Notable Book, etc.
Mira J. Spektor (composer) - Also a lyricist and poet, Mira's chamber operas and musicals include: The Housewives' Cantata (lyrics by June Siegel), Lady of the Castle (Spektor's music & lyrics based on Lea Goldberg's Israeli play), The Passion of Lizzie Borden (poems by Ruth Whitman), Villa Diodati (about Mary Shelley, lyrics by Colette Inez, Byron, Shelley) and Giovanni the Fearless (A Commedia del'Arte folk opera with a libretto by Carolyn Balducci); English, French and German recital & cabaret songs and music for theater, film and TV; two books of poems, "From Seaside Houses" and "The Road to November". She has recorded for Concert Hall, Westminster, Guilde International du Disque, Original Cast Records, Capstone and AirPlay. Villa Diodiatii was produced by Bank Street Films and is available on Albany Records. Her music scores (Georgina Press - BMI) include the feature film Double Edge (Faye Dunaway) and PBS documentaries, Art in Its Soul and Serious Comics. Her CDs include: The Housewives' Cantata, Lady of the Castle, Mira Chante/French Love Songs, and Lullabies & Love Songs. Since 1975, she is the Founder and Artistic Director of The Aviva Players, and her memberships include: BMI, Dramatist Guild, Opera America, and the League of Professional Theater Women. Born in Europe, she graduated from Sarah Lawrence College and then studied at Mannes and Juilliard. Some quotes from the The New York Times: "An interesting composer"..."Attractive and tonal" ..."A passionate duet"..."A sprightly songfest".
Lissa Moira (director) - A member of AEA, SAG, and AFTRA, Lissa is also a playwright, screenwriter, lyricist, poet and artist. She recently wrote and directed Grand Theft Musical, an adaptation of Robert Sickinger's 1994 Platinum Taps at Theater for the New City (TNC), where she also directed Mira Spektor's Lady of the Castle and Seymour's Barab's From Oy to Vey and In Questionable Taste. Other recent directing credits include The Elephant Pen, Speakeasy: John and Jane's Adventures in the Wonderland, Danny and the Deep Blue Sea,and a 35-person cast in Nicholas Nickleby: A New Musical at Theatre for the New City, another adaptation by the late Robert Sickinger. Out of 5,000 world-wide submissions, Ms. Moira's play TIME IT IS was chosen as a top ten finalist in the prestigious Chesterfield/Paramount screenwriting competition. Ms. Moira's 2007 play Before God Was Invented was an American nominee for the Susan Brownell-Smith International Playwrights Award. Ms. Moira co-wrote "Dead Canaries," a feature film starring Charles Durning, Dan Lauria, Dee Wallace Stone and Joel Higgins. With co-writer Richard West, Lissa's well known for Sexual Psychobabble and The Best S*x of the XX Century Sale. Both ran over a year and each enjoyed critical and popular success. The Moira/West team's DaDa noir musical, Who Murdered Love? featured Broadway's Luba Mason and Tracy McDowell as well as William Broderick. It originated at Theater for the New City and ran at the Players Theatre as part of the 2012 FringeNYC (Ms. Moira directed as well). Other directing/co-writing credits include Sirens Heart: Norma Jeane and Marilyn in Purgatory (which enjoyed a 14-month Off-Broadway run at The Actor's Temple), and Tom Jones a new musical (Bloomberg Radio declared the directing "beautiful, fine and fresh"). Of her directing work on Cocaine Dreams, a play about Freud at The Kraine Theatre, the New York Post raved "inspired."
Theater for the New City is a Pulitzer Prize winning cultural center that is known for its high artistic standards and widespread community service. One of New York's most prolific theatrical organizations, TNC produces 30-40 premieres of new American plays per year, at least 10 of which are by emerging and young playwrights. Many influential theater artists of the last quarter century have found TNC's Resident Theater Program instrumental to their careers, among them Sam Shepard, Moises Kaufman, Richard Foreman, Charles Busch, Maria Irene Fornes, Miguel Piñero, Jean-Claude van Itallie, Vin Diesel, Oscar Nuñez, Laurence Holder, Romulus Linney and Academy Award Winners Tim Robbins and Adrien Brody. TNC also presents plays by multi-ethnic/multi-disciplinary theater companies who have no permanent home. Among the well-known companies that have been presented by TNC are Mabou Mines, The Living Theater, Bread and Puppet Theater, the San Francisco Mime Troupe and COBU, the Japanese women's drumming and dance group. TNC also produced the Yangtze Repertory Company's 1997 production of Between Life and Death, which was the only play ever produced in America by Gao Xingjian before he won the 2000 Nobel Prize for Literature. TNC seeks to develop theater audiences and inspire future theater artists from the often-overlooked low-income minority communities of New York City by producing minority writers from around the world and by bringing the community into theater and theater into the community through its many free Festivals. TNC productions have won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and over 42 OBIE Awards for excellence in every theatrical discipline. TNC is also the only Theatrical Organization to have won the Mayor's Stop The Violence award.