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THE MOST MISERABLE CHRISTMAS TREE Holiday Musical Premieres Tonight in Brooklyn!

Max Baudisch as "Douglas Fir "

The Most Miserable Christmas Tree, a new fun-filled family holiday musical, will receive its World Premiere this December at Bay Ridge's Narrows Community Theater, celebrating its 45th Anniversary Season.

With book and lyrics by Tim Sulka and Debra Barsha (Radiant Baby), music by Barsha, orchestrations by Lena Gabrielle, music direction by Paolo C. Perez and direction and choreography by Michael Chase Gosselin, The Most Miserable Christmas Tree will be presented at The Fort Hamilton Army Base Theater (403 GenerAl Lee Avenue), December 9th-18th, 2016.

As a Christmas tree, Douglas Fir is the center of attention where he extols the joys of being decorated. Unfortunately, Douglas is soon stripped of adornment, thrown to the curb and left in a pile of trash. Determined to remain a decorated Christmas Tree, Douglas heads back home to Mistletoe Mountain and Miss Balsam's Finishing School for Christmas Trees to get the diploma he never received. Douglas only succeeds in becoming more miserable and turns his back on Christmas; until an important discovery allows him to understand his true purpose and the real meaning of the holiday season.

Inspired by seeing countless Christmas Trees discarded on the street soon after Christmas, authors Sulka and Barsha wanted to create a world where Trees had some say in their fate. "Our show is about second chances. About finding a purpose when the world tells you you're done," Sulka said. "Douglas Fir is a Christmas Tree who only wants to be decorated again, Barsha added. "Through his journey, Douglas finds that sometimes its not about what you get that fulfills you, but what you give back."

The authors also expressed their delight in working with the Narrows Community Theater on the world premiere. "The Most Miserable Christmas Tree is designed specifically to be performed by adults and children - and to be enjoyed by families everywhere," Barsha stated. "We're thrilled to have the premiere at NCT where the entire community can come together to bring the magical world of Douglas Fir and his friends to life," Sulka responded. "We're also very excited about sharing the show with families in the Bay Ridge community and beyond."

"The opportunity to launch the World Premiere of The Most Miserable Christmas Tree has sparked excitement and enthusiasm among our members and the community," said Denise Higgins-Regan, the President of Narrows Community Theater. "Presenting this whimsical, message-filled musical will afford NCT the chance to help shape a brand new musical, working from the ground up to rise to the apex of perfection and entertain our holiday audiences in a way they will always remember," she added. "It is also a bonus for our organization that this premiere will be staged at the Fort Hamilton Army Base, allowing NCT, along with the writers and creative team, to give back to our well-deserving military."

The creative team includes Jamie Roderick (lighting), Steve Jacobs (sound), Margaret McMahon (props) and Michael Chase Gosselin (projections). The Production Stage Manager is Marialana Ardolino. Artwork by Stan Maksun.

Since 2011, The Most Miserable Christmas Tree has had multiple developmental readings, both in New York and Los Angeles, using talent from Broadway and Hollywood. The Narrows Community Theater production will hold open call auditions for all ages. Visit www.mostmiserablemusical.com for audition and ticket information.

ABOUT THE ARTISTS

Debra Barsha (Book, Music & Lyrics) won the Jonathan Larson Performing Arts Foundation Award for the score to RADIANT BABY, (Public Theatre dir. George C. Wolfe). Composer credits include SONGS FROM AN UNMADE BED. (NYTW), SOPHIE, (JRT) and Barsha's one-woman musical GO TO YOUR WOMB and the sequel A WOMB WITH A VIEW. Her children's musicals, THE MORAL OF THE STORY, CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF MEATBALLS, and THE EMPEROR'S NEW CONDO have been performed annually throughout the country. She arranged vocals for Orange is the New Black' s Lea DeLaria's latest album. Barsha conducted Karen O's psycho opera STOP THE VIRGENS at St. Ann's Warehouse and The Sydney Opera House, and wrote the vocal arrangement for the gospel choir on the Yeah Yeah Yeah's single "Sacrilege." Debra currently plays keyboards, sings and is the Associate Conductor of Broadway's JERSEY BOYS. Debra's new musical A TASTE OF THINGS TO COME will be opening off-Broadway at The York Theatre in association with Groundswell Productions on November 17th.

Tim Sulka (Book & Lyrics) has co-written the feature film, CHILDREN OF THE CORN 666, produced by Miramax/Dimension. He has co-written and co-produced the graphic novel, PRIME CUTS, which is based on the legend of Sweeney Todd. Barsha and Sulka have supplied music and lyrics for the Broadway/Holllywood spoof, EPIC FAILURES. Tim is also the co-book and lyricist for the one-man musical, KISSING THE CORNERS. He is currently the co-lyricist and screenwriter for the television project, URBN FAERYTALES, a modern musical take on familiar fairy tales. He currently serves as the Associate Company Manager of Broadway's JERSEY BOYS.

Michael Chase Gosselin (Director/Choreographer) is a professional producer, director, and designer based in NYC. He recently produced MIDNIGHT AT THE NEVER GET and LUDO'S BROKEN BRIDE in the 2016 New York Musical Festival, and POPE! AN EPIC MUSICAL in 2015. He served as the Artistic Director/ Executive Producer of Act Three Theatricals from 2006 to 2012. In 2013, he directed and co-produced a developmental reading of MOBY DICK - A WHALE OF A TALE for Cameron Mackintosh. As a Director/Choreographer, recent credits include DISNEY'S TARZAN (VT Premiere), THE WEDDING SINGER and SOUTH PACIFIC (NCT), ROCK NATIVITY (Regional Premiere), HAIRSPRAY, CHICAGO, a tour of THE COMPLETE HISTORY OF AMERICA (ABRIDGED), NEXT TO NORMAL (VT Premiere), YOU'RE A GOOD MAN, CHARLIE BROWN and A CHRISTMAS CAROL at the Helen Hayes Youth Theatre, and LEGALLY BLONDE for Clark University. Last spring, he helmed the New England Premiere of Justin Moran's THE SPIDEY PROJECT. Current projects include producing and directing the new musical HOW TO SURVIVE AN APOCALYPSE WITHOUT REALLY TRYING, as well as producing the Off-Broadway Premiere of POPE!. He is a proud member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society. www.michaelchasegosselin.com

Since 1971, Narrows Community Theater has been entertaining the Bay Ridge and surrounding communities by producing quality theater at affordable prices. Incorporated as a 501(c)3 in 1975, Narrows Community Theatre has produced a minimum two shows a year since 1971, and their activities and performances continue to be open to the general public. In addition to their MainStage productions, NCT offer opportunities to learn stage craft, musical theater performance, acting technique, dance, team work and the "business of show business". In August 2006, NCT initiated a series of workshops designed to off their members and the public an opportunity to enhance their performing arts craftsmanship. They currently offer children and adult theater dance classes, as well as singing and acting workshops.



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