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TNC's 2016 Dream Up Festival to Present THE JOINT

Theater for the New City's Dream Up Festival Presents
"The Joint"
A Complex Web of Relationships and Intrigue Festers beneath the Roof of a Juke Joint

"The Joint" is a musical by Curtis Jones that follows the story of the plucky, young Corrida who, after exiting a toxic relationship and a dead-end career in New York, returns to her hometown of Stuckley, Virginia only to discover a world of troubles. Torn between following her dreams of becoming a singer and devotion to her father, Corrida becomes entangled in a complex web of relationships and intrigue, revolving around a music bar named The Joint. Music is composed by Timothy Graphenreed of "The Wiz" fame. The musical is directed and choreographed by Kenneth L. Roberson of the Tony award-winning "Avenue Q."

With a score of soulful, jazzy tunes, this musical focuses on many different storylines and subplots, all linked by a common association with the music club known as The Joint, run by a woman called Queen. The main character, Corrida, returns to live with her father after a troubling and brief career in New York. She dreams of becoming a famous singer, and Queen offers her a position to sing at The Joint. However, Corrida is torn by loyalty to her father and the knowledge that a life of stardom caused her mother's downfall into drug abuse and poverty. Corrida is drawn into a shaky relationship with her colleague Tony and matters become worse by the appearance of her former lover and agent Jacob, who plans on asking Corrida to marry him.

Meanwhile, Queen grapples with questions of success and modernization, hoping to keep her juke joint relevant in the rapidly changing world. Tensions flare when her boyfriend and confidant Buster begins undermining her and working with the notorious vagabond The Dude, who seeks to turn The Joint into a den of vice, gambling and prostitution. This cast of funny, seductive and lively characters are flawed and sympathetic personalities for the audience to engage with.

A pharmacist by trade, Curtis D. Jones is also a playwright. His passion for the arts was first nurtured by his local church, and later by award-winning playwright Steve Carter. Jones has written for the Obie-nominated adaptation of Langston Hughes' "Black Nativity." He is the coauthor of the novel "Who Killed Leslie Cummings?" and is currently writing a new novel "Which Way to the Top?"

WHERE AND WHEN:
September 8 at 6:30 PM, September 9 at 6:30 PM, September 10 at 5:00 PM, September 11 at 5:00 PM.
Johnson Theatre, Theater for the New City, 155 First Ave. (at East 10th Street)
Presented by Theater for the New City (Crystal Field, Artistic Director) as part of the Dream Up Festival 2016.
Ticket Price: $18.00
Box office: (212) 254-1109, www.dreamupfestival.org
Runs for 1:50. Reviewers are invited to all performances.

Composer Timothy Graphenreed has scored "The Tornado," "The Funky Monkey," and "Emerald City Ballet (Pssst)," part of "The Wiz," the hit Broadway fusion of the classic story "The Wizard of Oz" with African-American music and culture. Recently Graphenreed has worked on vocal arrangements for several Tony Award winners. He has also composed for celebrities and notables like Phylicia Rashad, Jeff Goldblum, Robert Downey Jr., Maya Angelou and Morgan Freeman. He has written arrangements for numerous corporations ranging from Ford to Coca-Cola to PBS.

Choreographer Kenneth L. Roberson is best known for his work on Broadway's "Avenue Q."
His other Broadway credits include "All Shook Up" at The Palace Theater, "Purlie (Encores!)" at City Center and "Freak" at the Court Theater. Off-Broadway credits include: "A Boy and His Soul" at The Vineyard and two shows at the Apollo Theater, "Jazz a La Carte" (as director and choreographer) and "Harlem Song." In regional theaters, he has directed for Virginia Stage, Alliance Theater, Walnut Street Theatre, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Emerson Bar and Grill and Arena Stage in Washington D.C. He has choreographed for Pasadena Playhouse, Alliance Theater and Arena Stage. His film credits include John Leguizamo's "House of Buggin'" (Fox TV), which received an Emmy nomination. He has received two NAACP awards, two Lucille Lortel nominations, a Drama Desk Nomination, an AUDELCO Award, a BET Spirit award and an NPT Spirit Award.

"The Joint" is produced by SeasonWalk Productions Inc., which is led by Denise Gray. She collaborated on the launch of Brooklyn Public Library's Special Events Department and has produced many star-studded benefits for Neighborhood Housing Services of NYC. She is working toward a Broadway revival of the noted 1971 musical revue "Don't Bother Me, I Can't Cope."

The seventh annual Dream Up Festival is dedicated to new works. Presented by Theater for the New City, the Festival will run from August 28 to September 18, 2016 and will feature a variety of original dramas, comedies, musicals, adaptations and experimental plays. The Festival celebrates the arts in a time when cultural and arts funding is in sharp decline due to a number of social and market forces. Now an East Village tradition, it challenges the audience to reflect on the innovative and imaginative ways that they interact with the theater.


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