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James Valcq

Birth Place: United States

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James Valcq (born 1963 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin) is an American musical theatre composer, lyricist, & librettist, as well as an actor and arts administrator.

Valcq is among the “new guard” of theatre composers championed by Playwrights Horizons and Ira Weitzman, who co-produced the 2001 Off-Broadway production of The Spitfire Grill for which Valcq composed the score and collaborated on the book with lyricist Fred Alley. The musical won the Richard Rodgers Production Award [1] presented by the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Stephen Sondheim chairs the committee that chose the The Spitfire Grill as the winner. The remainder of the group comprised Lynn Ahrens, Jack Beeson, John Guare, Sheldon Harnick, R. W. B. Lewis, Richard Maltby, Jr., and Robert Ward. The Spitfire Grill also received Best Musical nominations from the Outer Critics Circle and Drama League, as well as two Drama Desk nominations. The cast album was released on Triangle Road Records.

Also Off-Broadway, Valcq wrote the book, music, and lyrics for Zombies from The Beyond, which opened to great critical acclaim in 1995. He also co-directed the production. The cast album was released by Original Cast Records. Both The Spitfire Grill and Zombies from The Beyond have become staples in regional theatres, particularly The Spitfire Grill, one of the most frequently performed recent musicals with nearly 500 productions to date, not only in every major American city but in Canada, Germany, South Korea, Australia, Japan, and Singapore as well. The Spitfire Grill had its UK premiere at the 2008 Edinburgh Festival Fringe in a production by the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama.

Other New York credits include Fallout Follies at the York Theatre, Songs I Never Sang For My Father at the Village Theatre, and The Last Leaf, a collaboration with Tony-nominee Mary Bracken Phillips. Regionally, Valcq composed an adaptation of the classic children’s book The Pancake King commissioned by Milwaukee’s Next Act Theatre, and The Passage (another collaboration with Fred Alley) at American Folklore Theatre in Wisconsin.
His music is often cited as being particularly melodic, strikingly rhythmic, and possessing harmonic and structural subtleties that reveal the composer’s classical training without affecting the accessibility of his material. Also of particular note is that the instruments in Valcq’s orchestrations often seem to become characters in the story.

In addition to orchestrating his own music (a rarity in the theatre), he has created orchestrations of classic musicals for many regional theatres and opera companies. Valcq is also a conductor and musician with Broadway credits including Chicago, Flower Drum Song, Scarlet Pimpernel, and Cabaret.

He holds an MFA from NYU’s Musical Theatre Writing Program and a BFA (on full scholarship) from the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Valcq began his professional career as a boy soprano singing in Alban Berg's Wozzeck with the Skylight Comic Opera and Amahl and the Night Visitors several times with the Milwaukee Opera Company. For the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, he sang George Crumb's Ancient Voices of Children under conductor Arthur Weisberg and under Kenneth Schermerhorn for Pro Musica Nova. He also played roles in summer stock, appearing with John Raitt, Karen Morrow, Margaret Whiting, and Dave Madden in various productions. At age 19, he won First Place in the Student Auditions of the National Association of Teachers of Singing. He performed Morton Gould's Hoofer Suite (a ten-minute solo for tap dancer and orchestra) with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra under the baton of JoAnn Falletta. Valcq began composing while still in college, and although he graduated with an applied voice degree, by this time he had abandoned performing to concentrate on composing and conducting. In addition to musicals, Valcq has composed song cycles and choral pieces which have been performed in the U.S. and Europe.

In 2007 Valcq returned to acting, playing Cosme McMoon in Souvenir at Boise Contemporary Theater, a role he has also played at American Stage Theatre and Stage Door Theatre Co. Additional credits include Feste in Twelfth Night and the Friar in Much Ado About Nothing at Door Shakespeare, Ernie in Guys on Ice at Milwaukee Repertory Theater, and Pierre in How I Became a Pirate at First Stage.

In October 2011 Valcq became co-Artistic Director of Third Avenue Playhouse in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin and, with co-Artistic Director Robert Boles, founded the Stage Door Theatre Company, where he's directed productions of The Glass Menagerie, Almost, Maine, and The 39 Steps.

Recent compositions include the musicals Victory Farm (book and lyrics by Emilie Coulson & Katie Dahl) at American Folklore Theatre and Anatole (book and lyrics by Lee Becker & John Maclay), premiering at First Stage.

James Valcq Videos

James Valcq News

The Nazareth University Theatre & Dance Department to Present SPITFIRE GRILL

THE NAZARETH UNIVERSITY THEATRE & DANCE DEPARTMENT presents 'SPITFIRE GRILL', a musical about a young woman's journey toward a fresh start in a rural Wisconsin town. Don't miss this captivating production!

BORN WITH TEETH, EMMA & More Set for Austin Playhouse 2023-24 Season

Austin Playhouse 2023-2024 Season will include an Austin premiere, two regional premieres, a return favorite, and an uplifting musical.

Special Offer: SPITFIRE GRILL at Vanguard Theater

Special Offer: The Spitfire Grill

SPRING AWAKENING, CABARET and More Announced For Vanguard Theater Second Season In Montclair

Artistic Director, Janeece Freeman Clark, have announced Vanguard Theater's 2022-2023 season, which includes four dynamic productions that highlight the importance and the beauty of living an authentic life. Rather than journeying outside of one's community, one should embrace self to find happiness.

First Stage Kicks Off 2022/23 Season With ARTHUR AND FRIENDS MAKE A MUSICAL

First Stage kicks off its 2022/23 season with the delightful world premiere production of ARTHUR AND FRIENDS MAKE A MUSICAL!, written by First Stage Resident Playwright, lyricist and actor John Maclay, with Music and Lyrics by actor, composer/lyricist, writer and First Stage alum Brett Ryback, adapted from the books and characters created by Marc Brown and directed and choreographed by Bay Area Children's Theatre Artistic Director Khalia Davis. 

Milwaukee's First Stage to Kick Off 2022/23 Season With ARTHUR AND FRIENDS MAKE A MUSICAL!

First Stage will kick off its 2022/23 season with the delightful world premiere production of ARTHUR AND FRIENDS MAKE A MUSICAL!. ARTHUR AND FRIENDS MAKE A MUSICAL! runs October 7 - November 6, 2022 at the Marcus Center's Todd Wehr Theater.

Listen: GOOSEBUMPS THE MUSICAL: PHANTOM OF THE AUDITORIUM With Brightman, Alabado & More Now Streaming

Goosebumps The Musical: Phantom of the Auditorium (Original Studio Cast Recording) – Deluxe Edition has been released by Ghostlight Records in streaming and digital formats. In addition to the all-star cast album, this new edition features karaoke tracks for highlights from the recording. Listen here!

Savannah Rep's THE SPITFIRE GRILL Opens Next Month

Savannah Repertory Theatre announced today that its summer musical presentation of The Spitfire Grill will be led by Dani Vazquez in the role of Percy Talbott, who arrives in the small town of Gilead, Wisconsin with one suitcase and a number of secrets.

Photos: First Look at The Laguna Playhouse's Production of THE SPITFIRE GRILL

THE SPITFIRE GRILL begins previews on Wednesday, January 26; will open on Sunday, January 30 at 5:30pm and perform through Sunday, February 13, 2022 at the Laguna Playhouse, 606 Laguna Canyon Drive in Laguna Beach.

Laguna Playhouse Presents Musical Adaptation THE SPITFIRE GRILL

Laguna Playhouse has announced its first production of the new year, the touching and tender musical, THE SPITFIRE GRILL, music and book by James Valcq, lyrics and book by Fred Alley, based on the film by Lee David Zlotoff, musical direction by Glen Rovinelli and directed by Steve Steiner.

BWW Review: THE SPITFIRE GRILL at Arizona Broadway Theatre

Arizona Broadway Theatre’s current production of THE SPITFIRE GRILL, running through September 5th in ABT’s Encore Room. (Approximate running time ~ 2 hours.)

Laguna Playhouse Announces 2021-2022 Season

LAGUNA PLAYHOUSE has announced its doors will open after a too long 18 months, so they can (finally!) celebrate their 100th year of creating exceptional theatre in one of Southern California’s most beautiful & vibrant communities!

Hackmatack Playhouse Announces Return to the Stage With THE SPITFIRE GRILL

The show at Hackmatack Playhouse this summer is funny, sentimental and remarkably relevant for the summer of 2021. “The Spitfire Grill,' opening Aug. 6 at the Berwick theater, is about a community that is coming together and rebuilding from a fresh start, even featuring a song called 'Come Alive Again.'

DRIVING MISS DAISY, ANYONE CAN WHISTLE and More Announced in Third Avenue Playhouse 2020 Season

The Third Avenue Playhouse, located in historic downtown Sturgeon Bay, announces its lineup of six plays for the upcoming 2020 season. The plays include an early career work from playwright David Mamet, a 1964 musical by the legendary composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim, a multi-award winning classic about the unlikely friendship between an elderly lady and her driver, the story of an unconventional advice columnist, and a farcical take on the making of Gone With The Wind.

THE LEGEND OF ROCK, PAPER, SCISSORS, A Fun, Family-Friendly World Premiere Is Coming To Milwaukee's First Stage

THE LEGEND OF ROCK, PAPER, SCISSORS, a family-friendly, fun world premiere musical, comes to First Stage this March. Based on the bestselling book by Drew Daywalt and illustrated by Adam Rex, First Stage Playwright in Residence John Maclay wrote the book and lyrics with Eric Nordin, also doing music and lyrics. First Stage favorite Kelly Doherty, (outstanding as Miss Trunchbull in last season's hit MATILDA The Musical), will be making her First Stage directing debut with this production.

Hackmatack Announces Summer Season 2020

a?oeIf, after the events of recent weeks you need any reason at all to embrace life again, the musical you've been waiting for has arrived.a??

Northern Sky Theater Presents HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS

After 12 years of performing its holiday show at the Gibraltar Town Hall, Northern Sky Theater announces the very first 'Home for the Holidays' to be held at their new Gould Theater. This year's concert will feature three talented performers: Eric Lewis, Katie Dahl, and Rich Higdon. The all-new concert for 2019 will play for six performances from December 27th through December 31st.

Gershwin's LA LA LUCILLE Returns to the Stage After 100 Years

For the first time in over a century George Gershwin's very first musical, La La Lucille, will be performed - not on Broadway as it was in 1919 - but in the intimate Studio Theatre at Third Avenue Playhouse (TAP) in Sturgeon Bay. This riotous, fast-paced farce about a married couple who plot to become temporarily divorced in order to claim an inheritance, opens Thursday, July 25 and runs through September 1st. When the scheme goes awry, hilarity, hijinks, and tap dancing ensue in this not-to-be-missed show.

THE SPITFIRE GRILL Film Screening And Talk Back Announced At Garry Marshall Theatre

Garry Marshall Theatre is presenting the off Broadway musical The Spitfire Grill, one of the most popular recent musicals with over 600 productions worldwide including in Germany, South Korea, Japan, Australia and London.

Photo Flash: American Blues Theater Presents THE SPITFIRE GRILL

American Blues Theater announces casting for the Chicago revival of The Spitfire Grill, based on the film by Lee David Zlotoff, with book by James Valcq and Fred Alley, lyrics by Fred Alley and music by James Valeq. The Spitfire Grill, directed by Tammy Mader with music direction by Malcolm Ruhl, runs July 12 – August 17, 2019 at Stage 773, 1225 W Belmont Ave in Chicago.  


James Valcq has written 1 shows including Zombies From the Beyond (Bookwriter/Composer/Lyricist).

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