11th Hour Theatre Company Kicks Off Summer And Closes Season
11th Hour Theatre Company heats up the city with a three-show concert performance of City of Angels. This TONY Award winning musical will feature a cast of musical theatre stars and the 17-piece Big Band from The Summer Club.
City of Angels has a book by Larry Gelbart, Music by Cy Coleman, and Lyrics by David Zippel. It is directed by 11th Hour Resident Director Megan Nicole O'Brien with Music Direction by Dan Kazemi. Larry Lees is conducting the Big Band. The concert will be Friday, June 7(8 p.m.) and Saturday, June 8 (2 p.m. and 8 p.m.) at the Suzanne Roberts Theatre, 480 S. Broad Street. Tickets cost $19-$39. They are available online at www.11thhourtheatrecompany.org or by phone at 267-987-9865.
A special collaboration with The Summer Club, 11th Hour brings the 1990 Tony Award winning "best musical" to Philadelphia for an epic concert event featuring a 17-piece band. This thrilling musical weaves together two plots, the "real" world of Stine, a celebrated author writing his first screenplay, and his steamy, mysterious, fictional detective, Stone. With a dazzling jazz score and scintillating harmonies, this 1940's, film noir musical depicts the allure of fame and fortune and cost it takes to get there.
"It is very exciting and nothing 11th Hour has ever done before. The Summer Club band is epic, and Larry Lees is amazing. I'm really looking forward to the collaboration between Larry and Dan Kazemi because they're both incredible musicians and theatre artists, so having them both on one project is extremely exciting," said O'Brien.
The cast includes 11th Hour co-founder and Associate Artistic Director Steve Pacek who plays Stine. Jake Blouch plays Stone. The rest of the cast includes Kathleen Borrelli (Oolie/Donna), David Bardeen (Buddy/Irving S Irving), Rachel Brennan (Bobbi/Gabby), Paul Caliendo (Luther/Werner), Xhenet Capani (Mallory/Avril), Will Stephan Connell (Jimmy Powers), Matt Donzella (Peter/Gerald), Tyler Tejada (Munoz/Pancho), Candace Thomas (Alaura/Carla), and Rob Tucker (Mandrill/Big Six/Ensemble).
"We have a wonderful group of artists working on the show. Extremely talented, but also lovely human beings. I really love the interplay between the two main characters and I'm looking forward to Jake and Steve tackling that. I love the setting of the show, late 1940s Hollywood interspersed with the onscreen counterpart of Film Noir. Those styles are so fun to play with. I also think the show has an unexpected relevance to our world today," said O'Brien.
She adds, "l love the style of this show and the interplay between the movie world (the reel world as one description called it) and the real world of late 1940s Hollywood. The music is complex, yet nostalgic. Most of the actors play two (or more) characters, which gives us an opportunity to play with the similarities of those characters and even more important, the differences between them."
11th Hour Theatre Company is the only company in Philadelphia dedicated to producing all musicals, all the time. Intimate by design, 11th Hour creates a lasting experience with the audience by producing character-driven musical theatre.
11th Hour produces a broad spectrum of musicals that fill a niche in the diverse Philadelphia theatre landscape: musicals that spark the creativity of artists and the imaginations of audiences. Over the past fourteen seasons, they have produced twenty[CG1] [CG2] full-scale musicals, nine of which were Philadelphia premieres. In addition to the World Premiere of their first commission, Field Hockey Hot, the company has contributed to the development of several new musicals beginning with Angst, a ten-minute musical that premiered in the Spark Festival of 2005. 11th Hour produced the American premiere of Austentatious that went on to success at the New York Musical Theatre Festival; and a 29-hour reading of Fantasy Football, the Musical? before its production at New York University. Both Austentatious and Fantasy Football have since been published and are now professionally licensed. In the fall of 2014, 11th Hour partnered with University of the Arts to workshop Persephone Unplugged, a new twist on the classic Greek myth. With support from the Independence Foundation, 11th Hour recently commissioned their second musical from a local writing team, a Civil War-themed project currently titled Something Like a War.
11th Hour has received a total of 55 Barrymore Award nominations. Their work has been recognized with 15 awards, including five recently for Lizzie (including Outstanding Overall Production of a Musical), and several individual awards for their artists. Founding member Steve Pacek was also the proud recipient of the 2012 F. Otto Haas Award for an Emerging Philadelphia Theatre Artist. In 2013, 11th Hour became the first-ever recipient of the June and Steve Wolfson Award for an Evolving Theater.