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LEADING LADIES: A New Musical Original Workshop Production Streams Online

The musical will be available to watch online beginning February 26th, 2021.

LEADING LADIES: A New Musical Original Workshop Production Streams Online

Featuring an original story and lyrics by Sara R. Matin and music by Anthony James Procopio, Leading Ladies: a new musical will be available to watch online beginning February 26th, 2021 with tickets available on Eventbrite https://www.eventbrite.com/e/leading-ladies-a-new-musical-original-workshop-production-tickets-134580464793

The story opens in Hollywood, 1957, at the height of its movie-musical legacy. A studio embarking on its first musical is faced with the horrifying fact that their leading lady, Charlotte Finley, can't sing... and they can't fire her. Given the opportunity to dub, young singer Ella Lark takes a chance on change by stepping back from her commitment of managing her parents' bar and instead pursuing her own dreams in Hollywood. Yet despite developing a surprising friendship with Charlotte, Ella becomes increasingly aware of the deceitful implications of her role, as she cannot tell Charlotte she'll be singing for her. Ella's decision to pursue her dream brings her a series of choices that ask her: is she willing to risk the relationships with those she comes to care for, to make it to the top?

Procopio and Matin began creating this story in January of 2020 and only seven months later began rehearsals for its first workshop production. The two collaborators attribute a large part of the quick turnaround for the show to the 2020 lockdown. In the early months of their process, the two had to balance writing with their jobs, social engagements, and their role as Arizona State University students. In contrast, the lockdown created a frequent routine for the two to wake-up and immediately call each other via Zoom and begin the day by creating a new song -- excitedly working for hours at a time, until they grew hungry and paused for lunch. This rigorous schedule has now amounted to an entirely original two-and-a-half-hour show with over twenty-five songs.

While the impacts of Covid-19 aided Procopio and Matin's process off-the-bat when writing, the two initially worried that they would not be able to produce an original workshop production in 2020. After all, how does one stage a production in a pandemic? Procopio and Matin were not deterred by this daunting question and instead began re-imagining what a production could look like in these times. It is then that they arrived at the decision to film a reading of the production and create an original cast recording (the cast recording will be coming out in 2021, with dates yet to be released.) In a filmed version, they could keep actors distanced, while still creating a product with high production-value and work with a full production team and cast.

The original cast began rehearsals in October of 2020, with Matin directing, Procopio music directing, and the two of them working together as producers. Having conducted auditions virtually, they were able to select from a wide pool of talent, as the virtual nature of the auditions truly allowed anyone to submit. For example, Cassie Miller, who plays Ella Lark, resides in Tucson, Arizona, while rehearsals took place in Phoenix. This meant that Miller attended some rehearsals virtually while at other times drove down to Phoenix to rehearse her role. This is only one example of the dedication this talented, all-star cast, gave to this production. Every single member completed the amazing feat of originating a role, learning new music never heard before, adapting to the world of film, and rehearsing it all while wearing a face mask.

Ultimately, there was a palpable excitement amongst the entire cast, crew, and production team. The production was surrounded by a love of artists doing what they couldn't for so long. You can see this passion in the final filmed production and it is as magical as sitting in an audience full of strangers. It is not something you'll want to miss, so join the world of Leading Ladies: a new musical and buy your tickets to its world premiere!


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