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Vanessa Dunleavy Stars in Town Hall Theater's MY POST TRAUMATIC CRUISE SHIP CABARET Tonight

When Vanessa Dunleavy takes the stage in My Post Traumatic Cruise Ship Cabaret with Clint Bierman and Peter Day at Town Hall Theater tongiht, April 2, they'll be premiering a new musical they wrote together with Middlebury playwright Dana Yeaton. And everyone will be playing at least one new role.

For Dunleavy, who's been living and acting in New York since she graduated from MUHS in 2003, My Post-Traumatic Cruise Ship Cabaret is the first show she's co-written. The story was inspired by her year sailing in the Caribbean as a singer on a cruise ship.

For musicians Bierman and Day, the show is not only their first foray into composing for musical theatre; it will be their professional acting debut. Together with bandmate Jeff Vallone, they will portray The Fleeing Boroshenko Brothers -- a rock 'n soul trio of political refugees from the former Soviet Republic of Belarus.

For Yeaton, whose last musical, My Ohio, premiered at Town Hall Theater and went on to be selected for the New York Musical Theatre Festival, this new show is the first in which he's also written music. And it's the first time he and Dunleavy, his daughter, have written together.

My Post Traumatic Cruise Ship Cabaret takes place at 2 a.m. in a cruise ship lounge, where Vivi Donovan is premiering an original cabaret she hopes will re-launch her career. If only it were finished, or The Boroshenko Brothers knew the songs. Or spoke English. But Vivi's dedication to her audience knows no bounds, and neither, it seems, does she.

Vermont audiences know Bierman, Day and Vallone as The Grift, one of the state's busiest rock bands. Locally, The Grift has helped turn Town Hall Theater into a musical center of gravity for some of the state's most talented artists who come to perform, and sometimes to teach with them in The Grift's Rock-It Science camp for young musicians.

Dunleavy returns to the Town Hall Theater stage after starring in one of THT's very first musicals , Little Shop of Horrors, in 2005. She then launched an acting and singing career in New York City, has performed in regional theaters, and her experiences on that cruise ship inspired this funny, sassy, and ultimately moving musical.

My Post Traumatic Cruise Ship Cabaret runs April 2nd, 3rd and 4th at 8pm. Tickets are $22/$10 students, and may be purchased at, 802 382-9222, at the THT Box Office (Mon-Sat, Noon-5 pm) and at the door.

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