Cast: 6 Cast Members Genre: Contemporary/Pop After the Turn is a musical about grief, guilt, self discovery, love - and music! Michael Brookman is a 21 year old highly gifted musician with serious emotional and psychological problems who four years ago witnessed the hit-and-run accident that killed his mother. Ever since then he has suffered from severe depression, and has not spoken a word. He communicates only by typing his words on a lap-top. (His words are spoken and sung for the dramatic purposes of the musical by the character of Michael as a teenager, who also acts as a mirror of Michael's innerself.) Lauren Danner is a 23 year old nurse, dedicated and caring and - at least on the surface - bright and strong-willed. The musical begins with her arrival at Michael's apartment in New York city - escorted by her employer and Michael's psychiatrist, Doctor Black - as she commences her duties as Michael's carer - a job she personally requested and is totally committed to. The story of Michael's past is gradually revealed through a series of flashbacks as the primary plot-line reveals the development of the relationship between Michael and Lauren. Initially Michael is totally hostile until gradually he begins to accept Lauren first as his nurse and later as his friend. Eventually, through a series of disturbing and heart-breaking plot twists, as both Michael and Lauren learn to face their individual fears and hang-ups, they begin to discover the meaning of love.
Cast: 8 Cast Members Genre: Contemporary/Pop/Pastiche 4 mini-musicals 15 minutes each A Feast of Snacks is a musical made up of several smaller musicals, each between ten and fifteen minutes in duration. It’s best to not get too attached to any one of them, as they’re all in a state of nearly being over. The entire experience is what we like to call the ―dim sum of musical theatre‖. The component musicals have enjoyed performances individually in ten-minute play festivals around the world, where they have entertained miniature audiences and won several miniature awards. Thus battle-hardened from their trials on stage, they have returned to join forces in one giant production, more powerful than the sum of its parts, much like Voltron. (If you think that’s a bad simile, rest assured that we’re just getting warmed up.)
Cast: 3 Cast Members Genre: Eclectic Weird & Wonderful is a fusion of musical theatre, comedy and revue. It comprises musical portraits of a multitude of crazy characters.
A MUSICAL CELEBRATION OF WEIRDOS AND WEIRDNESS The numbers profile some very eccentric individuals and include such oddities as He Left Me For My Granny, I’ve Fallen In Love With A Sheep and A Trainspotter’s Tale. They range from tongue-twisting patter songs about the frustrations caused by computers and automated telephone answering systems (Easy As A-P-C and Moaning About Phoning) to the confessions of the world’s worst singer (I Love To Sing) to bittersweet torch songs expressing the darker side of love (The Man Who I Long For and I Loved). The show is conceived for a cast of three (or more) and a pianist, part of the comedy arising from having a small group of performers embodying a very large assortment of weirdos. A successful CD release of Weird & Wonderful, featuring leading musical theatre artists Rosemary Ashe, Valda Aviks, John Barr, Stefan Bednarczyk, Marilyn Cutts, Richard Dempsey, David Firth, Hal Fowler, Anna Francolini, Rachel Izen, David Kernan, Felix Martin, Jessica Martin, Lizzy Renihan, Liza Sadovy and Myra Sands, and with sleeve notes by Sir Tim Rice, has recently led to these recordings of the songs, and live performances by other artists such as Kit and the Widow, being broadcast
on programmes such as Friday Night Is Music Night on BBC Radio 2, and In Tune, Voices, and Cocktails on BBC Radio 3.
Weird & Wonderful is written by Alexander S. Bermange, the resident comic songwriter on BBC Radio 4’s Broadcasting House. Further information about Alexander’s work can be found at www.bermange.co.uk.
Cast: 4 Cast Members Genre: Traditional American musical comedy In Old Goat Song, Bill Fast, a 71-year-old widower, becomes friends with Cara, a 17-year-old waitress who reminds him of his late wife when she was that age. Bill's sister Cora, who lives with him, is jealous of the attention he pays to the young girl and fears that Cara will worm her way into Bill's will and jeopardize her future. Angry over the expensive gifts Bill has lavished on the girl, Cora accuses Bill of falling in love with her and storms off. Alone, Bill wonders if this friendship is indeed turning to love. Throughout the musical Bill is visited by the memory of his late wife, Danielle, both as a young girl (portrayed by the same actress who plays Cara,) and as an older woman. The musical takes place in a circle of light. Beyond the light in the shadows, actors wait for their entrances and exits. At the beginning it is the early 1990s but most of the action takes place in the mind of Bill Fast as he recalls moments from his past. These events do not necessarily occur in chronological order, but as they are remembered.
Cast: 9 Cast Members Genre: Contemporary/Pop Maya transports the audience back to the last days of the great Mayan empire (early part of the 1500’s). Pyramids and architectural marvels still stand throughout the jungles of southern Mexico. A proud people, the Mayan dress in brightly coloured and finely woven linens. They battle political corruption, as well as a merciless environment, that leaves them struggling for their very survival. The desperate king is conflicted between seeking personal power and pleasing the Gods. During this period of despair, two brothers follow their dying father’s instructions to discover what is worth living for and what is worth dying for. The brothers' quest, ensnared with the king’s obsessions, ultimately brings brother against brother -facing the challenge of their lifetimes. Everyday life and century’s old culture and traditions come to an end with the advent of Spanish conquistadors. Ultimately, the surviving characters learn that love is essential, life is fragile, and the future unpredictable during our existence ―between heaven and earth‖.
Cast: 8 Cast Members Genre: Traditional American musical comedy Tales Of Tinseltown is a cockeyed view of Hollywood in the 30s—from the allsinging, all-dancing merriment to the dark ―Hollywood Babylon‖ underside. It also spotlights past equivalents to American Idol and America’s Got Talent, as an array of hopefuls strive to become America’s new singing sensations. The action begins with ADELE DeRALE, gossip columnist for Hollywood’s dishiest movie magazine, Tales of Tinseltown. She reports the influx of new talents trying to break into movies. We cut to a small farm in Walnut, Iowa, where ELLIE ASH dreams of becoming a screen immortal—via the dazzling animal imitations she’s learned on the farm. ELMO GREEN—an idealistic screenwriter bicycling from NY to Hollywood—passes through. He spots Ellie, immediately adores her, and agrees to take bike her to Hollywood. Once they arrive, ELMO convinces his uncle, tyrannical film mogul NORMAN G. NEINSTEIN, to screen-test ELLIE at N.G.N. Productions. With her vocal dexterity, ELLIE becomes ―The Girl of a Thousand Sounds,‖ headlining movie musicals also featuring: LULU BEAUVEEN (a Joan Crawford-like vamp); TONY TOSCANINI (whose Mario Lanza voice clashes with his apish appearance); DANNY BURKE (a Gene Kelly type); and BERTHA POWELL (an Ethel Merman-like belter). Scandal, career downfalls, and an absurdist ending follow: as ELLIE and ELMO are reunited high atop the Hollywoodland Sign, where each plans to jump. Instead, they decide to cast aside the ravages of Tinseltown and bike off into the sunset— expecting happier times in the New York theatre.
Cast: 9-11 Cast Members Genre: Legit/Musical Theatre/Opera SOVIET ZION is an epic new musical following the lives of nine very different individuals as they intertwine, set against the political maelstrom surrounding Birobidzhan â€“ a strange-but-true part of 20th Century history: the endeavour to create a Jewish Homeland in a large area of Siberia set aside by Stalin in the 1920s as a Soviet alternative to Zionism. The show spans two decades of their lives as affected by their desires, their hopes, and the obstacles standing in their way of Yiddish Autonomy.
Wild Card: Charles And Diana The Musical If Princess Diana could go back to relive her high-profile, tumultuous life, would she make different choices? CHARLES AND DIANA, a new musical offers her that opportunity. At the moment of her death, an encounter with a mysterious, allknowing guide, Vicar Bones, provides her with a crucial moment of decision, and launches a musical tour through her highly publicized, ill-fated evolution from naive kindergarten teacher to royal celebrity. Still rarely out of the headlines even as the fourteenth anniversary of her death approaches, Princess Diana continues to fascinate and inspire speculation. Living amid constant publicity, she nonetheless battled private demons and heartbreak that books and articles still attempt to comprehend. CHARLES AND DIANA revisits scenes from her eventful life through her own eyes, as the royals, media hounds and hangers-on who surrounded her come to life in a lively score that reflects a wide range of influences, form 1980's pop music to British music hall tunes.
SLAY IT WITH MUSIC is a musical in the ―Grande Dame Guignol‖ tradition of WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO BABY JANE? We meet Enid Beaucoup, a fading Hollywood star of the 40s. Living in her spooky L.A. home—attended by the devote Zachary—she’s about to make a film comeback. However, given Enid’s past— implicated in the murder of her coiffeur/lover (Grant Foster)—Zachary isn’t sure Enid should make this slasher movie CHOP CHOP. Enid’s sister Marcy—a TV star—arrives. Marcy’s soap opera POUGHKEEPSIE was axed, and he can’t help maintain Enid’s home. Marcy also demands that Enid not make the movie. Thereupon, Enid ―accidentally‖ breaks her sister’s leg. Marcy is forced to stay in the house. Meanwhile, Marcy’s ex-husband, Chad Walker, tracks her down. Desperate for money, he barges into the house; Enid kills him in self-defence. Marcy discovers the body, whereupon Enid locks her up. As Marcy vainly tries to escape, Enid starts her first day filming CHOP CHOP. Rosemarie Clinger, a movie fan, sneaks into the house and is viciously murdered. Hours later, Enid—fired after one day’s shooting—confronts Marcy. Surprise revelations (reminiscent of PSYCHO) follow, somehow resulting in the sisters’ reconciliation—at least for now.
NOSTRADAMUS THE ROCK OPERA Short synopsis
16th century France - a country shaken by antagonistic movements and religious wars. King Henri II is talking to his people… 1791, forward in time: Drunken soldiers desecrate Nostradamus’ grave and one of them drinks wine from the scull, trying to poses the prophet’s powers. As predicted, he suffers a violent death and his ghost becomes Nostradamus’ voice. A story is told: - 1503, back in time…. Michel de Nostredame is born on 14th December 1503 in the family of baptized Jews. A very bright child, he studies medicine, many other sciences, languages and arts. After his studies Nostradamus sets on wandering for years, but tired, he settles down in Agen. He practices medicine and marries the first love of his life - Henriette D’Encausse . They have two children. Life seems complete until a tragedy strikes – the plague kills thousands, among which is Michel’s family. Nostradamus struggles to save them (using some unorthodox for the times methods), but fails and The Great Inquisition accuses him of heresy. Michel is called to stand trial and the Inquisitor insists on burning him alive as a witch. Catherine de Medici, Queen of France is fascinated by Michel’s abilities and saves his life. After years of running from prosecution, Nostradamus moves to Salon and marries Anne Gemelle. Despite the problems with the Inquisition, Nostradamus predicts the death of Henri II and asks for a meeting, trying to warn him not to attend a friendly, but deadly duel. The King ignores the warning and dies as predicted. Michel comes to the King’s deathbed. The Inquisitor accuses Nostradamus for the tragedy and enraged tries to kill him with a poisonous drink, during a meeting with the Queen. Once again she saves Michel’s life and sends him running in the dark... After predicting many significant events under the protection of the Queen, Nostradamus dies widely misunderstood with Anne next to his bed…
THE STORY An urban tale of a modern-day Don Quixote, inspired by a true story.
SYNOPSIS Duncan, a fatherless teenager, is obsessed with comic books and superheroes. After witnessing a murder by stepdad Big Joe (who threatens: tell a soul and Iâ€™ll hurt your mom!) Duncan runs away to Hollywood. He arrives to find the "City of Angels" decidedly lacking in heavenly qualities. Alone and scared, he has a realization: cowardice isn't the answer. Inspired by the comics he loves, he makes a decision: He will re-invent himself as a superhero. He puts on his father's emerald ring, calls himself "Emerald Man," and vows to fight the world's evil. He dubs Big Joe his archenemy, swearing to bring him to justice. Finding his reluctant lady-love (Candy) and cool-as-a-breeze sidekick (Jamal,) "Emerald Man" sets off on his ridiculous, Quixotic adventures, in his quest to bring honour and decency to a world gone mad. With Big Joe hot on his trail, he prepares for the final battle with his nemesis. As the action intensifies, so does the heart of our tale: the presence of this unusual kid called "Emerald Man" changes the lives of those he touches forever. THE SHOW Emerald Man was chosen out of 400 submissions for the New York Musical Theatre Festival, where it premiered to rave reviews. Emerald Man was subsequently selected out of 150 submissions for the ASCAP/Disney Musical Theatre Workshop.
“…dark and touching…Janet Cole Valdez deserves kudos for building such an incredible book of words and lyrics that made me laugh and really moved me…The music by Marc Bosserman and Tom Valdez has just the right mix of pop and rock, matched perfectly with Valdez’s lyrics, to make this musical stand up and get noticed…Duncan is my new superhero.” NYTheatre.com
The House of Mirrors and Hearts by Eamonn O’Dwyer & Robert Gilbert
Anna, 40s – the matriarch of the household; a woman broken and embittered by grief, and full of resentment for her eldest daughter.
Lily, 15 – the younger of Anna’s two daughters. She is a tearaway: a drinker like her mother, and a sexual predator despite her young age. She is headstrong, intelligent and cynical.
Laura, 21 – Anna’s eldest daughter. The complete opposite of Lily – reclusive and artistic – she holds the terrible secret behind her father’s death.
Nathan, mid-20s – the young lodger living in the house. He is bright and idealistic, and illprepared for the dysfunction of Anna’s family. He is fascinated by Laura.
David, 40s – Anna’s other lodger. A friend and confidant to Nathan, and for better or worse, to the other women in the house.
One morning, as Anna attempts to hurry her daughters to school (Freehand-Quicksilver), she hears a smash from her husband’s mirror-making workshop, and sees her eldest daughter, Laura, emerge covered in blood. There has been an accident; her husband is dead. Seven years pass during the Introduction, and we see the effect this tragedy has on each of the three women: Anna becomes an embittered drunk; youngest daughter Lily a headstrong rebel; and Laura a timid artistic recluse. Present day, and we meet Nathan, a bright but naïve young
academic researching forgotten poet Alexander Thornton Gray (Seven Verses from the Persian). He has taken a room in Anna’s house unbeknownst to Lily and Laura, and is ill-prepared for the state of the women in the house. Lily immediately takes a shine to him, but it is Laura’s quiet reserve that fascinates him the most. He befriends David, another lodger, who warns him against getting too involved (Little Bird). Nathan however, can’t help but ask questions about the family’s past, and Anna unleashes the full force of her anger and grief in Heart’s Don’t Break. Left alone, Nathan tries unsuccessfully to connect with Laura through one of Thornton Gray’s poems, On Entering My Lady’s Bedchamber; unused to so much attention, she flees the room.
Meanwhile, Nathan’s research is not progressing as he would like. While bemoaning this fact to David, Lily returns home and makes a drunken play for Nathan in Look At Me. To Nathan’s embarrassment, they are discovered by Laura, who assumes the worst of the young lodger. The next morning he attempts to explain himself to her, but Laura will not listen. He returns to the study of his beloved poems in frustration (Lamentations). Nathan tries once again to discuss the problems of his work with Anna and David, but neither seems interested in his research, Anna always preferring her own unhappiness to that of others. At the same time in Look At You, Lily admits to Laura that she was trying to seduce Nathan, not the other way around. Nathan continues to struggle with his work (Lullaby for a Forgotten Lady).
A letter arrives for Nathan, inviting him to give a presentation on his research so far. He panics, as he has nothing to show for himself, and Laura, feeling guilty about her misjudgment of him, invites him out for the day. They go out of the house for the first time, taking bags of Anna’s empty wine bottles, and in a glorious release of tension smash them into pieces ( Catch the Light). We see Laura freed from the bad memories of the house, from her mother’s hostility and her sister’s indifference; Nathan and Laura begin to admit their attraction for one another.
Anna meanwhile has drunk herself into a frenzy back at the house, encouraged by David. She confronts the two young lovers on their return, and finally asks Laura what happened behind the closed doors of the workshop seven years earlier (Freehand-Reprise). Laura gives little away, but enough to suggest that her father was not the saint that Anna thought he was. Anna is devastated, but the revelation helps her begin to let go of the memory of her husband (Hearts Don’t Break-Reprise). Standing in front of the workshop door, the starting point of the tragedy, David suggests that Laura should go in and face her past (Little Bird-Reprise), but Nathan takes her in hand and they finally give in to their feelings (A Stolen Kiss).
Time passes, and Laura blossoms from Nathan’s affection, and even Lily begins to engage more with her sister. David urges Nathan to be cautious in getting involved with such a damaged girl, but Nathan is confident of their future. Until now, Anna has kept herself to herself, but eventually she appears, and in an attempt to rebuild bridges with her household, announces a party to celebrate Lily’s birthday – a date is set. The day of Nathan’s presentation arrives, and in front of a panel of academics, he admits that his research is at a dead end: he cannot prove that Alexander Thornton Gray existed, nor piece together a coherent biography (Soliloquy). He loses his funding, but realises that the life of the man is not what is important to him, but the things of beauty he created: the poems.
At the party that evening, Anna burns the dinner and breaks a few glasses, but manages to make a heartfelt speech to her daughters, apologizing in particular to Laura for her behaviour since her husband’s death. The family agrees to let the past remain in the past. Nathan wonders why David has not been invited to the meal. When he asks the women this, he is greeted by a wall of silence. Laura runs from the room, followed by Lily, leaving Anna in a state of shock, explaining to Nathan that David was the name of her husband, the man who died in the workshop seven years earlier. In a poetic finale, the characters reflect on the nature of their story; how in every tragedy, there is a thing of beauty within (Beauty in the Breaking).
ROLL ON THE DAY - A Musical in One Act It all begins as genteel urban fairy tale – but things take a vicious turn when politics come into play... SCENE 1 - London, the present day. Outside Green Park, the aging Eko sells his
awful, amateurish paintings from a stall. Next to him the cynical Mockney Dashin’ Dan sells plastic knick-knacks. To pass the time on a slow day, the two men sing the praises of passing beauties in WONDERS OF NATURE. When a tourist bus is heard going by, Eko delivers a sardonic sales pitch to its occupants. This pitch grows into THE DRUM, in which Eko fondly reminisces about his youth spent fighting in Zimbabwe's national liberation movement and decries his mediocre life in the UK, to where he fled after falling out with Robert Mugabe's regime. Then Lavinia ambles in - a coolly lovely, self-possessed fashion plate in her early 40s, clearly a woman of sophistication and taste. Most surprisingly, she shows great interest in Eko’s works. In THE PAINTING Eko declares himself both flattered and smitten.
SCENE 2 - The following day. Eko and Dashin’Dan’s banter is interrupted by Lavinia,
who intends to commission Eko - the very first commission of his life! In seventh heaven, and in order to make an impression on her, Eko sings of his utopian political aspirations in A DIFFERENT SUN. It seems to work, as she joins him in WHERE
EARTH TOUCHES HEAVEN, which intimates of a future spent together in love and happiness... Eko further confides to Lavinia that he has been an illegal immigrant in the UK for many years, eluding the authorities by using false papers.
SCENE 3 - Despite Dashin’Dan’s scepticism about Lavinia, Eko is on a roll in UNLESS
I MISS MY GUESS, both professionally and romantically. If things work out with Lavinia, his whole life will change - if not, he’ll be crushed. The stakes couldn’t be higher! Lavinia finally appears. Eko ignores Dashin’Dan’s last warning to be careful. His heart shines out of his eyes... In IN FOR THE KILL, Lavinia reveals herself to be an undercover tabloid reporter who has secretly filmed and taped everything Eko has said to her - in order to prove how scandalously easy it is to infiltrate and ―sponge off‖ the United Kingdom. Eko’s initial incredulity gives way to bottomless despair. But worse is to come! In IS IT SO HARD TO UNDERSTAND? Dashin’ Dan reveals himself as an undercover Special Branch agent who threatens Eko with deportation back to Zimbabwe unless he becomes a Special Branch informant grassing on London’s Zimbabwean dissidents. As Lavinia and Dashin’ Dan bicker among themselves on who has the most claims on Eko, he staggers off, a hopeless, broken man in a daze. Lavinia and Dashin’ Dan patch up their differences and together belt out the xenophobic ROLL ON THE DAY - a Britain cleansed of foreigners and immigrants. Eko sneaks back, and does the only thing he can do to retain his dignity and make his last statement: he kills himself.