Thursday, January 27, 2011

We're teaming with London musical theatre writers

We're collaborating with writers from Mercury Musical Developments in London to create a new musical revue. It's called "In the Minds of Olympians" -- and we're giving a sneak-preview concert of it, and Robin Share/Clay Zambo's "Windjammers" on Feb. 14th at 7:30pm at the Colony Theatre. You can order tickets by clicking this link:

In the Mind of Olympians is a powerful and touching revue about athletes, set in both London in 1948 and London 2012, written by contemporary musical theatre writers in London and Los Angeles, presented in concert at the Colony Theatre, 555 Third Street in Burbank, at 7:30pm on February 14th.

Developed by Mercury Musical Developments in London and the Academy for New Musical Theatre in Los Angeles, this new musical is being developed and workshopped simultaneously in London and North Hollywood.

'It is thrilling working again with London musical theatre writers,' says Elise Dewsberry, the Academy's Artistic Director, 'We developed four shows with Mercury Musicals in 2005, back when it made economic sense to mail a crate full of VHS tapes to London. Now, of course, we're streamcasting live rehearsals, and uploading videos and mp3's and Skyping, and so we're working even more closely with the writers. We're hoping to workshop the whole show this summer, and then inspire a series of productions all across the country in 2012.'

The athletes featured in the 1948 portions of the revue are based on real men and women who competed in London, right after World War II ended; the athletes in 2012 are composites of contemporary athletes.

'Comparing 1948 London to NOW gives us a sobering and exhilarating perspective,' says Scott Guy, one of the three book writers of the revue, 'seeing how much the world has changed since London last hosted the Olympics: there were so many athletes back then competing out of patriotism, and now Olympians are selling their citizenship to the highest bidder. Or, did you know that women weren't allowed to run the marathon until the 1970's? The longest distance they were allowed to run in 1948 was 800 meters. Writing this revue allows us to shine spotlights on real people with real issues, comparing them to our own issues...what's changed? What's frighteningly the same?'

There are three bookwriters on the project, and twelve different songwriting teams. Two bookwriters are British, one is American, and the song writing teams are from both sides of the Pond as well.

The writers of the show include: Craig Adams, Mark Allcorn, Jake Anthony, Richard Castle, Michael Dresser, Richard Free, Scott Guy, Carl Johnson, Larry Todd Johnson, Matthew Levine, Robin Share, Peter Shrubshall, Chana Wise, and Clay Zambo.

The concert is directed by: Lindsey Hendrickson, David Holmes, Todd Nielsen, Luke Yankee, Andrea Press, and Peter Welkin. Music Direction is by Ross Källing. Stage Management is by Kevin Meoak.

The cast includes: Noel Britton, Elise Dewsberry, Randy Guiaya, Scott Guy, David Holmes, Mike Irizarry, Evan Laffer, Christiana Moffa, Minta Mullins, Sari Rose Poll, Andrea Press, Sara J. Stuckey, Tedd Szeto, Christina Valo, and Peter Welkin.

The concert on February 14th presents seven sections of the revue; the second half of the evening features another musical in development, Windjammers, telling the dramatic stories of the men and women of the Great Lakes' shipping industry in the 19th century.

Admission is $10 at the door, or make reservations at the Academy's website: