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NYMF Review: A Wall Apart. Love and Rock N Roll vs. The Berlin Wall.

“A Wall Apart,” a production at the New York Musical Festival, has a catchy score by Graham Russell of the Australian rock group Air Supply, sung by an eminently watchable cast of steel-voiced Broadway professionals. But its story, about two lovers separated for 28 years by the Berlin Wall, opts for a sentimental and frequently simpleminded version of history.

 Click on any photo by Michael Schoenfeld to see it enlarged 

 

Ironically, it begins with a black and white newsreel, which straightforwardly explains the events that led to the building of the Berlin Wall in 1961 — how the Allies after World War II divided Germany up into sectors, with the Soviet Union turning its sector into the “German Democratic Republic”….East Germany. But immediately afterward, we get a loud, Les Mizish rock anthem in which three brothers – Hans, Kurt, and Mickey – sing over and over about “liberty, the pillar of our city/we’re going to build our city like new,” which is forcefully sung and sort of rhymes but is never explained.
It’s soon clear that the three brothers have different views of East Germany. The oldest, Hans Ostermann (Darren Ritchie), is a captain in the border patrol and a Communist out of gratitude for the government’s support after the three of them were orphaned. Mickey (Josh Tolle), the youngest, is frontman for a rock n roll band with a standing invitation to play in a West Berlin club called The Bunker; he is determined to move to the West with his bride Suzanne (Emily Behny.) The middle, Kurt (Jordan Bondurant), is ambivalent – until he meets Esther Wilson (Maddie Shea Baldwin), an American citizen living in West Berlin. “A Wall Apart” follows the family and the two lovers from 1961 to 1989, the years that the Berlin Wall stood, dividing the city of Berlin, and the nation of Germany, and the characters of this musical.
Had “A Wall Apart” appeared on stage six months ago, or maybe even three, it might have been easier for one to view it more narrowly as a cautionary tale, nearly an allegory, about politicians building walls, and not been bothered as much about what’s left out of the history it is supposed to be depicting.
Esther Wilson explains when she meets Kurt that she is half-American and half-German, her “German refugee” mother having met her American father after she arrived in the United States in 1934. Other than these oblique clues and the fact that she named her daughter Esther, we are given no indication that Esther’s mother is Jewish, much less any sense that Esther is even aware of the Holocaust.
At another point, Tante (Leslie Becker), the aunt who raised the three boys after their parents were killed, reminisces about the “miseries” of 1945 – by which she means when Soviet soldiers (“Stalin’s murderers”) “overran Berlin.”
Why did the creative team omit any real references to the Third Reich and its lingering effects?  It would be difficult for them to argue that the Nazi past is irrelevant to the story they’re telling: Students of history know that East Germany justified its existence by claiming the mantle of anti-Fascism while accusing West Germany of failing to confront its Nazi past.  It’s unlikely to be because the creative team is unaware or indifferent. Co-book writer Sam Goldstein has told interviewers that Zero Mostel was his “god uncle.” Did they worry that any explicit mention of the Nazi past could undermine our identification with this wholly decent family or get in the way of the feel good narrative? Would it needlessly complicate the musical’s Manichean view of Berlin Wall history?
There is a scene where Hans urges Kurt to join him in working for the border patrol, and they debate the merits of the job, and of East Germany as a whole. Hans makes a few weak but rational arguments — they’ve fed us; security is important; you can work within the system to change it – while Kurt says things like: “What’s the point of security if there’s no liberty to go with it?”
Is there anybody sitting at the Acorn in Theatre Row on 42nd Street who is going to side with Hans against liberty?
This stacked deck approach might have been more tolerable if there didn’t exist the vastly more sophisticated examples of Doug Wright’s play “I Am My Own Wife,” or even the current FX TV series “The Americans,” which present alternative viewpoints from the same era that challenge our worldview rather than lazily confirming it.
Some of this may be fixable. “A Wall Apart” is, after all, a work in progress. That status is most obvious by the sudden shift about three quarters of the way through the show, when a character comes back from the dead to narrate the remaining quarter century that has yet to be dramatized (“…Esther began teaching dance at an orphanage. In her spare time she worked for the reunification movement….”) Although three decades have passed, neither Esther nor Kurt have aged when, in one scene, they talk through the cracks in the wall, like the scene of Pyramus and Thisbe, the silly play-within-the-play, in Midsummer Night’s Dream, except we’re meant to take the scene in “A Wall Apart” seriously.
If it’s easy to pick the script apart, it’s hard to dismiss Russell’s music, which holds some surprises, such as a lovely lullaby in German, “Forlorn Fraulein,” and “Son of the Father,” performed by a late-arriving character portrayed by Matt Rosell (who was in the cast of Les Miserables, natch.) It’s one of the musical numbers that feel hard-charging enough in and of themselves to tear down that wall.

A Wall Apart
Theatre Row
Music by Graham Russell, book by Sam Goldstein and Craig Clyde. Directed and choreographed by Keith Andrews,
Musical Direction and Arrangements by Jonathan Ivie; Scenic and Lighting Design by David Goldstein; Costume Design by Dustin Cross; Sound Design by Shannon Epstein;

Cast: Maddie Shea Baldwin as Esther, Leslie Becker as Tante, Emily Behny as Suzanne, Jordan Bondurant as Kurt, Darren Ritchie as Hans, Matt Rosell as Mickey Jr., Josh Tolle as Mickey, with Mili Diaz, Jamal Christopher Douglas, Amanda Downey, Lindsay Estelle Dunn, Sean Green, Jr., Emily Kristen Morris, and Vincent Ortega.

Running time: 2 hours, including an intermission.

A Wall Apart is on stage through July 30, 2017

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NYMF Review: Temple of the Souls. A Romeo and Juliet romance in 16th Century Puerto Rico

“Temple of the Souls,” a musical about a doomed, Romeo and Juliet romance in 16th century Puerto Rico between a Spanish conquistador’s daughter and a Taino, begins with a thrill. The cast, dressed in the naguas (loincloths), masks and straw headgear of the indigenous people of the island, dance sensuously and athletically to a tuneful melody driven by an infectious beat.
Here’s what that opening number, “Yucahu,” sounded and looked like in rehearsal, which gives just a hint of how exciting it is in performance

These are Taino Souls, they tell us in song, haunting a cave in the rain forest of the El Yunque mountains, a sacred place called the Temple of Souls. It is sacred, we’re told later, because the cave’s walls are full of paintings and carvings that tell the history of the Taino people, a history that climaxed in Spanish discovery, conquest, enslavement and genocide.
Everything about the opening number is promising; it promises an enlightening and entertaining journey through Taino history and culture.
One of those cave paintings, explains a guide leading modern-day tourists in the next scene, recounts the story of the forbidden love between Amada and Guario. “Legend has it that they are the parents to many of us … the blending of two worlds, the Mestizo race of Puerto Rico.”

Little in the nearly two hours (without intermission) that follow the opening number in “Temple of the Souls” quite matches it. The largely predictable story of Amada and Guario is dramatized without much nuance and performed mostly with the kind of exaggerated clarity normally reserved for children’s theater. (I suppose “Temple of the Souls” is appropriate for children, save perhaps for about a minute of fairly explicit lovemaking.) Many of the songs owe less to Puerto Rican culture than to the cult of American Idol, generic pop ballads that end in sustained notes demanding applause.

Still, “Temple of Souls,” one of the 20 full productions in this year’s New York Musical Festival, is worth seeing – and worth developing further – thanks not just to the opening number, but to Enrique Brown’s choreography throughout, the colorful eye-catching visuals by the design team (costume designer Lisa Renee Jordan; projection designer Jan Hartley; scenic designer Jennifer Varbalow; lighting designer Jason Fox), and several stand-out performances, especially Lorraine Velez (not to be confused with her twin sister Lauren Velez) as Amada’s mother, who has been forced to pretend to Amada that she is only her nanny, her Nana, because she is Taino.
It would be difficult to ignore the appeal of Noellia Hernandez as Amada and Andres Quintero as Guario, and hard to help the chills when, in the face of the Spaniards’ cruelty, they sing “Love is stronger than death,” or exclaim: “The mestizo history of Boriken will live on forever.”

Temple of Souls is on stage at Theatre Row through July 23, 2017, as part of the New York Musical Festival.

NYMF Review: Matthew McConaughey vs. The Devil, An American Myth

The actor Matthew McConaughey sells his soul to the devil, and then tries to get it back, in this musical that opened the 2017 New York Musical Festival, which describes the show in its program as “a Faustian comedy that dares to ask the question: How did Matthew McConaughey win an Academy Award?”

I dare to ask a more sensible question: How did so many talented people produce a show so pointless, derivative and mean? Its worst sin may be that it is rarely funny.

The very premise of this supposed satire collapses on the slightest inspection – that McConaughey was nothing more than a pretty boy Rom-Com star before he gave his Oscar-winning performance in “Dallas Buyers Club” in 2013.

“They respected my abs,” McConaughey (Wayne Wilcox) says in the musical, about his performance in the 2012 stripper movie Magic Mike. “But did they really respect me?”

So, to get that respect, McConaughey needs an Oscar, and to get that Oscar, he signs a contract with Mephistopoheles (Lesli Margherita.)

Compare this show with the 2002 New York Fringe Festival play “Matt and Ben” (written and performed by a pre-celebrity Mindy Kaling and Brenda Withers), which posed a similar question – how did Matt Damon and Ben Affleck write the Oscar-winning screenplay for “Good Will Hunting” – and provided a similar silly answer — that it must have been aliens from Outer Space that provided the script. But Damon and Affleck were both little-known actors at the time, aged 27 and 25 respectively, with no previous screenwriting credits. Matthew McConaughey is 47, with a long and respectable acting career. Long before his Oscar-winning performance, he played serious roles in serious films – “Lone Star” and “A Time to Kill” in 1996, for example; “Amistad” in 1997.

So “Matthew McConaughey vs. the Devil” doesn’t make much sense from the get-go. It is not, however, completely damnable. The music is never less than competent – although there’s no “Whatever Lola Wants (Lola Gets)” (a song from another show it superficially imitates, “Damn Yankees.”) But the real salvation for this show is in the production values – kudos to director Thomas Caruso, choreographer Billy Griffin, and the design team — and thanks to the performers.

Lesli Margherita, who was the evil Mrs. Wormwood in Matilda on Broadway, is striking in a bright red dress, handing out a business card as if an agent in a management firm run by Satan. Wayne Wilcox as Matthew and Max Crumm as his pal Woody Harrelson have a fun duet together. Ensemble members are employed to great effect – serving as everything from living props to backup singer and dancers, to a dream come to life…a fun dance sequence that features costume designer Daryl A. Stone’s delectable interpretations of the things supposedly in Matthew McConaughey’s life — an Oscar trophy and a marijuana plant.

Recently, James Franco had a lawyer send a cease and desist letter to a downtown play called “James Franco and Me.” The playwright was unfazed: “We’re just going to remove any mention of James Franco,” he told the Daily News. “We’re calling it ‘______ and Me’ “

I’d love to see a show assembled by the talented team who put together and performed “Matthew McConaughey vs. the Devil” that removed any mention of Matthew McConaughey.

Matthew McCanughey vs. The Devil: An American Myth is performing through Sunday, July 16, 2017 at Theatre Row, as part of the New York Musical Festival.

Two songs recorded during rehearsals:

Manuel Versus the Statue of Liberty: Documenting the Undocumented In Song

Manuel vs. ROUND 1Manuel Versus the Statue of Liberty, we are told, is inspired by the true story of Dan-el Padilla Peralta, an undocumented and once-homeless immigrant from the Dominican Republic who got a full scholarship to study the Classics at Princeton University,  and was named salutatorian of his class, delivering his address in Latin, then earning a PhD in classics from Stanford University. His is an engaging story, and an enraging one, because of the obstacles that the U.S. immigration service put in his way. His memoir, Undocumented: A Dominican Boy’s Odyssey from a Homeless Shelter to the Ivy League, is being published this week.

Is a musical comedy a good way to tell his story?

Manuel Versus the Statue of Liberty, one of the 50 musicals at this year’s New York Musical Theatre Festival, is only “inspired” by Padilla Peralta. The team of Noem de La Puente and David Davila take just the bare outlines of his story, changing his name (to Manuel), altering biographical details, and adding a fanciful conceit – that Manuel is going rounds in the boxing ring with the Statue of Liberty herself.

That heavy-handed metaphor might have been enough to sink this show for me.

But as it turns out, this is in some ways a wonderful musical. It dramatizes an important issue using humor and passion and rhythm. The score is a tuneful mix of hip-hop, Latin, glitter-rock, Broadway ballads, sweet lullabies, even some patriotic anthems. The eight-member cast, under the energetic direction of Jose Zayas, has more than its share of standouts.

Shakina Nayfack as the Statue of Liberty is a powerhouse performer with fine comic timing – and something of a towering figure herself, a trans actress whose own story seems a good fit for the stage (and in fact, her autobiographical solo show has been on several.) Her performance does much to make the ringside shtick more tolerable, and she is also used quite cleverly to portray (as the Statue) various types arrayed against immigrants – from a sleazy immigration attorney to the assistant dean of Princeton arguing with the dean against Manuel’s admission because of his immigration status, until the dean ends the argument: “I’m certainly not going to let Harvard get their hands on him.”

Tami Dahbura portrays a character who could not be more different from campy Liberty, Manuel’s mother Mami, but her performance also helps avoid the pitfalls of what could have been an easy stereotype, and her golden-voiced delivery of some of the sweeter melodies in the musical makes the actress feel like a discovery.

Gil Perez-Abraham could be less cute in portraying Manuel in high school, but once the character enters college, he is the persuasive center of the show, a credible leading man.

The scenes basically alternate between the largely realistic story of Manuel and family, and the boxing. Through both we get a glimpse of the life of an undocumented family, and a cursory examination of the issue. In one song, Immigration 101, we are offered a musical rendition of the bureaucratic run-around, with each of the cast representing a different bureaucrat with a different song and dance.  In another song, Foreign Is Foreign, the ensemble sings:

Foreign is Foreign

Don’t let any more in

The country’s been worn thin, but they keep on pouring in

But then the individual Americans – from cowboy to doctor to “tea party governor” – are just as likely to make an argument for immigration as against it

Contractor: I’m building houses, I need labor

Hire guys on the corner; not my neighbor

The boxing never quite worked for me; it seemed an inadequate substitute for more fully developing a plot that makes us become immersed in the world of Manuel and his family. But it was put to better use than I had expected. And by the end of Manuel versus the Statue of Liberby, there is a pay-off – clever, funny, surreal – that almost redeems it.

Gil Perez-Abraham as Manuel. Photos by Shira Friedman

Summer Theater Heats Up: NYMF, Encores Off-Center, Broadway Barks, Broadway in Bryant Park. The Week in New York Theater

“A life in the theater is. a way of life….a passion…a spiritual choice. It’s not a rational choice .” –  Sarah Benson of Soho Rep

Yes, New York theater is heating up for the summer. This week alone:

nymusicaltheatrefestivalThe 10th annual   New York Musical Theatre Festival begins, one of some 20 summer theater festivals in New York.

cradle-poster1

The first-ever New York City Center’s new Encores! Off-Center series, begins with The Cradle Will Rock

Carol Kane in Broadway Barks 14

Carol Kane, currently on Broadway in Harvey, pitches that you adopt the cute little dog on her shoulder

Bernadette Peters’ and Mary Tyler Moore’s 15th annual Broadway Barks on Saturday pairs Broadway celebrities with pets up for adoption.

BryantPark1AveQ

Broadway in Bryant Park, the free lunchtime concert series, begins this Thursday with performances from

Stomp
Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella
Pippin
Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812
iLuminate: Artist of Light

and will continue every Thursday through August 15

Soul Doctor, free tickets

Soul Doctor, free tickets

Still a day left to get free tickets to Soul Doctor by answering this question:

Whose life story would you like to see turned into a Broadway show?

The Week in New York Theater

Monday, July 1, 2013

Christopher Durang’s “Vanya, Sonia, Masha and Spike” has recouped its $2.75 million capitalization. Yes, straight plays can be profitable.

One of  two LBJ shows dueling for Broadway is first opening Off-Broadway. The Great Society, by Alex Harrington, Theater Row  Aug 3-24, 2013.

Amazing cast to read all 10 of August Wilson’s American Century plays ‪at The Greene Space Aug 26-Sep 28. Sched:

Woman suing Times Square Toys R Us for loss of income and diminished sex life after 25 lbs of M&Ms toppled onto her. (Who says the theater district isn’t dangerous?)

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June2013theaterquiz

June New York theater quiz: How well were you paying attention to theater news during a month that featured the Tonys — and some very strange occurrences.

As both New York City mayor and as a private philanthropist, Michael Bloomberg has donated much money to many New York City arts groups. What happens both to his personal donations and to the city’s budget when Bloomberg leaves office?‪

Why does some art feel dated, and others timeless? Hithcock deliberate eschewed period details. But others?

SeizeTheDayfromNewsies

Broadway’s Best Dance Numbers: 11 videos, from Anything Goes to Spring Awakening.

AnythingGoesDance

“I  always have ‘Mame’ in the back of my mind…but I don’t think I have eight shows in me. I’m too old”~ ‪@BetteMidler DO IT BETTE

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Anthony Rapp is starring in a show in the New York Musical Theatre Festival, now in its tenth year.

Anthony Rapp is starring in a show in the New York Musical Theatre Festival, now in its tenth year.

New York Musical Theatre Festival preview

Rob Kendt‪@RobKendt Good piece on UK vs. US WAR HORSE mentions my pet peeve: slim dramaturgical/program info. There is so little information about shows even on Broadway. Playbills usually tell you about every show but the one you’re seeing.

Born on the Third of July

Alexandra Silber

Birthday girl Alexandra Silber

Alexandra Silber ‪@alsilbs : Happiest of birthdays to Audra McDonald, Betty Buckley, Patrick Wilson, Douglas Peck.

And you, Alexandra!

Also Diane Paulus, Tom Stoppard.

A big day for theater birthdays.

Musical Theater and Social Activism

On her podcast, Trish Causey chats Peter Filichia on the connection between musical theater and social activism 

“Yes, some Broadway shows just entertain. But it’s impressive how many have gone to bat for social issues” A Chorus Line made audience like a character BEFORE revealing he was gay. West Side Story was seen as shocking social activism:3 people die in it. It took years to be seen as entertainment too

4th of July

WhitneyHoustonsingingAmericanNationalAnthem

.                10 Patriotic Songs sung so that they’re inspiring not overbearing. Videos and lyrics.

You haven’t LIVED until you’ve heard Hail to the Chief played by lone acoustical guitarist “Old White Man”  You MUST hear Rosemary Clooney sing God Bless America and Judy Collins, Battle Hymn of the Republic. Confused between My Country Tis of Thee, Stars & Stripes Forever, Star-Spangled Banner? Now you can sort them out.

Born on the Fourth of July:

Malia Obama, president’s daughter (15), Neil Simon (86), Eva Marie Saint (89

(Also Born on the Fourth of July: Calvin Coolidge,Mike The Situation Sorrentino, George Steinbrenner,Leona Helsmley #Americaisnotperfect)

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KUSHNERTony Kushner to get a National Medal of Arts for “marrying humor to fury, history to fantasy & the philosophical to the personal.”

Others to get the award from the White House: George Lucas, Elaine May, Herb Alpert, Lin Arison, co-founder of the National Young Arts Foundation and the New World Symphony; Joan Myers Brown, dancer, choreographer and founder of the Philadelphia Dance Company; opera singer Renée Fleming; author and teacher Ernest Gaines; painter, sculptor and printmaker Ellsworth Kelly; landscape architect Laurie Olin; composer, producer and performer Allen Toussaint; and the Washington Performing Arts Society.

National Humanities Awards recipients will include Joan Didion and theater artist Anna Deavere Smith

Happy Fifth of July, aka Lanford Wilson Appreciation Day

Broadway productions are currently performing in more than 240 cities across North America ‪http://broadway.org/tours 

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Broadway 2012-13 season had 26 straight plays (a record!). Variety tries to explain why five of them made money. 

Interview with Soho Rep artistic director Sarah Benson who found the theater wonderful, but acting torture.

From Stage To TV

JackKlugmaninTheOddCouple

Leslye Headland’s play Assistance, at Playwrights Horizons last year, is becoming a NBC TV series. When previously has a play become a sitcom?

Miles Lott‪ @mlottjr The Odd Couple, of course, but there was also a very short lived sitcom based on Lanford Wilson’s Hot l Baltimore.

David J. Loehr‪ @dloehr  Steambath was very briefly a series on Showtime in the early 80s.

William Akers ‏‪@ouijum Though created in print, Columbo became fully-formed in a stage play: Prescription Murder

Miles Lott ‏‪A really obscure one I had to track down: Apple Pie based on the play Nourish the Beast by Steve Tesich. Two episodes aired.

Raymond McNeel ‏‪@RaymondMcNeel. Not a sitcom, but Everybody Comes to Rick’s became Casablanca TV series with David Soul

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Far From Heaven 2

Ending today Playwrights Horizons Far From Heaven with Kelli O’Hara and Steve Pasquale, who will reunite in the Broadway musical. “The Bridges of Madison County.” 

Matilda Sam S. Shubert Theatre

How does illusionist ‪Paul Kieve achieve magic in Matilda, Pippin and Ghost? You don’t expect a magician to give away his trade secrets do you? But, he says, it’s all low-tech.

Pippin Music 2

New York Musical Theatre Festival 2013 preview

Anthony Rapp is starring in a show in the New York Musical Theatre Festival, now in its tenth year.

Anthony Rapp is starring in a show in the New York Musical Theatre Festival, now in its tenth year.

NYMFLOGOSAnthony Rapp, best-known as the performer who originated the role of Mark in “Rent,” is starring in a new musical that will give only three performances, for a ticket price no higher than $20 – and it will compete for attention with dozens of other shows within a couple of blocks of one another. He is, in other words, performing once again at the New York Musical Theatre Festival, or NYMF, which insiders such as Rapp pronounce like “nymph.” Its tenth seasons runs from July 8 to July 28, and takes place mostly in the many theaters on 42nd Street west of Ninth Avenue, primarily the new Pershing Square Signature Center (480 West 42nd Street) but also Theatre Row (410 West 42nd) and the Pearl Theatre Company Performance Space a block away (555 W. 42nd).

Rapp has been involved with NYMF before – it’s where he presented his one-man show “Without You,” and several years before that, where he performed in a show called “Feeling Electric,” which eventually won the Tony Award and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, having changed its name to “Next to Normal.”

Begun in 2004, NYMF has been fertile, presenting some  350 shows – 85 of which, say the organizers, have gone on to further productions, including title of show, Yank, and Altar Boyz.

“It’s very important,” Rapp said at the press preview on July 2nd, which offered a glimpse (one song each) for about a third of the 24 full productions that will be presented this year, with a few others thrown in: The show Rapp stars in, “The Water Dream,” by Shawn Cody, is being called a staged reading.  “NYMF gives a platform for writers to take their show out of their living room and put it in front of an audience,” Rapp says. “You still have to raise money to do it, but not on the same scale as Off-Broadway.”

I asked Isaac Robert Hurwitz, NYMF’s  co-founder and departing executive director, whether the people involved in the festival could tell which shows would go on to greater glory. “If we knew which ones would be the hits, there’d be no need for our festival,” he replied.

There is  page on the festival website that allows theatergoers to find shows by genre (comedy, drama, “dramedy”), type (full production, concert, “free developmental reading.”), venue, date, title.

Below are videos of the performances at the preview, some of which also include brief interviews with the performers. Rapp is not the only well-known performer who is involved in a NYMF show this year. Darren Ritchie (Les Miz, Millie, Dracula, etc.) is in Standby (his video below includes a brief interview with him), and Chad Kimball (Memphis) is in Julian Po. The descriptions are abbreviated versions of what are on the festival’s website.

“What If” from Julian Po

“Julian Po is determined to end his life at the sea, until he finds himself stuck in the smallest, strangest town in middle America”

“Brave” from The Water Dream

“After being dumped by his brilliant girlfriend, struggling writer Colin (Anthony Rapp) is visited by terrifying illusions from his childhood. Can he confront tragedy, embrace imagination, and defeat the dragon who haunts his dreams — in time to save his real life?”

“Too Busy Running” from Marry Harry

“Chef Harry wants to leave his family’s failing restaurant but doesn’t want to break his dad’s heart. Sparks fly when the landlord’s daughter, Sherri, sees in Harry the potential man of her dreams”-

“Let Me Be Your Cyrano” from Crossing Swords

“When the boys of St. Mark’s join the girls of St. Anne’s to present “Cyrano de Bergerac,” three friends get more of an education than they bargained for.”

“Whatever” from Legacy Falls

“the on- and off-screen drama of America’s favorite daytime soap opera..”

“Nothing But The Truth” from Standby

“Five strangers meet in an airport standby line and must decide among themselves who deserves to get on the next flight. They soon realize that this is no ordinary airport and their meeting is by no means a coincidence”

“Jabali” from Volleygirls

“Years ago, world-class volleyball player Kim Brindell choked and became an Olympic joke. Now she’s been assigned to coach the Ladyhawks, a team of wide-eyed, misfit, high-school girls who can’t seem to win a game”

“Come With Us” from Dizzy Miss Lizzie’s Roadside Revue Presents ‘The Brontes’

“Charlotte, Emily, Anne and Branwell (Bronte) trade Victorian repression for rock-and-roll expression”