Julia never bought a baby before. Okay, she’s adopting, but the agency sure makes her feel like she's buying a baby. Couples competing in the free market of love. Bad ovaries but good credit? Step right up! Did you know some kids are discounted? A black baby—which is what Julia and her wife are seeking—costs 1/2 of a white baby. Almost makes Julia and Amy want to run out and start a chapter of the Black Panthers - and Amy's white! The one saving grace is that the waiting time for adopting a black child is six months instead of the two years it takes for a white baby. Oh wait, a gay couple? Make that a year. What’s that? Julia is a recovering alcoholic? And she’s insisting on including that info in their Dear Birth Mother letter? Make that anywhere between 2 years and… Hilary Clinton's second term! But only five days after signing the contract at the adoption agency, a bomb drops…
Undoubtedly influenced by the off-Broadway shot-in-the-arm that was 1960’s The Fantasticks, MONEY took on the brashness and daring of such other early-1960s titles as Stop the World I Want to Get Off, Beyond the Fringe, and the early James Bond movies -- a decided turn-away from the Rodgers & Hammerstein and “Father Knows Best” models that had characterized the 1950s and the Eisenhower years.
MONEY is surely among the handful of very best American musicals that is almost entirely unknown, not only to the theater-going public but also within the theatrical community itself. Even after 50 years, and despite its many topical pop-culture and socio-political references (such as Khruschev, the Edsel, and Colliers Magazine, to name only a few), the script remains remarkably fresh and modern-sounding. The score is amazingly inventive in forging a new, breezy sound for the musical theatre. It even includes -- fully within its overall tongue-in-cheek, spoofing manner -- an operetta-like parody, “The Philanthropist’s Progress: A Cautionary Cantata,” a 15-minute-long, through-sung number that takes satiric thrusts at so-called charitable institutions at the same time that it mimes such lofty 1950’s musical models as Candide, with which it obviously shares the main thrust of its story-line, and Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress.
Indeed, the theme of a young man seeking greater meaning in life informs not just MONEY and Candide, but also Pippin, now playing in town in a spectacular new production. While MONEY may employ less acrobatics than the current Pippin production, it has a much funnier script and snappier ending than either Candide or Pippin, with a wonderful final number that combines elements of pseudo-pomp, vaudeville, and even a cappella stylings.
About the Company: Stranger Productions
STRANGER PRODUCTIONSis a production company recently developed by Gerald Moshell out of a repertory theatre group working out of the Cornerstone Playhouse in Wakefield and Warwick, Rhode Island, which had produced in 2007-11 such shows as tick, tick . . .BOOM!, Birds of Paradise, Stop the World I Want to Get Off, Nunsense A-Men, and You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown, all directed by Gerald Moshell. MONEY is the third show to be produced by Stranger Productions, following mountings of the musical next to normal (Factory Theatre, Boston) and the play Another Antigone (BAX Theater, Brooklyn).
I Am My Own Wife was the first one-person show ever to win a Pulitzer Prize, which it won in 2004. Charlotte von Mahlsdorf, the main character of Doug Wright's award-winning play, is a German transvestite, who goes on to become a celebrity in his/her own right, to the point of being declared by some a national German hero.
Von Mahlsdorf's story is an amazing one. Moving from a young boy's realization of his sexuality (inspired by a warm-hearted aunt) through his confrontations with his father to his eclectic collection of antiquities; we witness his stories of survival of both the Nazis and the post-World War II occupation. With the publication of Mr. Wright's play- he became a celebrity- given the nickname "The Tranny Granny." But with fame, came the rumors he cooperated with the Stasi, perhaps even informing on others, thus threatening the acceptance he had struggled a lifetime to achieve.
Recommended for: all audiences, teenagers, adults, elderly, theatre community, LGBT community, ethnic community (including African-American, Latino and others).
The one man musical sensation from the 2010 New York International Fringe Festival returns to New York!
AMAZING. UPBEAT. A PLEASURE.
“What really makes ‘Picture Complete’ sing is author-star Trent Armand Kendall who not only has an amazing voice but also moves smoothly and skillfully between comedic and serious movements. The upbeat message of his show is that if the picture is incomplete, it’s because there’s always more to learn. IT’S A PLEASURE TO HEAR HIM TEACH.” **** Stars
-Lisa Levinson. TIME OUT, NEW YORK
FEROCIOUS TALENT. SUPERLATIVE PERFORMANCE.
“Trent Armand Kendall has a ferocious talent. By the time his one-man musical ends, he is wrung out and we are infused with the kind of glow that only a superlative performance can kindle. In 90 minutes, he sings, creates a number of absolutely delicious characters, descends into the audience to work the crowd and even turns somersaults. This is a highly enjoyable and satisfying evening.”
-Clifford Johnson III, BACKSTAGE
DELIGHTFUL. EXCELLENT. A TOUR-DE-FORCE.
“This 90 minute tour-de-force performance is uniquely Trent Armand Kendall’s. With a blend of humor, humanity and self-awareness the show is altogether endearing and delightful. Mr. Trent is an extremely gifted performer with a show-stopping Broadway voice and some surprisingly soft shoes for a man of his build. His talent as a character actor is also striking. His passion, his connection to the work and his enthusiasm all show. He delivers what can only be described a truly excellent 90 minutes of live theatre and music. It is also a great idea that he has teamed up with a host of other obviously talented artists such as Michael Polese who wrote the music, Greg Ganakas who directs and of course his band, Adam Klipple, Sam Minaie and Michael Nappi, who back him up brilliantly.”
-Brad Lee Thomason, nytheatre.com
POWERFUL. FUNNY. INCREDIBLE. AN ODE TO JOY.
“ ‘Picture Incomplete’ is an ode to joy and discovery. It’s is a little bit Stew in ‘Passing Strange’, a little bit Eddie Murphy, a little bit Tyler Perry and a whole lot of Trent Kendall who is certainly up to the job at hand. He is personable and endowed with a powerful and sensitive voice. And yes, he is quite FUNNY! The songs by the gifted Michael Polese are philosophical, soul searching, foot stomping and questioning. Most impressive is the title song. The arrangements are incredible. So will ‘Picture Incomplete’ make it to Broadway? It’s off to a great start.”
-Oscar E. Moore, TalkEntertainment.com
MAGNETICALLY MEMORABLE. TRANSPORTING.
“ ‘Picture Incomplete’ is jolting. It puts Trent Armand Kendall to better use than any of his previous Broadway shows. He is magnetically memorable as he captures, in color-suffused detail and supple voice, the feel and the sound of structured New York loneliness. The steel-throated Kendall is at once a huggable lug of a stage presence as well as a startling versatile character actor. The show transports you, which is more than many of the bigger musicals can manage. Mr. Kendall proves that heart is all you really need. And he’s got more than enough heart to sculpt the whole Upper West Side.”
-Matthew Murray, Talkin’ Broadway
FUNKY. FIERCE. FABULOUS.
“Trent Armand Kendall’s ‘Picture Incomplete’ is a revelation. It is FUNKY. It is FIERCE. It is FABULOUS. Kendall examines what it means to be a human being lending his rich and soaring tenor to the words and music of collaborator Michael Polese.”
-Next Magazine, New York
TOO GOOD TO MISS.
“The name of Trent Armand Kendall is hardly unfamiliar to New York’s cultural intelligentsia or the worldwide sphere, whether for his work on Broadway or concerts both here and abroad. But it is with his unequivocally prodigious ‘Picture Incomplete’ that he is afforded the chance to dazzle as never before. He accomplishes something here that goes way beyond his foreknown talents as a singer and physical acrobat. In this show he is at long last allowed to display his incredible prowess as an actor beyond belief. Written in tandem with the outstanding and brilliant composer/lyricist, Michael Polese, the show glistens with impeccable luster. Kendall completely slays the throng. Both he and ‘Picture Incomplete’ deserve as much attention as possible. Please pay attention. This show is simply too good to miss.”
-Andrew Martin, Nightlife Exchange
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
BROKE WIDE OPEN by Rock WILK
Presented by the United Solo Theatre Festival in New York City
A true story of adoption and one man’s search for identity and home
Theatre ROW/The Studio Theatre | Monday, October 24, 2011 at 9pm
New York, NY - New York native, Rock WILK, actor, playwright, poet, adoptee and subway “creative” brings his life’s work - his play, BROKE WIDE OPEN back home to New York City, from the recently riot-ravaged but resilient London, for the United Solo Theatre Festival, at Theatre ROW, The Studio Theatre, located at 410 West 42nd Street, New York, NY 10036 on Monday, October 24, 2011 at 9pm. Written, composed and performed by Rock WILK; Directed by Stephen Bishop Seely; and Production sponsored by Jack Sharkey; BROKE WIDE OPEN, is an evocative, soul baring musical about the true life story of Rock WILK’s adoption, identity and search for home.
High energy, honest, and unforgettable, BROKE WIDE OPEN is a poetic and orchestral unveiling of truth with Rock WILK as both maestro and menace. In BROKE WIDE OPEN, Rock WILK, fostered three times and finally adopted as a baby, takes us on a journey where he recounts and relives life changing consequences and decisions. Like martyr, like savior, like rebel without pause, Rock WILK is insistently fighting to enlighten and protect anyone and everyone in his path. A force, a hurricane, a cyclone of well intentioned chaos, Rock WILK is a tempest of love; he is valor and destruction all wrapped up into one. Testing the limits of every relationship in his life, Rock WILK’s journey to explore cause, and find home, becomes both incessant and reluctant. Emotionally gripping and spiritually giving, BROKE WIDE OPEN is also hopeful with pockets of laugh out-loud, comedic revelation. Rock WILK’s transgressions and triumphs throughout BROKE WIDE OPEN inspire unsolicited introspection; like a mirror and milestone, this theater piece compels many to face themselves and transcend to that which they are open and willing.
“...I want you to know that I’m open
That I’m always receiving
Expectant of nothing
But hoping for something
Praying for an accident
Of the most startling kind…”
–Rock WILK, BROKE WIDE OPEN
“…I am like a bottle thrown into the ocean
with an entire novel stuffed inside
that comes out of me a few pages at a time
usually out of order
so I'm always trying to figure out what goes where
I am a stranger by definition
my first significant moment made me that way…”
–Rock WILK, BROKE WIDE OPEN
Rock WILK is also a socially and politically charged vocalist and an accomplished multi-instrumentalist, creating all of this art while riding the subways of New York City. Along with being a Nuyorican Poet's semifinalist and 2010 runoffs qualifier for The Nuyorican's national team, Rock WILK was also recently a featured performer for Amnesty International at an event for human rights. He has worked as a studio and touring background vocalist, most recently singing with the legendary Patti LaBelle and contributing vocal and horn arrangements to the Grammy Award winning Les Paul compilation album, LES PAUL AND FRIENDS. Rock's music can also be heard on such TV shows as MTV's "The Real World" and "Making The Band", among others.
"BROKE WIDE OPEN might just be that WHOLE NEW THING we didn’t even know we were looking for; that place we’re being drawn to for the first time as things warp and splinter, as our notions of how anything at all is CONCEIVED or CREATED (or delivered, distributed, owned and consumed) gasp their last, and we try to figure out WHAT JUST HAPPENED and WHAT WE'RE SUPPOSED TO DO NEXT, and wonder just WHAT or WHO is going to come along and make perfect sense of (and in) this new context." - Tom Chesek, Upper WET Side
"a shower of words and sounds washes over the viewer, then drains away, leaving their skin pulled and tight with the slippery realization: "no one came lookin' for you ever." i think going to a show like mr. wilk's redefines the experience of going to the theater…" -Michael Raysses, NPR commentator
For media passes, press inquiries & additional materials, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contact/ Press Release Source: Ebony Brown | Founder/CEO, Ebony Brown Entertainment | email@example.com | 914.410.7474
BROKE WIDE OPEN Presented by the United Solo Theatre Festival (Ufest)
A true story of adoption and one man’s search for identity and home
Running Time: 2 hours (includes a 10 minute intermission)
(drama, comedy, tragedy, storytelling, movement, poetry, musical, multimedia)
Rock WILK, Playwright, Performer, Composer (www.brokewideopen.com)
Stephen Bishop Seely, Director
Jack Sharkey, Production Sponsor
Ebony Brown, Press Release Contact/Source, firstname.lastname@example.org | 914.410.7474
Monday, October 24, 2011 at 9pm
Theatre ROW/The Studio Theatre | 410 West 42nd Street, New York, NY 10036 (between 9th & 10th Ave)
Trains:A, C, E, 1, 2, 3, 7, N, R, Q, S and Buses M16, M20, M42 M 104 to Times Square – 42nd Street.
SOLD OUT - Tickets are $18. Purchase via www.telecharge.com or call 212.239.6200, or the Theatre ROW Box Office. "If you are interested in purchasing tickets for a sold-out performance, check with the Theatre ROW Box Office on the day of the show. Should there be any last-minute returns, tickets will become available on a first-come, first-served basis." Source: http://bit.ly/unitedsolotheatre | For media passes, press inquiries & additional materials, please send an email to Ebony Brown: email@example.com.
VIDEO CLIPS: http://bit.ly/rockwilkblood | http://bit.ly/mybeginnings
COMMENTS: http://bit.ly/rockwilkguestbook | http://bit.ly/rockwilkpress
UNITED SOLO (Ufest): http://bit.ly/wilkatunitedsolo
[Photos: Serge Cashman | Design: Ebony Brown]
The Straddler is an interdisciplinary organization founded with the intent of examining and transforming culture. Looking as much to the past as to the present for insights into an age where repetition and cultural diminishment are the norm, The Straddler seeks to sift through illuminated bits of western and American culture. Pieced together, The Straddler believes these fragments offer images of the potential for a more dignified cultural future. Too Far Gone Out in the Middle of Nowhere is The Straddler’s first theatrical production. The Straddler’s literary magazine, named Best of the Web, Online Journals, 2009 by Dzanc Books, is online at thestraddler.com.
From the team behind the audacious LADY CHARDONNEY ("an entertaining little romp, with convincing performances across the board" '" NYTheatre.com), comes a witty new comedy about outlandish familial relations. Meet Nate, a very clever man who uses the intrigue of mental health to finance his life and dreams. His best friends, three stuffed birds and a trio of stuffed cats, feed his belief that he's a blindingly popular STAR, Nathan Lane in fact. His older sister, Bette, is a psychiatrist who counsels him at home to protect herself professionally, and manipulates Nate vis-Ã -vis his illness. Will Bette's common sense prevail or will Nate's created life prove too much to handle for either one of them?
The design team includes Caren C. Anhder (costume design), Elisha Schaefer (set design), Alex Moore (lighting design), Maritza VillafaÃ±e (production manager), Laurie Weber (fine artist) and Llima Orosa (photographer). Blaze Kelly Coyle serves as the stage manager.
"The Tragedy of John" is brought to you by the producers of last summer's successful run of "The Ocean Is Big And The Sky Is Blue," at the American Theatre of Actors, and of The Brooklyn Repertory Shakespeare Company's "Monday Night Shakespeare," currently running at the Brooklyn Lyceum in Park Slope. Theatre of the Expendable (TotE) www.theatreoftheexpendable.org is committed to providing a steady flow of quality theatre whose hallmark is our member artists' passion for their work. Most recently, TotE Artistic Director and "The Tragedy of John" producer Jesse Edward Rosbrow produced the successful production of "Hello, My Name Is..." at Theatre Row's Lion Theatre.
About the playwright: Neal Zupancic is the Director of the Brooklyn Repertory Shakespeare Company (BRSC) www.theatreoftheexpendable.org/brsc , and has directed its inaugural production, "The Tragedie of Cymbeline." About the director: Corinne Neal is a member of the upcoming 2007 Lincoln Center Directors Lab.
Eternally 29-years-old, Lady ChardonnEy is a proud cabaret performer who lip syncs to old blues standards. Her fiancé, Sam Ranzoni, is a recently reformed Mafioso and frustrated artist. Lady ChardonnEy wants desperately to get married, but she is hiding a really big secret. Sam wants desperately to sleep with Lady ChardonnEy, but he hasn't been completely honest with his lady love. Will Lady ChardonnEy's secret be revealed? Will Sam finally come clean about his past? Can an over-the-top diva and a former Mobster find true love?