PREVIEW: A chance to see a Broadway show develop before your eyes!

A chance to see a Broadway show develop before your eyes!

Have you ever wondered how a potential Broadway show goes from script to stage? Have you been curious about what goes on during the rehearsals of a professional play? Have you ever wanted your voice to be heard about what you like and dislike about a musical? Well, if the answer to any of these questions is “yes,” you are about to get your chance. And, you don’t have to go to New York. The process is going to take place right here in Cleveland.

PAGE TO STAGE is a new PlayhouseSquare project whose purpose is to invite theatre writers to develop Broadway-aimed productions, while allowing local audiences to provide response and feedback as the creators hone the work.

From Wed 7/13Sun 7/24, the Hanna Theatre will be the center of historical theatrical activity as FAT CAMP, a musical about a group of plus-sized teens at a sleep-away camp, is developed. The process started in 2009 when the script was showcased as part of the New York Musical Theatre Festival and was awarded “The Best of the Fest.” It also received a 2010 workshop. Now, it’s ready for the Cleveland intervention. It’s a work-in-progress and, hopefully, by the end of the PAGE TO STAGE experiment, it will be closer to stage ready.

FAT CAMP features a book by Randy Blair and Timothy Michael Drucker and music by Matthew roi Berger, with lyrics by Blair. The show will be directed by Casey Hushion (whose credits include Assistant Direction THE DROWSY CHAPERONE and IN THE HEIGHTS on Broadway). The cast are professional actors who have been selected in New York tryouts. The show will be staged with minimal costumes and sets.

The producer of the show is Dodgers, a prolific staging company. Some of their Broadway hits were JERSEY BOYS, THE SECRET GARDEN, INTO THE WOODS, URINETOWN, TITANIC, FOOTLOOSE, 1776, A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM, THE KING AND I, THE WHO’S TOMMY, GUYS AND DOLLS, BIG RIVER and PUMP BOYS AND DINETTES.

Tony-winning, Dodger co-founder Michael David recently said, “We are most excited to be back in Cleveland at PlayhouseSquare, participating in their inaugural PAGE TO STAGE.” He went on to say, “The Dodgers have had a long history developing shows at PlayhouseSquare and we are most appreciative for the opportunity to nurture this young, new production; to get it up on stage and to experiment, to refine, to try to find our feet with the support of the Playhouse staff, and the audiences of Cleveland.”

Gina Vernaci, Vice President of Theatricals at PlayhouseSquare, states, “Audience feedback is not only encouraged — it is crucial to the success of both PAGE TO STAGE and FAT CAMP.

How do you get involved? From Wed 7/13 through Sun 7/24, audiences will be able to sit in on a series of performances, creative conversations with cast members and the production team, listen to curtain speeches, chat one-on-one with the cast, and fill out comments cards that will be used to hone the show. Tickets for each show will begin as low as $10. Half-price bar drinks will be sold and there will be special performances for teens on Wed 7/13 and Wed 7/20 (use code TEEN). For a complete rundown of what’s going on, go to http://PlayhouseSquare.org. For tickets call 216-241-6000.

 

From Cool Cleveland contributor Roy Berko. Berko’s blog, which contains theatre and dance reviews from 2001 through 2011, as well as his consulting and publications information, can be found at http://RoyBerko.info. His reviews can also be found on NeOHIOpal and CoolCleveland.com.

Roy Berko, who is a life-long Clevelander, is a Renaissance man. Believing the line in Robert Frost’s poem “Road Not Taken,” each time he comes to a fork in the road, he has taken the path less traveled. He holds degrees, thought the doctorate from Kent State, University of Michigan and The Pennsylvania State University. His present roles, besides husband and grandfather, are professor, crisis counselor, author and entertainment reviewer… Read Roy Berko’s complete bio here

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