Rochester musical adds NYC-based actors, announces NYMF venue & dates
~REHEARSALS BEGIN THIS WEEK~
Rochester, NY – The news just keeps getting better and better for Moses Man: A Musical Journey of Survival. Chosen from hundreds of submissions to be an Official Selection of the 2015 New York Musical Theatre Festival (NYMF) this July, the original Rochester musical now has its venue and performances dates/times. It will play The Alice Griffin Jewel Box Theatre at The Pershing Square Signature Center (480 West 42nd Street) for five performances July 8-13: Wednesday, July 8 at 8 p.m.; Friday, July 10 at 5 p.m.; Saturday, July 11 at 9 p.m.; Sunday, July 12 at 12 p.m., and Monday, July 13 at 9 p.m. NYMF Passes are available now; single tickets go on sale June 15 at 11 a.m.
In addition, local creators Deborah Haber and Casey Filiaci have cast eight New York City-based actors, all of whom will also perform in the show’s workshop performances at Geva Theatre Center’s Fielding Nextstage on May 21 –24 (tickets on sale now at gevatheatre.org).
Those performers are: Joanne Borts (B’way: Once, Fiddler on the Roof; R&H’s Cinderella), CJ Eldred as “Freddy” (Nat’l Tour: Book of Mormon, “Elder Price”), Tor Hymes (Grammy-nominee), Kevin McQuire as “Opa” (B’way/Nat’l Tours: Les Mis, Phantom, Jane Eyre, Secret Garden), Mark Light-Orr (NYC: Counsellor At Law, Lortel Award; TV: Person of Interest), London’s West End veteran Oliver Thornton as “Avi” (Priscilla, Queen of the Desert), Lisa Rothauser (B’way: The Producers) and Scott Scaffidi (NYC: John & Jen).
“We are so grateful to NYMF for providing us with the opportunity to cast such incredible, experienced talent,” says Haber, who based the musical’s book and lyrics on the nine-year journey to freedom of her own parents, Holocaust survivors Kalman and Lily Haber.
The Rochester production will also include part of the NYMF creative team: Director Michael Bush* and Musical Director Don Kot, current Geva Theatre Center musical director. Rochester-based actors involved in the Geva workshop are: Russell Allen, Dave Autovino, Sammi Cohen, Tess DeFlyer (“Lia”), Sarah Goodman, Brynn Lucas and CJ Roche. Rehearsals begin this week in Rochester.**
“The workshop production at Geva will be our fourth since the JCC CenterStage debut in 2013, and then we’re off to NYMF, which will hopefully open up even more doors for us,” says composer Filiaci, whose Plagued – A Love Story was a NYMF Next Link Project selection in 2009. “We invite Rochester to join us on this exciting journey to see where it takes us all.”
Filiaci is a two-time Emmy Award nominee for his HBO compositions and runs a local music production studio called The MusicMaker Company. He wrote a previous musical with Haber about making healthy choices called Sweet House!
Haber is also the executive artistic director of the recently repositioned non-profit DEEP Arts, originally Rochester Children’s Theatre, which she founded and led for 24 years. DEEP (Develop, Explore, Enrich, Perform) Arts is developing and producing Moses Man.
“I am touched that Moses Man connects with such a wide range of audiences,” says Haber. “Not only can everyone relate to the struggle to survive in some way, but brutal conflicts still exist in our world today: discrimination, persecution, genocide and the plight of refugees.”
Moses Man sponsors include The New York State Council of the Arts, Monroe County, The Sands Family Foundation, The Guido and Ellen Palma Foundation, The Max and Marian Farash Charitable Foundation, Nazareth College, and the Jewish Community Center.
*Michael Bush, who won the 2009 NYMF Award for Excellence in Direction, and has directed nine NYMF musicals. He is the former director of artistic production and associate artistic director for the Manhattan Theatre Club in NYC, with which he has been associated for more than 25 years, helping to guide over 200 new plays and musicals that include the Tony and Pulitzer Prize-winning Proof and Doubt, and the Tony-winning Love! Valour! Compassion! Bush has developed more than 100 new shows, including [title of show] and The Story of My Life, both of which were produced on Broadway.
The New York Musical Theatre Festival nurtures the creation, production, and public presentation of stylistically, thematically, and culturally diverse new musicals to ensure the future vitality of musical theatre.
Now in its twelfth year, the Festival is the largest musical theatre event in America. The preeminent site for launching new musicals and discovering new talent, the Festival provides an affordable platform for artists to mount professional productions that reach their peers, industry leaders, and musical theatre fans. More than 90 Festival shows have gone on to productions on and Off-Broadway, in regional theaters in all 50 states, and in more than 20 countries worldwide.
Festival alumni have received a wide array of awards including the Tony Award® and the Pulitzer Prize. In 2013, NYMF received a special Drama Desk Award in recognition of its work “creating and nurturing new musical theatre, ensuring the future of this essential art form.”
NYMF is the flagship program of National Music Theater Network, Inc., a 501(c) (3) not-for-profit organization. NYMF is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, and from the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency. For more information, please visit: www.nymf.org.