Great news from Burbank! Falling for Make Believeis a critical and audience success and so the show is extending by popular demand!
“[Playwright Mark] Saltzman illuminates the self-loathing Hart (Ben D. Goldberg, marvelously invested, if too handsome by half), pulling vintage items from his output with Rodgers (ever-stalwart Brett Ryback) into commentary.” – LA Times
“What Brett Ryback as Rodgers and Ben D. Goldberg as Hart lack in comparable vocal power they make up for in melodic, resonant stylings. And Ryback is so convincing at the onstage piano, that it’s nearly impossible to tell if he’s faking it.” – Burbank Leader
“The singing all by itself is worth the price of admission…It falls to the cast, as brilliant in their character portrayals as they are in their singing, to show us what the party line has withheld.” – My Burbank
The play is set to continue to run through the end of June…however, I will only be in it through June 9th! So before I step out of Richard Rodgers’s shoes, come see Falling for Make Believe at the Colony Theatre!
For tickets call 818-558-7000 ext.15 or visit www.colonytheatre.org. But Hurry – they are seriously going fast!
This April I am stepping into the skin of one of the founding fathers of the musical theatre genre – my genre. The Colony Theatre in Burbank presents the world premiere of Falling For Make Believe, about Lorenz Hart. I will play Richard Rodgers.
As iconic as the man’s music is, the man himself almost disappears behind his work – and it certainly was his intention to do so. He and his estate did (until very recently) their very best to fiercely protect the “Rodgers and…” legacy.
Exactly what he may have been protecting it from is the subject of the play, which opens up a fascinating window to the relationship between two partners who created magic, loved each other dearly, but ultimately couldn’t help the other in the ways they needed.
Written by Ryan Scott Oliver and Brett Ryback, Darling is a coming-of-age story about teenager Ursula Morgan, who leaves behind her upper-class family and finds herself in the seedy underground of Depression-era Boston — a world of sex, jazz and a mysterious drug called….fairy dust.
The piece, which was featured on the “Bound for Broadway” episode of NBC’s The Apprentice, was nominated for Weston’s prestigious national award by Director of Music at Pace New Musicals Robert Meffe who said of Darling: “The rock score is dark, edgy and contagious… The lyrics are intelligent, surprising and original…The book is a wildly different take on the Peter Pan story that will have audiences trying to uncover the allusions every night.”
The Weston Playhouse New Musical Award, the only one of its kind in the country, has become a highly sought-after prize. It supports new work by writers and composers of notable promise, chosen from a group of national nominations. Winners rehearse their work in Vermont under professional musical direction with a cast of exceptional actor/singers. After performing selections from Darling in concert on the Weston stage on March 2, Oliver, Ryback and their cast return to New York to perform at an invited concert and then to record a demo cd under the supervision of Kurt Deutsch of Sh-K-Boom Records.
Derek Klena as Peter
The Vermont and New York concerts will be led under the musical direction of Chris Fenwick (Giant). The cast of rising Broadway talent includes Derek Klena (Dogfight) as Peter, Emily Walton (Peter and the Starcatcher) as Ursula, Julia Mattison (Godspell), Justin Keyes (How to Succeed…) and Max Chernin (NYMF’s Really Bad Things).
For those unacquainted with the show, Darling is a dark deconstruction of the Peter Pan story as told from the perspective of the “Wendy” character. The show has gone through many different incarnations, and the current version resembles Peter Pan mostly in broad, thematic ways.
However, when first conceived, the show borrowed a lot more from the original J.M. Barrie story – including the characters John and Michael Darling. Also, in the original stages of conception, it was not immediately apparent that Ryback and Oliver would work exclusively on either Book or Music/Lyrics.
Thus – this sketch of a song meant to be sung by John to his younger brother Michael was created by me. I pulled it out of the drawer and recently set it to music for my concert The Kid With the Keys, which premiered this fall in Los Angeles.
Be sure to tell me what you think in the comments below!
It will be a classy night of troublemaking, immaturity, and kid-play featuring music from the Millennial Generation of composers including Joe Iconis, Ryan Scott Oliver, Daniel Maté, and yours truly.
Tickets are $38 for VIP Reserved Seating, or $28 for General Admission Seating, both of which include the Entertainment Cover and the $10 Food and/or Beverage Minimum. RESERVATIONS ARE A MUST. Please call 818-754-8700. Patrons enjoying dinner are encouraged to arrive between 5:30-6:00pm.
Sterling’s Upstairs at the Federal is located at 5303 Lankershim Blvd. North Hollywood, CA 91601. Valet Parking is available directly behind the Federal ($3.50 with validation). Ample street parking is also available. The dress code is upscale casual.