What Will Your Oscar’s Speech Be?

As I watch the various entertainment awards ceremonies that populate the first few months of the year, I am always struck by the depth of intention artists find in work that can sometimes feel like pure entertainment. I’m reminded that in everything we as actors do, we must find the greater purpose. Make it about something bigger than ourselves because that’s where the possibility for greatness lies.

Last night, during the SAG awards, many of the actors rose to the occasion of our times, understanding that the work they do does not exist in a vaccuum, but is rather reflected through the prism of the culture, giving their award an importance beyond simple recognition of talent or hard work. Continue reading What Will Your Oscar’s Speech Be?

Brett Ryback to Receive Cole Porter Award

220px-coleporterIt’s De-Lovely! I am so honored to announce that I will be the recipient of this year’s ASCAP Foundation Cole Porter Award.

Established in 2009 with a gift from the Cole Porter Musical and Literary Trusts, The ASCAP Foundation Cole Porter Award is  presented annually to an ASCAP or unaffiliated member who writes music and lyrics, whose work shows promise, and who has participated in the ASCAP Foundation Musical Theatre Workshop.

Past recipients include Peter Mills, Sam Willmott, and Daniel Maté.

The awards will be distributed at the 2016 ASCAP Foundation Honors, to be held on Wednesday, December 14. This invitation-only event takes place at the Appel Room and Ertegun Atrium in Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Frederick P. Rose Hall.

The Money Problem

moneyI have always been a worrier when it comes to money. Blame it on my practical Midwestern upbringing. Or my Father. Or the fact that I’ve chosen writing musicals as my ironclad fall-back career in case acting doesn’t work out.

Thankfully, I’ve been extremely lucky to make my living as an artist. I say “artist” because it encompasses the various roles that I play in my work. Sometimes I’m an actor, sometimes I’m a writer, sometimes I’m a musician or a teacher. But it all stems from my passion for and abilities as an artist.

It’s only been recently, though, that I’ve had to actually sit down and think about what to do with the money I’ve made.

Shortly after college, I found myself with a big chunk of credit card debt. And because of the piecemeal nature of making money as an artist, I had no real system to keep track of how much I was making and how much I was spending. Never mind saving or investing!

That’s when I had to get smart about my money. Continue reading The Money Problem

When Life Hands You a Pile of Poo…

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There are people in your phone and they have something they’d like to sing to you.

That’s right – all those emojis you use to embellish or simplify your texts are people, too, and now there’s a brand new musical in the works about them. Yes, even the pile of poo.

Thankfully, their songs have music and lyrics by Keith Harrison and a book by Keith and Laura Harrison. (Yes, they’re married. And yes they’re adorable.)

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A couple weeks ago I had the pleasure of hosting an event called Musi-CAL. Presented by the Festival of New American Musicals, Musi-CAL is a bimonthly concert series featuring material from new and in-progress musicals written by Southern Californian composers, lyricists, and bookwriters.

The final presentation was Keith and Laura’s show, Emojiland. I can’t even describe the energy that filled the room with each song they presented. Everyone in attendance was blown away by the quality and production-value of their work. It was simply stellar.

I met Keith and Laura separately Continue reading When Life Hands You a Pile of Poo…

The Badge is Back

Murder for Two Hero ShotThe original off-broadway cast – aka Jeff Blumenkrantz (30 Rock, The Good Wife) and I – are headed to the Geffen Playhouse with Murder for Two!

I couldn’t be more grateful to share this show with all my West Coast friends. The New York times called it “Ingenius! A snazzy double act,” and Variety declared, “Left-coast thesp Brett Ryback turns in a worthy Gotham debut.”

There has never been a show like this in Los Angeles, and tickets are already going fast. Grab your seats to see us sing, sweat, and pound the keys this summer, currently from May 26 – July 5th.

Don’t Be the Dope

Songs I Wrote Title Bar02-in-piano

I’m THRILLED to announce my first non-Murder for Two-related appearance in New York City!

On Saturday April 19th at 11pm, join me for a late-night party at 54 Below as I share SONGS i WROTE – an evening of highlights from my songbook.

Here’s what you’ll get to see:

Alex Brightman, Janet Krupin, George Salazar, and Mary Kate Morrissey.

JSSW CastThis sexy foursome singing songs from my latest musical-in-progress JOE SCHMOE SAVES THE WORLD – including 4 Brand-new never-before-heard songs!

Melissa van der Schyff, Claybourne Elder, Lesli Margherita, Julia Mattison, and Justin Matthew Sargent.

TKD CastThis foxy fivesome rocking tunes from my musical THE TAVERN KEEPER’S DAUGHTER.

Dakin MatthewsAnd a guest appearance by the guy from True Grit, Gilmore Girls, ROCKY Broadway, and pretty much every other TV show you’ve ever seen: Dakin Matthews.

Don’t be the dope who missed outGRAB YOUR TICKETS HERE!

 

‘Murder’ Spree!

M42 - ExtendedI’m thrilled to announce that due to popular demand, MURDER FOR TWO has been extended YET AGAIN!

Our two-person murder mystery musical was originally set to close on August 10th, and was extended to the 17th during our first week of previews.  After our opening on July 25th, we were a New York Times Critics Pick, and have now extended to August 25th!

Here’s what the critics are saying:

“Murder for Two,”…is an ingenious miniature musical in the form of a snazzy vaudevillian double-act. The authors and the director, Scott Schwartz, deploy minimal stage resources to maximum effect. With just two actors, a piano and a prop or two, the show spins out a curlicued comic mystery story animated by funny, deftly turned songs.” ~New York Times

“Left-coast thesp Brett Ryback turns in a worthy Gotham debut….Ryback and Blumenkrantz are extremely entertaining when they’re pounding away at competitive piano duets…”  ~Variety

M42 - Jeff Brett“A production like Murder for Two lives and dies by its performers, and director Scott Schwartz found two aces. Ryback is engaging as the wide-eyed cop looking for his big professional break; at times, he looks and acts uncannily like Broadway vet Roger Bart — with the same on-stage energy.”  ~Entertainment Weekly

“A bawdy-yet-intelligent send-up of the murder-mystery genre, performed in awe-inspiring fashion by two insanely talented quadruple threats.”  ~Theatremania

Get your tickets now, as they are going VERY quickly.

Click HERE for tickets and more info.