Bick Goss and Frank Evans, Producing Artistic Directors of Musical Mondays Theater Lab, Inc, and Stephen Hanks, MMTL Board President, have announced that the first new musical preview of their 2011-2012 season (the organization's 13th year of presenting new musicals) will be "How to Marry a Divorced Man," by Bryan D. Leys and Clare Cooper, based on best-selling novel How to Marry a Divorced Man by Leslie Fram. The preview, presented in association with TWEISS Productions, will premiere on Thursday, October 13th at 6:30 PM at the Jerry Orbach Theater in the Snapple Theater Center, 210 West 50th Street.
HOW TO MARRY A DIVORCED MAN tells the story of Layla Diamond, a rock and roll reporter in her late 30's, who follows the advice of her daffy mother and seeks out a divorced man. She sets her sights on Bo, a charming sports agent with a needy ex and two obnoxious children. Trying to fit into his life, Layla makes one madcap mistake after another, adopting false identities, causing multiple mix-ups, and turning her marital quest into a complicated farce.
The book and lyrics are by Brian D Leys, who has written libretto and lyrics for the recent Off-Broadway "Hell's Belles." His musicals "Hoodwinked" and "Midsummer Nights" are published by Samuel French. Composer is singer/songwriter/keyboardist Clare Cooper, a Berklee College Graduate, winner of the Songwriter's Guild President's Award, the Abe Olman Scholarship, and has been featured on Bravo's "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy" and AMC's "Into Character." Musical Director Erik James has worked on the Vineyard' award-winning "Slugbearers of Kayrol Island" and "This Beautiful City at L.A's Kirk Douglas Theater and NYC's Vineyard Theatre.
The "How to Marry a Divorced Man" cast includes Christine Marie Heath (Layla), who has played the title role of "Evita" in both English and German for North American and International companies. Richard Binder (Bo), has appeared at NYSEC in "Jekyll & Hyde", "The People vs. Mona" (Abingdon Theatre), "1776" (Fraunces Tavern), "Butcher of Plainfield" (Actors Studio), and "On the Eighth Day" (59E59). Featured cast members include: Laura Daniel ("Hell's Belles," "The Tragic And Horrible Life Of The Singing Nun" (NYMF Award for the title role); 2011 MAC Award nominee Michael Kirk Lane has been seen in NYC productions of The Plant that Ate Dirty Socks, Big River, Seussical, and Visions of Sugar Plums; Babs Winn, lead singer for Miss Babs & The Kickin' Boogie Band (Lincoln Center's Midsummer Night Swing, has appeared on television in recurring sketches on "Jon Stewart's Daily Show" & "Onion News Network; Paul Bourgeois, a recent AMDA graduate has appeared in "Dolphin Up a Tree," "The Beggar's Opera" and "Complete Works of William Shakespeare [abridged]."
Tweiss Productions (producer) is led by sisters Sharon and Eileen B. Weiss: Productions include "Hell's Belles" (West End Theatre and in 2011, The Midtown Theater, NYC), "A Short Wake" by Derek Murphy (1st Irish Theatre Festival 2009), "Between the Lines" (Luna Stage) and the NY revival of "Goodtime Charlie"(ArcLight Theatre).
Under the guidance of Producing Artistic Directors Bick Goss and Frank Evans, and Board President Stephen Hanks, Musical Mondays Theatre Lab is celebrating its 13th year presenting a first look at new musicals at the Snapple Theater Center where the record-breaking runs of "The Fantasticks" and "Perfect Crime" currently play. Writers whose early work debuted at Musical Mondays include Tony® Winners Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx ("Ave Q"), Tony and Pulitzer Prize Winners Brian Yorkey and Tom Kitt ("Next to Normal"), Drama Desk nominee Eric Weinberger and Kleban Prize Winner Beth Falcone ("Wanda's World,"), Outer Critics Award Winner Andy Monroe ("The Kid"). "
Musical Monday's next new musical preview will be "Spoolie Girl" by Rosemary Loar and Robert Atwood (Thursday, November 17), a sophisticated rock fairy tale for adults and savvy children. A 16-year old orphan, who was raised on a church mission in Kenya, finds herself thrown into the frantic world of New York high fashion.
Single admission is $18.00. (Season Subscription of four shows is $45.) For reservations, call 212 989-6706 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo: Christine Marie Heath