THE HAPPY EMBALMER -- a World-Premiere new musical with book, music and lyrics by Mark Noonan and Nick Oddy, directed and choreographed by Kelly Devine -- is presented by The New York Musical Theatre Festival, starting October 6, 2009 at Theatre Row's Acorn Theatre (410 West 42nd Street, btw 9th and 10th Avenues) in New York City.
THE HAPPY EMBALMER - a new musical by Mark Noonan and Nick Oddy - is a boy meets girl love story...except the girl happens to be dead. Edward Nando (Daniel Reichard) is a lonely embalmer with an extraordinary talent. But when his long lost love Emily (Megan Sikora) crosses his table something awakens in Edward - and before you can say reincarnation, dead bodies start returning to life. Now everyone wants a piece of Ed: a mad Texan funeral home mogul, a groovy Russian scientist, and a Dalai Lama (Tituss Burgess) hell-bent on world domination. Can Edward figure out how to win the girl, save the family funeral home, and ultimately become The Happy Embalmer? Death never looked so damn Great!
Daniel Reichard made his Broadway debut as "Bob Gaudio" in the Tony Award-winning musical JERSEY BOYS, prior to that, Mr. Reichard starred in the original cast of FORBIDDEN BROADWAY: 20th ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION, starred as artist "Keith Haring" in RADIANT BABY at the Public Theater (dir. George C. Wolfe), appeared in THE THING ABOUT MEN (Promenade Theatre), etc.
Tituss Burgess was most recently seen on Broadway as "Nicely Nicely Johnson" in the revival of GUYS AND DOLLS. Mr. Burgess's other Broadway credits are: THE LITTLE MERMAID, JERSEY BOYS and GOOD VIBRATIONS. Regionally he was seen in THE WIZ ("Cowardly Lion," La Jolla), SONGS FOR A NEW WORLD (with Jason Robert Brown, Brian d'Arcy James and Alice Ripley), etc.
In only a few short years, Megan Sikora has appeared in half a dozen Broadway shows, including: CURTAINS, WONDERFUL TOWN, WICKED, THOROUGHLY MODERN MILLIE, DRACULA, THE MUSICAL, and 42ND STREET.
Joining Mr. Reichard, Mr. Burgess and Ms. Sikora in the cast of THE HAPPY EMBALMER are: Steven Hauck (seen last season on Broadway in IRENA'S VOW), Joe Coots (recently seen in the Paper Mill production of THE FULL MONTY), Cedric Leiba Jr. (National Tour RENT), Drew Gehling (Chicago production of JERSEY BOYS), Kevin Michael Murphy (NYMF 2008 - MAX AND THE TRUFFLE PIG), Tony Daussat (AWESOME 80'S PROM), Noah Aberlin (THE WIZARD OF OZ), Candi Boyd, John Jeffrey Martin (Broadway: GOOD VIBRATIONS, HAIRSPRAY), Natalie Newman (FLYER), Tiffany Sudol (National Tour MAMMA MIA!), Lara Janine (ROCK OF AGES), and Christopher Spaulding (CURTAINS).
THE HAPPY EMBALMER has book, music and lyrics by Mark Noonan and Nick Oddy, is directed and choreographed by Kelly Devine, with Adam John Hunter (Associate Director), Jo Winiarski (Scenic Design), Paul Carey (Costume Design), Jason Lyons (Lighting Design), Walter Trarbach (Sound Design), Austin Switser (Multimedia Design) Sonny Paladino (Music Director) Christopher Ford (Props Design) and Lainie Sakakura (Associate Choreographer).
Mark Noonan &Nick Oddy (co-Librettists/co-Composers) wrote most of this show in a Boston apartment under the sponsorship of Beck's beer (Beck's was unaware of this sponsorship, of course). Nick was raised in the shadow of Abbey Road studios in London and educated at the Berklee College of Music in Boston. Mark grew up in Cleveland, Ohio and attended Holy Cross where he studied English &Theatre. Nick's music can be heard in the documentary film Splitting Hairs. Mark's writing can be seen in a new play called TEACH. Nick and Mark both agree that writing a musical basically means giving up five years of your life...but it's better than cooking stir-fry at a fast food joint or moving boxes around all day.
Kelly Devine (Director/Choreographer) choreographed the Broadway and off-Broadway productions of ROCK OF AGES. Her other Broadway credits include the new musical MEMPHIS (Assoc. Choreographer) and JERSEY BOYS. Off-Broadway: FRANKENSTEIN; ANNE WRECKSICK. La Jolla Playhouse: PETER AND THE STARCATCHERS; ZHIVAGO; PRIVATE FITTINGS; THE WIZ (Assoc.Choreographer). Stratford Festival: CABARET; ROMEO & JULIET. Regional: BLOODY BLOODY ANDREW JACKSON; SNEAUX (L.A. Weekly Theater Award for best choreography); WOZZECK (San Diego Opera). Film/television: "Happy, Texas;" "Zombie Prom;" "30 Days Until I'm Famous;" "So Little Time;" "Two of a Kind;" etc.
The New York Musical Theatre Festival, now in its sixth year, has premiered more than 175 new musicals since 2004. The largest musical theatre event in America, NYMF has been hailed as "the Sundance of Musical Theatre," and is widely regarded as the key source for new material and talent discovery. NYMF is the flagship program of National Music Theater Network, Inc., a 501(c) (3) not-for-profit organization. NYMF 2009 is presented in association with BroadwayWorld.com, Production Resource Group and TheaterMania.com, and is supported by Back Stage, Barnes &Noble Booksellers, BroadwayBox.com, BroadwayInsider.com, Broadway.TV, Clear Channel Spectacolor, DFD-TV, Frank &Camille's Fine Pianos, King Displays, Manhattan Movement &Arts Center, New World Stages, NASDAQ OMX, Next Magazine, PMD Promotions, Queerty.com, Reuters, Sweet Caroline's, Tekserve, TheMenEvent.com, The Tank, and Times Square Squared. Major supporters include The ASCAP Foundation, BMI Foundation, Inc., The Broadway League, The BWF Foundation, The Nathan Cummings Foundation with the support and encouragement of Jamie Mayer, The Charlie &Jane Fink Charitable Fund, The Rodgers &Hammerstein Foundation, The Shubert Foundation, and The Theater League. NYMF is supported, in part, by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts. This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council. NYMF's programs are made possible with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency. NYMF Memberships, which combine charitable contributions with valuable, flexible ticket packages and perks like early seating, and tickets to individual events are available for purchase at (212) 352-3101 or www.nymf.org.
Performances of THE HAPPY EMBALMER will run Tuesday, October 6th at 8:00pm; Wednesday, October 7th at 5:00pm; Thursday, October 8th at 9:00pm; Friday, October 9th at 1:00pm; Saturday, October 10th at 5:00pm and also at 9:00pm at Theatre Row's Acorn Theatre (410 West 42nd Street, btw 9th and 10th Avenues).
Tickets to individual festival events are currently on sale, and are available by calling 212-352-3101 or online at www.nymf.org. NYMF Memberships, which combine charitable contributions with valuable, flexible ticket packages and perks like early seating are also available.
For additional information on THE HAPPY EMBALMER visit www.nymf.org.
Daniel Reichard and Cast
Joe Coots, Tituss Burgess, Megan Sikora, Daniel Reichard and John Jeffrey Martin
Tituss Burgess and Cast
Megan Sikora and Daniel Reichard
Daniel Reichard and Tituss Burgess