Theater For The New City, executive director Crystal Field, will present DIGITAL DILEMMAS, a new musical comedy about our obsession with digital devices, October 4 – 21, at the Theater For The New City, 155 First Avenue (at 10th Street). The production features book & lyrics by Tom Attea, music by Arthur Abrams, direction by Mark Marcante, and chorography by Angela Harriell.
DIGITAL DILEMMAS shines the spotlight on a modern American family totally addicted to computers, iPads, iPhones, Androids and gaming consoles, just when they receive a visit from their eloquent and witty grandmother, who insists her smartphone is the dumbest thing she ever owned and prefers to remain in the analog age. As the confrontation heightens, she dares them to a challenge that any touchscreen age family might never recover from – going without their beloved devices for one full day. Let the withdrawal pains begin!
The musical brings laughter and insight to our obsession with digital devices and our struggle to tear ourselves away from them long enough to preserve our personal space, thoughts and sanity. It also explores romance in the digital age - with the story of a young man so addicted to online dating that he has totally lost interest in any of the women he knows personally, including the woman who's perfect for him.
The cast of DIGITAL DILEMMAS includes Gail Rodgers, David "Zen" Mansley, Troy Cochenour, Heidi Kloster, Drew Pulver, Jacob Storms, Jane Jourdan, Drew Torkelson, Kathleen Atkins. The Chorus features DeAunna Blackwell, Natalie Perez Benitoa, John Buckley, Bob Homeyer and Phillip Ramsey.
Design Team includes, Lytza Colon as Prop Designer, Alex Santullo as Sound Designer, Susan Hemsley as Costume Designer, Alex Bartienieff as Lighting Designer
Tom Attea (book, lyrics) has written the book and lyrics for eight musicals and one play that have been produced in the Off-Off-Broadway theater. The first show was presented by The Actors Studio and the others by Theater for the New City. He has received a TNC/Jerome Foundation emerging playwright grant and is an active member of The Dramatists Guild. He supports his literary work as a freelance copywriter who has written award-winning advertising for Dr Pepper, Grey Poupon, and Jell-O, as well as numerous campaigns for media companies, including "In this city, you need a Voice" for the Village Voice, "There's never been a greater need for understanding" for Time magazine, "Illuminate your world" for The New York Sun, and the advertising that introduced Lifetime Television with "There's nothing like a woman's Lifetime." When the Nobel Prize for Medicine was awarded to two scientists who had merely improved the image, instead of to the physician who discovered the principle on which all MRI images are based, he wrote an advocacy campaign that ran full-page in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, and in Europe with his theme, "The shameful wrong that must be righted." Along the way, he has become one of America's most award-winning copywriters – having received 4 Clios in one night, Gold and Silver Lions from Cannes, the Gold Telly, the Gold Mobius, and many other awards.
Arthur Abrams (composer) has been pianist for the Martha Graham Dance Company, Merce Cunningham, the Joffrey Ballet, and for various venues, including The Waldorf Astoria. "Digital Dilemmas" is the eighth musical he has collaborated on with Tom Attea. His awards include a DAAD music fellowship to Mannheim, Germany, a scholarship to the Orff Institute at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria and a Meet the Composer grant for the score of "The Golden Bear." His theatrical scores include include "Unreachable Eden" with book by Barbra Kahn, "The Golden Bear" and "Sketching Utopia," both with book and lyrics by Laurel Hessing, directed by Crystal Field; "Master and Margarita" from the novel by Bulgakov, adapted by Jean Claude van Itallie and directed by David Willinger; and "The Open Gate," based on the novel, "The Manor" by Isaac Bashevis Singer, adapted and directed by David Willinger. Abrams was composer, pianist and music director for "The Golden Age of Second Avenue," a documentary film about the golden age of the Yiddish Theater produced by Arthur Cantor. The piece is often shown on PBS. (In the film, he accompanies Molly Picon.) He was music director and pianist for the recent Lambs Club presentation of "Yankel in America" starring Theo Bikel.