Monday, January 16, 2017


 Peej Mele as Hunter, Miles Jacoby as Jeff, Ashley Brooke as Susan, Amanda Forker as Heidi 
 Photo by Meredith Atkinson

 Lace up your running shoes because the race is on to meet the deadline for a submission to a contest for a new musical offered by the New York Musical Festival and your help and encouragement are needed.  From now until Sunday January 29, you are invited to West Hartford’s Playhouse on Park to sit in at all the backroom drama and comedy and free-for-all nonsense as well as the blood, sweat and tears that go into writing a musical for Broadway in the new millennium. Entitled (title of show) by Hunter Bell and Jeff Bowman, the name refers to the space at the head of the application where title of show belongs.

Peej Mele’s Hunter and Miles Jacoby’s Jeff are challenged to write a show with only three short weeks to deadline. When they are not procrastinating, they are busy seeking substance over fluff. The result is the ambitious, frenetic, fast-paced and forward thinking (title of show). They not only want to win the contest, these two eager collaborator/composers want to take their show to off-Broadway and then, to that most sacred of all places, Broadway…and we, the audience, get to go along for the bumpy ride.

To that end, they enlist the aid of two show business friends Heidi, a bubbly Amanda Forker, and Susan, a happily neurotic Ashley Brooke, to meet their goal.  With a trusty silent partner Larry, a talented Austin Cook, on keyboard, the quartet decide to write a musical about…writing a musical.  They drop names and plays like gumdrops on a gingerbread house, allude to everything from monkeys to Mame to Mamma Mia, and to Shrek, Shakespeare, Sondheim, sequins and Sedaris, pay homage to Wonder Woman and Broadway and even sing a crazy and delightful song about Vampires, and dead ones at that.  David Edwards expertly directs this mad, musical romp that went on to receive a Tony Award nomination in 2009 for Best Book of a Musical. 

For tickets ($17.50-50.00), call Playhouse on Park, 244 Park Road, West Hartford at 860-523-5900, ext. 10 or go online to  Performances are Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. Watch for a play reading, “Human Rites,” for $5 on January 24,  a night of Improv on February 3 and a comedy night on February 4.

Discover for yourself the magic formula as well as all the hard work, creativity and genius that go into the penning of a successful show. OMG!  Get your jazz hands ready! Theyll come in handy if you want to eat a Rice Krispie Treat. Musical theater geeks are especially welcome.

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