Christiana Cole (words) and Rona Siddiqui (music) have been selected as one of the writing teams in the annual Prospect Theater Lab. This year’s theme is “World Views.” Nine writing teams will come together to create original short musicals inspired by works of visual art on display in NYC museums, each of which offer a window into a unique, imaginative world.
The 2017 Prospect Theater Lab
Janet Allard & Niko Tsakalakos
EllaRose Chary & Brandon James Gwinn
Seth Christenfeld & James Ballard
Christiana Cole & Rona Siddiqui
Anton Dudley & Faye Chiao
Emily Kaczmarek & Zoe Sarnak
Brandon Michael Lowden & Alexander Sage Oyen
Sarah Rebell & Teresa Lotz
Melvin Tunstall III, Douglas Lyons, & Ethan Pakchar
directed by Dev Bondarin
at the TimesCenter (242 West 41st Street)
Tickets now on sale: $15 – $35
Click here for tickets and more info.
Since 2008, Prospect Theater has operated an annual music theater lab which brings together teams of writers, challenging them to create short (10 minute) musicals in response to an assignment. From the start of the lab when the curated assignment is given, writers have one month until the first rehearsal to write the first draft of their piece. During this month, they meet with the director (Prospect’s Associate Artistic Director, Dev Bondarin) and other writers to discuss the overall goals for the culminating lab performance. There is a then a 3-4 week rehearsal process during which the material is workshopped and staged, and the short pieces are presented as a single show to the public.
Lab participants are selected through an open application process. A panel of Prospect’s artistic staff members review each application and work samples to select the lab participants. The lab is intended to serve a broad network of emerging writers, identifying new talent and building relationships with a diverse group of writers who may contribute to the company’s work in future seasons.
Christiana Cole rejoins the cast of TEETH in a workshop produced by the Sundance Institute Theatre Program. TEETH (based on the horror film of the same name by Mitchell Lichtenstein) is the story of a young evangelical Christian girl who discovers she has teeth in her vagina. TEETH has music by Anna K. Jacobs, lyrics by Michael R. Jackson, and book by Jacobs and Jackson. Marlo Hunter directs. The workshop will take place in a closed reading at the Sheen Center in downtown Manhattan on Tuesday June 13.
Christiana Cole will be debuting a new song she wrote — dedicated to her students — at the NYFA Faculty Show at 54 Below on Sunday, May 21 at 9:30pm. You can find tickets and more information here.
BMI favorite Christiana Cole will be one of the headlining performers at the BMI Showcase on Monday, May 1 at 4:30pm at the Marjorie S. Deane Little Theatre, 10 West 64th Street.
The BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop is widely regarded as the premiere training ground for emerging musical theatre composers, lyricists, and librettists. Since its inception of the workshop in 1961 a great number of works have been created by members and alumni, including: The Book of Mormon, Avenue Q, Ragtime, Nine, A Chorus Line, Grey Gardens, Next to Normal, and many more.
The Showcase is a special event that only happens when the steering committee, led by luminaries such as Maury Yeston and Alan Mencken, feel there is a large volume of great work in the workshop that deserves a wider audience.
Christiana Cole will be performing five roles in the Showcase —
- Betty Parker, a suppressed suburban housewife in the 1950’s who starts to experience the shocking world of color and passion, in “Beautiful” from Pleasantville by Janine McGuire and Arri Simon
- Debbie Jellinsky, a black widow murderess hungry for Uncle Fester’s fortune, in “He Was Perfect” from Addams Family Values by Jamie Cowperthwait and Ok Kyun Kang (check out video from a previous performance on the Watch and Listen page!)
- Pamela, a trailer trash mom with a heart of gold, in “You Gotta Go” from #MARS by Laura Kleinbaum and Willem Oosthuysen
- A very proper madrigal singer in the song “W.B.” by Tracy Sallows
- Cherry, a pragmatic but soft-hearted upper class woman in the year 1869, whose dreamer husband founds the Fire Island community of Cherry Grove (and names it after her!) in “A Little Patch of Summer” from A History of Summer, by Adam Mathias and Jonathan Monro.
The evening will not only be a showcase of the talent budding at BMI, but of Christiana’s versatile range as a singer-actor.
There will be a reception afterwards!
The showcase is FREE. Doors open at 4pm. Seating is first come, first served. The performance will begin at 4:30pm.
Christiana Cole plays troubled white girl Maegan in a Musical Theatre Factory/Playwrights Horizons workshop presentation of White Girl in Danger, with book, lyrics and music by 2017 Larson Award winner Michael R. Jackson. Shakina Nayfack (Hulu’s Difficult People) directs.
WHITE GIRL IN DANGER
At Playwrights Downtown, 440 Lafayette St. 3rd Fl
Thu, Feb 23 @ 8PM in Rm 3D (3rd Fl)
Sat, Feb 25 @ 7PM in Rm 3A (3rd Fl)
Suggested donation of $15 (cash only) at the door.
Click here to reserve a seat.
An in-process workshop showing.
Book, Music, and Lyrics by Michael R. Jackson
Directed by Shakina Nayfack
Music Direction by Adam Wiggins
Dramaturgy by Natasha Sinha
Liz Lark Brown
Kevin Michael Murphy
White Girl In Danger is a dark musical comedy about Keesha, an ordinary black girl who seeks to prove that she’s just as much of a protagonist as every Lifetime Original Movie heroine white girl in her town as issues such as drugs, alcohol, abusive boyfriends, eating disorders, and finally a serial killer starts picking the white girls off one by one. Inspired by classic 90s TV movies such as “She Cried No,” “She Fought Alone, and “Mother May I Sleep With Danger?”
MICHAEL R. JACKSON holds a BFA and MFA in playwriting and Musical Theatre Writing from the NYU Tisch School of the Arts. He wrote book and lyrics for the musical Only Children with composer Rachel Peters, book, music, and lyrics for the musical A Strange Loop and lyrics and is co-writing book for a musical adaptation of the 2007 film Teeth with co-bookwriter and composer Anna Jacobs.
Christiana Cole sings the music of Bill Nelson, Will Aronson, and more at Bill Nelson’s Nutcrackin’ Christmas, December 5 at 7pm & 9:30pm at Don’t Tell Mama.
Located in the heart of Times Square, Royal Family Productions is presenting a one-night-only, “live concept album” concert performance of Serving Time, a new musical revue capturing the frantic, eclectic and eccentric world of restaurant life conceived by Michele Foor, who also wrote the lyrics, along with composers David Gaines, William TN Hall, Timothy Huang, Ryan Langer and Frank Spitznagel.
The concert will take place on Monday, September 12, at 7 pm at The Royal Family Arts Center (145 West 46th Street, 3rd floor). The concert version of Serving Time includes a cocktail reception with the cast after the performance. There is a suggested $20 donation and reservations can be made by calling Royal Family Productions 212-837-1756; or by emailing RoyalFamilyOffice@gmail.com.
Royal Family has assembled a wide mix of noted Broadway, Off Broadway, Off-Off Broadway, cabaret and improv performers for this concert presentation. The cast includes Broadway’s Tony Chiroldes* (In the Heights, Carmen, La Cubana), Stacia Fernandez* (Mamma Mia, The Drowsy Chaperone), Leah Hocking* (The Last Ship, Billy Elliot), Lacretta* (Disaster!, Unexpected Joy), Rosemary Loar (Sunset Boulevard, Chess), Frank Mastrone* (Phantom of the Opera, Jekyll & Hyde).
Cabaret favorites include Vodka Stinger and the Martha Rayes (Garth Schilling*, Dan Travis and Anne Rodeman), and multiple MAC award-winner Gretchen Reinhagen.
Also featured are frequent Off Broadway and Off-Off Broadway performers Peter Brown*, Megan Carver, Christiana Cole*, Ryan G. Dunkin*, Michele Foor*, Brittney Lee Hamilton*, Curtis Howard, Rachel Alexa Norman*, Aaron Phillips, Kim Reinle, Timothy Ellis Riley*, Jonathan Todd Ross*, Jillian Vitko and Sarah Ziegler.
The evening is directed by Michael Perreca, Executive Director of Royal Family. Frank Spitznagel is the music director and Miles Lindahl is on percussion. Serving Time was developed through the acclaimed BMI Workshop.
“Some of BMI’s finest writers are featured here, and ‘Serving Time’ is ready to be seen by more than the enthusiastic composers and lyricists who are members of the workshop and have loved watching this show evolve over the years,” Perreca explains. “We brought together working actors from all walks of New York life to celebrate this material and introduce theatergoers to Royal Family, which is dedicated to the development of new works.”
Royal Family Productions, under Artistic Director and Co-Founder Chris Henry and Executive Director Perreca, produced the highly successful musical “Rock and Roll Refugee” earlier this year, directed by Henry, who also wrote the book, and features the music of rock pioneer Genya Ravan.
Reservations can be made by calling Royal Family Productions (be sure to give your name, phone number and number of tickets): 212-837-1756; or by emailing RoyalFamilyOffice@gmail.com.You will receive a confirmation. Seated is limited. Reservations are necessary.
*Actors appear courtesy of Actors’ Equity Association.
Christiana Cole is honored to be returning as one of the featured singers in the New York Musical Festival’s Musical Songwriting Workshop, led by composer Anna K. Jacobs (POP!; Harmony, Kansas; Teeth; Echo) in a master class with Ryan Scott Oliver (Jasper in Deadland, 35mm: A Musical Exhibition, Darling). Last year, Christiana participated in the same presentation, with master clinician Laurence O’Keefe (Heathers; Legally Blonde; Batboy).
18 aspiring musical theatre writers work for a week on new songs, with Jacobs as their teacher. Their final products are performed by Christiana and other singers (who don’t mind sight-reading!). The master class is open to the public.
NYMF Musical Songwriting Workshop
Master Class with Ryan Scott Oliver, hosted by Anna K. Jacobs
Tuesday July 25, 5pm-8pm
The June Havoc Theatre, 312 W 36th Street
Click here for more info and tickets.
“Sparkle Spa: The Musical” will premiere at Interlakes Summer Theatre, in Meredith, New Hampshire. The musical is based on the popular middle grades Simon & Schuster series of the same name.
“Based on the popular Sparkle Spa book series, Aly and Brooke Tanner are ready to embrace their roles as the sparkliest girls at Auden Elementary and beat the boys in Auden’s annual Fall Carnival Competition. But as the girls fall behind the boys in the competition, Aly is faced with a decision: Risk her sparkly status and take a chance on Suzy, the school weirdo, or let the boys beat the girls for sure. An exuberant show that celebrates the sparkle–and weirdness–in all of us!”
“Sparkle Spa: The Musical” runs July 30-August 1. Music by Brad Ross, lyrics by Christiana Cole, and book by Jill Santopolo, who is also the author of the book series. Robert Phillip Smith directs. For more information and for tickets, click here.
Watch Broadway’s Carly Gendell (School of Rock) singing “The Rules of Being Cool” from “Sparkle Spa: The Musical”!
Christiana Cole reprises her roles of Melanie and Promise Keeper Girl in TEETH at Playwrights Horizons, in collaboration with Musical Theatre Factory, June 29 & 30th. TEETH is about a teenage Evangelical girl who discovers she has teeth in her vagina. TEETH is by Anna K. Jacobs and Michael R. Jackson and is based on the film TEETH by Mitchell Lichtenstein. Calloway award-winner Marlo Hunter directs. The cast features Alyse Alan Louis, Chris Critelli, Stephen Anthony, Sam Heldt, Bruce Warren, Christiana Cole, Melody Madarasz, Kerri George, Hana Slevin, Elexis Morton, and Samantha Parrish. For more information and tickets, visit mtf.nyc or click here.