Music is integral to many productions at the Kitchen Theatre, from musical theater pieces to plays with original scores by local composers. This season has two musicals in store–Tony & the Soprano and Gutenberg! the Musical! Another play, I Become A Guitar, in which one of the central images is the making and tuning of a beautiful Spanish guitar, is likely to have an original score. More on that one when I know the details for sure, but here’s a little about the first of the two musicals:
Tony & the Soprano was written by Rachel Lampert (book & lyrics) and Larrry Pressgrove (music). Lampert is the Artistic Director of the Kitchen, where she has written numerous plays and musicals for
adult and family audiences. Pressgrove lives in NYC but has collaborated with Rachel on three other musicals at the Kitchen: Comfort Food, The Angle of the Sun (which made it to the New York Musical Theatre Festival last year), and last season’s popular Bed No Breakfast. Currently he is performing on Broadway as the pianist and music director for [title of show], a quirky, funny musical about making a musical.
Tony & the Soprano was first produced on the Kitchen’s 2005-06 season. Now Lampert & Pressgrove are revisiting it, adding new songs & lyrics. And this time it will be performed with a live musician rather than with the pre-recorded tracks used last time. Richard Montgomery will music direct and accompany the show. Almost all of the original cast is returning, which is a wonderful thing, because they are a fantastic group: Joey & Erica Steinhagen, Jessica Flood, Jesse Bush, Susannah Berryman, and Robert DeLuca. The only cast member not returning is Sophie Reppert, who is now too old to play the part of 12-year-old Carol. We’re holding auditions for that part this coming week.
I don’t want to write too much for my first ever blog entry, but I do want to say a few words about the musical itself. Tony & the Soprano takes place in an Italian neighborhood in Brooklyn, and it’s really the story of the people in that neighborhood. The soprano of the title is an opera student at Julliard, played by Erica Steinhagen, who moves into the neighborhood. I won’t give away the story, but it is funny and romantic. And there’s fabulous music and singing. What’s not to like?!
You can read more about the Kitchen and Tony & the Soprano at www.kitchentheatre.org