Front and Center with Magda Katz
Meet Melissa Li and Kit Yan This Years Kleban Winners For Most Promising Musical Theatre Librettist
Melissa Li and Kit Yan began as a duo in 2008, by 2013, they began to develop the show Interstate, which tells the story of a queer Asian American band on their first cross-country tour and how they inspire a South Asian trans teen in Kentucky. For this project, they were nominated for 7 NYMF Awards for Excellence and won 5 awards, including Outstanding Lyrics and a Special Citation for Representation & Inclusion.
T2c talked to this talented duo and learned a lot about what’s next!
Li and Yan, just won the Kleban Award for the Most Promising Musical Theatre Librettist. Their musicals Interstate and MISS STEP are what solidified their win. On Sunday they’ll present their digital variety show Unremarkable!, featuring Marc delaCruz, Ruthie Ann Miles, Stephanie Hsu, and more.
Kit a spoken word artist and Melissa a singer-songwriter, believe their work is to bring social justice and LGBTQ awareness! MISS STEP was commissioned by The 5th Avenue Theater’s first draft program and won a 2019 Vivace Award from the Bret Adams and Paul Reisch Foundation. Most recently, they completed a Keen Company Commission. Their work has been supported by The 5th Avenue Theatre, Playwrights Horizons, Weston Playhouse, Goodspeed’s Musicals Johnny Mercer Colony, The Village Theater, Musical Theater Factory, Dixon Place, and many others.
Individually, Li is a recipient of the Jonathan Larson Award, a Dramatists Guild Foundation Fellow, and a Lincoln Center Theater Writer-in-Residence. Her own musicals include Cancelled and Surviving the Nian.
Yan is the 2019 Bret Adams and Paul Reisch Vivace award winner and together with Li, was named a fellow at the Dramatists Guild Foundation, Playwright’s Center, and Company One/Pao Arts. His solo show Queer Heartache won 5 awards at the Chicago and SF Fringe Festivals. He is a current Playwright’s Center Many Voices Fellow.
The Kleban Foundation which was established in 1988 under the will of Edward L. Kleban, best known as the Tony- and Pulitzer Prize-winning lyricist of the musical A Chorus Line. Kleban’s makes provisions for annual prizes, which gives $100,000, payable over two years.
Video by Magda Katz
Marilyn Maye Brings A Younger Audience To The Great American Songbook
The “Queen of Cabaret”, Marilyn Maye had returned to Dizzy’s at Jazz at Lincoln Center for 4 nights with 2 shows a night this December. Dizzy’s is one of the most beautiful rooms in New York City and it was dazzled by Marilyn Maye’s performance. The room was filled with many young people who have never heard of Ms. Maye, but by the end of the show they were on their feet cheering her. Marilyn acknowledged her young audience and welcome them for coming to hear some great songs, they have never heard before.
How lucky are these young people to be able to be in the audience of one of the great performer still performing.
Meet and Greet With Notre Dame de Paris
Notre Dame de Paris, for more than two decades has sold more than 15 million tickets in 23 countries. After 25 years it is finally playing in New York City.
Performed in French with English supertitles, this 30-member international cast, along with a live orchestra, will play for seven performances from July 13-24, 2022 at the David H. Koch Theatre at Lincoln Center. Opening on Bastille Day, Thursday, July 14, with a special Gala performance.
The cast will feature Angelo Del Vecchio as Quasimodo
Hiba Tawaji as Esmeralda
Daniel Lavoie as Frollo
Gian Marco Schiaretti as Gringoire
Yvan Pedneault as Phoebus
Jay as Clopin
and Emma Lépine as Fleur de Lys.
The principal cast has performed Notre Dame de Paris in several incarnations in the past.
In 1998, Italian singer and composer Richard Cocciante and legendary French Canadian songwriter Luc Plamondon adapted the title for their unique musical extravaganza, combining elements of musical theatre, dance, and acrobatics. The production originally debuted at the Palais des Congrès in Paris in 1998, where in its first year, it sold more than 1 million tickets and over 3 million albums, making it the most successful musical production ever, according to the Guinness Book of World Records.
The score of Notre Dame de Paris has also produced two hit singles: “Belle,” which has received airplay in 17 countries, and “Vivre,” recorded in English as “Live (for the One I Love),” and a major hit for Céline Dion.
Notre Dame de Paris is directed by Gilles Maheu and choreographed by Martino Müller.
Front and Center with Magda Katz
Talkin’ Music-Judith Clurman and Katie Jenkins
Judith Clurman conducts her excellent Essential Voices USA with dignity and beauty in “May You Heal,” a collection of five newly commissioned choral works that offer music of comfort, peace, renewal and self-awareness.
The fine singers of Essential Voices USA offer richly satisfying performances on each piece, and are joined by talented cellist Raman Ramakrishnan and pianists James Cunningham and Lee Musiker.
Composer Katie Jenkins offers rich vocal writing in her “Dona Nobis Pacem;” she dedicates the piece to the memory of those lost to Covid-19. The collection also includes Mark Sirett’s elegant “Responsibility,” a setting of works by Hillel the Elder; the rhythmically stimulating “I Celebrate Myself,” by Bill Cutter, and “When Science Triumphs,” David Chase’s heartfelt setting of the words of three research scientists dedicated to fighting disease – Dr. Anthony Fauci , Dr. Mathilde Krim, and Dr. Jonas Salk. The centerpiece of the collection is “May You Heal,” with elegant music by Canadian composer Mark Sirett, and heartfelt lyrics by Bruce L. Ruben. The beautiful piece, for mixed chorus, piano, and cello, expresses what the world is feeling today, as we hopefully move on from Covid-19: May You heal, May you be well again, May you lean on friends and family, May you return to health and wholeness. All the scores are available through Hal Leonard. The Acis recording can be streamed online on all major platforms. Check
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