We often mistake the tale of Rip Van Winkle for whimsical family fare. Rediscover the adult truths in Washington Irving's beloved classic, retold as RIP!, a haunting new musical odyssey about love, revolution...and what is possible. Book, music and lyrics by Dan Furman, with additional lyrics by Mary-Liz MacNamara. The show opens Friday July 22nd at the June Havoc Theatre, 312 W. 36th Street, 1st floor, and runs through July 31st only. No snoozing - tickets are on sale now at www.midtownfestival.org
A 2009 winner in the TRU Voices Musicals Reading Series presented by Theater Resources Unlimited, RIP! went on to be presented by Emerging Artists Theatre "Notes on a Page" series, as well as attaining a sponsored concert version presented in 2010 by The Puffin Foundation. Now in its first fully-realized staged production, RIP! is being presented by Wildly Productive Productions (producer of last year's Midtown Festival's Outstanding Musical Award winning Civil War Voices, which has since found success at Regional Theatres) and Massimine/Roytman/Presentations (who will be represented on Broadway this Fall) with sponsorship from The New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA). Direction by Megan Cooper, choreography by Aly Bloom and musical direction by Erik James.
The cast is headed by MAC Award winner Rob Langeder* as Rip, Sarah Cooney* (Camelot, Broadway Concert) as Rip's wife Rebecca, Chris Gunn* (Little Women, Broadway and 1st National Tour; Jerry Springer the Opera with Harvey Keitel) as Rip's best friend Ben and Quinn Shadko as the girl who falls in love with Ben. Featuring: Colleen Fee*, Michael Hadary*, Kim Rachelle Harris* (Room Service), Christopher Tefft, Chris Vettel* (Wanda's World, Cactus Flower (revival), national tours of Sunset Boulevard and Annie), Nathan Winkelstein and 12-year old Maeve Montague.
RIP!, loosely based on the Washington Irving story Rip Van Winkle, follows the path of a foolish man who prizes fishing, drinking and loafing over the responsibilities of life, marriage and country in the days before the American Revolution. Though still in love with wife Rebecca, he disappears into an enchanted land following a militia skirmish in which his best friend is killed. Is this the fulfillment of his deepest wish to escape, or a nightmare from which he can't awaken? 20 years later, can he return to the life and love he left behind?
"Dan Furman has found a very grownup story lurking within this classic, one that examines issues of regret that so many of us feel when we think that life and opportunities have passed us by," says producing consultant Bob Ost, president of Theater Resources Unlimited. "I think anyone who's ever gotten lost whether it be in drink, drugs, or dreams will relate."
This dazzling new production promises to transport audiences to the late 18th Century with its lush, complex musical score, beautiful ensemble writing, marvelous period costumes by Cheryl McCarron, Set and Prop design by Dalton M. Dale and lighting design by Nadine Charlson.
The production plays at The June Havoc Theatre: 312 W. 36th St., First floor (between 8th & 9th Avenue: take the 1/2/A/C/E trains to 34th Street) Tickets are $18. Dates: Friday July 22 & Wednesday 27 at 8:30 PM, Sunday 7/24 at 3:00 pm, Saturday 7/30 at 5:30 PM, Sunday 7/31 at 12:30 PM. To purchase tickets please visit www.midtownfestival.org or phone OvationTix at 866-811-4111.