Emmy Award-winner William Black brings his writing and directing talents to the New York stage with Theater for the New City's American Star!!! the Musical. Presented at 155 First Ave. (at East 10th Street, NYC), American Star runs Thursdays through Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 3 p.m.
Tickets are $15 general admission, $12 students and seniors, and can be purchased by calling the box office: (212) 254-1109 or ordering online www.theaterforthenewcity.net.
American Star!!! asks, what would you say to your teenage daughter when she gets a 1200 on her SATs and find the only natural conclusion is to forego college and skip right to the real money-making: an American Idol-like talent show? This "rockin', boppin' family-friendly musical," has some of the answers. Stacey Star, a high school bullying target with low SAT scores, dreams of becoming a superstar and auditioning for "American Star," a talent show emceed by the glamorous Maxine Mack. Unfortunately, so does her arch-rival, Kelly Dumbrowski, a popular "Queen Bee" with high SATs. This story is a coming of age journey and discovering one's true identity and where that identity lies.
The actors are Rachel Caplan, Alexa Criscitiello, Alise Eve Haigazian, Verna Hampton, Taylor LaBarbera, Brandon Mellette, Valois Marie Mickins, Choomasi Nsiah, Michael Perrie, Jr. and Levern Williams. The musicians are Gary Schreiner (keyboard), Saadi Zain (bass) and James Mussen (drums). Choreography is by Jeremy Lardieri. Costume design is by Susan Hemley. Lighting and set design are by Federico Restrepo with props by Litza Colon.
Writing under the pseudonym Ian Ellis James, Black has won seven Emmys as a writer for Sesame Street, composing songs for Queen Latifah, Erykah Badu, Patti LaBelle, and Arrested Development (among others) when they appeared on the show. His educational TV projects have also been produced by Topstone Productions, Lancet Media, Nickelodeon, Scholastic
Productions, Warner Cable, and Winchester TV & Film, London. He has received several Best Play Awards, been published by Benchmark Education, The Dramatic Publishing Co., Smith & Krauss, and received a Bronze Apple for directing (National Educational Video Award). Black
has had two film scripts optioned, "Slave Ball" for Silver Pictures/Warner Brothers and "Road Runner" for MCA Records, Jerome Ade, Producer. He has also written, directed, and produced two independent features. Theater for the New City gave Black his start in theater, presenting his earliest work, "Billy Stars and Kid Jupiter" (1980). Now, TNC proudly continues its tradition of supporting and developing Black's unusual and energetic theatrical work.
Co-composer Gary Schreiner received an Emmy for his work on the PBS special "Sneakers," starring Jon Secada. and writes music actively for films, TV and theater. He has contributed music to 23 feature films, including "Donnie Brasco," "Larry the Cable Guy: Health Inspector" and "Tiptoes." In theater, he scored Alison Larkin's hit one woman show, "The English American," which led to the bestselling novel of the same name. He collaborated with Black on the TNC productions of "Betty and the Belrays" (2007) and "My Boyfriend is a Zombie" (2010). He has authored a number of popular instructional books such as "Slow Way to Get Rich Quick," "Fast Track to Speaking Slowly" and "101 Ways To Be Indifferent." He is also an avid inventor and curator of his own food museum, currently developing a one-way Ziploc bag for people on diets. He was a featured guest artist at Sting's benefit concert for the Rainforest Fund. Schreiner and his writing partner Curt Sobel recently licensed music for the movie" Parker" starring Jason Statham and Jennifer Lopez.
Visit www.americanstarthemusical.com for more information.