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Chance – A Musical Play about Love, Risk and Getting it Right

A World Premiere by Richard Isen Inspired by Quotations From the Writings of Oscar Wilde

July 5 – 28, 2013

After its workshop production at the York Theatre in NYC in Nov. 2011, Chance – A Musical Play about Love, Risk and Getting it Right – had its world premiere staging at the Alcove Theatre in SF.

A gay psychologist and a handsome young rent boy stumble down a unique path to healing when guided by a mysterious Hollywood glamor queen (played by a gender illusionist). 55 year old Gregory has spent his adult life denying the loss he experienced as a young man during AIDS crisis. After a near-death experience, The Lady appears. Is she an inner guide from the Jungian collective unconscious? Or a musical hallucination resulting from a small stroke? Gregory is pushed out of his solitary reality, by his unlikely muse, and down the rabbit hole of mid-life crisis where he enters into a turbulent, dangerous relationship with a young male escort named ,Chance.,

Chance – A Musical Play about Love, Risk and Getting it Right featured Richard Hefner (Gregory) (YouTube viral hit Girls and Boys), Randy Roberts (The Lady) (Gender Illusionist – Randy Roberts LIVE), Ken Lear (Chance) (Naked Boys Singing – NYC).

Technical credits include:
Scenery by Tony Dunnigan, costumes by Corrine H. DiTullio, Lighting by Dylan West
Music, book and lyrics by Richard Isen (The York Theatre A Fine Private Place)
Musical Direction by jazz artist Tammy Hall. Directed by Robert Kalfin
(founder of Tony Award-winning Chelsea Theatre Center)
Produced by New Musical Theater of San Francisco, one of a handful of companies in the US, devoted exclusively to the development of new musical theater. Richard Isen is a member of NMTSF resident writing company, Pen and Piano that produced the original revue, Show Me Yours – Songs of Innocence and Experience, in April 2012. NMTSF (formerly Not Quite Opera Productions) was founded by Artistic Director Anne Nygren Doherty and is best known for its long running hit Absolutely San Francisco.

“… a non-stop, intimate epic…” Buzzin’ Lee Hartgrave, BeyondChron

“…you must see Chance!” Jan Wahl, KRON-4 TV

“…a fascinating evening of original musical theater…” Richard Connema

“And God does it feel good to watch a new play that manages to feel personal without being self-indulgent and presents something cerebral without seeming self-important. What do they call that trick again? Oh yeah: good writing.” Adam Brinklow, EDGESanFrancisco

show_me_newPoster-smaller_2-22-13“Show Me Yours – Songs of Innocence and Experience”

New Musical Theater of San Francisco presented its first topical music revue by ,Pen and Piano,, the company resident company of writers and composers, at the charming Alcove Theater located at 414 Mason Street, one block from Union Square, in San Francisco.

Created by a group whose writing credits include off-Broadway and the West End,,  Show Me Yours – Songs of Innocence and Experience, is a rich, nuanced examination of sex and sexuality today – and all the funny, sad, complicated perceptions, emotions and realizations that go with it. This version of the 90-minute musical revue was directed by Ben Randle with music direction by Ben Prince. It features work by Anne Nygren Doherty, Paul James Frantz, Jerome Gentes, Richard Hefner, Richard Isen, Richard Jennings, Sandy Kasten, Andrew Klein, Ben Prince,,  Denise Wharmby and Pam Winfrey. , The soaring melodies and insightful, witty lyrics were sung by talented veterans of the local musical theater scene: Chloe Condon, Sheelagh Murphy, Jackie DeMuro, Tom Reardon, and Tim Homsley.

The music for the show combines an eclectic mix of songs using the sophisticated rhythms and melodies of contemporary Broadway.,  The creative team, led by director Ben Randle and music director Ben Prince, woven the work into an enthralling evening that includes such moments as: “I Googled It” – a song about using the internet to solve any sexual problem, “Too Many Eggs” – a song about how science takes a lesbian couple seeking parenthood to extremes,,  and “Kinky”- about an average couple whose sexual world is turned upside down by the Folsom Street Fair. ,  Rich, topical and original, Show Me Yours… is part concert, part musical theater, and pure enjoyment.

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RavensPosterPRINT1.21“In The Hands of the Raven”

Peter Alexander’s new musical love story which deals with getting through life in time of upheaval, and the guiding forces which help us deal with the events we face on a daily basis. The show tells the story of Amy, a television reporter, and her true love Jerry, a comic strip artist, and how they both cope with traumatic change as they reckon with their individual futures. Love, compassion and humor abound in this touching story that is amplified by Alexander’s beautiful score.

This was a semi-staged reading of the show which has been in development for several years. Performed at The Alcove Theater:, February 8-10, The Metropolitan Community Church in San Francisco Friday, February 15 and The Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts, Saturday, February 16, 2013.
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The World Has Gone To Hell! , What’ll we do?

“Let’s Sing A Show Tune!”

Kicking off our “New Musical Theater of San Francisco” inaugural 2013 season in style – and a mini-tour of Northern California – this brand-new musical revue featured the songs of Bay Area composer and lyricist Ron Lytle.

Let's Sing A Showtune!Best known for the San Francisco hit “Oh My Godmother!”, Lytle is also the creator of “Another Man’s Treasure”, “The Man Who Saved Christmas”, and several other popular musicals. , His shows have been produced throughout the United States and England.

“Let’s Sing A Show Tune” featured many of the best-loved numbers from Lytle’s back-catalog, along with a heaping helping of brand new compositions from upcoming shows, and material written especially for this production. Crowd-pleasing musical theatre at its best, his songs brim over with infectious melodies and virtuosic rhymes.

All performed by a top-notch troupe of singing actors: Bidalia Albanese, Brian Couch, John Erreca, Kate Offer, Scott Phillips, and Jenifer Tice. , Musical direction by Evan Crone on piano. , Roberta Drake sat in on drums, and John Greitzer slapped that bass.

Here’s What The Critics Say About Ron Lytle’s Songs:

“Melodies reminiscent of the work of Jerry Herman, Irving Berlin and Rodgers and Hammerstein”
–TalkingBroadway.com

“(A) musical comedy romp with a big heart (and) standout musical numbers…Lytle’s show has legs and wings.”
–Louisville Courier-Journal

“Toe-tapping melodies are tunefully simple and hummable”
–Contra Costa Times

“Beautiful ballads are punctuated by big production numbers – all of which stay with you long after the curtain call.”
–Alameda Sun

Jannuary 18 and 19, 2013 at The Alcove Theater, 414 Mason Street, San Francisco

“Round One Cabaret III: Taking Charge in a Crazy World”

Directed by Jonathan F. Rosen with Music Direction by Ben Prince, “Round One Cabaret” was the third in a series of unique showcases devoted to new songs by San Francisco Bay Area writers and composers of musical theater. The theme of the November showcase: “Taking Charge in a Crazy World.” It featured an eclectic mix of songs mostly in the contemporary Broadway style.

Among the eight new musicals represented were: “Scary, Scary Night” – a camp Halloween comedy, “In the Hands of the Raven,” a spiritual “dramedy” about coping with loss, “Uncle Sam’s Lament” – a contemporary American political satire.

The composers and lyricists (whose works were selected from dozens of submissions) are a who’s who of Bay Area rising talent: Peter Alexander, Billie Cox, Paul James Frantz, Richard Jennings, Bill Johnson, Sandy Kasten, Allison Lovejoy, Michael Lunsford and Peter Master. , The ensemble consisted of six talented performers, many of whom are staples of the local musical theater scene: David Bicha, Helen Laroche, Jihan Sibar, Ernie Tovar, Rana Weber, and Ted Zoldan.

Inspired by its theme, each cabaret is built around a kind of abstract story that utilizes the songs with roughly the same dramatic purpose as their parent musicals. Although the songs are presented outside their original contexts, the evening captures the drive and feel of a plotted show. The result is an enthralling evening that is part concert, part musical theater.

November 9, 10, 16 and 17, 2012, at The Alcove Theater, 414 Mason Street, San Francisco

 

“Absolutely San Francisco: A Musical Trip by Anne Doherty”

Enjoyed by San Francisco audiences from around the world, ,Absolutely San Francisco, ran for over 140 performances between September 2010 and August 2012! , “Absolutely San Francisco” is a fun and poignant one-woman musical allegory about the SF take on the American Dream. In the show, we get on an imaginary cable car with Sunshine – a free-spirited daughter of the 60s – on her quest to find a powerful person to help her fight City Hall – and the meter maids threatening to impound her shopping cart. The insightful, whimsical book and lyrics by New Musical Theater of San Francisco Artistic Director Anne Nygren Doherty turn the city stereotypes inside out and reveal the heart and soul of a city where the atypical is typical – where hippies, drifters and dreamers rub elbows with striving immigrants and the top 1% of the ,1%., The audience is both entertained and deeply moved by the hidden bonds that tie these seemingly disparate people together. “AbSan” was first brought to life by the inimitable and unforgettable Karen Hirst, followed by Bay Area musical favorite Darlene Popovic, and then – for a record 7 months – the energizing Mary Gibboney! For a rare and special treat, the final 3 months of the run were shared by Mary and author/composer Anne Nygren Doherty performing alternate nights. Some high points about the show’s reception:

  • “Absolutely San Francisco is Absolutely Fabulous,- Ed Attanasio, Northside SF
  • ,Fun and Funny, – SF Bay Times
  • …an intimate look at San Francisco through the eyes of a gifted artist…- Half Moon Bay Blog
  • Featured on AOL City’s Best,
  • Recommended on Betty’s List,
  • “Absolutely San Francisco is VERY SF!” – “Buzzin’ Lee Hartgrave
  • “…a San Francisco experience…” – Richard Connema, Talkin’ Broadway
  • Rated 4.5 stars by Goldstar audiences, rated 4.5 stars by TripAdvisor and more…

Featured on KRON-4′s Jan Wahl Report!

SEE KGO DON SANCHEZ’ REPORT!

www.absolutelysanfrancisco.com

“Round One Cabaret II: Coping With The Ever Changing World”

round_one_WEB_320x495_3-23-12Round One, our SECOND evening of new songs by Bay Area composers of musical theater at the Alcove Theater. Directed by Anne Nygren Doherty with music direction by Scott DeTurk.

The theme of the April 2012 showcase was “Coping with the Ever Changing World.” It featured an eclectic mix of songs in styles ranging from driving rock ‘n roll, pleasant pop, blast-from-the-past pastiche and the soaring melodies of classic and contemporary Broadway.

Among the 10 new musicals represented were: The Texas Chainsaw Musical – a comedy about a serial killer, “.Love” in which a middle-aged couple reunites through online dating, Meet the Zeroes – a satire on the American family, Another Man’s Treasure – an intimate piece set in a second-hand store, and The Anti-musical – in which an average office worker finds himself swept into a real-life musical against his will.

The composers and lyricists (whose works were selected from dozens of submissions) are a veritable Who’s-Who of Bay Area rising talent: Cory Bytoff, Owen Dockham, Richard Jennings, Randy Kasten, Sandy Kasten, Ron Lytle, Pat Morris, Tracy Held Potter, Liz White Salk and Patrick Wills.

 

“Round One,” an evening of new songs by Bay Area composers of musical theater at the Alcove Theater. Directed by Anne Nygren Doherty, this uplifting revue featured top notch vocal performances, soaring melodies, witty lyrics and penetrating insights. Seven musicals in the works were represented in 19 songs by four standp-out Bay Area composers – Peter Alexander, Dennis Campagna, Peter Tucker and Scott DeTurk. Performed by Peter Alexander, Katherine Goldman, Cliff McCormick and Melissa O’Keefe. Enjoy sample videos of the performance here. , 10/13 and 10/20/11 at, The Alcove Theater.

 

“Absolutely San Francisco (The Original Version)” – Join ex-hippie billionaire “DaveO;” the homeless “Harry’s Wife” — , obsessed with marrying Gavin Newsom; the gay wine merchant “Jeffrey” — , recently divorced from his lover; and Chinese-immigrant souvenir , shopkeeper, “Grace,” as they struggle with their San Francisco Dreams on , a mysteriously broken-down, fogged-in cable car. With: Kal Berns as , “Jeffrey,” Karen Hirst as “Harry’s Wife,” Melissa Wong-Renati as “Grace” , and Terry Rucker as “DaveO.” Music by local composers: Anne Doherty, , Brad Erickson, Diane Sampson, Dwight Okamura, Chuck Ver Burg. Musical , Arrangements by Trevor Doherty and Dwight Okamura. Directed by Anne Doherty. September 14 thru October 14, 2006. The Phoenix Theater, 414 Mason Street, 6th Floor, San Francisco.

 

“San Francisco Theater Festival 2005: What’s New(som)?” Featuring works by C J Ver Burg, Dwight Okamura, Brad Erickson and J J Hollingsworth. July 24 2005 at the Forum in Yerba Buena Gardens.

 

“What’s New” (Produced July 2004) A comic revue featuring selections of new music , for the stage by XuXu Bailey, Anne Nygren Doherty, C J Ver Burg and , Diane Sampson at the Forum in Yerba Buena Gardens.

 

“The Fall Feast of New Musicals”  (Produced October 24 and 25, 2003) A sampler of five new works from regional composers/librettists. Featured:

  • “Burning Louise” by Brad Erickson, Trauma Flintsone, Elain Magree, Dwight Okamura and Julie Queen
  • “The Ghost of Wu” by Michael Kaulkin and Donna Kaulkin
  • “The Right to Fabulousness” by Richard Kogl (Music by Richard Kogl and Dwight Okamura)
  • “Shoe” by Charles James Ver Burg (Special Arrangements and Harmonies by Anne Nygren-Doherty and Dwight Okamura)
  • “Writes and Rewrites” by Diane Sampson and Ronnie Klein (Melodies by Diane Sampson; Harmonies by Dwight Okamura with Dean Burris and Michael Horsley; Lyrics by Diane Sampson; Book by Diane Sampson and Ronnie Klein)

 

“Musical Genius”  by Anne Nygren Doherty (Produced Spring 2003) The sardonic story of a shell-shocked WWI composer hell-bent on using music to alienate a world that he feels has rejected him and the angel sent to earth to save him. Considered by the East Bay Voice as a show with… “an immensely talented cast, laden with great energy and enthusiasm…  [whose] chemistry makes for great fun.”

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