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SpeakEasy Stage presents ‘[title of show]‘ beginning January 15


From January 15th – February 13th 2010, SpeakEasy Stage will proudly present the New England premiere of the hit Broadway musical [title of show].

Featuring music and lyrics by Jeff Bowen and a book by Hunter Bell, this love letter to musical theatre tells the story of two struggling young artists who decide to write an original work for a musical theatre competition even though the deadline is just three weeks away. With the help of their friends, the two men write and perform a show in the festival, along the way learning about themselves as people, friends, and artists.

The evolution of [title of show], from its smash debut at the New York Musical Theatre Festival in the fall of 2004, to its successful Off-Broadway run at the Vineyard Theatre in February 2006, to its debut on Broadway in July, 2008, is chronicled in this “zesty, sweet and charming new musical.” (The New York Times).

For his book for [title of show], Hunter Bell earned an Obie Award, a Drama League nomination, and a 2009 Tony nomination for Best Book of a Musical. Other credits for this Tuscaloosa, Alabama native include the book for Silence! The Musical, the book for the 137th edition of The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus, Bellobration!, and the book for Villains Tonight!, a new show for Disney Cruise Lines. As an actor, Hunter has performed both on and off-Broadway, and at such prestigious regional theatres as St. Louis Rep, Great Lakes Theater Festival, Alliance Theatre, and the Paper Mill Playhouse.

Jeff Bowen also won an Obie Award for his work on [title of show]. He has written music and lyrics for Villains Tonight! for the Walt Disney Company, the Easter Bonnet Competition for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, the 53rd Annual Drama Desk Awards, and Broadway Bares 18. He has also composed several shows at P.S. 122 including Avant-Garde-A-Rama in SparkleVision. As an actor he has performed works at The O’Neill Center, Ars Nova, and the Vineyard Theatre, among others.

The pair is also well-known as the creators of the popular web series the [title of show] show and is currently working together on a sitcom pilot for ABC Television.

Jordan Ahnquist and Joe Lanza will play Jeff and Hunter in the SpeakEasy production, which will also feature popular Boston actors Amy Barker, Will McGarrahan, and Val Sullivan.

SpeakEasy Founder and Producing Artistic Director Paul Daigneault will helm this production, the second of three shows he will direct for SpeakEasy Stage this season. A two-time Elliot Norton Award winner (Outstanding Director: Parade; Some Men; Zanna, Don’t!; 2008. Outstanding Director: Passion; Bat Boy: The Musical; 2003). Mr. Daigneault has directed and produced over 50 Boston premieres for SpeakEasy Stage since its inception in 1992. Paul is also a member of the faculty at The Boston Conservatory. In 2007 he was honored with the Boston College Art Council’s Alumni Award for Distinguished Achievement.

Music Director Will McGarrahan and Choreographer David Connolly round out the creative team.

The design team includes Eric Levenson (Set Design); Charles Schoonmaker (Costume Design); Jeff Adelberg (Lighting Design); Aaron Mack (Sound Design) and Seághan McKay (Projection Design).

[title of show] will run for five weeks in the Roberts Studio Theatre in the Calderwood Pavilion at the Boston Center for the Arts, 527 Tremont Street in Boston’s South End.

Ticket prices run from $30-$54 with discounts for students and seniors. For tickets or more information, the public is invited to call 617-933-8600 or visit www.SpeakEasyStage.com.

Jordan Ahnquist (Jeff). SpeakEasy debut. Since moving to Boston last year, Jordan has had the pleasure of spending most of his time in the cast of Boston’s long running comedy, Shear Madness. Regionally Jordan has worked with The Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, The Skylight, First Stage Children’s Theatre, Montana Shakespeare in the Parks, The Nebraska Theatre Caravan, and The Utah Shakespearean Festival. Favorite credits include Tartuffe, Romeo and Juliet, Heartbreak House, South Pacific, and The Winter’s Tale. Jordan holds a B.A. in Theatre from Muhlenberg College. Thank you to my wonderful, supportive family.

Amy Barker (Heidi). SpeakEasy: Sorry Wrong Number 2008 & 2009. Regional credits include: Vicki in The Full Monty and Irene in Hello, Dolly! (Westchester Broadway Theatre); The Musical of Musicals: The Musical; And the World Goes ‘Round (Foothills Theatre); Nine, Show Boat, South Pacific (NSMT); and A Little Night Music and The Sound of Music (Pittsburgh CLO). Originally from Texas, Amy began her professional career as an opera-singing plum for Very Fine Fruit Juice. Insomniacs and sports fans may have seen Amy in some television commercials. Love to M&M and Dad.

Will McGarrahan (Larry/Musical Director). SpeakEasy: Reckless; The Wrestling Patient; Some Men; The Mystery of Edwin Drood; Five By Tenn; Company; The Last Sunday in June; Elegies: A Song Cycle; Ruthless!; A Class Act; End of the World Party; and A New Brain. Other local credits include: Grey Gardens, November (Lyric Stage); The Wind in the Willows and Happy Days (Gloucester Stage); and Buried Child (Nora Theatre). Will has served the dual roles of pianist/actor and musical director for Dirty Blonde and Souvenir (Lyric); Billy Bishop Goes To War (Gloucester); and the Elliot Norton Award-winning A Marvelous Party (American Repertory Theatre). Other SpeakEasy musical director credits include The History Boys, The Women and Back to Bachrach and David. Will worked as an actor, singer and pianist in Seattle before moving to Boston’s South End in 2001.

Joe Lanza (Hunter). SpeakEasy credits include Timms in The History Boys; Sorry, Wrong Number 2009; and a week-long stint as Steve Wilkos in Jerry Springer: The Opera. Local credits include: In On It (Whistler In The Dark); The Caretaker (Nora Theatre); The Pain and the Itch (Company One) Skylight (Merrimack Repertory Theatre); How Many Miles to Basra? (Stoneham Theatre); The Wind in the Willows (Gloucester Stage Company); The Diary of Anne Frank (New Rep On Tour); A New Brain (MetroStage Company); and Butley (The Huntington Theatre Company). Joe holds a BFA in Acting from Boston University’s School of Theatre and studied abroad at LAMDA.

Val Sullivan (Susan). SpeakEasy: A New Brain, Triumph of Love, Merrily We Roll Along, Songs for a New World, Putting It Together, A Grand Night for Singing, Schoolhouse Rock Live! Other local credits: Hamlet (Publick Theatre), Measure for Measure (The Theatre Cooperative), What We Save (Boston Actors Theater) and many cabarets with New Opera and Musical Theater Initiative (NOMTI) and Centastage. As a high school drama teacher, she was awarded a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities for study at the Shakespeare Institute in Stratford-upon-Avon. She has two daughters and one husband. With thanks to Brian, Paul and Will.

Compiled from the press release courtesy of the SpeakEasy Stage Company (website | profile | tag archive).

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