Tonight, my romantic comedy, The Piaggi Suite, is having a staged reading at The Blank theater in Hollywood. The reading is part of the Monday night Living Room Series of new plays the Blank has been hosting on its 2nd Stage since 1991.
The plays are free (suggested donation $10) to the public. The actors have books in hand but give a sense of how the plays would be in full production.
I have been reading for the series for several years, turned on to it by fellow lafpier, Sara Israel.
I have been so fortunate with Piaggi, a play that is close to my heart. It has incidental music and I looked for a long time for a composer who liked the piece and wanted both to write for it and promote it as well. Ignoring the scoffers and the supercilious, who said, “bigcheap?”, I posted on the big cheap list and found Andy Chukerman who wrote some lovely music and got us this gig tonight.
This is just part of his resume: Winner of the Richard Rodgers Award and the Jonathan Larson Performing Arts Foundation Award as composer/co-lyricist of the musical, “The Princess and the Black-Eyed Pea”, Andrew Chukerman works extensively in film, television, theater, and concert work, as a composer, orchestrator, music director, and keyboardist.
He also worked with the Blank producers and found the BEST DIRECTOR AND CAST I have seen in a long time.
I’m posting the names of the cast. If you are ever looking for first rate people, here they are: Lisa Zane, Maura Knowles, Megan Moran, Chris Devlin, David Lago, J.P. Karliak, Peter Katona, Julie Garnye and Mary Carrig.
David Glenn Armstrong, the director, is from New York, in town visiting his brother and putting this up for fun. Instantly likeable, he accomplished miracles in three very short days. Efficient, specific, encouraging and engaging, he moved nine actors around a small space and encouraged everyone to play, play, play.
David has staged over 160 productions/workshops seen in 49 states. He has also worked extensively with Sheldon Harnick and just finished working with him on a new musical. (Kitty! Sheldon Harnick is 88 and still going strong.)
So, I’m looking forward to tonight but the best part has already happened. I haven’t been happy with the ending of the play for sometime. Voila! David found me a new one and the rewrite is on.
Back Row: Lisa Zane, Chris Devlin, David Glenn Armstrong, David Lago, John Paul Karliak, Maura M. Knowles
Front Row: Mary Carrig, Andy Chukerman, Diane Grant, Julie Garnye, Megan Moran, Peter Katona