Tenderly, The Rosemary Clooney Musical
Inaugural SHOWPLACE MEMPHIS Reading
May 23 at 7pm on The University of Memphis Mainstage
Presented by Theatrical Rights Worldwide
Title Sponsor: Pat and Thane Smith
Memphis, TN (May 5, 2015) – Tennessee Shakespeare Company, in partnership with the University of Memphis’ Department of Theatre & Dance, presents its first developing musical reading on the U of M mainstage with Tenderly, The Rosemary Clooney Musical by Janet Yates Vogt and Mark Freidman on May 23 at 7:00 pm.
Tickets for the reading are just $15, or $10 for Students and Seniors.
Tenderly is the first of three developing musicals in TSC’s inaugural Showplace Memphis: Musical Works in Progress.
Sponsored by one of Broadway’s elite musical licensing companies, Theatrical Rights Worldwide (TRW) and President/CEO Steve Spiegel, based in New York City, Showplace Memphis has been devised as the next creative stage for three musicals en route to full productions in New York and on the regional theatre circuit across the U.S. The second and third musicals in Showplace Memphis are Midsummer Night (June 27) and The Oliver Experiment (August 15).
TRW has selected the musicals, and the Actors’ Equity casts and directors are coming from all around the country and Memphis.
The Tenderly creators and cast will collaborate and rehearse at the U of M for ten days leading up to its reading. Though it will be going through both script and music changes, Tenderly will be played and sung in its entirety and with musical accompaniment on the U of M’s mainstage. No other design elements (scenic/costumes/lights) will be integrated.
Tenderly’s Memphis performance is generously sponsored by Pat and Thane Smith.
Audiences will have an opportunity to speak with the actors and creators of Tenderly immediately following its reading. Audiences also will inform the production by completing an audience survey that will help the creative team in future development phases.
Tenderly is based on the life of Rosemary Clooney, who was hailed as America's favorite girl singer, in this exhilarating and inspiring new musical biography. Her journey starts with her humble Midwest childhood and rise to Hollywood stardom, and continues beyond battles with depression to a triumphant comeback. Through it all, she topped the charts for nearly five decades with signature songs. Tenderly offers a remarkably personal and poignant picture of the woman whose unparalleled talent and unbridled personality made her a legend.
The show, which received rave reviews and a double-extension of its run in its second incarnation at Cincinnati Playhouse earlier this year, features many of Mrs. Clooney’s signature hits, including “Hey There (you with the stars in your eyes),” “Tenderly,” and “Come On-A My House.”
Tenderly returns its popular Cincinnati Playhouse cast members, Michael Marotta and Susan Haefner (Broadway’s State Fair, Thoroughly Modern Millie, and 42nd Street) and is directed by Kent Nicholson, who is the Director of Musical Theater at NYC’s Playwrights Horizons. NYC new works veteran Matt Castle is the Musical Director.
Mrs. Clooney was born on May 23, 1928, in Maysville, Kentucky. She became a popular recording artist during the 1950s, known for her warm, engaging voice. She started out singing with her sister Betty on a Cincinnati radio show, and the two joined Tony Pastor's touring big band orchestra in 1946.
After her sister retired from singing, Mrs. Clooney went to New York to launch her solo career in 1949. Two years later, after signing with Columbia Records, she had her first No. 1 hit with "Come On-a My House." More hits followed, such as "Hey There," "This Ole House" and "Tenderly." She also appeared in feature films, including The Stars Are Singing (1953) and White Christmas (1954) with Bing Crosby. In the late 1950s, she had her own self-titled television show.
She experienced personal problems in the late 1960s, including a divorce from actor Jose Ferrer, medication addiction, and depression. She spent years recovering and rebuilding her career, starting out in small clubs and lounges. In the mid-1970s, she joined Bing Crosby on his final tour, which helped spur her comeback. She later signed a recording contract with the Concord Jazz label and married Dante DiPaolo, a dancer she had known from two of her films, in 1996.
Mrs. Clooney continued to record and perform, and in 2002 received a Grammy Award for Lifetime Achievement. Mrs. Clooney died from complications related to her battle with lung cancer on June 29, in Beverly Hills, CA. She had five children from her marriage to Mr. Ferrer.
Tenderly Artist Bios
In 2005, Tenderly creators Janet Yates Vogt and Mark Friedman were named National Music Educators of the Year. Janet and Mark's first collaboration, Anne of Green Gables, has played at theatres across the country, including Village Theatre (WA), The Barter Theatre (VA), and the Victoria Theatre (OH). Janet and Mark’s extremely popular musical adaptation of Melinda Long's best-selling children's book How I Became a Pirate, was commissioned by First Stage Theatre (Milwaukee) in 2008 and has been rollicking its way across many stages, including Cape Rep, the Des Moines Playhouse, Riverside Theatre, and Children's Theatre of Cincinnati. Their powerful and moving musical, Harriet and Sam, captures the times and events of pre- and post-Civil War America as seen through the eyes of Harriet Beecher Stowe and Mark Twain. Janet and Mark also have penned a humorous, irreverent, and satirical look at married relationships with their musical cabaret, War Games: Marriage on the Front Lines. Their holiday show Ebenezer (a musical version of “A Christmas Carol”) has been delighting audiences for the past five years. Sleepy Hollow: A Musical Tale, commissioned by Kalamazoo Civic Theatre, premiered on Halloween 2010 and has just been added to Columbus Children’s Theatre upcoming season. For more information: www.vogtfriedmancomposers.com.
Matt Castle (Musical Director) has played, acted in, directed, and/or developed more than 75 new musicals at Sundance Institute, NYU, Playwrights Horizons, Weston Playhouse, O’Neill Center, Signature Theatre, York Theatre, Barrington Stage, NYMF, and CAP21. With Frank Galgano, he has created orchestrations for musicals and concerts at Kennedy Center, Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, Roundabout, Atlantic Theater Company, George Street Playhouse, ACT, Davies Hall, BC/EFA, TheatreworksUSA, Sacramento Theatre Company, and Waterfront Playhouse. As an actor/musician, he performed in the 2007 Broadway revival of Company, the original off-Broadway casts of Musical of Musicals, Enter Laughing, and LingoLand; Cincinnati Playhouse’s Merrily We Roll Along; and Fiasco Theater’s Into the Woods.
Susan Haefner* (Rosemary Clooney, pictured) returns to the role after a sold-out and extended run at Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park. Her Broadway credits include State Fair, Thoroughly Modern Millie, and 42nd Street. Tours include Billy Elliot (national tour and Toronto) and Damn Yankees with Jerry Lewis (national tour and London’s West End). Regionally, Susan has played leading roles at Weston Playhouse Theatre Company, Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, Asolo Repertory Theatre, Barter Theatre, and Shaker Bridge Theatre. She received her MFA from Florida State University/Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training.
Michael Marotta* (Doctor, pictured) comes to TSC fresh from The Music Man with the Cincinnati Pops, and happily returns to Tenderly having played the role at Cincinnati’s Playhouse in the Park. He created the role of Walter Winchell in the new musical Mr. Confidential at the Signature Theater in his hometown, NYC. Most recent credits: Herr Schultz in Cabaret (Rep Theater St. Louis); Huck in The Fantasticks; Sidney Bruhl in Deathtrap (Florida Rep); Billy Flynn in Chicago, Ben Hecht in Moonlight & Magnolias (Flat Rock Playhouse, NC). NY credits include Mad about the Boy, the centennial salute to Noel Coward, and Irving Berlin’s Louisiana Purchase, both at Carnegie Hall. As a cabaret artist, Michael has twice been the recipient of both the MAC Award and the BACKSTAGE Bistro Award.
Kent Nicholson+ (director) most recently directed Long Story Short at Prospect Theater in New York. New York credits include Five Flights (Rattlestick Playwrights Theater), Wet (Summer Play Festival), and Marry Harry (NYMF, American Theater Group). Regional: Light in the Piazza (South Coast Repertory), How to Write a New Book for the Bible (South Coast Repertory, Berkeley Repertory, Seattle Repertory), Lizzie (Theater Under the Stars, Village Theater), Grey Gardens, Vincent in Brixton, Ambition Facing West, and All My Sons (TheatreWorks), Saint Ex (Weston Playhouse), 9 Circles, The Good German, and Jacques Brel (Marin Theater Company), Small Tragedy and Satellites (Aurora Theater Company). He created the New Works Initiative at TheatreWorks in Palo Alto and currently serves as the Director of Musical Theater at Playwrights Horizons.
* AEA member; + SDC member
NYC’s Theatrical Rights Worldwide in collaboration with Tennessee Shakespeare Company and the University of Memphis’ Department of Theatre & Dance Announces Titles for
Three Exciting, Developing Musicals with National, Professional Casts in Readings
Memphis, TN (April 27, 2015) – As part of Tennessee Shakespeare Company’s first year-round season, the development of three exciting new musicals launches on the University of Memphis Mainstage this summer with Showplace Memphis: Musical Works in Progress.
Sponsored by one of Broadway’s elite musical licensing companies, Theatrical Rights Worldwide (TRW) and President/CEO Steve Spiegel, based in New York City, Showplace Memphis partners TSC and the University of Memphis’ Department of Theatre & Dance in a very special collaboration that could be the next creative stage for these musicals en route to full productions in New York and on the regional theatre circuit across the U.S.
TRW has selected three musical scripts in various stages of development to be presented to Memphis audiences as professional, Actors’ Equity Association “Readings.” TSC has cast the musicals from around the country with a number of Broadway performers.
Each of the shows’ creators will collaborate and rehearse in Memphis for ten days leading up to each reading. Each musical will be played and sung in its entirety and with musical accompaniment on the U of M’s luxurious Mainstage, located at 3745 Central Avenue in Memphis. No other design elements (scenic/costumes/lights) will be integrated.
Audiences will have an opportunity to speak with the actors and creators of each musical immediately following each Reading. Audiences also will inform each production by completing an audience survey that will help each creative team in future development phases.
Theatrical Rights Worldwide represents musicals from Broadway and Off-Broadway, as well as shows originating in regional theatres. TRW cultivates and introduces new work along with extending the production life of musicals to all theatrical marketplaces worldwide. TRW licenses productions to a broad range of customers, from schools to Broadway. As agents for the authors, TRW grants live stage production rights and provides performance and rehearsal materials and tools to enhance the actor, musician, and audience experience. Its Broadway collection includes Memphis-centric musicals All Shook Up: The Music of Elvis Presley, Ring of Fire: The Music of Johnny Cash, and the Tony Award-winning Best Musical Memphis. Its internationally-popular collection also includes Jersey Boys, Monty Python’s Spamalot, which won the Tony for Best Musical, Kander and Ebb's Curtains, The Color Purple, and recent releases Ghost the Musical, Big Fish, and The Addams Family.
“With Memphis’ long history and unmatched appreciation for the Arts, bringing TRW’s new works festival here offers the ideal location for fostering artists and creativity,” said Mr. Spiegel. “This is TRW’s platform for the future, and we eagerly look forward to housing this annual event in this great city.”
Tennessee Shakespeare Company’s Southern Exposure Series Returns its Popular Tuesday Literary Salons for March and April featuring Kate Chopin and Young William Faulkner
As part of its Southern Exposure Series, which features new and classic literature by Southern writers with Southern inspiration, Tennessee Shakespeare Company this spring returns to its popular Tuesday Literary Salons with the works of two form-breaking southern writers read in fun, intimate settings.
Each evening runs from 6:00-8:00 pm and features author-centric cocktails, tasty hors d'oeuvres (including cajun pork sliders, red beans & rice, and rumballs), thematic live music, and some of the best words ever written.
Kate Chopin: Louisiana Lullaby
featuring readings by Lorraine Cotten, Kim Justice, and Christina Wellford-Scott
The spirited drink: Bayou Cocktails
The live music: Robert Johnson and John Albertson with their Cajun strings
Tuesday, March 24 from 6:00-8:00 pm
Hosted by RS Antiques & Art in East Memphis (near the Half Shell)
700 S. Mendenhall, 38117
In his 1969 biography, Per Seyersted says Kate Chopin “broke new ground in American literature” in the 1890s.
“She was,” Seyersted writes, “the first woman writer in her country to accept passion as a legitimate subject for serious, outspoken fiction. Revolting against tradition and authority; with a daring which we can hardly fathom today; with an uncompromising honesty and no trace of sensationalism, she undertook to give the unsparing truth about woman’s submerged life. She was something of a pioneer in the amoral treatment of sexuality, of divorce, and of woman’s urge for an existential authenticity. She is in many respects a modern writer, particularly in her awareness of the complexities of truth and the complications of freedom.”
Ms. Chopin, posthumously acclaimed for her modern fiction not unlike Herman Melville who died un-famous, published two novels and 100 short stories. Her 1899 masterwork, The Awakening, is a landmark novel that brings maturity to thematic feminism and introduces a realism and psychology to the American literary form that would inspire the works of Ernest Hemingway, William Faulkner, F. Scott Fitgerald, and Tennessee Williams. However, at the time of publication, her novel was roundly criticized as “vulgar,” “disagreeable,” and “sordid.” Born in St. Louis and writing in the bayous of Louisiana (where she also placed many of her stories), Ms. Chopin found popularity in her professional life in the publication of her short stories in magazines: “The Storm,” “The Story of an Hour,” “A Pair of Silk Stockings,” and “A Respectable Woman” among them.
Passages from some of these works, and others, will be read during the Salon. Experience the poetic grace and unapologetic passion of the words of one of the South’s and our country’s most influential writers.
Young William Faulkner: Before the Fury
The spirited drink: Juleps
The live music: Beethoven, Bach, and Mozart played on piano by Steven DiBlasi
Tuesday, April 21 from 6:00-8:00 pm
Hosted by Melia and Drew Murphy, MD in their Germantown residence
Before the “Old Colonel” became a two-time Pulitzer Prize winner and Nobel Prize in Literature winner, he was a high school and Ole Miss drop-out who worked odd jobs and trained as a pilot in the Royal Canadian Air Force as the first World War ended. But he was also a poet seeking his voice in New Orleans and in the outskirts of Paris. It wasn’t until he returned to his native north Mississippi that he began thinly fictionalizing in writing what and who he knew in his fabled Yoknapatawpha County (Oxford). His early creations, famously, include The Sound and the Fury and As I Lay Dying. A man known both for this taste for and medicinal use of the bourbon julep, Mr. Faulkner would likely quite enjoy this Salon of sugared spirits and the readings of his earliest tales inspired by a land of quiet beauty and violently shifting cultures.
This season’s Literary Salons are sponsored by Nancy and Dan Copp and our friends at Prichard’s Distillery.
Tickets are $55 per event, or $100 for both. Your ticket buys you light appetizers (including cajun pork sliders, red beans & rice, and rumballs), cocktails, live music, and live readings of Southern literature beyond compare. Seating is extremely limited, and parking is free. Tickets are now on sale while they last.
To purchase tickets today, call the TSC Box Office at 901-759-0604 or go online: www.tnshakespeare.org.
Tennessee Shakespeare Company's Southern Exposure Series Continues its Spring Tuesday Literary Salons with Young William Faulkner: Before the Fury
(Memphis, TN; April 7, 2015) -- As part of its Southern Exposure Series, which features new and classic literature by Southern writers, Tennessee Shakespeare Company this April returns to its popular Tuesday Literary Salon spotlighting the early poetry and short stories of William Faulkner.
Young William Faulkner: Before the Fury will be presented for an intimate audience on Tuesday, April 21 from 6:00–8:00 pm at the elegant home of Dr. Drew and Melia Murphy in Germantown.
"I'm a failed poet," said Mr. Faulkner. "Maybe every novelist wants to write poetry first, finds he can't and then tries the short story which is the most demanding form after poetry. And failing at that, only then does he take up novel writing."
On the heels of last month's popular Salon of Kate Chopin, this evening will feature Faulkner-inspired juleps, tasty hors d'oeuvres, Stephen DiBlasi playing Beethoven, Bach, and Mozart on the piano, and readings (led by Dan McCleary) from the literary beginnings of the future Nobel winner – including Mr. Faulkner's first published short story, "Landing in Luck."
Before the "Old Colonel" became a two-time Pulitzer Prize winner and Nobel Prize in Literature winner, he was a high school and Ole Miss drop-out who worked odd jobs and trained as a pilot in the Royal Canadian Air Force as the first World War ended. But he was also a poet seeking his voice in New Orleans and in the outskirts of Paris. It wasn't until he returned to his native north Mississippi that he began thinly fictionalizing in writing what and who he knew in his fabled Yoknapatawpha County (Oxford). His early creations, famously, include The Sound and the Fury and As I Lay Dying. A man known both for this taste for and medicinal use of the bourbon julep, Mr. Faulkner would likely quite enjoy this Salon of sugared spirits and the readings of his earliest tales inspired by a land of quiet beauty and violently shifting cultures.
This season's Literary Salons are sponsored by Nancy and Dan Copp and our friends at Prichard's Distillery.
Tickets are $55. Your ticket buys you light appetizers, cocktails, live music, and live readings from Mr. Faulkner's early works. Seating is extremely limited, and parking is free. Tickets are now on sale while they last.
To purchase tickets today, call the TSC Box Office at 901-759-0604.