The Folk Singer – New Musical at Theater for the New City

 

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(Photo: Michael Blase)

 

 

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Theater for the New City (Executive Director, Crystal Field) presents the world premiere of THE FOLK SINGER, a new musical about contemporary times, which opens on Sunday October 9th at Theater for the New City (155 First Avenue at 10th Street).Previews began Thursday, September 29th. The musical was created by the team behind the critically acclaimed 2015 production of Heather Smiley for President, with book and lyrics by Tom Attea and music composed by Arthur Abrams. The production is directed by Mark Marcante. THE FOLK SINGER will play a limited engagement through October 23rd. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased online at www.TheaterfortheNewCity.net, at http://www.smarttix.com or at the box office by calling 212-254-1109.  The performance schedule is as follows: Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays at 8 PM. Matinees Sundays at 3 PM.

THE FOLK SINGER tells a story of a young musician who wants to write songs as relevant today as those of Woody Guthrie, Bob Dylan and Joan Baez were in their heyday.  Working with like-minded local musicians, he and the others compose new songs and stage a folk festival​ for the 21st century, with the hope of reaching a wider audience through social media.

“I wrote the book and lyrics to THE FOLK SINGER in order to create a character-based work for the theater that would comment on today’s times,” explains Tom Attea. “I believe that​, given the severity of the problems in America and around the world, new folk songs would be expected to have a greater presence than they do. The centerpiece of the show, ​”A Folk Festival for Today,” ​provided ​the occasion ​​to write lyrics with contemporary substance.”

Featured in the cast are: Mary Adams (Queensboro Bridge), Matthew Angel (Young Benjamin Banneker), Larry Fleishman (Beau Jest; Maid In Manhattan), Olivia A. Griffin (NYC debut), Micha Lazare (Fuerza Bruta), Andy Striph (The Good Wife; I Love You…But I Lied), and Nick McGuiness (The Following).

Set design is by Mark Marcante, with lighting design by Alexander Bartienieff, sound design by Alex Santullo,​ and prop design is by Lytza Colon.  Danielle Hauser is the assistant director.​

Tom Attea (book and lyrics) has written thirteen other produced shows, beginning with Brief Chronicles of the Time, which was presented as a showcase by The Actors Studio, where he was a member of The Playwrights Unit for 10 years. Since then, he has written the book and lyrics for ten musicals and two plays that have been presented by Theater for the New City. Tom received a TNC/Jerome Foundation emerging playwright grant and is a member of The Dramatists Guild.

Arthur Abrams (composer) began his frequent collaboration with Tom Attea at The Actors Studio, while working with director Charles Friedman on the revue Brief Chronicles of the Time.​ His last two collaborations with Tom were the musicals An American Worker and Heather Smiley for President. A ballet score by Abrams, The Velveteen Rabbit, was given its first performance in July of 2016, at the Hartt School of the University of Hartford. Abrams also composed and directed music for the Yiddish Theater documentary film, “The Golden Age of Second Avenue,” often shown on Public TV.  He has been honored with numerous awards, including a DAAD music fellowship to Mannheim, Germany, a scholarship to the Orff Institute at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria, and a “Meet the Composer” grant for the score of The Golden Bear. He is a member of the Dramatists Guild.

Mark Marcante (director) has directed Rizzante Returns From The War, Benny’s Barber Shop, Promises Best Kept, British Music Hall, Strangely Wonderful and One Director Against His Cast, written by Crystal Field, which premiered in Italy. He worked and toured with The People’s Theater Company, Theater East and The Guthsville Playhouse. Mr. Marcante was the theatrical and technical consultant for the Arts Connection. He is a graduate of Kutztown University, studied and performed Commedia Dell’arte with Alessandro Bressanello and Michael Conenna from the T.A.G Theatre of Venice. This is his twelfth collaboration with Tom Attea and Arthur Abrams.

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