Next up in our reading series? Heartland.

The first play in the Davenport Developmental Reading Series, Alex Webb’s Civil War drama, Amelia, was, well, as much fun as Civil War Dramas can be.

We had a great time, learned a lot, and the post-reading survey results on the play demonstrated that Alex was really on to something.  I look forward to giving you updates on what he’s up to next with the play.

It’s already time for the second date in our free reading series.  This time, we found our writer north of the border.  Steven Owad hails from Calgary, Canada.

And next Monday, June 14th at 8 PM, at the Mint Theater thousands of miles from his home, some great actors will read his new play, Heartland.

Steven describes Heartland as “a drama about three men on the brink of self-destruction in middle America.  Loners in a small community, they form a deadly triangle tempered by violence, revenge and a ruthless alpha-male need for control.”

I describe Heartland as a Law & Order: Criminal Intent episode . . . before Vincent D’Onofrio shows up.

The reading of Heartland will be directed by another kanuck, Mr. Stafford Arima, known for Altar Boyz, Tin Pan Alley Rag, and an Olivier nominee for the West End Ragtime.  Stafford was also lucky enough to be the first to get his directorial mitts on Carrie, when he staged the reading of that horror show earlier this year.

Stafford got some great actors to play the three alpha males in Heartland, including Greg Stone (Pirate Queen, Miss Saigon, Les Miz), Peter Lockyer (South Pacific, Phantom, La Boheme) and Wes Seals (The Quest for Fame, Sex Drugs & Rock ‘n Roll).

Seating is very limited so if you’d like to come and support a new writer and his work, RSVP ASAP to rsvp@davenporttheatrical.com.  We expect the seats to go very fast, because, well, it’s free.

See you there!

Heartland
Written by Steven Owad
Directed by Stafford Arima
Featuring Greg Stone, Peter Lockyer and Wes Seals

Monday, June 14th
8 PM
The Mint Theater
311 West 43rd St. (between 8th and 9th)
#307

See you there!

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Desperately seeking: Devoted and Disgruntled in New York

I’d bet my original Carrie playbill that if you’re reading this blog, then there is something about the theater industry that frustrates the f*** out of you.

I’d also bet that if you’re reading this blog, you’re interested in voicing your opinion, getting your hands dirty, and doing something about it.

This weekend, you have your chance.  And you won’t be alone.

On Saturday and Sunday, The Under The Radar Festival is sponsoring the first ever D&D in the U.S.

No, D&D isn’t an 80s role playing game (and yes, I was a Dungeon Master).  It stands for ‘Devoted and Disgruntled’ and it’s a town hall-ish type event where you can express your frustration, and then you can come up with a way to do something about it.  And you’ll have other D&Ders to help, because I’d bet if something is frustrating you, it’s frustrating someone else, too.

It’s like a theatrical activist dating service.  And I think it sounds pretty awesome.

It’s been done in London for five years to great success and thankfully, it’s coming here.

While I’m sure it will be heavy on non-profits and up-and-coming theater companies, it doesn’t have to be.  The founder of the event is Phelim McDermott, a director and designer who dances in both the non-profit and profit halls.  In fact, he’s got a teensy-tiny show coming up this Spring known as The Addams Family.

For more information on the event, click here.

I’ll see you there.

No 20-sided die required.

She’s back. And she doesn’t like what you’ve been saying about her.

The subject of this post was a tagline that I wrote 17 years ago, when I dreamed about doing a concert version of a show.

Which show?

Read the subject/tagline again . . . and guess?

Get it yet?

Yep . . .

Carrie.

I’ll admit it.  I was bloody obsessed.

I had gotten a hold of some “killer” bootlegs from London and Broadway from a guy online (serendipitous side note: that guy turned out to be Jeff Marx, author of Avenue Q!) and was intrigued by quotes calling half of it brilliant and half of it camp.

I found more recordings by Betty Buckley and original Carrie Linzi Hateley that featured some of the tunes.  I went to Lincoln Center to watch the 10 minutes of footage they had (I had to make up some story about how I was doing a paper at NYU on flops in order to get permission to see it.  Oops. Busted.).  I bought a script off eBay.  I even have the original Playbill somewhere.

And I wanted to do it again.

My idea wasn’t to do the full musical. I just wanted to do the brilliant half!

The idea was to take the best elements of the musical, the best of the book (as read by celebs) and the best of the film, and combine them into one night of multimedia Carrie-awesomeness,

Surprise, surprise, I couldn’t get the rights, although I am proud to say that Michael Gore did return my phone call.  I remember the message explicity.  “Thanks for calling, Ken.  At the moment, we’re not releasing the rights to Carrie, because we’re waiting for the right time to do it again.”

Well, my friends . . . She’s back.  And she doesn’t like what . . . (Oh wait, I did that already).

A small article was buried in this weekend’s Variety about an official reading of the show coming up in the next few months (I hear that this guy is directing).

I’d bet my original Carrie playbill that this is the hottest reading of the year.

Hottest. Get it?  Cuz at the end of the show, Carrie sets the gym on fire with her mind..  Hehe.  Awesome.

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