As Long As They Can Sing: Korey and Runolfsson Star in Friedman's Listen to My Heart, Opening Oct. 23

News   As Long As They Can Sing: Korey and Runolfsson Star in Friedman's Listen to My Heart, Opening Oct. 23 Listen to My Heart: The Songs of David Friedman, which features a mix of familiar and new tunes by the acclaimed New York-based composer, officially opens Oct. 23. The new musical revue, playing Upstairs at Studio 54, began previews Oct. 9.
David Friedman and Anne Runolfsson in Listen to My Heart
David Friedman and Anne Runolfsson in Listen to My Heart Photo by Carol Rosegg

Composer Friedman — who also co-stars in the production — recently said, "This show marks a lifelong dream of mine — to be at the piano while five of the New York theatre's most spectacular singers sing my songs, eight times a week. There are 27 songs in all, interwoven in a way that parallels the journey that I took to write them, directed by Mark Waldrop and sung by Allison Briner, Joe Cassidy, Michael Hunsaker, Alix Korey and Anne Runolfsson."

Friedman's songs have been recorded by Diana Ross, Barry Manilow, Petula Clark and the late Nancy LaMott. The new revue features Friedman's best known works — "Listen to My Heart," "Help Is On the Way," "We Can Be Kind" and "We Live on Borrowed Time" — as well as lesser-known tunes: "You're Already There," "You'll Always Be My Baby," "Catch Me," "I Can Hold You," "Only My Pillow Knows," "As Long As I Can Sing," "Nothing in Common," "What I'd Had in Mind" and "My White Knight." Broadway favorite Alix Korey, a long-time friend and interpreter of Friedman's tunes, performs the bulk of the comic material — including "I'm Not My Mother" and "My Simple Wish" — and recently told Playbill On-Line, "I have a preference for great lyrics, that's all. As it happens, I think it's a lot harder to write a funny song, so I'm always impressed when it is actually [funny], when a funny lyric is funny as opposed to me having to kill myself to make it funny."

Directed by Mark Waldrop, the creative team for Listen to My Heart includes Michael Anania (scenic design), Markas Henry (costume design) and Matt Berman (lighting and sound design).

David Friedman has served as musical director for such Broadway productions as Saravà, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Song & Dance and Beauty and the Beast. He was also the conductor and vocal arranger for the Disney films “Beauty and the Beast,” “Aladdin,” “Pocahontas” and “The Hunchback of Notre Dame.” Friedman wrote the music and lyrics to Disney’s “Aladdin and the King of Thieves,” and his musical with Peter Kellogg — Desperate Measures — will play Dallas County's Lyric Stage, April 30-May 15, 2004.

Upstairs at Studio 54 is located in Manhattan at 254 West 54th Street, between Broadway and Eighth Avenue. The revue will play Tuesday through Friday evenings at 8 PM, Saturdays at 7 and 10 PM with matinees on Wednesdays at 2 PM and Sundays at 3 PM. For more information, visit http://ListenToMyHeartSite.com.

Listen to Their Hearts: (l.-r.) David Friedman, Anne Runolfsson, Alix Korey, Michael Hunsaker, Allison Briner and Joe Cassidy
Listen to Their Hearts: (l.-r.) David Friedman, Anne Runolfsson, Alix Korey, Michael Hunsaker, Allison Briner and Joe Cassidy Photo by Carol Rosegg
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