The 90-minute musical has book, music and lyrics by Stephen Dolginoff, the young writer who is developing the musical about Jesse Ventura, the wrestler-turned Minnesota-governor.
Jim Kierstead produces the non-Equity staging. The musical tells the story of "thrill killers" Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb, whose killing of a little boy in the 1920s shocked Chicago.
The musical is billed this way: "Sexy Richard Loeb, one of the most charismatic criminals ever, used his charm to control and entice his childhood friend, Nathan Leopold, into becoming his accomplice. In return for his help, there was only one thing Nathan wanted — Richard. But when their 'perfect crime' goes wrong and their lofty aspirations come crashing to the ground, all they really have left is each other, and Richard is forced to confront a shocking revelation that could rock the very core of his being."
The cast features Christopher Totten as Nathan and Matthew Morris as Richard. The show's complete title is Thrill Me: The Leopold and Loeb Story.
The show is performed with piano. Musical director is Gabe Kahane. Thom Weaver is lighting consultant. Charnin is the Tony Award-winning lyricist and director perhaps best known for Annie, but whose works include Two by Two, Annie Warbucks, I Remember Mama, and more.
The scattered performance schedule follows: 7:30 PM July 16, 7:40 PM July 19, 6:30 PM July 24, 11 AM July 26, 4 PM July 30 and 4:35 PM Aug. 3. Tickets are $15. Performances play the Abingdon Theatre Arts Complex, 312 W, 36th Street, in New York City.
For more information, visit www.thrillmethemusical.com.
Dolginoff was a 1999-2000 Manhattan Association of Cabarets and Clubs (MAC) Award nominee for his CD, "Journey to the Center of the Earth," based on the Jules Verne classic. He was commissioned to write and compose a musical Journey for Theatre For Young America. It premiered in Dolginoff's home town, Kansas City in 1996. In 1999, a new version was produced in St. Louis and a six-month Midwestern tour followed. A New York studio cast CD of Journey was nominated for this year's MAC Award for Recording of the Year.
Dolginoff won the Back Stage Bistro Award for Outstanding Book, Music and Lyrics for his musical. One Foot Out the Door, which played the Don't Tell Mama cabaret, followed by an engagement in Boston. Dolginoff's Most Men Are, about a family dealing with a loss, had a summer 2000 staging by Capricorn 9 Productions at the St. Lawrence Centre in Toronto. It was previously produced Off Broadway at Theatre Off Park.
A musical revue of his work, Something Bound to Begin, was produced at the American Heartland Theatre and in NYC at Don't Tell Mama.
Dolginoff is a graduate of the NYU Dramatic Writing Program.
In record stores, his music is represented on CD by the cast recordings of One Foot Out the Door, Most Men Are, Thrill Me (concept album), Journey to the Center of the Earth and Something Bound to Begin, all released by Original Cast Records.
The Body Ventura, meanwhile, Dolginoff's musical about the Minnesota governor who was once a pro wrestler, is stalled at the moment. Pierre Cossette, the producer who commissioned the show, has tabled the project, but Dolginoff is hopeful the project will be revived.