Eight Is Enough, a program of fanciful songs conceived last summer at the O'Neill's National Music Theater Conference, will be revived at the Duplex cabaret club in New York City, Feb. 9-11.
Just in time for Valentine's Day, "Break as Many Eggs as Required" by Curtis Moore (The Bus to Buenos Aires) and Donna DiNovelli (book for Florida, a finalist for the Richard Rodgers Award, with music by Randall Eng) finds a lover contemplating whether he has sufficient commitment after a first encounter to make breakfast. In "Twins" by David Rodwin (Virtual Motion, a one-man "hyper-opera") and Ellen Lewis (The Sun and the Moon Live in the Sky, winner of the 2000 National Arts Club Award), two babies — one black and one white — contemplate their options while waiting to be born. In "Best Friends" by Moore and Maryrose Wood (libretto for The Gift, music by Andrew Gerle, a Richard Rodgers Award finalist), two frogs, chronically depressed by life in a swamp, eventually find happiness in devouring a fly.
According to Michael Nassar, Associate Conference Director and co producer of the program with Tracy Shar, most of the work was originally "conceived, created, rehearsed, and performed in under 24 hours," at the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center during the two-week Conference. The creators also include Joel Derfner (Blood Drive, which will have a London premiere in March), Randall Eng, and Mary Murfitt (Cowgirls/Oil City Symphony).
Directed by Matthew Brookshire, with accompaniment provided by Music Director Mary-Mitchell Campbell, the cast includes Joe Cassidy, Mary Kate Law, Cindy Marchionda, Kevyn Morrow, Barbara Walsh, and Aurelia Williams.
Since 1978, the National Music Theater Conference has supported the creation and development of more than 80 works. These include Nine (Arthur Kopit-Mario Fratti-Maury Yeston), which won five Tonys in 1982, when produced at the 46th Street Theater, Kirsten Child's The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin, winner of numerous awards when produced last year at Playwrights Horizons, and Time and Again (Jack Viertel-Walter Edgar Kennon), enjoying a sold-out run at the Manhattan Theatre Club, through Feb. 18. The engagement at the Duplex follows an invitation-only opening at the National Arts Club. Eight Is Enough runs Feb. 9 and 10 at 8 PM, and Feb. 11 at 5 PM and 8 PM at the Duplex, 61 Christopher Street. Tickets are $20.00 plus two drink minimum. Credit cards are not accepted. For reservations, call (212) 255-5438.
— by Barbara Gross
Special to Playbill On-Line