Extraordinary Ordinary, New Musical About Modern Relationships, Opens Off-Broadway Dec. 1

News   Extraordinary Ordinary, New Musical About Modern Relationships, Opens Off-Broadway Dec. 1 The Off-Broadway world premiere of The Extraordinary Ordinary, the new musical about a group of friends and lovers feeling their way toward middle age, opens Dec. 1 following previews from Nov. 29 at the Clurman Theatre in Theatre Row on West 42nd Street.

Writers Scott Burkell and Paul Loesel
Writers Scott Burkell and Paul Loesel

Dreamlight Theatre Company in association with Third Coast Creative is producing the work by composer Paul Loesel and lyricist-librettist Scott Burkell. The show has its seeds in their earlier work, Six of One, which was recrafted into The Extraordinary Ordinary.

Performances run to Dec. 18 at the Clurman at 410 W. 42nd Street.

Dreamlight artistic director Chip Klose directs a company that includes Courtney Balan (Broadway's Cry-Baby, In My Life), Pamela Bob (Off-Broadway's People Like Us, Gay Divorce), Kristoffer Cusick (Broadway's Wicked, Saturday Night Fever), Patrick Oliver Jones (New York debut), Kelly McCormick (national tours of Les Miserables, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang) and Jonathan Parkey (national tour of Duck for President).

According to Dreamlight, "The Extraordinary Ordinary follows a group of friends as they face the challenges of life in Manhattan and reveals how one life-altering event forces each of them to discover the extraordinary beauty in the most ordinary of days."

Writer Burkell told Playbill.com, "The genesis for the piece was two-fold: I was very drawn to the idea of writing about our 'chosen family' and not the one that was genetically forced on us. Also, I had a lot of really talented actor friends and I wanted to create work for them by writing characters tailored around their specific skills and then ultimately hiring them. Wasn't that nice of me?" He continued, "As for the genesis of the piece and its evolution from Six of One to The Extraordinary Ordinary: I have always referred to this musical as our 'training wheel' musical. We learned how to write and became better writers using it as our practice ground. We beat this poor thing up, ripped it apart, put it back together again, and then put it through the shredder again — and again. When we felt like we wanted to move on from the piece, because we were aching to write something new, we put Six on the shelf knowing that it was still flawed but that it had worth. Later, when we took it back out again after writing Ella Minnow Pea and continuing to grow and mature as a writing team, we basically hated most of what we saw with fresh eyes. We kept the six characters and the basic premise and a handful of the songs that we liked and threw the rest out. So little actually remained and the piece had taken on such a different point of view that the old title just didn't fit it any more. So, in many ways it feels like a very new piece to us and I'm so happy that we went back and took another look."

Scott Burkell and Paul Loesel's songs have been performed at Carnegie Hall ("Michael Feinstein: Now and Then" Series), Lincoln Center (American Songbook Series), Joe's Pub, Birdland, Symphony Space, The Kennedy Center, and the Chicago Humanities Festival. Their songs have been premiered by Kristin Chenoweth, Rebecca Luker, Marin Mazzie, Jason Danieley, Stephanie J. Block, Susan Egan and Liz Callaway. Recordings of their work appear on Marin Mazzie and Jason Danieley's "Opposite You," Stephanie J. Block's "This Place I Know" and Rebecca Luker's "Greenwich Time." Their musical, Six of One, received a Jonathan Larson Performing Arts Foundation Grant, an ASCAP workshop, a CAP21 workshop, and a production in the 2007 Philly Fringe Festival. Musical revues include Love Songs and Other Crap (MAC Award nomination) and Sorta Love Songs (Birdland). Their musical, Ella Minnow Pea received a production at the University of Michigan. Paul Loesel is the most recent recipient of the Burton Lane Award. Three songs from The Extraordinary Ordinary are featured on the just-released Sh-K-Boom CD "Sorta Love Songs." Visit www.ScottandPaul.com.

The creative team includes Andrew Resnick (music director), Lynne Shankel (music supervisor/orchestrations), Jo Winiarski (sets), Chuck Ragsdale (costumes), Jeff Croiter and Grant Yeager (lights), and Andy Leviss (sound). Kat West is production stage manager.

Performances are Monday through Wednesday at 7 PM and Thursday through Saturday at 8 PM. Tickets are $26.25 and available at www.TheExtraordinaryOrdinary.com or Telecharge.com.

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The Drama Desk Award-nominated Dreamlight Theatre Company is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing a home for musical theatre. Under the direction of Chip Klose (artistic director) and Dean A. Carpenter (executive producer), "it strives to provide a place where artists and audiences alike will find an unparalleled dedication to artistry and storytelling." Visit www.DreamlightTheatre.org.

Third Coast Creative is a Houston-based production company "established to pursue uniquely talented stage and film artists and support them in creating and producing new works. Third Coast Creative, seeks out talented writers, musicians, performers and directors across the country and provides them with the opportunity to showcase their work."

Rear: Patrick Oliver Jones, Kristoffer Cusick and Courtney Balan<br>Front: Kelly McCormick and Pamela Bob
Rear: Patrick Oliver Jones, Kristoffer Cusick and Courtney Balan
Front: Kelly McCormick and Pamela Bob Photo by Michael Portantiere
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