Mauckingbird's [title of show] to Feature Ben Dibble, Kim Carson and More

News   Mauckingbird's [title of show] to Feature Ben Dibble, Kim Carson and More Mauckingbird Theatre Company, Philadelphia's only professional gay-themed theatre company exploring the boundaries of sexual identity, will open its fourth season with [title of show].

Ben Dibble
Ben Dibble

The intimate musical will play the newly renovated UPStairs stage at The Adrienne Theatre Jan. 12-30, 2011.

Directed by Mauckingbird artistic director Peter Reynolds, the cast will comprise Michael Philip O’Brien as Hunter, Ben Dibble as his writing partner Jeff, Kate Brennan as Susan and Kim Carson as Heidi with musical director Mat Wright as the pianist Larry.

"Mauckingbird was founded with the mission of producing gay-themed professional theatre," said Reynolds in a statement. "Our first productions have included reimaginings of classic texts through a queer lens, but it’s always been part of our original mission to explore musical genres... Though the two main characters are gay, [title of show] isn’t so much about homosexuality or the politics of being gay. This is a play about what it means to be a working artist. It just happens that Hunter and Jeff are gay, and that’s what I really love about the play."

"With the New York Musical Theatre Festival deadline just around the corner," press notes state, "struggling writers Hunter and Jeff decide to take the plunge and write an original musical in just three weeks time. The two soon discover that their conversation about what to write about is more interesting than anything else they have on the backburner. With the help of songstresses Susan and Heidi (and Larry on keys), the hilarious [title of show] quickly becomes a production about its own creation as two guys and their friends write a musical about writing a musical destined for Broadway and starring themselves!"

The musical that, according to a fan-favorite song in the show, would rather be nine people's favorite thing than 100 people's ninth favorite thing, played its final performance at the Lyceum Theatre Oct. 12, 2008. Following runs at the New York Musical Theatre Festival in 2004 and the Vineyard Theatre in 2006, the entire original cast — including co-creators Jeff Bowen (score) and Hunter Bell (book) as well as co-stars Susan Blackwell and Heidi Blickenstaff — made the leap to the Broadway stage. A Chorus Line's Michael Berresse, who helmed the acclaimed Off-Broadway run, also directed the Broadway version, which featured musical director-arranger Larry Pressgrove onstage playing the electric keyboard. The musical was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Book of a Musical (Bell). UPstairs stage at The Adrienne Theatre is located at 2030 Sansom Street in Philadelphia. Tickets are $25 for adults, $20 for seniors and $15 for students and are available by calling the Mauckingbird Theatre Company box office at (215) 923-8909 or online at www.mauckingbird.org.

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