New Musical, Up in the Air, Gets BMI Master Class With Ahrens and Flaherty

News   New Musical, Up in the Air, Gets BMI Master Class With Ahrens and Flaherty The new musical, Up in the Air, in which the audience can control the plot's twists, received a public reading in Manhattan April 7 via the Musical Mondays Theater Lab and will be part of an upcoming BMI master class.

Penned by collaborators Warren Loy and Chris Todd, who share book and music credit, with Loy penning lyrics, the show focuses on a young inventor (played in the MMTL reading by Ken Barnett) who must decide between the woman of his dreams (Erika Lynn Rominger) or a million dollars. Audience members interact with the cast and determine the direction of the plot.

Bick Goss, producing director of Musical Mondays, a project of the Broadway Theater Institute, directed. This was the first public reading of the show outside the BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theater Workshop.

Two characters, the Impresario (played by Ed Romanoff) and the Dramaturg (played by Tracey Moore) manipulate the action of the show. Also in the cast were Jamison Stern as the inventor's buddy, Sally Ann Swarm, Colin Liander, Steve Sterner, Marnie Baumer and Mateja Govich. Musical director is Eugene Gwozdz.

Todd and Loy created a rock musical called Fantastic Alice, which had a staging in their native Oklahoma. Both writers are members of the BMI-Lehman Engel Musical Theater Workshop, where Up in the Air and Fantastic Alice were seen in pieces. Up in the Air was recently chosen to be part of an April 22 master class at BMI to be taught by BMI workshop alumni Lynn Ahrens and Steven Flaherty (Ragtime, Once on this Island, A Man of No Importance, Sessical, My Favorite Year). The other master class musical chosen was part of Musical Mondays' fall 2002 season: Absolutely Anything, a free adaptation of Sheridan's The Rivals, by Brian Cimmet and Erich Goldstein.

Warren Loy told Playbill On-Line he and Todd are aiming to present Up in the Air in another public reading later in 2003. For information about Musical Mondays, call (212) 956 5481 ext. 203. Managing director of MMTL is Frank Evans; artistic director is Gwen Arment; consulting producer is Mary Ellen Ashley.