Julia Murney, Tituss Burgess, Steffanie Leigh and More Join Contemporary Musical Theatre Songwriters You Should Know LIVE!

By Adam Hetrick
03 Jan 2014

Julia Murney
Julia Murney

Drama Desk nominee Julia Murney (Wicked, The Wild Party, Falling); Tituss Burgess, last seen on Broadway in Guys and Dolls; and Steffanie Leigh, who starred in Broadway's Mary Poppins, are among the performers set for The Contemporary Musical Theatre Songwriters You Should Know: LIVE!, a concert featuring rising musical theatre songwriters that is based on the Playbill.com article of the same name, Jan. 27 at Manhattan nightspot 54 Below.

Hosted by Playbill staff writer Michael Gioia, author of the ongoing column that premiered on Playbill.com in October 2012, concerts — in which each songwriter or composing team will debut a world-premiere song — will be offered at 7 PM and 9:30 PM.

Performers include Murney (Lennon, Wicked), Burgess (Guys and Dolls, The Little Mermaid, Jersey Boys), Leigh (Mary Poppins), F. Michael Haynie (Wicked, Dogfight), Preston Sadleir (Next to Normal) and Michael Deleget (Goodspeed's Camelot), among others.

Additional performers will be announced at a later date.



Directed by Brandon Ivie (assistant director of Broadway's First Date, A Christmas Story) with music direction by Benjamin Rauhala (Pippin), the concerts will feature new music from all writers (yet to make their Broadway songwriting debuts) featured in Part One and Part Two of the column. They include Kait Kerrigan and Brian Lowdermilk, Scott Alan, Katie Thompson, Michael Kooman and Christopher Dimond, Deborah Abramson, Will Van Dyke, Sam Carner and Derek Gregor, Ryan Scott Oliver, Adam Gwon, Drew Gasparini, Joe Iconis and Jonathan Reid Gealt.

Here's how 54 Below bills The Contemporary Musical Theatre Songwriters You Should Know: LIVE!: "The pages of Playbill.com come to life in The Contemporary Musical Theatre Songwriters You Should Know: LIVE!, based on the series of the same name by Playbill staff writer Michael Gioia. Join a handful of the contemporary songwriters who are making noise in New York City's theatre district as they offer world-premiere songs performed by Broadway’s best. At 54 Below, audiences will learn about the new sound that is making waves in Broadway's underground before it surfaces on the Great White Way."

Gioia will also produce, and Rochel Saks will stage manage. Proceeds from the evening will be donated to The Jonathan Larson Grants Fund at the American Theatre Wing.

For Part One of the Playbill.com article The Contemporary Musical Theatre Songwriters You Should Know, click here. For Part Two, click here. A third part of the series will premiere following the 54 Below concert. 

54 Below is located at 254 W. 54th Street. For more information and tickets, visit 54Below.com.