David Auburn, Stephen Oremus, Stephen Sondheim, Shaina Taub and More Set for City Center's Lobby Project Events

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05 May 2014

Stephen Sondheim
Stephen Sondheim

The Lobby Project, a series of free pre-show events presented in conjunction with the second season of New York City Center's Encores! Off-Center series, will be offered June 25-July 19.

The events, according to press notes, will "place each Off-Center musical in the context of its legacy and provide insightful explorations of the work the audience is about to experience."

Encores! Off-Center, which is under the artistic direction of Jeanine Tesori, will present tick, tick… BOOM! (June 25–28), Randy Newman's Faust: The Concert (July 1) and Pump Boys and Dinettes (July 16–19).

The Lobby Project events will take place 45 minutes before each curtain and are free for ticket holders. (There will not be a Lobby Project event before the July 1 performance of Randy Newman’s Faust.)

Details of The Lobby Project, according to City Center, follow:



June 25 - The Larson Family: In Conversation
When:  6:45 PM
Where: Grand Tier Lobby
What: Discussion
Who: Members of the Larson family with Jeanine Tesori

"tick… tick… BOOM! is unabashedly autobiographical, with its central character of Jon echoing so much of Jonathan Larson's life and quest to be heard. Jon’s sister and parents will discuss the rich details of Jonathan's life and his creation of tick… tick… BOOM!"

June 26 - Sondheim REMIX
When: 6:45 PM
Where: Grand Tier Lobby
What: Performance
Who: House/electronic/spoken word/rock/who-knows-what-else musicians… and Stephen Sondheim!

"Jonathan Larson was hugely influenced by the work of Stephen Sondheim, enough to use Sondheim's 'Sunday' (from Sunday in the Park with George) as the basis for an entire number in tick… tick… BOOM!. So we've issued a challenge to today's cutting-edge producers, house/electronic musicians, spoken word artists, and music makers of all styles: take any piece from Sondheim's Sunday in the Park With George and remix it. Make it yours. Sample it. Adapt it. Run with it. Winners will present their pieces for Mr. Sondheim himself."

For more information on how to submit remixes and to view current submissions, visit sondheimremix.blogspot.com.

June 27 - Witness Uganda
When:  7:15 PM
Where: Grand Tier Lobby
What: Performance and Discussion
Who: The creators and performers of Witness Uganda

"Following in the footsteps of Larson's RENT, Matt Gould and Griffin Matthews' Witness Uganda has been revolutionary in its power to harness theater to inspire social change. Coming off of its thrilling run at the American Repertory Theater, it was declared by the Huffington Post as 'destined to be a Broadway hit.' This event will feature a performance from Witness Uganda accompanied by the creators themselves. Gould and Matthews will also discuss the use of theater as an agent for change."

For more information, visit www.witnessuganda.com.

June 28 - In Conversation: David Auburn and Stephen Oremus
When: 1:15 PM
Where: Grand Tier Lobby
What: Discussion
Who: David Auburn, Stephen Oremus, and Jeanine Tesori

"When tick… tick… BOOM! opened Off-Broadway in 2001, it had been expanded from what Larson called a 'rock monologue' into a three-person show, with Jon, the composer figure, at its center. David Auburn (book writer) and Stephen Oremus (music director, orchestrator/vocal arranger) will discuss the expansion and development of the piece, both conceptually and musically."

June 28 - 54 Below Meets 55 Above: Rare Jonathan Larson Works in Concert
When: 7:15 PM
Where: Grand Tier Lobby
What: Performance of rare Larson works
Who: 54 Below's incredible talent

"From Superbia to Sacred Cows to Saved! - An Immoral Musical on the Moral Majority, there is a lot of Larson work out there that hasn't gotten nearly the same exposure as RENT or tick… tick… BOOM!. This concert event will feature selections of Larson's rarely heard work, curated by Jennifer Tepper (programming director of 54 Below) and performed by some of Broadway's best talent."

July 16 - Pump Boys and Dinettes: Original Cast Jam
When: 6:45 PM
Where: Grand Tier Lobby
What: Stories and jam session!
Who: The original Pump Boys and Dinettes

"The original performer/creators of Pump Boys and Dinettes reunite to make music together once more. They'll play some tunes, share some stories, and trace the path of Pump Boys from the home-grown, rowdy downtown music club scene of the early 1980's to the widely performed hit it is today."

July 17 - The Off-Center Young Artists' Mentorship
When:  6:45 PM
Where: Grand Tier Lobby
What: Performance and discussion
Who: Three inspiring young students and a special guest mentor!

"Inspired by the 2014 Off-Center season's focus on shows that place writers at the center of their own work, this new mentorship program helps young writers on a quest to find their own voices. Through the Future Project and the Directory for Contemporary Musical Theatre Writers, we have selected three teams of young artists from urban schools to be mentored by professional theater composers. At this event, the student writers will present their final projects: a piece of music-theater inspired by their lives growing up in the city."

For more information on the participating organizations, visit www.futureproject.org and www.contemporarymusicaltheatre.com.

July 18 - [title of show]
When: 7:15 PM
Where: Grand Tier Lobby
What: Performance, discussion, and shenanigans
Who: The creators of [title of show]

"The creators of [title of show] took a parallel path to that of the Pump Boys and Dinettes team: when the right work isn't coming your way, make the work yourself. The original performers and writers of [title of show] will let us in on their process of creation and will perform selections from their hilarious, bitingly honest and wholly original piece of musical theater."

July 19 - Teeny Pies
When:  1:15 PM
Where: Grand Tier Lobby
What: discussion and pie!
Who: Teeny Lamothe

"Two years ago, author Teeny Lamothe quit her day job and dropped everything to do a tour of female-owned pie shops and diners across the United States. After learning recipe after recipe along the way, Teeny has compiled them all into a pie cookbook that details her cross-country experience. At this event, Teeny will lead a tasting of some of her signature pies and will share the pivotal experiences of her coast-to-coast pie saga."

For more information on Teeny and her story, visit http://teenypies.com.

July 19 - Shaina Taub’s Song Forum
When: 7:15 PM
Where: Grand Tier Lobby
What: Song Forum
Who: Shaina Taub and friends

"For the past five years, some of New York’s best singer/songwriters have gathered in a homey living room in Crown Heights, bringing guitars, ukuleles, and their latest music to share with their peers. That living room, and the Song Forum movement, belongs to a woman named Shaina Taub, winner of the 2014 Larson Grant and company member of Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812. This event will see Shaina transform the Grand Tier Lobby into her living room, recreating the intimate and heart-on-your-sleeve energy of the Song Forum to share with the world. Come prepared to sing along."

All Lobby Project events are free and available to Encores! Off-Center ticket holders. Tickets for all Encores! Off-Center productions start at $25 and can be purchased online at www.NYCityCenter.org, by calling (212) 581-1212, or at the City Center Box Office (West 55th Street between 6th and 7th Avenues).