In This House, Reid & Schlesinger's New Musical, Gets World Concert Premiere

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04 Apr 2006

The creators of the Jeff Award-winning musical, The Ballad of Little Jo, have a new show dawning.

Melting Pot Theatre Company's "Preludes: New Musicals in Concert" will feature the world concert premiere of In This House, a new musical by Mike Reid (book and music) and Sarah Schlesinger (book and lyrics). Director Jonathan Bernstein is also a co-bookwriter of the show.

Broadway's George Lee Andrews, Mary Beth Peil and Charlie Pollock are among cast members for the April 26-28 presentation, to be seen at Peter Norton Symphony Space at Broadway and West 95th Street in Manhattan. Musical direction is by Andrew Wilder (Jersey Boys, Little Women).

"A young couple takes an unexpected journey when their car crashes into an old wall surrounding a deserted house on New Year's Eve," according to Melting Pot. "Through its powerful, melodic score, In This House communicates the challenges and joys of waking up and moving on, stone by stone."

Sean Patrick Flahaven, Melting Pot's managing director, said in a statement, "We've been developing the show for two years, including industry-only readings in early February. Mike and Sarah have done some wonderful rewrites since then. Now it's ready to be seen by the general public as well. It's that ideal show: an original book musical with relevance to audiences old and young. Mike's music is wonderful, melodic, contemporary musical theatre, melded perfectly with Sarah's poignant and funny lyrics. An added bonus is that it's easily producible: four actors, one set, 18 songs and 90 minutes long."



In This House is the kickoff event for Upper West Fest, a new initiative showcasing the arts of the Upper West Side of Manhattan. In addition to Symphony Space, other cultural institutions involved include the American Museum of Natural History, Columbia University, Lincoln Center, and the New York Historical Society.

Mike Reid and Sarah Schlesinger's musical, The Ballad of Little Jo, opened to rave reviews at the Bridewell Theatre in London in July 2003. Prior to its London run, the show was produced by Steppenwolf Theatre in Chicago as its first musical. Mike and Sarah have also collaborated on Different Fields, which was commissioned by the Metropolitan Opera Guild and Opera Memphis, and are currently writing the score for a new musical based on the life of Casanova. The team received the Kleban Award, the Richard Rodgers Award, a Gilman-Gonzalez Falla Theatre Foundation Award, and Chicago's Jeff Award for Best Original Musical.

Reid is a Grammy Award-winning songwriter with more than 30 Top-Ten pop and country hits recorded by many artists including Bonnie Raitt ("I Can't Make You Love Me"), Anita Baker, Kenny Rogers, Wynonna, Alabama, Willie Nelson, Joe Cocker, Bette Midler, and Tim McGraw.

George Lee Andrews is a veteran of Broadway's The Phantom of the Opera and A Little Night Music, Mary Beth Peil appeared recently in Broadway's Nine and TV's "Dawson's Creek" and Charlie Pollock's credits range from Carnival at Paper Mill Playhouse to Broadway's Urinetown.

Performances play April 26 at 8 PM, April 27 at 8 PM And April 28 at 8 PM. Tickets are $26.

Peter Norton Symphony Space (Leonard Nimoy Thalia Theatre) is at 2537 Broadway at West 95th St. in Manhattan. For more information, call the box office at (212) 864-5400 or visit www.SymphonySpace.org or visit www.meltingpottheatre.com.

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Preludes launched in spring 2004, and is billed as "a unique series of public concerts of new musicals that reflects MPTC's ongoing mission to develop and produce new American work." Past Preludes include Vanishing Point by Rob Hartmann and Liv Cummins, starring Alison Fraser, Emily Skinner and Barbara Walsh; and Striking 12 by Brendan Milburn, Rachel Sheinkin and Valerie Vigoda, starring the pop-rock trio GrooveLily. Striking 12 was recorded live, and the cast album is now available at PS Classics.com.

In late February 2005, MPTC presented Terezin by Peter Ullian, Joel Derfner and Len Schiff, starring Donna Vivino, David Hibbard, Stuart Zagnit and other Broadway performers.

Melting Pot Theatre Company creates, develops, and produces New York premieres of exceptional plays and musicals "that explore the themes, people, and events that shape the unique American experience."

Since 1997, MPTC has produced 15 critically acclaimed, award-winning Mainstage shows, including four world premieres and nine New York premieres. Past work includes Flight: The Rise & Fall of Charles Lindbergh, Cookin' at the Cookery, Miss Evers' Boys, Cobb and Woody Guthrie's American Song.