Playbill Video Debuts New Series "Hot Off the Ivories," Collection of Contemporary Musical Theatre Songs

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27 Mar 2013

Ben Fankhauser
Ben Fankhauser

"Hot Off the Ivories," a new music video series featuring the work of contemporary musical theatre songwriters performed by Broadway talent, debuts on Playbill Video March 27. Newsies' Ben Fankhauser and Spring Awakening's Blake Daniel kick off the series with "Great, Cool."

Created by rising theatrical songwriter Joey Contreras — whose rock musical All the Kids are Doing It (written with Kate Thomas), about a girl's tumultuous college experience, receives a workshop staging at NYU March 28-31 — the series strives to present new material in a sleek, intimate format, à la MTV-style music videos.

"We are capturing stories with these songs," Contreras told Playbill.com. "I want the heart, the soul, the vulnerability, the nuances of these emotions expressed through each video, and I think we'll be able to catch that magic — especially with the talent we'll be working with!"

"Great, Cool," a stand-alone song written by Contreras — and the first in the series — is about two young males (Fankhauser and Daniel) who are struggling with the "path taken," and if the career choices they made were best for their relationship.

"Exposure and online presence is key for any new musical theatre writer, but it's also important to premiere their work in the best way possible," said Contreras on creating "Hot Off the Ivories." Videography and editing is by Micah Joel with additional camera work by Shoshana Feinstein.



Contreras' original compositions and arrangements have been featured in NYC venues including Joe's Pub, Lincoln Center, (le) Poisson Rouge, the Laurie Beechman Theater, The Duplex and multiple Broadway in South Africa galas at the Manhattan Center. Contreras, the recipient of the 2010 ASCAP Foundation Max Dreyfus Scholarship Award, also wrote the music and lyrics for the musical This Thing Called Love as well as his debut album "Love Me, Love Me Not: The Music of Joey Contreras."

For more on contemporary songwriters, check out Part One and Part Two of Playbill.com's Contemporary Musical Theatre Songwriters You Should Know.

Watch "Great, Cool":