PHOTO CALL: B.D. Wong, Estelle Parsons, Kelli O'Hara and More at Rated P for Parenthood Opening
By Matthew Blank
Rated P for Parenthood, the new Off-Broadway musical revue about the joys and quirks of having kids, opened Feb. 29 following previews from Feb. 8 at the Westside Theatre.
Courtney Balan ([title of show], Cry-Baby), Chris Hoch (La Cage Aux Folles, Shrek), David Josefsberg (The Wedding Singer, Grease!) and Joanna Young (The Drowsy Chaperone, Grease!) play singing mothers and fathers and others in the revue that seeks to emulate the success of I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change, which had a long run at the same venue.
Producers Andrew Asnes and Timothy Schmidt present the musical comedy with book and lyrics by Sandy Rustin (herself a veteran of I Love You, You're Perfect), music and lyrics by Dan Lipton & David Rossmer and direction by Jeremy Dobrish. The show had its world premiere, produced by Midtown Direct Rep, at the South Orange Performing Arts Center in New Jersey, where suburban audiences ate it up in May 2011.
According to the producers, "Rated P for Parenthood chronicles every stage of modern-day parenting, from conception to college, with giant doses of heart and humor. A versatile cast of four takes the audience through the ups and downs of childrearing — from the sublime to the ridiculous — in a series of comic and musical vignettes in under 90 minutes. A hilarious, fresh, and decidedly irreverent look at an age old topic, Rated P provides all the wistful joy of childrearing …at a fraction of the cost of braces!"
The creative team includes Rachel Bress (choreography), Steven Capone (scenic design), Emily DeAngelis (costume design), Michael Gottlieb (lighting design), Jill BC DuBoff and David Sanderson (sound design) and Cambra Overend (stage management).
Natalie Charle Ellis (9 to 5 national tour) and Spencer Moses (Guys and Dolls) are understudies.
Co-writer Rustin said in a statement, "Comedy greats will tell you to 'write what you know.' So when in a postpartum haze I accidentally sent a photo of my newborn son (and my own vagina) to everyone I know — naturally I wrote a show about it. This show is a quilt of parenting moments — the hilarious, the heartbreaking, and the humiliating — all based on real life moments from me, my family, and my friends. I am thrilled to share it with New York audiences."
Rustin is an actress and writer who appears regularly at The Upright Citizens Brigade in Gravid Water (named "Best Improv Show" by Time Out, New York). A graduate of Northwestern University, she is now the co-artistic director of Midtown Direct Rep.
Lipton & Rossmer are longtime collaborators who write both music and lyrics together. Their original musical comedy The Blonde Streak is currently in development at Broadway Across America. They are also working for Araca Group on adapting a bestselling memoir. Rossmer & Lipton's dramatic fairy tale notes to MariAnne has been workshopped at the NAMT Festival, New York Stage & Film and the O'Neill Center's NMTC conference, where the team received the Holof Award for their lyrics. Their form-bending musical satire Joe! has been seen at the Kennedy Center's Theater Lab, Chicago's Equity Library Theatre and the NAMT Festival in New York. Joe! is currently in development as a 3D movie musical. Other projects include a historical project with television writer Janis Hirsch, a futuristic musical with Kirsten Guenther and a show about B-movies with Wayne Rawley.
Westside Theatre is at 407 W. 43rd Street. Tickets are $89.50 and can be purchased through Telecharge.com or by calling (212) 239-6200.
Rated P for Parenthood plays the following schedule: Tuesday-Thursday at 7 PM, Wednesday and Saturday at 2:30 PM, Friday and Saturday at 8 PM and Sunday at 3 PM.
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