New Sam Carner-Derek Gregor Musical About Star-Crossed Lovers Is Unlock'd Off-Broadway, Starting June 16

By Michael Gioia
June 16, 2013

Jennifer Blood, Jillian Gottlieb, Sydney James Harcourt and A.J. Shively lead the cast of the Prospect Theater Company's Off-Broadway premiere of Unlock'd, the Richard Rodgers Award-winning musical by rising theatrical composers Sam Carner and Derek Gregor. Performances begin June 16, prior to an official opening June 27, at The Duke on 42nd Street.



Unlock'd, presented by special arrangement with Judy Loseff Lavin, is directed and choreographed by Marlo Hunter, who was the associate choreographer on Roundabout Theatre Company's Picnic and will also direct the upcoming workshop of Carner and Gregor's Island Song at the Balagan Theatre in Seattle.

The cast features Blood (Cole Porter's Nymph Errant, Yeast Nation), Gottlieb (The Awesome 80s Prom), Harcourt (The Lion King, American Idiot), Shively (La Cage aux Folles, February House), Maria Couch (Iron Curtain), Chris Gunn (The New Hopeville Comics), Adam Daveline, Catherine LeFrere (Once Upon a Time in New Jersey), Lukas Poost, Chandler Reeves, Emily Rogers and Hansel Tan (Rites of Passage).

The musical — described by the songwriting duo as "a 'Mean Girls' meets A Midsummer Night's Dream" — features a book and lyrics by Carner with music by Gregor. It was also the recipient of "Best of Fest" at the 2007 New York Musical Theatre Festival.

Here's how it's billed: "Clarissa is tired of living in the shadow of her flirtatious sister Belinda, the most adored woman in 18th century England. Wits sharpened and scissors in hand, Clarissa sets out to cut Belinda — and her glorious locks of hair — down to size... and to find a man of her own! Through an innovative score featuring electric guitar alongside harpsichord and strings, four star-crossed lovers and the mischievous spirits that surround them are each unwittingly 'unlocked' to their true feelings and identities."

Performances continue through July 13.

Carner and Gregor developed Unlock'd through workshops at Theatre Works (Palo Alto) and at the Ravinia Festival, as well as at the 2007 New York Musical Theatre Festival. Their new musical Island Song has been developed at Princeton University and Western Carolina University, and recently premiered in concert at (le) Poisson Rouge. Carner and Gregor also presented the concert Sing, But Don't Tell at NYMF 2009 and Buzzed, a 2010 concert with 12 cast members from the Broadway cast of Hair. Their short children's piece Love, Splat is slated for production in TheatreWorks/USA's The Teacher from the Black Lagoon. Read more about the songwriters in Playbill.com's Contemporary Musical Theatre Songwriters You Should Know.

A post-performance talkback with Carner and Gregor will be held following the June 19 performance.

Other members of the creative team include music supervisor Brad Haak, scenic designers Wilson Chin and David Arsenault, costume designer Amy Clark, lighting designer Cory Pattak and sound designer Kurt Fischer.

Prospect Theater Company is under the producing artistic direction of Cara Reichel and the managing direction of Melissa Huber.

The Duke on 42nd Street is located at 229 W. 42nd Street. A $20 ticket lottery is offered one hour prior to curtain. For more information and tickets, visit ProspectTheater.org.