Jay Armstrong Johnson, Ben Fankhauser, Will Erat and More Are Outlaws at Jan. 23 Industry Reading

By Michael Gioia
January 23, 2014

Alexander Sage Oyen and James Presson's Outlaws, a new Americana-infused musical inspired by the rise and fall of infamous outlaw, robber and murderer Jesse James, is given a private industry reading Jan. 23. Jay Armstrong Johnson and Ben Fankhauser are among the cast.



Featuring music and lyrics by Oyen (Moment by Moment) and a book by Presson (Richard 3), Outlaws is directed by Noah Himmelstein (I Am Harvey Milk, Loving Leo).

The cast features Darren Bluestone (Avenue Q), Haley Bond (Irish Rep's It's a Wonderful Life), Will Erat (Little Miss Sunshine, Catch Me if You Can), Fankhauser (Newsies), Dan Housek, Johnson (Hands on a Hardbody, Hair), Michael McCorry Rose (Wicked), Monet Julia Sabel, Lois Sage and RJ Vaillancourt.

Here's how the new musical is described: "Frustrated with Washington and hard-up for cash, Jesse and his brother Frank take matters into their own hands robbing banks, courting the press, and killing anyone who gets in their way. Alternating between sprawling epic and intimate family drama, the musical examines the blurred lines between hero and villain, bravery and recklessness, and man and god."

Outlaws features music direction by Benjamin Rauhala.

Other members of the creative team include stage managers Melanie T. Morgan and Andrea Jess Berkey, producer Zach Zamchick, general manager Evan Bernardin and associate producer Blayze Teicher.

Outlaws has been selected for the 2014 ASCAP Workshop. Oyen and Presson are recipients of the 2013/14 Dramatists Guild Fellowship.

Songwriter Oyen is the author of Moment by Moment, which was recently seen at 54 Below in 2013 and will have its international premiere in February 2014. His other projects include Sidekicks, which was seen as part of the NYMF 2012 Reading Series, and A Night Like This, which was produced at Florida State University and Princeton University. He can be heard on Scott Alan's "Live" album and was seen on VH1's "In Search of the Partridge Family." His albums include "Drafts" and "If I Knew Better."