The six-day, seven-performance New York City engagement — timed for the days leading to New Year's Eve, which is the setting of the musical — includes two shows (on Dec. 30) at which high-definition cameras will be rolling in order to capture the experience for a future film release.
"Our friend Erik Bryan Slavin will be shooting in hi def," Valerie Vigoda, the show's co-writer and one-third of GrooveLily, told Playbill.com. "The grand idea is to start by shooting the show, and we hope to use that as the basis for an ambitious film concept — and we may also edit it together (or parts of it) for live DVD release. We just didn't want to let this year go by without filming the concert version."
Composed of vocalist Vigoda on electric violin, vocalist Gene Lewin on drums and vocalist Brendan Milburn on keyboards, GrooveLily is the pop trio known for its infectious melodies and story-rich lyrics — and its ability to draw on eclectic musical styles (rock, folk, jazz, pop and theatre) to create its own sound.
Part pop concert, part story theatre, part meta-musical, Striking 12 has a cult following due to its live concert cast recording on the PS Classics label, and earlier Manhattan and regional bookings, including an Off-Broadway run in 2006.
The holiday-themed show centers on a handful of urban lost-souls — modern and 19th-century — on New Year's Eve. Hans Christian Andersen's "The Little Match Girl" is a central spark in the tale, which tugs at a traditionalist's heart but also prompts laughter from the most jaded of hipsters. The collaborators are Tony Award winner Rachel Sheinkin (book), Brendan Milburn (book, music, lyrics) and Valerie Vigoda (book, music, lyrics). The tale is told and sung by GrooveLily's Milburn (keyboards), Vigoda (electric violin) and drummer Gene Lewin.
Here's how the Zipper bills it: "Combining pop-rock, musical comedy and old-fashioned uplift with a healthy dose of 21st-century skepticism, Striking 12 is the story of a Grumpy Guy who decides to avoid the hectic, loveless world on New Year's Eve, until he’s visited by an incandescent salesgirl with the promise to chase away his winter doldrums."
In a special arrangement with PS Classics, the creative team will offer Striking 12 theatregoers a free sneak-preview download of two tracks from Milburn and Vigoda's upcoming Sleeping Beauty Wakes recording. The only way to obtain the free tracks from that new musical is to attend one of the seven Striking 12 performances at the Zipper, receive a program, and follow the instructions on the back of the program.
Sheinkin wrote the book to The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (winning a Tony for her work) and the book to the new Little House on the Prairie musical.
Milburn and Vigoda's new musical, Long Story Short, premiered at Pittsburgh's City Theatre and TheatreWorks in Palo Alto, CA, this fall.
Vigoda and Milburn are the winners of a 2006 Jonathan Larson Performing Arts Foundation Award for Excellence in Writing for the Theater.
Striking 12 was nominated for a 2007 Lucille Lortel Award For Outstanding Off-Broadway Musical.
The Striking 12 script and score are also available in a larger-cast "theatrical" version that does not rely on multi-tasking pop singers, though critics have embraced GrooveLily's approach; their less-is-more storytelling stimulates the imagination.
The Zipper Factory Theater is located at 336 West 37th Street.
Striking 12 will play the following schedule: Friday, Dec. 26 at 8 PM; Saturday, Dec. 27 at 3 & 8 PM; Monday, Dec. 29 at 8 PM; Tuesday, Dec. 30 at 3 & 8 PM; and Wednesday, Dec. 31 at 8 PM.
Tickets for Striking 12 are $35 and are available in advance by phone at (212) 352-3101 or online at www.thezipperfactory.com.
For more information visit www.groovelily.com.
For information about the earlier live concert recording of Striking 12, on the PS Classics label, visit www.psclassics.com.