Opel Directs Reading of New Musical, Homework, With Lenox, Mayes, Larsen, Thoms and Bodnar

News   Opel Directs Reading of New Musical, Homework, With Lenox, Mayes, Larsen, Thoms and Bodnar
Homework, a new musical with book by Pam Lobley, music and lyrics by Tina deVaron and direction by Broadway's Nancy Opel, gets an industry presentation 4 PM June 29 in Manhattan.
Nancy Opel will direct the new musical reading of Homework.
Nancy Opel will direct the new musical reading of Homework.

The reading cast includes Tony Award winner Adriane Lenox (Doubt, Kiss Me, Kate), Sally Mayes (Closer Than Ever), Liz Larsen (Little by Little, The Most Happy Fella), Tracie Thoms (the film "Rent") and Amy Bodnar (Oklahoma!, Ragtime, Walnut Street Theatre's Annie Warbucks).

The musical follows five different moms through a school year, Lobley told Playbill.com. "It's about the work that gets done at home," she said.

The show was inspired by a collection of parenting and motherhood songs written by deVaron. She has also penned new songs for Homework.

Director Nancy Opel is best known as an actress who was Tony Award nominated for her role in Urinetown. She most recently starred in the Broadway revival of Fiddler on the Roof, as the Matchmaker.

Jonathan Smith is musical director and arranger. Librettist Pam Lobley started her career as a comic actress and has performed her material at clubs and theatres all over New York City including Carolines, West Bank Café, Stand Up New York and the Houseman Theatre. She served as a writer and performer in "KnitWits", a short film that opened the 1997 New York Film Festival. Her plays have been presented at various theatres around the country and her work has also been represented on NPR and "Sesame Street." She writes humorous commentary that has appeared in the New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, among other national newspapers, and is a regular columnist in The Bergen Record. She co-authored a book with C.K. Steefel entitled "You Definitely Know You're a Mom When …"

Composer-lyricist Tina deVaron grew up in Cambridge, Massachusetts, but began her musical career while an undergrad at Princeton University, as an opening act for Tom Waits at the Ivy Club. Moving to New York after graduation, she played Cole Porter's piano nightly at the Waldorf for six years, where her fans included Frank Sinatra (with whom she sang an impromptu duet). While developing a working repertoire of over 2,000 standards, deVaron had two sons, who inspired her to start writing her own songs.

Within a few years, she first major label cover, "Adore You," sung by Grammy-nominated Anointed, reached No. 1 on the Gospel charts. In July 2004, her song "If I Close My Eyes" reached No. 2 on Dance Radio charts. DeVaron also started her own record label and released her first singer/songwriter album of original motherhood songs, "If Mama Ain't Happy."

Recently, deVaron released "Water Over Stones," an album of 14 original songs about motherhood, raising teens, and grown-up love.

She lives in New York City with her husband, author Peter Lerangis, and their two sons, Nicholas and Joseph. She tickles the ivories at the Carlyle Hotel during tea.

Members of the producing community can RSVP at (212) 586-4978.

The presentation is at Ripley-Grier Studios, 520 Eighth Avenue, 16th Floor.

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