Oedipus for Kids!, a new musical introducing Sophacles’ bloody tragedy to children, has announced the full cast for its run at the New York Musical Theatre Festival.
Performances will take place Sept. 12-25 at The Sage Theatre, 711 7th Avenue.
The cast includes Laura Jordan (In My Life), Gavin Lewis, and Reed Prescott (Wicked City Blues at the York Theatre).
Oedipus for Kids! revolves around three members of the Fuzzy Ducks Theatre Company, whose purpose is to bring the classics to children via theatre. Following their recently acclaimed productions Titus Andronicus Bakes a Cake and Uncle Tommy's Cabin, the artistic director has decided that this week's classic should be the Greek myth of Oedipus. As the children's production goes down into a Charybdis-like whirlpool of suck, the performers remain confounded by the question of how the hell you portray such a screwed up myth to elementary-schoolers. Songs include "A Little Complex" and "My Lover Is My Husband Is My Son". In other words, despite the title, this show is definitely not for kids.
The plot mirrors the authors' own dilemma: back in early January Kimberly Patterson posed a question to Gil Varod: "Do you want to write a children's musical?" Since both have a deep love for Greco-Roman culture, they decided to do an adaptation of a Greek Myth. But what to adapt? Hercules has been done. Medusa teaches a strange lesson. Most stories about the Greek Gods were too short, or too harsh. The Aeneid, Odyssey and everything Trojan was just too bloody. Then Gil says to Kim, "We should adapt Oedipus." Kimberly's horrified response, "But... you can't do Oedipus for Kids!" gave them their title. It was followed by an e-mail to Robert Saferstein, "you have 2 weeks to compose the first five songs to these lyrics. Go." For the full story behind the show, as well as a blog detailing the rehearsal process, visit www.oedipusforkids.com.
Lyricist Gil Varod is best known for the website broadwayabridged.com, a site featuring comedic “abridged” scripts of current Broadway Shows. Previous productions include Passing Aggressing at the Pearl Street Theatre Company and The Doctor Will See You Now Without Pants, or, Will My HMO Cover This? at the Tank. Gil wrote the book with Kimberly Patterson, who has worked in Off- and Off-Off Broadway theater for the past 10 years. Kimberly's plays were featured in the Midtown International Theatre Festival in 2005 and 2006, and she has produced shows for the Ice Factory and the New York Fringe Festival. The composer is Robert J. Saferstein, an accomplished multimedia artist who has been composing for years. He holds a BFA in Photography and Imaging from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts, and his work has been seen at the PooL Art Fair, the AAF Contemporary Art Fair, the School of Visual Arts, and New York University.
The creative team will be led by director Dan Fields, who is currently Associate Director of the Chicago national tour production of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. Off-Broadway work includes 21 Dog Years: Doing Time @ Amazon.com at the Cherry Lane Theatre, as well as many regional productions around the country. Jessica Redish will be the Choreographer; she most recently staged new work at the Flea Theatre. Gregory M. Brown (7 Brides for 7 Brothers at Goodspeed Opera House) will serve as Musical Director. The design team will be Scott Orlesky (Sets; credits include the 2004 national tour of The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas
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2006 New York Musical Theatre Festival website