Rat Poison Love: Wings Theatre, 6/10/10

21 06 2010

What happens when you have one month to skype collaborate on a new musical with a bookwriter/lyricist whom you have never met?  A zany 15-minute piece called Rat Poison Love.

I had my off-off-Broadway premiere June 10-13 at the Wings Theatre as part of the first annual West Village Musical Theatre Festival.  Teamed up with bookwriter/lyricist Melanie Weinstein, I crafted Rat Poison Love via skype, email, phone chats, and even the occasional text message lyric-writing session.  For me, the final product was uneven and highly awkward in places … to be incredibly self-critical … but somehow, it didn’t matter.  The show served its purpose as a showcase of my musical composition skills in NYC; hopefully it will be the first of many creative projects there!  But moreover, I flew into NYC on the first day of tech and was welcomed by a wonderfully enthusiastic production team.  They had been working tirelessly for the past several weeks to put this show together. It was lovely putting faces to the names I had been in e-mail correspondence with for so long, enjoying walks on the pier and happy hours with this dedicated and passionate team.  When the show actually opened, it brought together dozens of my friends – from childhood to college friends, Duke professors to life mentors like Manny Azenberg.  I don’t necessarily see a future for Rat Poison Love, but I do see a future for all the wonderful friends I reconnected with and the new friendships I established through the Festival.  And that makes the entire effort worthwhile.

Not to mention, we probably rocked the catchiest song of the entire Festival:

RAT POISON LOVE

Based on a True Story: In this high energy, rock and roll dark comedy, a man is unconsciously trying to kill his wife and daughter.  As the murder attempts escalate, their teen daughter is forced to take action and stop the madness. Can she cut through her parents’ thick cloud of denial and save her family?

Book and lyrics by Melanie Weinstein
Music and lyrics by Sarah Taylor Ellis

Director: Stanley Ralph III
Music Director: Jonathan Brenner
Cast: Lindsay Aster, David Perlman, and Colleen Slattery

Highlights on YouTube:
http://www.youtube.com/user/staylorellis#g/c/0AF55B9F6F2456CE

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