Playbill, Theatermania and BroadwayWorld.com: “Ali Ewoldt, Adam Kantor Set for ‘Pace Musical Theatre Sings: The Music of Carner & Gregor'”

A must-see concert for new musical theatre lovers. “Pace Musical Theatre Sings: The Music of Carner & Gregor” is a showcase of the work of songwriters Sam Carner and Derek Gregor featuring Dyson performing arts students from the Class of 2015.

Pace Musical Theatre Sings: The Music of Carner & Gregor, a showcase of the work of Sam Carner & Derek Gregor by Pace University students, will be presented at the Laurie Beechman Theatre on March 19 at 7pm noted three of the top entertainment trade publications – BroadwayWorld.comTheatermania and Playbill.

Carner & Gregor are a musical composing duo on the rise, who take great interest in working with college students. In the style of their Barely Legal Extravaganza concert series, they present nine fresh faces – Devin Lewis, Jeff Heimbrock, Tory Ramirez, Michael Hughes, Andrey Patino, Ebeth Engquist, Chandler Reeves, Samantha Grossman, and Tatiana Lofton who are new to the New York City cabaret scene  – in this exciting concert showcasing their work.

Hosted by composers Sam Carner and Derek Gregor with special guest singers Ali Ewoldt and Adam Kantor

The Laurie Beechman Theatre is located at 407 West 42nd Street. Tickets are priced $15 and there is a $15 food drink minimum. For reservations visit www.westbankcafe.com/beechman_theatre.html or call 212-695-6909.

The New York Times, Theater Review: “A Family’s Songs of Love and Loss, ‘Myths and Hymns,’ Directed by Elizabeth Lucas”

Performing Arts students Donell James Foreman ’12, Matthew Farcher ’12 (pictured), Pace alumna Ally Bonino ’11 and Performing Arts Assistant Professor Robert Meffe are getting major accolades for their work in “Myths and Hymns.”

Chief Theater Writer Charles Isherwood’s review of “Myths and Hymns” appeared on the front page of The New York Times “TheArts” section on February 9 and included accolades for several members of the Pace Performing Arts community – Donell James Foreman (BFA ’12), Matthew Farcher (BFA ’12), Pace alumna Ally Bonino (BFA ’11) and Performing Arts Assistant Professor Robert Meffe.
 
HIGHLIGHTS FROM ISHERWOOD’S THEATER REVIEW:
 
As the original title indicates, it’s a musically eclectic collection of songs that alternates between adaptations of 19th-century hymns and classic myths with contemporary lyrics supplied (mostly) by Mr. Guettel (best known for his Broadway musical “The Light in the Piazza”). Ms. Lucas has shown judicious taste in supplying only minimal dialogue for the new version: the songs remain the focus of the show, expertly performed by a five-member band in spare orchestrations by Bruce Coughlin and Robert Meffe and sung with bright fervor by a six talented singers.
 
Over a simple, lilting music-box melody Ms. Larsen laments the disappearance of yet another lover. (They are all played by the fine tenor Matthew Farcher – pictured)
 
Myths and Hymns

Music and lyrics by Adam Guettel, with new narrative by Elizabeth Lucas; directed by Ms. Lucas; choreography by Wendy Seyb; music supervisor, Robert Meffe; sets by Ann Bartek; costumes by Emily Morgan DeAngelis; lighting by Herrick Goldman; sound by Janie Bullard; musical director, Katya Stanislavskaya; stage manager, Kristine Ayers. Presented by Prospect Theater Company, Cara Reichel, producing artistic director; Melissa Huber, managing director. At the West End Theater, Church of St. Paul and St. Andrew, 263 West 86th Street, Manhattan; (212) 352-3101; prospecttheater.org. Through Feb. 26. Running time: 1 hour 20 minutes.

WITH: Linda Balgord (Woman), Ally Bonino (Trickster), Matthew Farcher (Lover), Donell James Foreman (Shapeshifter), Anika Larsen (Daughter), Lucas Steele (Son) and Bob Stillman (Husband).

Cincinnati.com: “Loveland actor – and Pace Musical Theater Major – works his way onto ‘CSI'”

Beau Cybulski, a musical theater major at Pace University’s campus in New York City, made his TV debut on “CSI: Miami” Sunday, January 29.

Beau Cybulski didn’t mind eating Domino’s pizza on Thanksgiving, because he was in Los Angeles to make his national TV debut on “CSI: Miami,” airing tonight.

“They flew me out there,” Cybulski told writer Chuck Gibson of the Loveland Herald weekly. “I actually got to go sit on set all day. I got to get a feel for everything and learn how everything works on set. It was really, really cool.”

The 2010 Loveland High School graduate, now a musical theater major at Pace University in New York, plays Cameron Locke, the son of the murdered skydiver on the show (10 p.m. today, Channel 12).

Last year, Cybulksi contacted the show, which is produced by Loveland High School graduate Ann Donahue.

He sent producers a video audition, but was told they “wanted someone older,” said Cybulski.

The young actor came home this weekend for his 20th birthday Friday to watch the show with his family.

“Three weeks later they actually sent over another part,” he said. “It was more specific for me, my age and my type. That one I ended up getting.”

CBS’ description for the “Terminal Velocity” episode simply says:

“When a skydiver is murdered, the CSIs discover that he has more than 100 children and all of them are suspects.”

In high school, Cybulski starred in “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” sang with Loveland Show Choirs and performed in “Don’t Stop the Music” at King’s Island.

BroadwayWorld.com: “Photo Flash – Pace New Musicals Presents Zoe Sarnak’s A LASTING IMPRESSION”

The Pace New Musicals Program was developed in 2007 to nurture the creation of new musical theater in New York City, while at the same time providing an invaluable educational opportunity for students to work directly with top professionals in the field. Perhaps most importantly, the program allows students to experiment with new, untested works without precedent-setting productions, a rare opportunity in theater education.

In “A Lasting Impression,” each of the three lead characters chose their own artistic medium – book, music or visual design – to express one shared story, reports BroadwayWorld.com

Josh Weinstein, a once guarded journalist, acts as the play’s narrator, using old taped interviews and pictures to guide us through his memory of his two sisters. Kali Blanche, a manic musician, is the piece’s composer, moving in and out of “her” band as the story unfolds. Simone Blanche, a young painter, controls the evolution of what begins as a blank set, and comes to life through the addition of her visual art.

“A Lasting Impression” is about impressions that we make through love, on those close to us, and through art, on those we may never meet.

The eight Pace Musical Theater students who will be bringing “A Lasting Impression” to life without costumes or scenery are (in alphabetical order, with hometown and their character roles):

Aaron Albert (Los Angeles, CA) as Josh Weinstein
Bethany Jeffery (Cincinnati, OH) as Mother
Taylor Noble (Glastonbury, CT) as Kali Blanche
Danny Quadrino (East Rockaway, NY) as Josh Understudy
Krista Pioppi (Succasunna, NY) as Kali’s Band
Cailan Rose (Sarasota, FL) as Simone Blanche
Kevin Shotwell (Wilmington, DE) as Franklin
Emily Thomas (Pittsburgh, PA) as Kali’s Band

The actors will be supported by Alex James (Schwenksville, PA) as Stage Manager and Dylan Bustamante (Babylon, NY) as Assistant Director.

 

Naples Daily News: “Whitney Winfield soaring in ‘Next Broadway Star’ contest (vote for her!)”

Musical Theater Senior Whitney Winfield has been performing onstage since the age of 8 and has never given up on her dream of being on Broadway. She has sung in countless competitions, in addition to performing in more than 40 musicals and plays. The Pace Community can give Whitney a chance to make her goal a reality by voting for her video on the Broadway.tv website. (http://j.mp/ndnwhitney). Only Facebook Likes on the Broadway.tv website count as votes for Whitney, not Likes on YouTube.

A  musical theater major from Naples, FL, Whitney Winfield, has been making her Broadway dreams fly in the Big Apple, hurtling into the semifinals of Broadway.tv’s “Next Broadway Star” talent competition. Fans can help her win by voting for her video by “Liking” it at the Broadway.tv website. (http://www.broadway.tv/blog/broadway-blog/next-broadway-star-semifinalist-whitney-winfield/).

Naples Daily News:

“The contest has been a platform for publicizing my career,” Winfield said. “Winning the Next Broadway Star could help bring me more opportunities to audition, make more industry connections, add more videos to my portfolio on YouTube … and not to mention the $5,000 prize to help me pay off student loans.”

The Next Broadway Star” contestants compete in a series of four monthly contests at the 42nd Street McDonald’s store, the chain’s highest-grossing hamburger shop in the world.

“We perform on a balcony to a crowd below where the judges are also sitting,” Winfield said. “It is an interesting experience performing for strangers who have just come to McDonald’s to have a meal. However, much to their surprise and delight, they also get a ‘show.'”

At each performance, contestants are judged on vocal ability, energy, and stage persona. In addition to the exposure generated by the contest, the winner will receive a cash prize of $5,000 and a chance to audition for some of Broadway’s most prestigious casting directors and producers.

“The competition is strong,” Winfield said. “We get little rehearsal time and we don’t see each other’s material until an hour before the competition begins, which puts the pressure on at the very last moment.”

Winfield powered through the quarterfinals with “Gimme Gimme” from “Thoroughly Modern Millie” and rolled out rocking Dixie Chicks anthem “Sin Wagon” (complete with boots and form-fitting, off the shoulder black minidress) for the semifinals.

“I wanted to do the Dixie Chicks​ song because it’s fun,” Winfield said. “I can do many different styles, based on my background and training, and I want to share that in this competition, as well as on the Internet.

Winfield does indeed have a solid background in country music; she used to perform in country karaoke competitions in Naples and even recorded a short demo CD, which she said her father still “cherishes and will share with anyone who’s interested.”

The judges loved the sexy, country-inspired turn.

Winfield also admitted to banking on strategy in tackling the country number after picking a solid Broadway tune for her first performance.

“The more variety the better in this contest because that is what Broadway today is all about,” she said. “You really need to be able to perform any style asked of you.”

Winfield has been performing since she was 8 – and always knew she wanted to be a performer. Her first role was Besse Mae Mucho in “Aladdin McFaddin,” a children’s theater version of the Disney movie.

“My favorite part of the whole experience was the costume that I got to wear,” Winfield said. “It was a sort of harem girl’s garb, flowing and baring my midriff!”

Neapolitan audiences will remember the songstress from starring roles Naples Players productions such as “Beauty and the Beast” in 2007 and “Thoroughly Modern Millie” in 2009, plus “No, No, Nanette” at TheatreZone in January.

Winfield roared into the semifinals with a little help from her friends. Viewers can vote for their favorite contestants online via Facebook, YouTube and Broadway.tv – and Winfield called in the troops from back home. Family, friends and fellow performers – anyone with a Facebook account – helped the young warbler total up 355 “Likes” and earn her the designation as a co-favorite in the competition.

“I have been blessed with a great support system whom I have called upon to aid me in gaining votes for the contest,” Winfield said. “I am so lucky to have people who believe in me as much as they do.”

Now, she’s out to repeat the success.

Winfield left Naples at the age of 15 to attend Interlochen Arts Academy, a prestigious boarding school for the performing arts in Michigan. She’s in her senior year at Pace University in New York City, pursuing a musical theatre degree.

Right now, Winfield is staying busy. She’s working at New York cupcake shop Baked By Melissa, going to school full-time, preparing for winter finals, graduation, senior showcase and gearing up for winter and spring musical auditions. All this, plus the contest.

“There is a lot in the cooker right now,” she said, “and it is a lot to balance, but I find that I work at my best when I am busy and under pressure.”

While the future looms – and hasn’t been written yet, the talented young singer and actress is ready for it.

“In May, I will be a college graduate and I’ll go out in to the world, auditioning and performing,” Winfield said. “I am so excited for what the future holds.”

Neapolitan Whitney Winfield determined to be the ‘Next Broadway Star’ » Naples Daily News.

NEWS RELEASE: Pace University’s Dyson College of Arts and Sciences Names Theatrical Innovator Jorge Luis Cacheiro as New Chair of its Performing Arts Department

Jorge Luis Cacheiro — a visionary director and university performing arts leader with deep roots to the New York and international theater communities — has been appointed the new Chair of Dyson College of Arts and Science’s Performing Arts Department at Pace University.

Pace Media Contact: Samuella Becker, sbecker2@pace.edu, 212-346-1637 or 917-734-5172

Pace University’s Dyson College of Arts and Sciences Names Theatrical Innovator Jorge Luis Cacheiro as New Chair of its Performing Arts Department

NEW YORK, October 10, 2011 — Jorge Luis Cacheiro — a visionary director and university performing arts leader with deep roots to the New York and international theater communities — has been appointed the new Chair of Dyson College of Arts and Science’s Performing Arts Department (PAD) at Pace University, effective September 5, 2011. PAD houses the College’s undergraduate performing arts programs, which complement the College’s graduate programs, housed in the renowned Actors Studio Drama School. Cacheiro succeeds Ruis Woertendyke, who becomes Associate Chair after six years at the helm of Pace’s Performing Arts faculty.

Cacheiro joins Pace from Montclair State University, where he was the founder and first director of the New Works Initiative (NWI), which is dedicated to developing new work for the American theater and dance world. A graduate of the Yale School of Drama, during the past two decades Cacheiro has also headed MFA Professional Director Training Programs at Ohio University in Athens, the University of Southern California in Los Angeles and the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville.  Considered one of the country’s leading acting teachers, Cacheiro has taught Master classes at UCLA, Cal Arts, Princeton and the University of Iowa, as well as run his own studio in Los Angeles.

“We are extremely fortunate to have someone of Jorge’s caliber as the leader of our rapidly growing performing arts department, which has attracted nearly 400 declared majors from all over the country,” said Nira Herrmann, PhD. Dean, Dyson College of Arts and Sciences.  “The department’s growth has been carefully managed to provide each major with personalized attention within the different areas: BFA in Acting; BFA in Musical Theater; and BA in Theater Arts with tracks in Acting, Directing, Design/Technical Theater and the track in Commercial Dance.  We look forward to the new programs and perspectives that Jorge brings to this exciting department.”

From my very first visit on Pace’s campus, I sensed an immense energy from students, faculty and administration alike,” said Cacheiro. “There is an undeniable united goal to make PAD one of the nation’s leading professional training programs.  I am confident that with the support of our outstanding faculty, we will succeed.”

In choosing Cacheiro, PAD has gotten a scholar/artist with a keen entrepreneurial vision of present-day education.  According to Cacheiro, “We are in the business of education. This is our contemporary reality. I am very comfortable in both of these worlds. The cross section between the university world and the larger industry is still being defined.  I believe it offers immense opportunities in the training and career prospects of young artists and creative thinkers.”

Cacheiro plans to immediately introduce a New Work Initiative similar to one he created at Montclair State University.  This would complement the Pace New Musicals program.  “The two programs will help imprint Pace’s Performing Arts Department as an important incubator of new American performance work, a place where major professional artists — writers, composers, choreographers — can draft and develop work in a safe environment,” elaborated Cacheiro. “For our students to take part in the process as performers is an invaluable training and networking opportunity.  We want to nurture work at Pace from the development phase hopefully all the way to a world premiere.”

Cacheiro has long harbored a passion for new works.  Under his direction, plays by such prominent playwrights as Harry Kondoleon, David Lindsay-Abaire, Eduardo Machado and Luis Santeiro have premiered in theaters ranging from New York Theater Workshop, Circle Repertory and INTAR in New York to Echo Theater in Los Angeles to the Magic Theater in San Francisco. He has also been a guest director at the O’Neil Theater Conference and the Ojai Playwrights Conferences.  His original projects have been funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, TCG, the New York State Arts Council, the Andrew Mellon Foundation, Goethe House and the Spanish Embassy among others.  Cacheiro is a former Circle Rep Lab member and Princess Grace Award winner.

Born in Havana, Cuba, Cacheiro has also worked tirelessly to build academic and professional cultural bridges between the US and Cuba. He has pursued academic agreements between Cuba’s Institute of Superior Arts and American universities and has brought artists from Cuba to work in the US.

In 2010, with the Rita Montaner Theater Company’s Latin American premiere of Canto del Pozo Ciego by Jorge Cortiñas in Havana, Cacheiro became the first American director invited to lead a major Cuban company.  Cacheiro received support from TCG and the Andrew Mellon Foundation for this work. He returns to direct again in Havana in 2013.

About Dyson College of Arts and Science’s Perfoming Arts Programs at Pace University:

Undergraduate: Dyson’s Performing Arts Department (PAD) offers Bachelor of Fine Arts Degrees in Acting and in Musical Theater and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Theater Arts with specialized focuses in Acting, Directing, Commercial Dance or Design/Technical Theater. On average, there are 1,000 applicants for every 100 new openings each year. PAD presents over 50 performances every year. Performance spaces range from the Michael Schimmel Center for the Arts, Schaeberle (black box) Theater, and Studio 501, home to many student-directed productions.

Graduate: The Actors Studio Drama School at Pace University, also located in Dyson College, is the only MFA (Acting, Directing and Playwriting) theatre program officially sanctioned by the legendary Actors Studio (co-presidents Ellen Burstyn, Harvey Keitel and Al Pacino). All MFA students participate in the Craft Seminars known to the world as the Bravo Network television series Inside the Actors Studio (taped at Pace’s Schimmel Theater and open to students), hosted by James Lipton, Dean Emeritus and Co-Founder of the Actors Studio Drama School. 

About Pace University: For 105 years, Pace University has educated thinking professionals by providing high quality education for the professions on a firm base of liberal learning amid the advantages of the New York metropolitan area. A private university, Pace has campuses in New York City and Westchester County, New York, enrolling nearly 13,000 students in bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs in its Lubin School of Business, Dyson College of Arts and Sciences, College of Health Professions, School of Education, School of Law, and Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems.  www.pace.edu

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The Times Herald: “Actress-singer Geri Brown strives to follow family to Broadway”

Geri Brown graduates this month from Pace University in New York City, where for the past four years she’s studied musical theater. An aspiring third-generation Broadway actor, Brown said, “I grew up in that environment of theater and dance. Ever since I was little I knew that’s what I would do.”

For a student working to build her resumé in the big city, Geri Brown told her Collegeville, PA, hometown newspaper she’s been “really fortunate,” adding, “I go to school in New York — it would be silly not to audition and work.”

“My mom and grandmom were both dancers on Broadway, and I’m an actress-singer. ”

Over the past few years Brown has participated in multiple readings of new works and acted in shows that were part of the New York Musical Theatre Festival and the New York International Fringe Festival.

The Fringe Festival was where she first performed in Tales from the Tunnel. Later, in 2010, when the play opened Off-Broadway at 45 Bleecker Street, Brown was asked to join the cast, which featured Tony Award-winning actor Wilson Jermaine Heredia, who played Angel in Rent on Broadway and in the film version.

Brown said right now, as graduation approaches, she’s “looking to get into TV and film.”

She was recently cast in a new, “ultra-low budget” feature independent film called Tucht, in which she plays the lead character at age 16.

“We haven’t started shooting yet, but I’m really excited because one of the stars from Goodfellas is in it (Joe D’Onofrio).”

Her advice to youth interested in pursuing careers in the arts: “Just know who you are. What I’ve learned about theater is that talent is great, but it’s about dedication and knowing who you are and how to market yourself. You have to have talent but it’s also a lot about persistence.”

Since moving to NYC at 18, Brown said she’s been running around every day, always running.

“I haven’t had the normal college experience, but it’s good because now I’m set.  {By auditioning and working} I’ve set up a chain of events to occur after I graduate.  I’ve had four years to get my act together and now I’m a flower — I planted those seeds freshman year and now I get to go out there and bloom.”

The Christian Science Monitor: “Tony Awards 2011: It’s a boy’s life?”

Male-focused and male-written shows dominate this year’s Tony nominations. Most went to Americans who have won before, changing trends that rewarded Brits and newcomers.

But despite the glaring deficit of women, particularly in the writing category, the Tony nominations reveal heartening trends, especially in the musical theater realm, says Robert Meffe, director of the BFA musical theater program at Pace University.

For one, they’ve gone native.

In the musical categories, especially for best musical, Professor Meffe sees a new and exciting trend in that the four new musicals were written by established American musical theater composers. Each of these composers has won Tony Awards for their previous shows, he said.

“This was commonplace in the 1950’s and 1960’s during the age of Rodgers & Hammerstein, but it has mostly been supplanted in the 1980’s by British productions (like the Andrew Lloyd Webber behemoths) and then more recently, by composers taking their first crack at Broadway shows,” he says, pointing to “In the Heights,” and “Avenue Q.” He notes that while the favored winner (“The Book of Mormon”) is partially written by the South Park crew of TV fame, Robert “Bobby” Lopez, composer of “Avenue Q,” is their third co-writer. The very short list of revivals – only two, this year – is a sharp departure from the conventional wisdom that audiences only support what they know, notes Meffe.

Musical theater will always have to argue for its relevance, Robert Meffe says in an article in The Christian Science Monitor, but Fox’s “Glee” and Disney’s “High School Musical” have brought a new high point of popularity. The audience for musical theater is younger than it has been in decades, he adds, and the box office bears that out: gross revenues have broken records in most of the previous eight seasons.

Furthermore, musical theater college programs have witnessed a sharp increase in demand and enrollment in over the past few years, he says.

“This spring at Pace we auditioned over 300 people for the 25 open slots in our class of 2015,” says Meffe, director of Pace’s BFA musical theater program. “This is in a program that started out eight years ago with six students.”