|ASTORIA PERFORMING ARTS CENTER BRINGS STEPHEN SONDHEIM’S MERRILY WE ROLL ALONG
|“Adventurous theater in Astoria.” – The New York Times
|Astoria, NY-February 4, 2015: The Award-winning Astoria Performing Arts Center (APAC), is pleased to announce that their 14th season spring musical will be Merrily We Roll Along, with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and a book by George Furth, based on the original play by George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart, and directed by APAC’s Artistic Director Dev Bondarin. The musical begins on Thursday, April 30, 2015 and continues through Saturday, May 23, 2015. APAC’s performance venue is located at the Good Shepherd United Methodist Church, 30-44 Crescent St (@ 30th Rd), in Astoria, Queens.
“I am thrilled to bring the work of Stephen Sondheim to APAC for the first time with Merrily We Roll Along. In college, I worked backstage on a production of Merrily which was one of my most formative theater experiences, and the beginning of some lifelong friendships,” reflects Bondarin. “Returning to this show as my first musical as Artistic Director at APAC is fitting. The show, which spans twenty years and examines the longevity of friendships and hope for the future, feels like coming home to an ‘old friend.’
Following last season’s award-winning production of Allegro with this production, is well-timed as the two share themes and storytelling devices. Their connection will be interesting for both returning audience members and new APAC attendees.”
What if you could move backwards through time and see how your choices charted your path to the present moment? With an exciting score, humor, idealism, and insight, Merrily We Roll Along starts at the end and ends at the beginning. We see snapshots of twenty years in the lives of Franklin Shepard and his close friends and ponder the show’s central question: “How did you get to be here?”
“Glorious…Heartbreaking…The charms of the music are still abundantly evident…The cheers began with the first bars of the show’s overture, the most infectious and conventionally stirring that Mr. Sondheim wrote.” – New York Times
“The songs, and the mood and verve and expertise…in all these aspects, Merrily sings.” – Time
“The songs are rich in melody…the lyrics are deftly sophisticated and witty, and there is brilliant use of musical themes.” – Talkin’ Broadway
Tickets are $18, ($12 student/senior) available at www.apacny.org or 888-596-1027. Tickets may also be purchased in-person at the box office, 30 minutes prior to the performance.
Good Shepherd United Methodist Church
30-44 Crescent St (@ 30th Rd)
Astoria, NY 11102
Directions: Take the N or Q Subway to 30th Avenue. Walk down 30th Ave. to Crescent St. (Mount Sinai Hospital is on the corner.) Turn left on Crescent Street. Walk one block south, then turn right onto 30th Rd. Entrance is second set of red doors on left.
|Dev Bondarin (Director) is the Artistic Director of Astoria Performing Arts Center where her credits include this season’s In The Bones. She is a director of plays and musicals, both new and established, and her selected credits include: Two Bugs are Better than One (New York City Children’s Theater), King Lear (American Bard Theater, two NYIT Award nominations), Reefer Madness: The Musical (NYIT Award nomination for Outstanding Musical), House of Blue Leaves (Gallery Players), and Raised by Lesbians (FringeNYC). As Associate Artistic Director of Prospect Theater Company, she curates and directs an annual musical theater lab, which has produced over 45 new, short musicals by established and emerging writers. Dev is also a member of MTWorks where she directed A Home Across the Ocean and numerous readings. She is an SDC Observership recipient, a Member of the Lincoln Center Directors Lab, and an Associate Member of SDC and the League of Professional Theatre Women. Dev holds an MFA in Directing from Brooklyn College (CUNY) and a BA from Brandeis University. www.devbondarin.net
George Furth (Book) was born in Chicago and graduated from Northwestern University; he did postgraduate work at Columbia University. He has worked extensively as an actor, appearing in many feature films, including The Best Man, Oh God!, Doctor Detroit, Young Doctors In Love, The Man With Two Brains, Cannonball Run, Hooper, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Blazing Saddles, Shampoo, Sleeper, The New Interns and Myra Breckinridge; he has also acted in many major television shows. In addition to Merrily We Roll Along, he has written the Broadway shows The Act, Twigs, The Supporting Cast, Company, Precious Sons, and Getting Away With Murder.
Stephen Sondheim (Music & Lyrics) wrote the music and lyrics for Saturday Night (1954), A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (1962), Anyone Can Whistle (1964), Company (1970), Follies (1971), A Little Night Music (1973), The Frogs (1974), Pacific Overtures (1976), Sweeney Todd (1979), Merrily We Roll Along (1981), Sunday in the Park with George (1984), Into the Woods (1987), Assassins (1991), Passion (1994) and Road Show (2008) as well as lyrics for West Side Story (1957), Gypsy (1959) and Do I Hear a Waltz? (1965), and additional lyrics for Candide (1973). Anthologies of his work include Side by Side by Sondheim (1976), Marry Me a Little (1981), You’re Gonna Love Tomorrow (1983), Putting it Together (1993/99) and Sondheim on Sondheim (2010). He composed the scores of the films Stavisky (1974) and Reds (1981) and songs for Dick Tracy (1990) and the television production “Evening Primrose” (1966). His collected lyrics with attendant essays have been published in two volumes: Finishing the Hat (2010) and Look, I Made A Hat (2011). In 2010 the Broadway theater formerly known as Henry Miller’s Theatre was renamed in his honor.
ASTORIA PERFORMING ARTS CENTER, INC. (APAC)a not-for-profit organization, was founded in 2001 by Sue Scannell (Founding Executive Director, 2001-2005) and Brian J. Swasey (Founding Artistic Director, 2001-2008), and is led by Artistic Director Dev Bondarin. APAC’s mission is to bring high quality theater to Astoria, Queens, and to support local youth and senior citizens.
On its mainstage, APAC produces revivals and premieres of plays and musicals, and APAC also develops new works through readings and workshops. Its flexible theater space changes with each production. To date, APAC has received 28 New York Innovative Theatre Award nominations and 6 wins (Allegro,Children of Eden, & Ragtime), as well as an Off-Off Broadway Theatre Review Award for Outstanding Production of a Musical (Is There Life After High School?). APAC was the recipient of the 2012 Caffe Cino Fellowship Award, under the leadership of Taryn Sacramone (Executive Director, 2005-2013) and Tom Wojtunik (Artistic Director, 2008-2014).
APAC offers free annual community programs, including a summer performance camp for children ages 8-13, an after school playwriting program for middle school students, and a performance program for Queens residents over the age of 60. These programs deepen ties with the community and develop new audiences for theater. Diverse programming and consistent quality attract a loyal and growing audience that reflects the diversity of Western Queens and also draws from the other boroughs and beyond.
In addition to its theater space within the Good Shepherd United Methodist Church, APAC’s offices are located within the historic Kaufman Astoria Studios.
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