Every day is opening night.

Music-Theatre Group Welcomes Legendary Composer Mary Rodgers For Special Event

Rick Miramontez / Elizabeth Wagner / Jaron Caldwell
rick@oandmco.com / elizabeth@oandmco.com / jaron@oandmco.com




New York, NY –Music-Theatre Group (Diane Wondisford, Producing Director) has announced “Hey, Mary”: An Interview with Mary Rodgers (Griffin and the Minor Canon, Once Upon A Mattress, Hey, Love) moderated by her colleague and friend Thomas Schumacher (Producer and President, Disney Theatrical Group) about her music, her muses, and the fascinating world of musical theatre that she was born into and has helped shape. The not to be missed one-night only talk will take place on Monday, May 16th at 10 Jay Street, 9th Floor in DUMBO at 6:00 p.m.

“Like everyone in our business, I have always had enormous esteem for Mary Rodgers, who has been a player throughout much of Broadway’s golden age,” said Schumacher. “But it wasn’t until a recent lunch with her to discuss our upcoming musical adaptation of her beloved Freaky Friday that I realized just how extraordinary and accomplished Mary is. So naturally when Diane Wondisford offered me the opportunity to conduct this interview, I leapt at the chance.”

In addition the interview, four songs composed by Mary Rodgers will be performed throughout the evening: “Shy”, with lyrics by Marshall Barer; “Yesterday I Loved You”, with lyrics by Marshall Barer; “The Boy From…”, with lyrics by Sondheim; and “William's Doll”, with lyrics by Sheldon Harnick. The songs will feature vocals by Theresa McCarthy and John DiPinto with piano accompaniment by DiPinto.

Tickets are $25 and can be purchased by calling Music-Theatre Group directly at 718-797-1145 or online through Brown Paper Tickets by visiting http://www.brownpapertickets.com/.

Upcoming: Music-Theatre Group joins Gotham Chamber Opera and Opera Company of Philadelphia in the co-commissioned/produced world premiere of Nico Muhly and Stephen Karam's new opera, Dark Sisters, scheduled to open November 9, 2011 at John Jay College's Gerald W. Lynch Theater.

Mary Rodgers Guettel is an accomplished author, screenwriter and composer. Mary Rodgers' earliest professional credits included serving as Assistant to the Producer of Leonard Bernstein's New York Philharmonic Young People's Concerts. Her Broadway career began as composer of the 1959 musical Once Upon A Mattress starring Carol Burnett, later broadcast to great success on network television and revived repeatedly. More than 400 productions of Once Upon A Mattress are presented annually in the U.S. and Canada and a 1997 Broadway production starring Sarah Jessica Parker earned a Tony Award nomination for Best Musical Revival. ABC-TV presented a new version of Once Upon A Mattress on “The Wonderful World of Disney” in late 2005 (subsequently released on DVD), once again starring Carol Burnett—this time as the wicked Queen Aggravain, with Tracy Ullman as Princess Winnifred. Ms. Rodgers has been a popular author of fiction for young people ever since her first book was released in 1972: Freaky Friday received the first prize at the Book World Spring Book Festival Awards, The Christopher Award, and was cited on the ALA Notable Book List. In 1977 Disney Studios adapted Freaky Friday into a movie, with screenplay by Rodgers, and starring Barbara Harris and Jodie Foster; a remake was broadcast on the ABC television network in 1995 and a musical version, by Rodgers and John Forster, was presented by Theatreworks/USA in 1991; and a new film remake, starring Jamie Lee Curtis and Lindsay Lohan, was released by Walt Disney Pictures in Summer 2003. As a composer, her additional theatre credits include Hot Spot starring Judy Holliday, The Mad Show, Working, and The Griffin and the Minor Canon. Her television credits include Once Upon a Mattress, Three to Make Music (written with her sister Linda and starring Mary Martin), Feathertop, and Marlo Thomas' Free to Be…You and Me. She also composed the scores for several productions featuring the legendary Bil Baird Marionettes, including Davy Jones’ Locker and Pinocchio, and several musicals for Theatreworks/USA. Her musicals have been celebrated in a revue, Hey, Love. Additional authorship credits include The Rotten Book, A Billion for Boris (The Christopher Award; ALA Notable Book List), Summer Switch and the screenplay for Disney Studios, The Devil and Max Devlin. The daughter of composer Richard Rodgers and Dorothy Rodgers, she collaborated with her mother on several projects, including: the 1970 book A Word to the Wives; a nationally syndicated radio program of the same title; and “Of Two Minds”, a monthly column for McCall's Magazine. She has also made several concert appearances with William Hammerstein, son of the celebrated lyricist, in an evening of reminiscences, anecdotes and musical selections celebrating their fathers' collaboration. Currently Mary Rodgers is Chairman Emeritus and serves on the Board of the Juilliard School. She serves on the boards of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Inc., the Bridgehampton Chamber Music Festival and the Dramatists Guild Council. Mary Rodgers is the Rodgers family representative in its privately-held partnership with the Hammerstein family, The Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization. In private life she is married to Henry Guettel, former Executive Director of the Theatre Development Fund (TDF). She has five children (including Tony Award winner Adam Guettel, composer/lyricist of The Light In The Piazza) and seven grandchildren.

Since 1988, Thomas Schumacher has worked with The Walt Disney Company setting new standards of excellence in film, television and theatre. Currently, he serves as President of Disney Theatrical Group where he oversees the development, creation and execution of all Disney live entertainment around the globe including Broadway, touring and licensed productions, as well as Disney on Ice and Disney Live! shows produced in partnership with Feld Entertainment. His Broadway, West End, touring and international production credits include Beauty and the Beast, King David, The Lion King, Der Glockner von Notre Dame, Elton John and Tim Rice’s Aida, On the Record, High School Musical, TARZAN®, Mary Poppins and The Little Mermaid along with several new projects currently in development. Disney Theatrical Group has an unprecedented global reach with over 15 Disney produced and licensed productions performing daily around the world. Intensely passionate about theatre from an early age, Schumacher recognized the impact that theatre has on the lives of young people and developed a licensing program with Music Theatre International to make select Disney theatrical titles available for performance in schools and amateur theatres throughout the world. Schumacher’s career at Disney began in Walt Disney Feature Animation producing the animated classic The Rescuers Down Under. He was ultimately named President and oversaw some 21 animated features including The Lion King, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Pocahontas, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Mulan, Tarzan, and Lilo & Stitch, as well as working closely with Pixar on their first five films. Prior to joining Disney, he was associate director of the 1987 Los Angeles Festival of Arts, presenting the American premiere of Cirque du Soleil and the English-language premiere of Peter Brook’s The Mahabharta. Previously, he spent five years on staff at the Mark Taper Forum, served as a line producer on the 1984 Olympic Arts Festival, and served as assistant general manager of the Los Angeles Ballet. Mr. Schumacher is the author of the book How Does the Show Go On? An Introduction to the Theater as well as a member of the Board of Trustees for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, the Tony® Administration Committee and the Advisory Committee of the American Theatre Wing. He is mentor for the TDF Open Doors program and serves as an adjunct professor at Columbia University.

Music-Theatre Group has held a singular place in the lives of culture-driven New Yorkers for 40 years. Founded by Lyn Austin and currently led by Producing Director Diane Wondisford, M-TG blurs the lines between music, theatre and opera. Internationally renowned for its commitment to the creation of work that embraces new art forms, M-TG has produced a stunning roster of seminal works including Dr. Selavy’s Magic Theatre (1972) by Stanley Silverman and Richard Foreman; The Mother of Us All by Virgil Thomson and Gertrude Stein, directed by Roland Gagnon (1972) and Stanley Silverman (1983); Nightclub Cantata (1977) by Elizabeth Swados; The Garden of Earthly Delights (1984) by Martha Clarke and Richard Peaslee; The Making of Americans (1985) by Al Carmines and Gertrude Stein, directed by Anne Bogart; Vienna: Lusthaus (1986) by Martha Clarke, Richard Peaslee, and Charles Mee; Juan Darien (1988) by Julie Taymor and Elliot Goldenthal; Cinderella/Cendrillon (1988) by Jules Massenet, with additional lyrics by Eve Ensler, directed by Anne Bogart; Extraordinary Measures (1995) by Eve Ensler and William Harper, with James Lecesne; Marco Polo (1996) by Tan Dun and Paul Griffiths, directed by Martha Clarke; Running Man (1999) by Diedre Murray and Cornelius Eady, directed by Diane Paulus; and Arjuna’s Dilemma (2008) by Douglas J. Cuomo, directed by Robin Guarino. For more information, visit www.musictheatregroup.org.

One Arm Red began in D.U.M.B.O Brooklyn, in 1999. One Arm Red's Founder and Artistic Director Adam Adams' mission is to develop interdisciplinary collaboration in the performing arts. One Arm Red's three multi-purpose spaces on the 9th floor at 10 Jay Street offer a home for artists and producing companies (among them Music-Theatre Group) to develop & present new works for the theatre. For more information, visit www.onearmred.com.



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