June 30, 2020 — More details to follow, but here is today’s announcement of the upcoming 2020-21 season by the Hendersonville Performing Arts Company. We’ve got three of our four principles back (see previous posts), plus a fantastic new Sarah in Kimberly Rye. All thanks to our former Sarah, the wonderful Leslie Eiler Thompson, for a great run and for being an inspiration to me, personally, as the playwright and composer during development.
Here are the Nashville-based leads for our performance at the National Arts Club in New York City on January 17, 2019. L to R: Deron Ryan Martel (Robert Browning), Patrick Sulken (New York-based pianist), Michael Kurek (composer and author), Crystal Kurek (Elizabeth Barrett), Leslie Eiler Thompson (Sarah Martin), Tyler Evick (Henry Lane).
From left to right: Crystal Kurek (Elizabeth Barrett), Deron Ryan Martel (Robert Browning), Leslie Eiler Thompson (Sarah Martin), and Tyler Evick (Henry Lane)
Rehearsing “Dear Miss Barrett” in Nashville for a public reading at the National Arts Club in New York City on Thursday, January 17, 2019, 1 -3 p.m.
Thursday, January 17, 2019, 1 p.m.
Wonderful principal dream team cast of Dear Miss Barrett will be presenting 90 minutes of scenes from the show at the National Arts Club in New York City, for the New York Browning Society and other interested parties. We are working toward a full production in New York in 2019-20. It takes time to mount a show, we are learning. In the words of the great Orson Welles, “We will sell no wine before its time.”
Crystal and I had an exciting trip to New York last month (in October, 2017) for lovely visits with members of the New York Browning Society and a tour of a wonderful potential theatrical venue for the show, including a meeting with its programming director and assistants. I’ll keep you informed! Meanwhile, I’m working on the pit orchestra arrangements, entr’acte and overture music. While there, we took in Anastasia the musical and dinner afterwards at Sardi’s across the street from the theater. Looking forward to going back again soon.
See previous posts for more information on this CD. Thanks, Broadway World Magazine!
Michael Kurek will be in New York May 9-10, 2017 for meetings with members of the New York Browning Society and a noted artistic director of a long-established New York theater that produces both operas and musicals. Watch this space to see if anything comes of it! As always, a work of musical theater, or any kind of art, must “sell itself.” People have to like it! But getting them to simply see and hear it is necessary before they can have an opportunity to like it, and not always an easy thing to accomplish.
We are pleased to announce that the New York Browning Society featured a preview of excerpted scenes and live music with narration from the show at their meeting on Wednesday, January 11, 2017 at 1 p.m. at the National Arts Club in New York. A most enthusiastic audience attended and warmly received the presentation.
The preview featured writer Michael Kurek and special guests Crystal Kurek (as Elizabeth Barrett Browning), Leslie Eiler Thompson (as Sarah Martin), Deron Ryan Martel (as Robert Browning), Tyler Evick (as Henry Lane), and Adam Rothenberg (pianist).
In the discussion that followed, various possibilities for a full production were discussed, including news of discussions to pair the show with an auction of Browning-era artifacts by Sotheby’s in New York.
About the Cast:
Tyler Evick (Henry Lane) is a singer and actor from Nashville, TN. Born and raised in Middletown, OH, he developed a voracious appetite for theater and performance and spent his formative years moving from one production to the next through high school and beyond. He spends much of his time nowadays working on productions in Nashville’s burgeoning theater scene. Tyler is a graduate of Trevecca Nazarene University in Nashville with a degree in Music Business and Vocal Performance. Some of his most notable roles include: Leo Bloom in The Producers, Joseph in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and Jean Valjean in the MTI Student Edition recording of Les Miserables. See more at www.Broadwaydemo.com/tyler-evick.
Crystal Kurek (Elizabeth Barrett) completed her Master’s degree in education at Vanderbilt, where she met her future husband, Michael. An elementary school teacher by day, she has a lifelong experience in the theater. As a child, she appeared on stage with Shirley Jones in The King and I, and with Jodi Benson, The Osmonds, Phyllis Diller, Barry Williams, and others in various shows. She modeled in New York with the Ford Agency, appearing in print ads for Gitano, J C Penny, and others, and on television on Live With Regis and Kathy Lee, The Today Show, and others. She has in recent years become a staple of Nashville’s theater scene, playing Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady, the title role in Mary Poppins, Maria in West Side Story (for which she won the Broadway World Nashville Award for “Best Actress in a Musical”), Truly Scrumptious in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Fantine in Les Miserable, Hodel in Fiddler on the Roof, Meg in Little Women, and several others. It was Crystal who for years urged Michael to try writing a musical and who suggested the Brownings as a topic for such a show.
Deron Ryan Martel (Robert Browning) A growing presence in Nashville’s thriving theater scene, Deron’s recent roles have included the title role in Sweeney Todd, Mr. Banks in Mary Poppins, Gomez Addams in Addams Family, the Musical, Jean Valjean in Les Miserables, Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof, Don Quixote in Man of La Mancha, The Phantom in Tracy Wells’s version, and Ebenezer Scrooge in A Christmas Carol. He holds a B. A. in musical theater from Cumberland University.
Leslie Eiler Thompson (Sarah Martin) is from Freeport, Illinois (Pretzel City, USA!) and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Commercial Voice and Music Technology from Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee. Favorite roles include Jo March (Little Women), Evelyn Nesbitt (Ragtime), Snoopy (Snoopy), and Millie Dillmount (Thoroughly Modern Millie). A freelance professional, Leslie is a singer, marketer, and graphic designer in Nashville where she resides with her sweet husband and precious pups. See more at LeslieEilerThompson.com.