Huckleberry Haywood (2011)
A southern writer deals with family demons while balancing a gig as a singing waiter
Music and Lyrics by Taylor Bridges
Additional Story by Kristine Bogan, Abby Burke, Renée McCurry, and Heather Shields
Directed by David Glenn Armstrong
Friday, Oct 14th, 2011 at 4:30 pm
Huckleberry Haywood is tired of waiting. Leaving his family legacy in the dust of Haywood County, Alabama, he sets his sights on bigger things: New York, new freedom, new friends and his own voice as a young writer. Instead, he finds himself at a singing diner on Broadway, serving disco burgers in roller skates. Forced to confront his personal demons, Huck must discover who he is, where he’s from, and who he’s waiting to become.
Approximate Running Time: 1:30; with intermission
Stephen earned his degree from the Univeristy of Alabama in theatre performance and creative writing where he graduated with honors, performed in many mainstage productions and led a movement that made experimental theatre the hottest thing on campus since tailgating. He can be found weekly singing showtunes and serving shakes at the infamous Ellen’s Stardust Diner, and is also featured daily as a 6 inch singing hologram inside the Ripley’s Believe It or Not! museum in Times Square. He has performed in two national tours with TheatreWorks USA, and has recently performed in shows at Town Hall, The Metropolitan Room, Iridium Jazz Club, and the Laurie Beechman Theater. In 2010, he co-founded While We Wait Productions (WWW8) with five other artists who were all sick of “waiting.” WWW8 is a New York based company that focuses on community outreach, producing camps, seminars, workshops and shows encouraging social change across the country. Stephen currently serves as their CEO and Artistic Director as well as book writer and co-lyricist of the new spunk rock musical, Huckleberry Haywood. Stephen is incredibly gratful to have such an amazing team and for their constant support in bringing his story to life. He is also a proud member of the Actor’s Equity Association.
A well-reviewed and award winning singer for ten years, Mr. Bridges started as a Music Director for the 2008 NY Fringe Festival production of Underwear! He has worked as an audition coach, is in high demand as an accompanist, and often enjoys hearing his own materrial performed in New York. Mr. Bridges has also worked as a Guest Artist at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Conference, and even found the time to work as an archiver for the celebrated Ed Kleban (A Chorus Line). Now enrolled at the New York Times-dubbed "Harvard of Musical Theatre Schools", the Lehman Engel/BMI Music Theater Writing Workshop as a lyricist. Taylor is the composer and co-lyricist of the original musical Huckleberry Haywood: A Spunk Rock Musical. The original album was produced this fall by While We Wait Productions, a company which Mr. Bridges helped found. The album, on which Mr. Bridges is the musical director, piano player, a featured singer, is slated for release Winter 2011. You can keep up with Taylor through most social media outlets- Facebook, on Twitter as @jtbridg, YouTube, and www.WhileWeWaitProductions.com
David has staged over 150 productions/workshops seen in 49 states including work at the Public, Goodspeed Opera, Walnut Street, Manhattan Theatre Club, Library of Congress, Inge Festival, Chicago Humanities Festival, Amas, HERE, York, New Dramatists, Pacific Repertory Opera, Mason Street, Arkansas Rep, NYMF, Riverside, Anchorage Opera, Iowa Shakespeare, and NY Fringe. Favorites include the premieres of Sheldon Harnick’s A Doctor in Spite of Himself (Anthony Rapp, Burke Moses, John Schuck), Judith Steir’s Only a Kingdom (Max von Essen, Jill Paice, Donna Lynne Champlin), Joan Ross Sorkin’s (mis)Understanding Mammy (Drama Desk nominee Capathia Jenkins); Sorkin and Steven Fisher’s In the Theatre (Beth Fowler, Judy Kaye); Ed Dixon’s Scenery (Lynne Wintersteller); and Jonathan Larson’s Sacrimmoralinority (also co-writer, ASCAP Award). Favorite first/major revivals include Bock/Harnick/Stein’s The Body Beautiful (Brad Oscar, Megan Lawrence), Arlen/Gershwin/Harburg’s Life Begins at 8:40 (Faith Prince, Kate Baldwin, Rebecca Luker, Montego Glover, Jessica Stone, Christopher Fitzgerald); Lerner & Loewe’s The Day Before Spring (Hunter Bell, Ed Watts); and Joe Stein’s Plain and Fancy (Cady Huffman, Charlotte Rae). For NYMF 2011, David is directing Huckleberry Haywood, Many Happy Returns, and The Big Bank.
Heather was born and raised outside of Atlantic City in beautiful South Jersey. After attending the University of Richmond and studying music and Pre-Law, Heather moved to New York, where over three years she has worked steadily as an actress, performer, and was even crowned Miss Fag Hag 2009. Her favorite and highly varying roles have included Mary in Off-Broadway's The Gayest Christmas Pageant Ever! and Hodel in Fiddler on the Roof. Though still a performer at heart, Heather has enjoyed a dual role in the creation of this particular musical and in working with While We Wait Productions. She will be attending Columbia University this fall to begin working towards her Masters in Arts Administration.
Kristine first graced the stage at the ripe old age of seven in such child exploitation theatrical masterpieces as The Sound of Music and Annie. Once puberty took away her high Fs, Kristine found herself floundering in a bin of pre teen mediocrity. So after years of coping with the aftermath of child stardom, Kristine figured she should go to college and find a more stable career. Instead, she attended Hofstra University and obtained her B.A. in Film Studies and Production. Kristine has since produced a bevy of commercials, music videos, web series, and award winning films, most recently Colin Hearts Kay (2010). Kristine has received awards for “Best Director” for her debut film, Faking It and The Adrienne Shelley Award for “Most Promising Female Director” at the Long Island Film Festival. Kristine is so excited to get back to her roots with her newest brain child, Huckleberry Haywood: A Spunk Rock Musical!
Abby is a true southern lady hailing from the great city of New Orleans. She moved up to New York city 4 years ago to attend the acclaimed Circle in the Square Theatre School where she graduated in 2008. Some of Abby's favorite roles she has performed are: Georgeanne (5 Women Wearing the Same Dress), Ruby Rae (Best Little Whorehouse in Texas), Lucy (You're a Good Man Charlie Brown), Diana (Lend Me a Tenor), Nellie (Floyd Collins) and Mary Jane (Big River). In Janurary 2010, the stars aligned for Abby when she and 5 others jumped into a car to drive 15 hours to Alabama. A week later "While We Wait Productions", a new theater company was born. So was brand new musical called "Huckleberry Haywood." Abby feels so lucky to be apart of this talented company and to have helped birth this amazing show about a kid trying to find self acceptance and love in this crazy world. She wants to thank her company members who she adores for all of their love, talent, and kookiness. They truly are the best! OLIVE JUICE!
Reneé McCurry, reigning from "Sweet Home Alabama", is a co-founder and producer at While We Wait Productions and of Huckleberry Haywood - A Spunk Rock Musical. She is also the Owner/President of Red Carpet Productions, co-founder of YankeeBelle Productions who's current involvement includes Pee Wee Herman on Broadway and is the Associate Producer of the 56th Annual Drama Desk Awards Event and Gala. Renee' studied at the prestigious Berklee College of Music. She feels so blessed for such a warm welcome into the Broadway Theatre Community and doubts she'll be heading back down South anytime soon...except for a visit!
Maisey created and has proudly played Justice in every incarnation of Rock of Ages since 2005. She appeared on Broadway in Zoot Suit, Hal Prince’s Roza and toured nationally and internationally with Godspell, One Mo’ Time and Menopause the Musical. She won the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award, a Garland, an Ovation nomination and the GLAAD Award for her work in The Last Session.
B'way or Nat. Tour: THE MUSIC MAN revival (cast recording) SHOWBOAT, THE WILL ROGERS FOLLIES, GRAND HOTEL, THE SOUND OF MUSIC w/Marie Osmond, and SEVEN BRIDES FOR...... Off B'way: CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS, THE PRINCE AND THE PAUPER, LONE STAR LOVE (cast recording). ILLYRIA, GOLDEN BOY OF THE BLUE RIDGE (cast recording), and is currently playing the role of Hucklebee in THE FANTASTICKS. Dan also plays the role of Herb Crocker on HBO's BOARDWALK EMPIRE this season. Enjoy the NYMF!!
Broadway/National Tour: LES MISERABLES (Mme Thenardier); RADIO CITY CHRISTMAS SPECTACULAR (Mrs. Claus). Off-Broadway: FRANKENSTEIN (original cast recording), SESSIONS, ALWAYS, PATSY CLINE (title role), MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS, several editions of FORBIDDEN BROADWAY. Favorite regional roles include Charlotte in MOON OVER BUFFALO, Maggie in 42ND STREET, Trina in FALSETTOLAND, the Narrator in JOSEPH/DREAMCOAT and Miss Shields in the premiere musical version of A CHRISTMAS STORY at the Kansas City Rep. Recently released her debut country/swing album, CRAZY AND THEN SOME.
Emily was recently recognized by Time Out New York as one of the “top ten local women every gay man should know—and be obsessed with.” She is currently in rehearsal to play Audrey in Little Shop Of Horrors at The Gallery Players in Brooklyn. Other New York credits include: The Awesome 80’s Prom (also co-wrote), My Big Gay Italian Wedding, My First Time, Minimum Wage, The Karaoke Show, and Slut. Regional favorites include: Fiddler On The Roof, Dreamgirls, Godspell, Smokey Joe's Cafe, and Chicago. You may also know Emily from her various nightclub performances. Catch Emily’s unique brand of campy musical comedy at Splash’s Musical Mondays, BarTini UltraLounge, Joe’s Pub, and at her MAC award nominated show Mostly Sondheim at The Duplex. More at EmilyMcNamara.com
Nick is thrilled to be back home in NYC and performing again in the NYMF. He spent the last year and a half taking a break from acting in order to write and record his own original pop album in Portland, OR. "My Own Devices EP" was released on itunes on Feb 8th and features Alysha Umphress and Rebecca Naomi Jones of American Idiot. The CD release show played on both coasts at two prestigious music venues, The Someday Lounge and Canal Room. Before his songwriting ventures Nick got his B.F.A. in Drama at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. After school he represented the alumni singing at the American Embassy in Vienna, Austria. Nick has played Tony in various regional productions of West Side Story, studied voice with Victoria Clark, and sang at almost every gay bar in the city. Nick couldn't be more excited to be on this journey with Huck. www.nickdothee.com
Anthony grew up in New York and has loved every last second. Where else can you be rewarded for acting like an idiot? He has appeared Off-Broadway and in several "Off-Offs" and has also had the immense pleasure of singing with Mike Berkowitz and The Gene Krupa Orchestra. (Which is closest he'll ever get to meeting "The Chairman of the Board") The only feeling he gets better than singing in front of those guys is when he gets off that bus and comes home to his beautiful fiancée and their two wonderful kitties. Anthony is thrilled to be part of Huck and cannot wait to watch it soar!
Ben is thrilled to be serving as music director for the New York Musical Theater Festival production of Huckleberry Haywood. An active pianist and vocal coach in New York City, Ben regularly performs at venues ranging from The Liederkranz Opera House, and the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater. Additional credits include: Broadway: The Addams Family (music assistant). Tour: Miracle on 34th Street (Jersey Shore Entertainment). Regional/Stock: The Melody Lingers On (Surflight Theater), Dreamgirls (ReVision Theater Company), The Music Man (Mt. Washington Valley Theater Company). Additionally, Ben is currently a member of the BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theater Workshop.
Recently Shana adapted and choreographed Ran, Ghostbustas, The Tempest, and Vanishing Point for Odyssey Theatre Ensemble. As a freelance director, she has directed for New Jersey Repertory, Columbia University, Genesius Theatre Guild, North Shore Theatre Group, and Ensemble Studio Theatre. Shana trained with Siti Company, the Tectonic Theatre Project, the Jacques Lecoq International Theatre School, and Pilobolus. She is the Artistic Director of Odyssey Theatre Ensemble, an associate member of the Society for Stage Directors and Choreographers, and a graduate of NYU's Tisch School of the Arts.
Credit: Stephen Tyler Davis and Taylor Bridges
In My Head
Credit: Stephen Tyler Davis and Taylor Bridges
Credit: Stephen Tyler Davis and Taylor Bridges
Read You Before
Credit: Taylor Bridges
Credit: Taylor Bridges and Stephen Tyler Davis
Rock of Ages' Michele Mais Joins Cast of NYMF's HUCKLEBERRY HAYWOOD
Rock of Ages' Michele Mais joins the cast of Huckleberry Haywood at The New York Musical Theatre Festival (NYMF)!