Off-Broadway Musical A LETTER TO HARVEY MILK to release cast Album May 22nd, Harvey Milk’s Birthday

***Press Release***

“Surprisingly fierce little musical. Brimming with warmth and clandestine power.” Zach Stewart, Theatermania

 Click Here to see “Love Harry” Music Video

New York: The Off-Broadway musical, A LETTER TO HARVEY MILK, will release its digital cast album on May 22 in honor of Harvey Milk’s birthday, it will be available on itunes.comamazon.comgoogle.com etc. and in stores at a date TBA. 

The cast album of A LETTER TO HARVEY MILK, which recently announced an extension at Theatre Row’s Acorn Theatre (410 W 42 Street) through June 30,2018, through June 30,2018, is produced by Michael Croiter, co-produced by Laura I. Kramer and Jeffrey Lodin and executive produced by Lisa Dozier King.  The cast recording will be released on Yellow Sound Label.  

San Francisco. 1986. What could Harry, an amiable but lonely retired kosher butcher have in common with Barbara, his young lesbian writing teacher at the senior center? Is it enough to bridge the divide?

When Harry fulfills a writing assignment to compose a letter to someone from his past who’s dead, he writes not to his late wife Frannie, but to Harvey Milk, the first openly gay political leader in California. Barbara is stunned. Harry’s letter evokes life-changing revelations that neither could have foreseen. This musical — with its soaring score and deeply-felt, surprisingly funny lyrics — deals with issues of friendship and loss, the grip of the past, and the hard-won acceptance set in motion by the most unexpected people.

LETTER TO HARVEY MILK opened on March 6, 2018 and has caught the attention of audiences and critics alike who have said: ”While Fiddler on the Roof might be the quintessential Jewish musical, A Letter to Harvey Milk feels like the essence of American Judaism.” Plays To See

“This is one of those musicals that stows away in your heart without you even noticing.” Zach Stewart, Theatermania; “The musical is not just the clichés or the humor; instead, it shines a light on Judaism and homosexuality, on loss and on loneliness. “A Letter to Harvey Milk is a moving exploration of Judaism and the trauma that comes from publicly being who you are. I was laughing through my tears.” Plays To See; “A true gem that is totally fulfilling. They don’t get much better than A LETTER TO HARVEY MILK. Put it on your must-see list. The songs are fresh and emotionally rewarding with tears that are inspired by both razor-sharp humor and poignancy. There is nothing in this musical that doesn’t work. The chemistry between Heller, Knitel, and Stern is sublime, and the entire cast is superbly talented.”  ELJ NYC; “A Letter to Harvey Milk seeds into your heart, and blossoms with love.” Diandra Reviews it All; “Fun and laughable, in the good way.” Times Square Chronicles; “A Letter to Harvey Milk offers an honest truth in a time that needs it.” Curtain Up; “This is a letter worth reading and seeing, and well worth the wait.” Front Mezz Junkies; “An inspiring musical about Harvey Milk, voiced by an unlikely source. A Letter to Harvey Milk is one of those rare musicals that dares to confront both LGBTQ history and Jewish history. And it does so with visceral wit, grace, and a full heart.” Gay City News; “A Letter to Harvey Milk is a breath of fresh air.” Stage Buddy; “Touching and Schmaltzy. There’s a lot to like about this show!” BroadwayWorld; “Genuinely affecting and enjoyable.  It is a rewarding and touching piece of musical theater.” Jewish Standard

Based on the short story by Lesléa Newman, the musical A LETTER TO HARVEY MILK has music by Laura I. Kramer, lyrics by Ellen M. Schwartz, with additional lyrics by Cheryl Stern, book by Jerry James, Laura I. Kramer Ellen M. Schwartz and Cheryl Stern and will be directed by Evan Pappas with music direction by Jeffrey Lodin, orchestrations byNed Ginsburg, casting by Stephanie KlapperA LETTER TO HARVEY MILK is presented by Letter Productions LLC, Associate Producer/Production Supervisor SenovvA Production Core and is executive produced by Lisa Dozier King.

A LETTER TO HARVEY MILK stars Adam Heller (Broadway: It Shoulda Been You, Elf, Caroline or Change)Julia Knitel(Broadway and National Tour: Carole King in Beautiful, Bye Bye Birdie)Cheryl Stern (Broadway: La Cage Aux FollesThe Women) along with Michael Bartoli (National Tour: Joseph/Dreamcoat), Sarah Corey (International:  Death for Five Voices), Jeremy Greenbaum (Broadway: Newsies), Aury Krebs (Regional:  Rent, Hairspray), Philip Hoffman (Broadway:  Into the Woods, Cabaret), CJ Pawlikowski (National Tour: Book of Mormon, Memphis) and Ravi Roth (National Tour: Alter Boyz, Seussical).

Creative team includes set design by David Arsenault (Off- Broadway: Terms of Endearment. Broadway: The Color Purple (associate)) costumes by Debbi Hobson (Liberty: A Monumental New Musical), lighting design by Christopher Akerlind (Tony Award for INDECENT, Waitress), sound design by David Margolin Lawson (The Crusade of Connor Stephens).

A LETTER TO HARVEY MILK was proud to be a selection of the New York Musical Theatre Festival’s 2012 Next Link Project where it won five awards, including Most Promising Musical. It was also a finalist for the Richard Rodgers Award.

Listing Information:

A LETTER TO HARVEY MILK

through June 30, 2018

Theatre Row’s Acorn Theatre is located at 410 West 42nd Street

 

Performance schedule:

Tuesdays – Thursdays at 7pm; Friday and Saturday at 8pm;

Matinees on Wednesday and Saturday at 2pm; Sunday at 3pm.

Tickets are $79 – $99 and can be purchased at Telecharge.com or by calling 212-239-6200.

Follow on Social:

Facebook: @ALettertoHarveyMilkTheMusical

Instagram: @ALettertoHarveyMilk

Twitter: @ALettertoHarvey

A LETTER TO HARVEY MILK Production Photos by Russ Rowland

Ms. Kramer, Ms. Stern, Mr. Pappas cast, and creative team are available for interviews.

To arrange press interviews and press seats please contact JT Public Relations / joe@jt-pr.net

 

Who’s Who:

 

LAURA I. KRAMER (Composer/Book) A Letter to Harvey Milk (NYMF 2012 Next-Link Project and Most Promising Musical Award; Richard Rodgers Award 2012 finalist.) Music for As The Years Go By (lyricist Mitchell Bernard); choral piece Woman’s Sphere finalist, Denver Women’s Chorus Choral Music Competition. MA Music Theory/ Composition, Montclair State University; BS Music, Skidmore College; commissioned by Skidmore to write commemorative choral piece, A Musical Instrument. Studied choral composition with renowned composer Alice Parker. BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop. Member Dramatists Guild, IAWM.

 

ELLEN M. SCHWARTZ (Lyricist)’s first work was writing children’s songs with Bonnie Lee Sanders including “Meet the Care Bears”, “Care Bears Bedtime Story”, and “Meet the Mr. Men and Little Misses”. She collaborated on individual songs with artists including Sue Maskaleris, Barbara Carroll, Gail Wynters, Joel Diamond, and Luiz Simas. Ellen also worked with other collaborators on a number of theatrical projects including Come Up ‘N See MeThe Trapped Family SingersA Letter To Harvey MilkA Cast of ThousandsSecond Avenue Rag, and Tangled Webs, which was left uncompleted when she passed away in May 2013.

 

JERRY JAMES (Book) won the 2012 NYMF Award for Excellence in Writing-Book for A Letter to Harvey Milk. He is the author of a dozen plays, variously produced in New York City and across the USA, as well as in England and Germany. After a forty-year career in the New York theatre, where he spent ten years as PSM of Forbidden Broadway, he retired to Tucson, AZ, where he writes essays for the education program of the Rogue Theatre.

 

CHERYL STERN (Book/ Additional Lyrics) recently received raves Off-Broadway for her solo musical Shoes and Baggagewith music by Tom Kochan. She created lyrics for the Jonathan Larson Award winning Off Broadway musical, Nor’mal (now retitled Pretty To The Bone). Other credits include: The AudienceRequiem for William, Being Audrey (Transport Group), That’s Life!A Christmas Survival Guide, Are We There Yet?, Famous, The Gene GameBuffalonia ( EST). Cheryl is a resident member of the cell theatre and a graduate of Northwestern University.


EVAN PAPPAS (Director) Off-Bway: Liberty, Wonderful TownDuBarry Was a Lady, What Will People Think? Regionally; The Color Purple, Sister Act (Arts Center of Coastal Carolina) Kiss Me Kate, Evita , West Side Story, The Daughter of the Regiment (Opera North), 7 Brides for 7 Brothers  (SF Critics Best Production Award, and Director nom), Funny Girl (SF Critics Director nom) Lucky Stiff (Arizona Broadway Theatre), Murder for TwoMy Way  (Depot Theatre), CarouselA Man of No Importance (Montclair State Univ), West Side Story (Santa Fe College), ). Some Place Like Home (Best Director Award Soundbites Festival, NYC), Broadway Babes (Covent Garden), Assoc. Dir. on Being Sellers (59E59), Moscow (Samuel French One-Act Festival), Parallel Lives (Theatre for the New City), Daily Sounds (Finalist in Strawberry Festival), etc.  As an actor he has starred on and off-Broadway in My Favorite Year, Parade, Putting It Together, A Chorus Line, I Can Get It For You Wholesale, Café Society Swing, etc., and in London’s West End in Follies and Merrily We Roll Along.

 

JEFFREY LODIN (Musical Director) Thrilled to be working with this amazing cast and team. Music Director of the World Premieres of:  Liberty: A Monumental Musical, The Kid Who Would Be Pope, The Sphinx WinX and Glimmerglass. Also a composer, Jeff’s scores, with longtime collaborator William Squier,  include: Disney’s Doug Live (Walt Disney World), 100 Years Into The Heart,  Top Of The Heap, and Merrilee Mannerly (Off-Bdwy, 2018). With collaborator and father-in-law, John Allen: Rebels 1775 and Young Abe Lincoln (Theatreworks, USA). Conductor (most notably Chita Rivera) and Pianist (Andy Gibb, Mongo Santamaria). Faculty member IAMDA (NYC).lodinandsquier.com.

 

LESLÉA NEWMAN’S (Source material) 70 books include the short story collection, A Letter To Harvey Milk; the poetry collection, I Carry My Mother; and the children’s books, Heather Has Two Mommies, Sparkle Boy, and Ketzel, The Cat Who Composed. Poems from her novel-in-verse, October Mourning: A Song for Matthew Shepard have been excerpted in the libretto of the fusion oratorio Considering Matthew Shepard composed by Grammy Award winner Craig Hella Johnson. A past National Endowment for the Arts poetry fellow and poet laureate of Northampton, MA, she currently teaches at Spalding University’s low-residency MFA in Writing program.

 

LISA DOZIER KING (Executive Producer) has offices in both New York and Miami, which have managed more than 100 professional theatrical productions. Upcoming: Unlikely Heroes, Hit Her with the Skates, Shoes and Baggage and Ben Virginia and Me: The Liberace Musical. Past Off-Broadway highlights: The Crusade of Connor StephensVincent, Stars of David tour with DR Management, PromisingBedbugs the MusicalBreakfast with MugabeFinal AnalysisF#%king Up EverythingSistas the MusicalBronteTen ChimneysThe Duchess of MalfiHow to be a Good Italian DaughterThe Diary of a Teenage Girl, The Rise and Fall of Annie Hall. Lisa is also the BFA theatre management program director at the University of Miami, producing director for the newly founded organization Miami New Drama, managing director for InProximity’s all women Project W Festival now in its second year, and has also served as the general manager for the National Alliance for Musical’s Festival of New Musicals for the last decade.  ldkproductions.com

Afterglow The Play is a Must See Look at Modern Day Relationships

Friends with benefits, threesomes, and love triangles, OH, MY. Afterglow the Play (a play by Asher Gelman) explores the pros and cons of modern day “open” relationships and is a very real look at some of the complications that can arise. It’s not saying that these relationships can’t work, it’s just shedding some light on what can happen if things don’t go as you are expecting.

One of the things about the play is that the complications aren’t necessarily limited to being caused by another person. In true modern day realness, these issues can arise from career fixation, addiction, or even social media temptations.

Afterglow starts off with a couple having fun and spicing things up by inviting a third to play and the sexiness is supercharged. Three naked men in one bed is certainly an explosive way to start any production. And for the nudity lovers out there, there is plenty more of that throughout the show. The experience is fun, funny, touching, and even soul searching. There were plenty of tears shed as well as checking your own judgements in some instances for some people. The audience was so invested that there was plenty of laughter, gasping, and awws. The emotions are kept alive even during scene changes, which are done by the actors in between acts. The cast is so choreographed as they interact in character, which makes it both important and entertaining to pay attention to all the details. If the previous scene was happy and light, the actors are jovial during the moving of the set. If there was anger, grief, or strife, the actors are angry and tense as they move the set pieces and props.

It’s definitely refreshing to see a story about the lives of gay people with more heft and grit to it which also comes a bit closer to the reality of gay dating life in 2017. If there were more time, it would be nice to see the characters fleshed out even more or be shown more about their entire lives.

Brandon Haagenson and Robbie Simpson play Josh and Alex, the husbands, who will have you loving them and feeling tense for them throughout the story. Patrick Reilly is Darius, who gets caught up in this fantasy and allows himself to catch feelings for Alex against his own better judgement. He does such a wonderful job at expressing his emotions, devastation, disappointment, and confusion while reminding the audience that no one is really to blame here, nor is anyone worthy of our hatred.

The intimate setting of the Davenport Theatre makes you feel like you are in the characters lives, apartments, and relationships like a true voyeur as you explore their issues right beside them. Do polyamorous relationships work or is there a point where they need to be cut off before real feelings develop that can get in the way of everything a couple strives for in their journey together? For some, it certainly does but in this case, maybe not so much. Since it is based on Gelman’s own experience in opening up his marriage, this is surely one way things do play out in real life. Check out Afterglow and judge (or perhaps a better word is see) for yourself.

A Peek into my Stay at The Grand Resort and Spa, aka Paradise

This past weekend I was fortunate enough to spend more time at The Grand Resort and Spa in Ft Lauderdale, Florida. This time was even more fun-filled, special, and relaxing because I got to spend four full days and three nights there. The last time I enjoyed two days and was able to experience the truly top notch spa, lay by the pool, and explore the area. This time I was able to really RELAX, make some truly amazing new friends, enjoy the pool and the property, and of course that ridiculously luxurious spa.

As I mentioned last time I stayed, the staff at the Grand Resort and Spa is so attentive from the moment you arrive. And I’m not saying that because they invited me. I continually witnessed them interacting with the same kindness and attentiveness to every guest from the moment they checked in right up until they check out. This is not a place where the hospitality has limits. I would like to extend my deepest appreciation to Edward, Kevin, Chris, Jay, Tommy, and the entire team who took care of us throughout our stay.

There are so many desirable things about the Grand. The location is so close to the beach and restaurants, the property itself is a secluded paradise, and the rooms are luxurious. Even the smallest room is larger than my apartment in NYC. Of course, the spa is the icing on the already delicious cake. The staff in the spa is so knowledgable, have won many awards, and are constantly learning new techniques to keep up with what is healthy, hot, and beneficial.

One of my favorite parts of the spa is talking to them. I’ve never walked out of there without some new insight or information about my body, skin, hair, and wellbeing. JD is particularly talented and well versed in such things so I get great suggestions about what to do on a regular basis to improve my overall beauty routine (and YES, men should have a beauty routine!).

My original intention was to spend my days by the pool, enjoy the spa, and then explore the area. I only ventured out one night for dinner and one day to hit the beach. The rest of the time I literally spent playing card games, talking to people, and just chilling out among friends. I met this adorable, sweet couple named James and Brian who delighted me with their company. Of course, in true Teeco fashion, it turned out James went to school with one of my very good friends so there was a common connection that leads back to social media!

What made this stay so outstanding was the promotion we did prior and during. Matt Martin and I promoted the weekend so if you stayed, you got your room at a discounted rate AND the best part was that there were lottery drawings each day to give away two and three night stays, drink vouchers, and more. It was a great way to get to know everyone staying there and for them to get to know us. As I stated, I made fast friends with one couple in particular and it was James’ birthday. When I was drawing the winner for the three night stay on Saturday, my intentions were for it to be a special win for someone. I had no idea at the time that it was James’ birthday until I announced his name and he revealed that he was there to celebrate his day. You all know how I feel about things happening for a reason and from intention. The next prize was a $25 drink voucher and James’ husband Brian was the winner there! So, I actually felt like I was a winner too because the whole intention thing worked to make a special weekend a little more special.

Some of the Staff at the Grand Resort and Spa

The last time I stayed at the Grand Resort and Spa I got my haircut, had a facial and enjoyed a massage. The facial I chose in October was an age smart facial, which is an 80 minute rejuvenating and relaxing experience for your skin. This time, I decided to do a 20 minute Microzone Facial to target some of the damage I inevitably do to my skin by shaving and from exposure to the sun. I don’t think we actually realize how much stress plays a role in the health of our skin too. I learned that the moisturizer I am currently using is a bit too thick and therefore, not exactly the healthiest for my pores.

This time around, I also decided to try the Swedish massage since I had already received a deep tissue massage in October. I figured it was a good way to be able to sample more of the work they do here. Both massages are completely relaxing from the music, to the temperature of the room, and the smell of the oils used. An hour goes by so fast that you are left wanting more time to just “be”. I have to say that before my trips to the Grand, I didn’t really understand the need or desire for massages on a regular basis. Now, I totally get it! They are so necessary to promote healthy circulation, to calm you, and to remove much of the stresses or our daily lives.

If you are a gay man or a gay couple, I highly recommend a trip to the Grand Resort and Spa. Most airfare to Ft Lauderdale is affordable on any budget, depending on the time of year and the rooms are actually less than a room in a hotel that doesn’t offer spa services or a resort atmosphere.

Again, there is so much to do because you are so close to the beach and the strip. I can tell you first hand that Rocco’s Tacos, The Foxy Brown, and the Drunken Taco are all fantastic places to enjoy a good drink and fabulous food. Plus, with Uber Eats, you are pretty much open to everything in the area. My new friends Brian and James had a red velvet birthday cake delivered for James’ special day. What did we do without apps?

I hope that you will consider the Grand for your next vacation experience and continue following me for my next trip there, you never know what specials we will make available and you never know what you could win during a weekend I am around! If you have already enjoyed a stay there, please feel free to comment here and if you are considering going, definitely reach out to me to let me know. You can get me on Twitter and Instagram at @Teeco71 and on Facebook too! Visit The Grand Resort and Spa for even more information on their services, prices, and specials.

 

Check out what The Grand Resort and Spa has been up to

SOUTH FLORIDA’S VERY OWN THE GRAND RESORT AND SPA IS A NEW PROUD SPONSOR OF VH1’S “RUPAUL’S DRAG RACE” SEASON NINE PREMIERE!

I’m so proud of and happy for my friends at the Grand Resort and Spa! Can’t wait to head back May 19th to the 22nd! You can even join me, learn more here: http://www.teeco71.com/?s=grand+resort&submit

Look at what they’ve been up to:

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL – Saturday, March 25, 2017: RuPaul’s Drag Race kicked off their season nine premiere on VH1 on Friday, March 24th at 8:00 pm EST.  During its first episode, Emmy Awarder Winner, RuPaul awarded contestant, Nina Bo’nina Brown, a trip to Fort Lauderdale Beach’s, The Grand Resort and Spa. The prize included a one week stay, for two, in the 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom Grand Penthouse that boasts an 800 square foot private, ocean view terrace with a Jacuzzi and outdoor shower. Also included in this prize package will be airfare for two, and a complimentary massage and facial. The total prize value of $6,000.  Casey Koslowski, Proprietor of The Grand, states that he looks forward to seeing Nina and his guest, at his award winning spa-resort and sunning themselves on Fort Lauderdale Beach very soon!

The Grand Resort and Spa is Fort Lauderdale’s premiere gay-owned and operated men’s spa-resort that first opened in 1999. With 33 well-appointed rooms and suites, it is located just steps from the beach and convenient to all of Fort Lauderdale’s attractions and nightlife. As Fort Lauderdale’s first gay resort with its own full-service day spa and hair studio, they offer guests an experience that is unique and wonderfully indulgent. From a relaxing Swedish massage to a haircut before your night on the town, the talented staff can accommodate all your needs – guaranteed to “Exceed Expectations.” A sample of the property’s awards and accolades include “Certificate of Excellence, Hall of Fame” – TripAdvisor; “Editor’s Choice” – Man About World; “#1 in Fort Lauderdale” – Pink Choice Award; “Best Small Hotel or Resort in the World” – Out Traveler Award Winner; “Top 10 Resorts” – The Travel Channel; “One of the top 10 gay-owned spas in the United States” – Out Traveler Magazine; “USA TODAY 10 BEST” – USA TODAY.

At The Grand Resort and Spa, guests will experience first class service from their elite staff members providing a vast knowledge of the South Florida region, which includes the world famous “gayborhood,” Wilton Manors.  Some of the fantastic amenities for guests include free Wi-Fi, continental & hot breakfast catered daily (available while supplies last) and no hidden “resort fees.”

RuPaul’s Drag Race previously announced this season’s celebrity guest judges which included in the first episode, Lady Gaga.  The 13 previously announced Queens include: Aja, Alexis Michelle, Charlie Hides, Eureka, Farrah Moan, Jaymes Mansfield, Kimora Blac, Nina Bo’nina Brown, Peppermint, Sasha Velour, Shea Couleé, Trinity Taylor, and Valentina. “RuPaul’s Drag Race” season nine is produced by World of Wonder Productions with Fenton Bailey, Randy Barbato, Tom Campbell, Steven Corfe, Mandy Salangsang and RuPaul Charles serving as Executive Producers.  Tim Palazzola serves as Executive Producer for Logo.

For reservations and information on The Grand Resort and Spa, visit their website www.grandresort.net or call 1-800-818-1211 ֪– 24 hours, 7 days a week. For up-to-date “The Grand Resort and Spa” news and exclusives, join the “The Grand Resort and Spa” Facebook page or follow #GrandResortSpa on Twitter at @GrandResortSpa. Follow along on our Instagram page by searching for GrandResortSpa.  For marketing and public relations, please contact Edward Otto Zielke at edward@grandresort.net.

TwitterTakeover at The Grand Resort and Spa

I have been very lucky to be able to enjoy wonderful trips, restaurants, spas, and entertainment and now I get to pass along some savings to YOU so you can join me in one of my latest adventures. And more importantly, you can share in a relaxing, fun experience. Sorry, ladies, this one is only for the guys.

Do you want to vacation with guys who know what’s hot and happening? Join me (teeco71 – Tommy Geraci) and Matt Martin at the Grand Resort and Spa for a relaxing and intimate gay vacation in sunny Fort Lauderdale, Florida! Enjoy poolside happy hours, spa treatments, tranquility and have the opportunity to vacation with me and Matt.

I wrote about my last trip there and you can read all about it here

This time, I’d really like to see some familiar faces there this time around. Let’s have some champagne toasts by the pool and enjoy the amazing spa services all day!  It’s located so close to the airport, it’s a quick Uber ride away and there are plenty of amazing restaurants  right there to satisfy any appetite.

The best news is that it’s also a lotto weekend! ALL ROOMS ARE $179 and with a confirmed reservation you enter to be upgraded!!!

GRAND PRIZE: An upgraded stay in The Grand Penthouse! (Their spectacular 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom suite with its own kitchen, terrace, outdoor shower, and jacuzzi).

THE OTHER PRIZE IS THAT ALL PREMIUM ROOMS ARE JUST $179.00! You can pick ANY room (including our Patio Suites, 1 Bedroom and 2 Bedroom Penthouses that is available) EXCLUDING our Courtyard Guest Rooms and The Grand Penthouse for $179.00/night + tax: May 15th–May 23rd, 2017.

All reservations to be entered for the upgrade for the upgraded stay in The Grand Penthouse must be made by Friday, May 12th. First come first serve on room selections. The winner of the upgraded stay to The Grand Penthouse will be contacted by Saturday, May 13th. The minimum stay requirement is a 3-night stay.

Other opportunities to win include other prize giveaways:

A FREE future 3-night stay
Vouchers for our famous poolside beer & wine service
A FREE Spa service
Other surprises will also be waiting for our guests to make them ALL winners–play our GRAND LOTTO” and book your stay today!

Make your reservation by visiting their  website or call us at 1.800.818.1211. *Certain restrictions apply. New reservations only.

For further information, please contact Edward Otto Zielke from The Grand Resort and Spa.