Got a press release late yesterday from the PR for Coraline, the new musical by Stephin Merritt and David Greenspan that MCC Theater is presenting as the capstone of a very, very good season for those guys. The release wasn’t about the production so much as all the electronic — which is to say production-generated and not as ancillary as you might think — media that the company hopes will stir up buzz hither and yon across the InterTubes. I took a look at MCC’s blog and it’s not bad at all. So I added it to the Clyde Fitch Report blogroll.
And so, a proposal: Let’s create a registry or database, if you will, of nonprofit theater companies and for-profit productions that have blogs that really are blogs — good blogs, active blogs, substantive and insightful blogs. If we’re going to have a conversation about ways to create new critics, to forge new opportunities to work, we might as well be smart about this and look at what companies and productions are doing — and then develop ideas as to ways that critics might liaise with them or even run them. Yes, I know this is the realm of the dramaturg. But I’ve always been of the view that the divide between the dramaturg and the critic in the U.S. is just needless hogwash.
And now the press release…
LAUNCHES VIRTUAL PORTAL
INTO THE WORLD OF
LEIGH SILVERMAN DIRECTS
STEPHIN MERRITT / DAVID GREENSPAN MUSICAL
New York, NY – MCC THEATER (Robert LuPone, Bernard Telsey, Artistic Directors; William Cantler, Associate Artistic Director; Blake West, Executive Director) in association with True Love Productions, has announced a full line-up of unique technical endeavors in support of the world premiere of the new musical, Coraline. Just like the shows’ eponymous heroine, visitors to the www.mcctheater.org/multimedia.html portal can enter a fabulous world of ways to interact with this exciting new production, including blogging by the show’s creators, auctions, Twitter, live chats, 6 exclusive podcasts with the creative team, new music samples and videos. In addition, MCC has secured the services of Brooklyn-based DJ and blogger Randyhate, who will be spinning music and blogging live from the opening night party on blip.fm.
“From the very moment that we began working on Coraline, we knew that this was going to be unlike anything MCC has ever produced. We wanted to ensure that audiences also had unprecedented access to the creative process and the show itself,” explained MCC Executive Director Blake West. “Check in with our website often. Just like Coraline, you’ll never know what you might find.”
A musical like no other, Coraline sprang from the minds of three of the most wildly popular cult figures of our time. Adapted from the terrifying children’s book by Neil Gaiman (author of the international sensation Sandman and a 2009 winner of the prestigious Newberry Award, the top award for children’s literature), this tale of menace and mayhem is set to music and lyrics by smart-rock iconoclast Stephin Merritt of The Magnetic Fields, and boasts a book by celebrated downtown actor/playwright, David Greenspan, who serves double-duty as the villainous ‘Other Mother.’ Bringing it all together is acclaimed director Leigh Silverman (Yellowface, From Up Here, Well). The Focus Features animated film based on the same novel opened in February of this year. The cast for Coraline will feature Julian Fleisher, David Greenspan, Jayne Houdyshell, Francis Jue, January LaVoy, Elliot Villar and William Youmans.
Musical Direction is by Kimberly Grigsby, Choreography is by Denis Jones, Scenic Design is by Christine Jones, Lighting Design is by Ben Stanton and Costume Design is by Anita Yavich.
This world premiere event marks a first ever musical offering by MCC Theater. Performances will begin at the Lucille Lortel Theatre (121 Christopher Street, NYC) on May 7 and continue through June 20, 2009. Opening night is set for Monday, June 1 at 7:00 p.m.
Poor bored Coraline. She’s left to rattle ’round her perpetually distracted, workaholic parents’ house all by her lonesome. But late one night, her dreams of a better reality come true as she opens a big, carved, wooden door at the far end of the drawing room and passes into a perfect replica of her own world. When she’s greeted there by a vastly loving Other Mother and a kindly Other Father, she’s thrilled! But as the rats start to creep from the floorboards, and the way home becomes increasingly unclear, Coraline begins to suspect that, perhaps, all is not as perfect as it seems…
MCC Theater is one of New York City’s leading Off Broadway theater companies, committed to presenting New York and world premieres each season. When MCC Theater was founded in 1986, its mission was simple: to bring new theatrical voices to theater-going audiences. MCC Theater continues to accomplish this yearly through presentation of its mainstage works; its Literary Program, which actively seeks and develops new and emerging writers and its Education & Outreach Program, allowing more than 1,200 students yearly to experience theater, increase literacy and discover their own voices in the arts. Notable MCC Theater highlights include: the 2004 Tony-winning production of Bryony Lavery’s Frozen; Neil LaBute’s Fat Pig; Rebecca Gilman’s The Glory of Living; Marsha Norman’s Trudy Blue; Margaret Edson’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Wit; Tim Blake Nelson’s The Grey Zone and Alan Bowne’s Beirut. Over the years, the dedication to the work of new and emerging artists has earned MCC Theater a variety of awards.
MCC Theater’s production of Neil LaBute’s reasons to be pretty opened last week to rave reviews on Broadway.
For a complete production history and to purchase tickets, visit www.mcctheater.org.