April - May, 2020: As you may have heard, there was a certain virus that had a huge effect on the world and especially on New York City and live theatre. Since we were all forced to stay home, I used this time to do something I've been aching to do for a long time: write. The musical I'm writing is about an extremely timely subject (see last month's post) and bound to draw a passionate audience. So far I've finished the entire libretto as well as all the music and lyrics for the first act. Since who knows how long the quarantine will last, I'm hoping to finish the first draft of the entire show by the time the quarantine is lifted.
February - March, 2020: On February 23, one song from the full-length musical I'm writing titled Bullet Points: A Black Comedy About Tribal Thinking and School Violence is presented at the TRU "How to Write a Musical That Works" workshop (see photo). The focus for this particular workshop was on songs of "Conflict and Obstacles." The reaction from the illustrious panel was overwhelmingly positive, with quotes such as:
- "I was wondering how the hell you were going to pull it off and I actually think you were very successful. It was a surprisingly well-done way of bringing up very painful topics. We were laughing in spite of ourselves."
- "Super impressed because your writing is very sharp and really well done. I think it's extremely scary but I think doing art that is extremely scary is worth it and is something to walk into."
If I am able to find the time, I hope to complete a first draft of the entire show by the end of this year.
January, 2020: The year begins with multiple auditions and a 29 Hour Reading titled Cult, The Musical, the story of waring factions within a 1970s cult. I play a number of roles including a cult member who has a personal relationship with a goat (I'll let you use your imagination). Fortunately, this show a comedy. Other highlights include my continuing class with mega-producers Jane Dubin and Rachel Weinstein as well as attending a fascinating Commercial Theatre Institute seminar on the process of taking a musical "from page to stage."
November - December, 2019: I'm thrilled to return to Arkansas Repertory Theatre for my 8th show, this time in a new production of a show I did there years ago, It's a Wonderful Life, a Live Radio Play, in which I play 17 characters as well as the piano between scenes. This is a charming retelling of a story that most Americans know from the numerous times it plays on TV during the holiday season, and I'm honored and privileged to have the opportunity to perform it live on stage.
August - November, 2019: I'm thrilled to begin rehearsal for Sunset Boulevard, which officially opens September 14 at the Engeman Theatre. Although I've done the show before, this time I play Cecil B. DeMille and understudy the role of Max von Mayerling. For a review of the show go to: http://tbrnewsmedia.com/theater-review-engeman-theaters-sunset-blvd-cast-shines-in-iconic-tale In addition to Sunset, I have the good fortune to appear in multiple 29 Hour Readings of the clever new show Pop Goes The Music which goes back into rehearsal in September. On top of that, I'm in the process of writing an original new musical titled Bullet Points, a Black Comedy About Tribal Thinking and School Violence. Considering how little free time I have each day to write, it's a miracle that the show is already a third finished.
July, 2019: The month begins with the wonderful news that I'm now signed and fully represented by the The Mine Talent Agency, headed by the brilliant and dedicated Dustin Flores and Marc Ferre. I am thrilled and humbled to be represented by these gentlemen and to be included in their roster of clients, all of whom are phenomenally talented working professionals. Visit https://www.facebook.com/themineagency to see a list of just some of the projects their clients are currently working on.
June, 2019: The month begins with the news that my last film Better Dead Than Red just received another award, this time for "Best Noir Score." In addition to this great news, I'm offered two AEA contracts back to back which (amazingly) don't overlap. One is as a musical director-onstage pianist and the other is to appear in a production of Andrew Lloyd Webber's Sunset Boulevard. In the meantime, I continue to write a full-length stage musical and hope to have a rough draft completed by the end of this year. For more info on my film production company, New Tune Entertainment, LLC, please visit: www.NewTuneEntertainment.com
March, 2019: I began March by attending the three-day Commercial Theatre Institute seminar on how to produce shows on Broadway. Even though I was one of the few selected to attend the 14-Week CTI seminar (2018 graduate), every time I attend a CTI seminar I learn something new. The next week I learned that my most recent film, Better Dead Than Red, was not only accepted into the Austin Comedy Short Film Festival but was nominated in two categories: Best Comedy and Best Cinematography. Every film festival is inundated with thousands of submissions so simply to have my film selected to be screened is an honor - to be nominated for two awards is almost unheard of. For more info on my film production company, New Tune Entertainment, LLC, visit: www.NewTuneEntertainment.com
October - November, 2018: Rehearsals and performances begin for The Hound of the Baskervilles at the Flat Rock Playhouse in North Carolina. The show is as three-man madcap comedic version of the classic mystery by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in which I play Sherlock Holmes + seven other characters requiring over 40 costume changes (wow). If it doesn't kill me, it should be fun! For information go to https://www.flatrockplayhouse.org/show/the-hound-of-the-baskervilles To read a newspaper review go to http://www.blueridgenow.com/news/20181108/review-playhouses-hound-of-baskervilles-crosses-line-between-stage-audience or to
March - August, 2018: After completion in May of the fourteen-week Commercial Theatre Institute Course on producing for Broadway Theatre, I continue to work in a number of areas - not only writing and producing but also singing and acting - note photo (left) of the on-set monitor from the SAG film The Worst Generation in which I play a blow-hard boss who doesn't understand modern technology. Auditions and call backs abound. I also begin writing a full-length musical which I hope to complete by the end of the year. In the meantime my latest musical film Better Dead Than Red continues to be accepted into film festivals across the country and around the world.
January - February, 2018: The new year opens in a whirlwind of activity. In addition to auditions and call backs as well as continued laurel wreaths for the film I wrote and produced last year (Better Dead Than Red; see poster below for October - December, 2017), I was accepted into and begin taking the 14 Week Commercial Theatre Institute's Course in how to produce theatre on Broadway. The top-notch speakers are legendary producers and lawyers who explain in detail how Broadway theatre is financed and the high-stakes risks (and rewards) involved. At the end of February I'm asked to participate in a workshop of Ragtime on Ellis Island - a continuation of the musical Ragtime which we performed on Ellis Island in 2016. The goal of this workshop is to overcome the technical challenges of performing in a landmark-protected space covered with tile and prone to sound reverberation. The goal is an extended run of the show on Ellis Island in 2018.
October - December, 2017: Awards and accolades continue to pour in for Better Dead Than Red, the original short musical film noir comedy that I wrote, produced, and co-directed a few months ago. We are declared the winner of the prestigious Festigious Film Festival as well as the Los Angeles Film Awards Festival and Southern Shorts Awards. The film has also been accepted into numerous other festivals including the Los Angeles CineFest, the Red Corner Film Festival, the Chandler Film Festival, Move Me Productions Film Festival, the Best Independent International Film Festival, plus three separate awards from the Top Indie Film Awards Festival. To view the 30-Second trailer go to the video page of this website or simply click on https://vimeo.com/237041408
August & September, 2017: Better Dead Than Red, an original short musical comedy film noir for which I wrote the screenplay, music and lyrics, goes into pre-production, production, and post production. The plot concerns Richard Dick, New York's worst detective who is hired to solve America's hottest case and stumbles upon a Russian plot to sway the 1952 presidential election. The film uses a cast of twelve, a crew of nine and requires four days to shoot. The effort is massive but the result is stellar. Film festivals submissions have already begun!
July, 2017: I travel to the charming town of Westport, NY, where we begin a whirlwind rehearsal period (only nine days) for the two-person play Souvenir in which I play Cosme McMoon, the long-suffering accompanist to Florence Foster Jenkins. I am blessed to have the lovely and talented Anette Michelle Sanders as my cast mate. The Depot Theatre is exactly as its title implies: a theatre built inside a train depot. We have been warned that should an unexpected freight train pass by that the stage lights will dim and we are to "hold" until the train leaves. Ah, the glamorous life of live theatre! As soon as the show opens I continue pre-production on my upcoming short musical film noir Better Dead Than Red, which we plan to shoot in September. All systems are a "go" for a great shoot!
June, 2017: I just received a chastisement from Facebook: "People visiting Larry Daggett haven't heard from you in a while. Write a post." Jeez. I've been busy! To keep Mr. Facebook (who's that? Mark Zuckerberg?) off my back, here's the latest news:
1) I'm currently in rehearsal for a backers audition for Grumpy Old Men, The Musical written by Neil Berg, Dan Remmes and Nick Meglin, and starring Lee Wilkof, John Hillner, and Luba Mason. See photo (left) of the flyer of the reading.
2) I'm working on the crowdfunding campaign for Better Dead Than Red, a short film noir musical for which I am the producer and composer-lyricist. I’m happy to report that the script and score are finished and some actors are already attached. Now I need to make money to pay for the filming!
3) Next month I begin rehearsal for a regional theatre production of the two-person play Souvenir for which I have a million lines to re-learn (I did the show five years ago so the lines are familiar but not yet solid).
There! Hopefully that will keep Mr. Facebook off my back, at least for a while. And now, back to work!
April, 2017: As you can guess from the image on the left, I received a lovely award this month from the Independent Reviewers of New England, that of Best Actor in a Musical for my performance last year in the Fiddlehead Theatre Company's Boston production of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. (http://www.playbill.com/article/shoshana-bean-and-mark-rylance-among-irne-winners). Considering that the award for Best Actress in a Musical went to the star Shoshana Bean, that's not bad! I'm also thrilled to announce that the short musical film I produced and wrote (book, music, and lyrics), The Secret Song of Walter Bitty, was chosen as one of the "Best Of" films and shown at a special AGR screening. In addition to the above, I also attended the Commercial Theatre Institute's three-day seminar on how to produce on Broadway. This intense seminar was simultaneously thrilling and exhausting, and I highly recommend it to anyone who has the passion (and the insanity) to produce live theatre!
March, 2017: Within the incredibly short time span of only two weeks, we rehearse, open, and close a truly magnificent production of the Agatha Christie play And Then There Were None at the Judson Theatre Company in Pinehurst, North Carolina. This is an amazingly difficult show to pull off, with very tricky dialog and numerous plot twists. Even so, we receive a standing ovation at every one of our six performances. I will forever remember the cast and crew of this lovely theatre and wonderful production. See photo of me (left) as Sir Lawrence Wargrave, the "hanging judge" who, as it turns out, interprets that phrase perhaps a little too literally!
February, 2017: I establish a new production company, New Tune Entertainment, LLC, specifically dedicated to the future production of original films and plays. Check out the link below to the new website dedicated to my new company! There you will find clips from my first film, The Secret Song of Walter Bitty. In what little free time I have between jobs, I start writing the script, music and lyrics for my next new short musical film to be shot some time in May titled Seeing Red. For more information on that film please visit my company's new website: www.NewTuneEntertainment.com
January, 2017: The year opens with a bang. On January 14 we shoot The Secret Song of Walter Bitty, an original musical film for which I wrote the script, lyrics and music, and which I also produced. The goal is to enter it into film festivals and hopefully gain some attention, both for myself and my magnificent cast (see picture left). A few days later I'm offered another regional theatre job: to appear in the Agatha Chrystie play And Then There Were None at the Judson Theatre in March in Pinehurst, North Carolina. I get to play the MURDERER!!! What fun!
December, 2016: The month begins with a bang as we prerecord the music and lyrics for the SAG short film Panic at the Pole, which I wrote (along with my co-author Rose Pedone). See photo (left) of our music rehearsal where I taught the score to the actors. Our hope is the film will find a following and perhaps even will an award or two at a film festival. The rest of the month is spent preparing for The Secret Song of Walter Bitty, a SAG short film for which I wrote the book, music, and lyrics and in which I will also appear as the boss.
November, 2016: The month begins with a bang as I learn I've been nominated for a BroadwayWorld.com award for my performance last month in Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. Then on to a table reading of the great show The Oliver Experiment by Jeremy Desmon and Jeff Thomson, and produced by Joshua Goodman. The purpose of this reading is so our new director Scott Schwartz (who directed me in Li'l Abner at Goodspeed a few years ago) can hear the show read out loud. What a privilege and pleasure it is to revisit this wonderful piece with so many of the cast who were with us last year, including the lovely Katie Rose Clarke, the dashing Ed Watts, the charming Michael Campayno, plus some folks who weren't with us last year: Jeremy Morse, Rema Webb, Alexa Green, and Lindsey Carothers. "Follow The Light!"
October, 2016: Priscilla, Queen of the Desert runs Sept. 30 to Oct. 9 to rave reviews and standing ovations at the Shubert Theatre in Boston (1,500 seats). To read reviews, click below. I've always thought that women had it harder than men, but after spending the past month playing Bernadette, the transgender headliner, in a bra, pantyhose, shaved legs and high heels, now I know it! I'm back in NYC only five days when I get an offer to do a reading of The Book of Merman based on the life of Ethel Merman in which I'll play Jack Klugman & George Abbott.
September, 2016: The month is happily spent in Boston rehearsing for the upcoming opening of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert at the lovely Shubert Theatre (see photo left). What an enormously talented group of theatre artists, all working together to give a glorious production of this seldom-seen show! The first day of rehearsal I have a phone interview with EDGE Magazine. To read that interview in full click on the link below. Doing a phone interview always make me nervous - you never know if what you say out loud will mean the same thing when read in print!
August , 2016: The month begins with a screening of the SAG Short Film First Impressions. For a clip check out the video page on this website. A week laster I reprise the role of Henry Ford in the August 8 concert of RAGTIME on Ellis Island (see photo of me with Brian Stokes Mitchell, both of us from the original Broadway production). Very exciting! On the same day as the RAGTIME concert I have a photo shoot for my upcoming role of Bernadette in PRISCILLA, QUEEN OF THE DESERT which begins rehearsal at the end of August and plays in Boston from Sept. 30 - Oct. 9; this allows me three weeks to learn how to walk in high heels and speak with an Australian dialect. No rest for the wicked!
July, 2016: If this photo seems similar to the one for June, 2016 it's because this is my third reading that I've done in the past month. This time around it's a reading of PLAY LIKE A WINNER for the New York Musical Theatre Festival. A great show, a great group, and a great experience. Two days after PLAW closed, I wrap shooting the SAG Short Film First Impressions in the hope it will make its way into film festivals. For a clip check out the video page on this website. I'm also asked to reprise the role of Henry Ford in the August 8 concert of RAGTIME on Ellis Island. Very exciting!
June, 2016: After the privilege of reading the musical FRONT PAGE GIRL on May 31 (see cast photo, left), I begin rehearsal for a reading of the timely drama VEILS OF JUSTICE, which was performed at the Soho Playhouse on June 20. In late June I'm asked to appear in a reading of the musical PLAY LIKE A WINNER at the the New York Musical Theatre Festival, to be performed in July. I also post to this website my new Chris Macke head shots from the photo shoot I had taken in late May!
February, 2016: We open Big River at the Alhambra Theatre in Jacksonville, Florida to a long and rousing standing ovation. Working in a dinner theatre is an unusual experience. The audience members love to talk to the actors as we walk up and down the aisles to make our entrances: "good job!" or "ya'all can sing!" By the second performance the show had sold 52% of its tickets for the entire run, a record for this theatre. Here are two reviews of the show. I'm not sure which one made me laugh more, the one that calls me Larry Draggett (usually it's misspelled Daggert or Daggit) or the one that says I'm funny ... until I'm not!
January, 2016: I'm thrilled to announce that next month I begin rehearsal for Big River at the Alhambra Theatre in Jacksonville, Florida. How lucky I am to be spending most of the winter in Florida, especially after New York City just endured a record blizzard of 26.8 inches of snow in one day! Another good piece of news: last week I was called in to read for the TV show Blue Bloods. For anyone who knows how difficult it is to be seen for any TV show, particularly one as great as that one, this was quite an event.
December, 2015: We open Peter and the Starcatcher at Orlando Shakespeare Theatre to standing ovations every night. Every member of this cast is an all star, brilliant in his or her own right, and when combined into an ensemble they turn this good show into a great one. The top of Act II begins with "The Mermaid Song" explaining how each fish has been turned into a mermaid as a result of starstuff dissolved in the sea. Thanks to the brilliant costume design of Jack Smith, each member of the cast becomes a picture of alluring beauty. See picture of me left as a Mermaid taken backstage. For more information on the show visit http://www.orlandoshakes.org/plays-events/peterandthestarcatcher.html#.Vji-966rR-U For a lovely review of the show, including the phrase "a very VERY funny Larry Daggett" visit http://www.brevardculture.com/2015/12/review-ost-starcatcher-imagination-on-steroids/
November, 2015: The month begins with a bang doing a reading of the charming new musical On The Air by Robert and Cristina Farruggia at the York Theatre. See cast/crew photo left (that's me standing next to the show's director, Hunter Foster). For information go to: http://www.playbill.com/news/article/hunter-foster-will-direct-reading-of-new-musical-on-the-air-featuring-nick-spangler-and-farah-alvin-369155 On November 9 I begin rehearsal for Peter and the Starcatcher at Orlando Shakespeare Theatre. I will be playing Mrs. Bumbrake, the nanny, and I couldn't be more excited. For more information visit the theatre's website: http://www.orlandoshakes.org/plays-events/peterandthestarcatcher.html#.Vji-966rR-U
October, 2015: Good heavens, I've been so busy that it's been months since I've added to my news! After an incredibly busy summer working on numerous films and TV shows shot in NYC including Mozart in the Jungle, The Family, and The Woody Allen 2015 Project (see photo left of me as "Club Pianist"), I flew to Memphis for a reading of a lovely new show titled The Oliver Experiment (for information go to http://www.tnshakespeare.org/component/content/article/68-uncategorized/350-oliver-experiment-2015). Next month I will fly to Florida to appear in Peter and the Starcatcher at Orlando Shakespeare Theatre (for information go to http://www.orlandoshakes.org/plays-events/peterandthestarcatcher.html#.VipTvBCrTBU). In the meantime I continue to work on my one person show, A More Perfect Union, about the Constitutional Convention of 1787 as told from the point of view of James Madison, with a production scheduled for 2016. Egads, it's been a crazy-busy 2015!
January, 2015: With the new year, I'm back to playing a priest. Episode two of the webseries RINGER$, which I shot throughout last year, goes online. To see a one minute scene from the show where I advise two assistants priests on the intricacies of listening to confession, visit http://youtu.be/iRbZBJkRAo8 During the Christmas break between semesters I use my free time to study for the GRE, which I must complete to apply for graduate school in Speech Language Pathology. The language part of the test is easy, but the math? It's like hammering nails into my eyes. I hope to complete the test before the Spring 2015 Semester begins the last week of January.
December, 2014: I’m happy to report I graduate top of my class in my Speech Language Pathology classes this semester: Acoustic Phonetics and (shudder) Audiology. These classes ain’t for slackers. See if you can answer these questions from the final exams, two from Acoustic Phonetics and two from Audiology:
1) What is the English equivalent of these words written in IPA: /ɔɾəm, pəθɑlədʒɪ, θʌndɚəs/?
2) How would you write the letters “e, f, g, h, i, j” in IPA?
3) Identify and explain 7 post natal causes for sensorineural hearing loss.
4) Explain the difference between a cochlear implant and an auditory brainstem implant, and the advantages and disadvantages of each. SEE WHAT I MEAN? In the meantime I continue to work in films and TV shows shot in the New York area. At left see picture of me in front of the Christmas tree as an gentleman circa 1815 for the TV show FOREVER.
November, 2014: After the close of Sweeney Todd last month I continue to work on TV shows and films shot in the New York area while taking classes in Speech Language Pathology at Lehman College. For the third time this year I'm cast as a member of the clergy: first as Reverend Crisparkle in The Mystery of Edwin Drood, then as Father John in the webseries RINGER$, and most recently as a priest in the film Show Me a Hero (see photo, left). Between acting jobs and catering work I squeeze in time to study for my midterm exams in Audiology and Phonetics - and receive an A on both tests!
October, 2014: SWEENEY TODD opens to rave reviews. "If you only see one musical this season, let this be the one" states ONSTAGE. I am thrilled to play Judge Turpin (see photo) with an outstanding cast. Between performances I continue to play Father John in the webseries RINGER$, as well as attend classes for my second degree in Speech Language Pathology. To read the full review click on this link: http://onstagewithchris.blogspot.com/2014/10/review-sweeney-todd-at-white-plains.html
September, 2014: In addition to getting new head shots taken (see picture on left), I am thrilled beyond meaure to be cast as Judge Turpin in the greatest musical ever written, SWEENEY TODD. Performances run October 10 - 26 at the White Plains Performing Arts Center. For tickets go to http://wppac.com/shows/sweeney-todd click on Buy Tickets, scroll down to choose the show, and seat location. Being in this show is a dream come true and I couldn't be more excited. At the same time I continue to pursue my second degree in Speech Language Pathology, taking classes this semester in Phonetics and Audiology. Juggling classes, rehearsals, auditions and jobs barely leaves me time to breathe!
August, 2014: What a busy month for working on TV shows in New York! Within a space of only a few weeks I land jobs on Royal Pains (see picture of me as a doctor) and three other series. In the meantime I continue to write the libretto and lyrics for the mopera I mentioned in June (see below). My co-writer and I hope to finish writing the show by the end of this year. The problem isn't finding inspiration to write, the problem is finding time to write! I also help my friend Sheila Wormer build her website Check it out at www.sheilawormer.com
July, 2014: THE MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD at the Barnstormers Theatre is a huge success. To my amazement, my character (Rev. Crisparkle) is chosen by the audience to be the murderer more than any other: 4 times out of 7. I was told after the show that was because I made them laugh so much! In the remaning performances I was voted to be either the detecitve Dick Datchery or one of the lovers. It's a little disconcerting not to know how the show is going to end until the audience votes -- and then suddenly to jump into a scene and song to match their desires. Best of all, I have an opportunity to work with a great group of people, all of whom I hope will remain friends for years to come.
May, 2014: Thanks to the kindness of Jack Doulin, Casting Director for New York Theatre Workshop, I'm asked to read stage directions for the one-woman show ROSE, based on the life of Rose Kennedy, starring the incomparable Kathleen Chalfant, produced by Nora's Playhouse and directed by Caroline Reddick Lawson. It was Ms. Chalfant and myself onstage for the entire evening. What a pleasure to work with this consumate professional! On the same day I'm cast in THE MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD which will perform this upcoming July at the Barnstormers Theatre in New Hampshire. I also learn that I received an A in my two Speech Language Pathology classes (Functional Disorders of Speech Pathology, and Anatomy & Physiology of Speech Mechanics) that I've been taking every week since February. I guess all that studying paid off!
April, 2014: I continue to take classes in Speech Language Pathology while simultaneously auditioning for theatrical productions. I am called in to audition for a production of CATS and who do you think was in the room? Trevor Nunn! The original director of CATS (as well as LES MISERABLES and more mega-musicals and plays than anyone can count). At the call back we had a lovely chat about life at the National Theatre and Old Vic. I thought I had died and gone to heaven! I'm also asked to play an Irish professor of Celtic Literature in the lovely new play THE EVE OF BELTANE at the Dramatists Guild. The reception is so positive that one theatre has asked about doing a full production next year.
February, 2014: I shoot a pilot for the new web series RINGER$. I play the Monsignor of the church where the choir (with all its politics and personalities) rehearses and sings. While I was wearing the clerical collar I said more than one "Hail Mary" that the series will be picked up by a major network by the end of this year. Keep your rosary crossed!
To view the pilot go to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a3W-jYx3qLw
In the meantime I continue to pursue my second degree in Speech Language Pathology. This semester's courses include Functional Disorders of Speech Pathology, and Anatomy and Physiology of Speech Mechanics. Actually, the course are far more interesting than the titles make them sound!
After a many hours of study I receive the grade of an A in both of my Speech Pathology classes. While this was far from easy, I can now explain the entire process of hearing from when sound enters the outer ear, through the middle and inner ear and cochlea, up through auditory pathway (watch out for the superior olivary complex!) and into the temporal lobes. It is a fascinating process and I plan to take more classes next sememster. In the meantime I continue to take classes from Casting Directors who will be scheduling auditions for pilot season. Here's hoping yours truly will be called in soon! News: The Waystation in the Stars, the film I made in 2012, is finally released and is being entered into film festivals. For a clip go to the video page of this website!
August/September/October, 2013: After continuing to take classes from New York City Casting Directors I'm called in to audition for LAW & ORDER: SVU and THE BLACKLIST. I'm also called in for numerous theatrical productions, including LES MISERABLES at Arkansas Repertory Theatre and SHADOWLANDS at Denver Center Theatre. The premiere of WAYSTATION IN THE STARS, the independent film I shot last year, is scheduled for later this year. In addition to auditioning I return to school to pursue a second career as a Speech Pathologist. This semester I take classes in Hearing Science (extremely technical!) and Linguistics (also technical, but fascinating). My hope is to find a long-running theatre job in town so I can do shows at night while continuing to take classes during the day.
July, 2013: I learn the production of THIS WONDERFUL LIFE (the one man version of the film IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE) that I did last year at Capital Repertory Theatre was named "Best Local Play" by the Times Union Newspaper. Considering that there are numerous theatres in the Albany area and that many of them had large casts, whereas my show had only one person onstage, that's not bad!
April/May/June, 2013: I use the "slow" months to meet Casting Directors who (hopefully) will call me in for future auditions, including Marci Phillips, John Ort, Julie Tucker, Ross Meyerson, Suzanne Smith Crowley, Beth Bowling, Kimberly Graham, and more to come.
March, 2013: After much rehearsal, BROADWAY BACKWARDS was performed March 18 at the Palace Theatre on Broadway. I can now say "I've played the Palace!" The event raised $345,000 in one night. To see highlights from the show go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hJ_4bXQQ2fA. Here is a picture of myself with my friend Brian Stokes Mitchell at the party after the show (we were both in the OBC of RAGTIME). I also appeared in my first credited TV performance, an episode of I KILLED MY BFF for the Biography Channel. The same day I was offered the role of the piano bar pianist in the feature film LA VIDA INESPERADA (THE UNEXPECTED LIFE) which is scheduled to begin shooting next month.
February, 2013: Here's the link to the trailer for WAYSTATION IN THE STARS, the indie I shot last year, written and directed by the brilliantly inventive Brandon Morrissey. If you had been exiled to a place where time stood still but you couldn't drink yourself to death what would you do? Put on a musical, of course! Go to:
I'm asked to join the cast of BROADWAY BACKWARDS, the annual benefit for BC/EFA which performs March 18. Stars include Estelle Parsons, my friend Judy Kaye (we did RAGTIME and CANDIDE together), Brian Stokes Mitchell (we did RAGTIME together) and Karen Ziemba. Go to: http://www.broadwaycares.org/backwards2013
December, 2012: THIS WONDERFUL LIFE continues to run through Dec. 22 at Capital Repertory Theatre.
To view the TV commercial go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OjfsDhuUOQw&feature=youtu.be
To view the Cable TV interview go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mt0Iz51OJDM&feature=youtu.be
For an interesting blog about the show: http://wgna.com/this-wonderful-life-capital-rep-shines-with-a-christmas-classic Here's a lovely review: www.didyouweekend.com/larry-daggett-brings-americas-favorite-christmas-story-life-capital-rep
December 22, 2012: THIS WONDERFUL LIFE closes to a sold out crowd and cheers from the audience.
I return to New York City the next day and look forward to a very busy and and productive New Year!
November 4, 2012: BEDBUGS! THE MUSICAL! closes to another standing ovation with plans for an open-ended run off-Broadway next year. Stay tuned for more information regarding theatre location!
November 6, 2012: I begin rehearsal for my second production of the play THIS WONDERFUL LIFE,
a one-man version of the film IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE, which opens Nov. 27 at Captial Repertory Theatre in Albany, NY and runs to Dec. 22, 2012. I'll play 36 people (every character in the film).
November 27, 2012: We open THIS WONDERFUL LIFE to great acclaim. Here's a lovely review:
As well as a newspaper article about the show: www.timesunion.com/entertainment/article/Capital-Rep-to-present-one-man-Wonderful-Life-4054289.php
October, 2012: Rehearsals continue for the amazingly creative BEDBUGS! THE MUSICAL. For information go to www.bedbugsmusical.com. (Photo from the show of myself & Brian Charles Rooney as Dexter & Dionne.)
October 5: I'm cast in THIS WONDERFUL LIFE, a one-man version of the film IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE, which opens Nov. 27 at Capital Repertory Theatre and runs to Dec. 22, 2012. I will play thirty-six people (every character in the film). What a ride! For information: www.capitalrep.org/theatre/2012-2013/wonderful-life
October 21: BEDBUGS opens to a standing ovation with strong buzz about reopening next year for an open-ended run. To see photos from the show go to: http://offbroadway.broadwayworld.com/article/Photo-Flash-First-Look-at-Marissa-Rosen-Larry-Daggett-and-More-in-BEDBUGS-at-the-ATA-Chernuchin-Theatre-20121022
September, 2012: I begin rehearsal for a pre-Broadway workshop of SUGAR BABIES, a show which opened on Broadway in 1979 starring Mickey Rooney and Ann Miller and ran for an astounding 1,208 performances. The show is an endearing tribute to the days of burlesque and is chock full of great songs and vaudeville comedy sketches. This time around the workshop stars Tony winners Beth Leavel and Michael McGrath (I have my arms around them in the picture) and is directed by Richard Sabellico and choreographed by Denis Jones. Keep your fingers crossed for a full production on Broadway next year!
September 21: My name is listed in the title of a PLAYBILL.COM article about my next show, BEDBUGS!!! THE MUSICAL. To read the article go to: http://www.playbill.com/news/article/170269-Marissa-Rosen-and-Larry-Daggett-Will-Join-Chris-Hall-and-Brian-Charles-Rooney-in-BEDBUGS-
August, 2012: I'm offered the role of Dexter Diabolique/Menachem/Bedbug 4 in BEDBUGS!!! THE COMEDY SCI-FI THRILLER ROCK MUSICAL scheduled to perform October 19 - November 4 in New York City. This show was a hit at the NYMF a few years ago and is being brought back for two weeks before an extended run in March 2013. A cross between LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS and THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW it tells the tale of a young girl whose mother dies from a bedbug-induced accident. The girl grows up to become an exterminator determined to rid the world of bedbugs. Unfortunately, her cocktail of chemical insecticides unintentionally turn the bugs into human-sized monsters intent on devouring everyone in Manhattan! Oy vey! You'll have to see the show to appreciate the profound sociological, psychological and highly intellectual ramifications of this completely crazy musical romp.
July, 2012: Rehearsal begin for the role of Cervantes/Don Quixote in MAN OF LA MANCHA at the Mt. Washington Valley Theatre Company. This is my fifth production of this great show but my first time playing Quixote. We performed through Aug. 4 with standing ovations nightly. To watch me sing "The Impossible Dream" go to the Video page of this website (click on the Video menu tab above).
May, 2012: THE NATIONAL MFA PLAYWRIGHTS FESTIVAL is a huge hit and is sold out. In addition to working on new plays from Yale and UCLA I meet a wide range of writers, actors, producers and directors who love the shows and my work. Soon afterward I have auditions and call backs for numerous productions including HENRY V, RACE, and ANYTHING GOES. I also work on various TV/film projects including BOARDWALK EMPIRE, THE AMERICANS, and THE SECRET LIFE OF WALTER MITTY. After putting it off for months, I use my Groupon for Krav Maga (Israeli self-defense system). Their mantra: "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger." The training is so intense that I sometimes wonder if being killed wouldn't be a better option! Photo: Me as U.S. Senator Cartwright (circa 1929) in BOARDWALK EMPIRE
April, 2012: I'm offered two wildly contrasting roles in THE NATIONAL MFA PLAYWRIGHTS FESTIVAL running May 1 - 5 at the Studio Theatre on Theatre Row in New York City. This will be an evening of six ten-minute plays chosen from the top MFA playwriting programs across the country: NYU, Carnegie-Mellon, Northwestern, Iowa, UCLA, University of Texas at Austin and Yale. In one show (GRANDMASTER) I'm the acerbic ghost of a dead chess champion. In the other (PAPER CUT) I'm a mild mannered bureaucrat whose world gets turned upside down when a pushy mother insists that her son be labeled a genius. Sounds like fun! For information go to: http://www.theatermasters.org.
For tickets go to: http://beta.telecharge.com/Off-Broadway/Theater-Masters-2012-National-MFA-Playwrights-Festival-Take-Ten/Overview.
March 16, 2012: I begin shooting THE WAYSTATION IN THE STARS -- a phenomenal film written and directed by the brilliant Brandon Morrissey about a man who wakes up in limbo not knowing who he is or how he got there. I play ex-President Plimpton, a man who is trying to drink himself to death -- but since time stands still that's impossible. Surrounded by fellow limbo-inmates, we know we're stuck here for eternity (sounds like waiting in the EPA line outside the Equity Building) so what do we do to pass the time? Put on a show, of course! Below are photos from the shoot with my friends Chris Scheer, Larry Hamilton and Renee Freeman. Costumes by Lyssa Kay.
March 8, 2012: I buy my domain name and FINALLY begin designing my own website, which hopefully will be up and running soon.
January 1, 2012
I return to New York after an amazing year of doing three shows at three theatres: one musical (THE FULL MONTY) and two plays (DULCY and THIS WONDERFUL LIFE). Each had its own challenges and joys. MONTY's challenge: full frontal, if only for a second. MONTY's joy: a great story about underdogs that made the audience cheer every night. DULCY's challenge: having to play piano live onstage while simultaneously spouting the witty bon mots of George S. Kaufman. DULCY's joy: a chance to do a drawing room comedy that hasn't seen the light of day in almost a hundred years. THIS WONDERFUL LIFE's challenge: playing every character in the film IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE (everyone in Bedford Falls) while remembering each character's voice and physicality. THIS WONDERFUL LIFE's joy: hearing from the audience afterwards how moved they were by the story and the performance. For a clip from the show go to the Video page on this website.