"bursting with memorable numbers magnificently performed by Brian Charles Rooney"
2017 NYMF AWARDS FOR EXCELLENCE
"Brian Charles Rooney is mesmerizing"
"the music itself shows sophistication"
You never know a person 'til you walk in her heels.
1969 New Orleans
It’s standing room only at The Golden Lantern. The band strikes up and begins to play the opening number for Miss Blanche, the hottest act in the Quarter — but Miss Blanche is missing in action. Instead, a fiery young man takes the stage. Relaying tales from his brutal childhood, he reveals a mysterious trunk, filled with clues about his past and the key to his future.
Inspired by the imagination of Tennessee Williams, this intimate and seductive musical takes us on one man’s journey of desire, self-expression and liberation.
Where Miss Blanche Has Been
Fall 2015: Development on the show began as a collaborative project in a laboratory for Columbia MFA theatre alumni. Drawing upon situations from Streetcar Named Desire as the leaping point for an original play, we began exploring the implications of performing gender - on stage and in life.
Fall 2016: Next, we decided to expand it into a full-length musical. We workshopped the piece once in June 2016 and then again at the HOT! Festival at Dixon Place in July 2016, showing half the show to an enthusiastic audience.
Where She is Now: We have successfully completed our run in NYMF 2017 (New York Musical Festival) at the Peter Jay Sharp Theater and now the world must wait to find out what becomes of her next.
Miss Blanche owes a tremendous debt to the actors who have walked in heels in our workshops: Sara Buffamanti, Robbie Tann, Jamie Boswell, and Cameron Clay. She also thanks Isam Rum, Jessica Rieken, Kyle Picone, Columbia Collaboration (Coco) Lab, and her friends at Dixon Place and the New York Musical Festival (NYMF), for helping her get where she is today!
Introducing Miss Blanche
BRIAN CHARLES ROONEY
Brian was recently lauded by both The New York Times and Time Out NY for his performance as Dionne Salon in the hit Off-Broadway musical, Bedbugs!!! In a performance that Entertainment Weekly said "ignited the stage," he made his Broadway debut as Lucy Brown in The Threepenny Opera for The Roundabout Theatre Co., co-starring Alan Cumming, Cyndi Lauper, Jim Dale, Nellie McKay, and Ana Gasteyer. He won the Connecticut Critics Circle Award for "Best Actor in a Musical" as Candy Darling in Anna Jacobs & Maggie Kate Coleman's musical POP! at Yale Repertory Theatre, directed by Mark Brokaw. He has won two NY Musical Theatre Festival Outstanding Performance Awards for Bedbugs!!! (2008) & Bayonets of Angst (2014); as well as the FringeNYC Award for Outstanding Performance as Satan in the new rock musical, Winner Take All. Brian appeared with Kristin Chenoweth and composer Andrew Lippa, at Lincoln Center's Avery Fisher Hall in I Am Harvey Milk, an oratorio celebrating the life of the famous activist. He has appeared as a soloist in Martin Charnin's theatrical revue, Rodgers &..., a retrospective of Richard Rodgers' monumental body of work at the Emelin Theatre; and in the Carnegie Hall Concert Production of Guys & Dolls starring Nathan Lane & Megan Mullally. He was a featured soloist with UK Pop legend Petula Clark on the North American Tour of The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber. He received a Carbonell Award Nomination for his performance in Floyd Collins at The Actors' Playhouse (Coral Gables, FL;), a Metro-Carolina Award Nomination as Jinx in Forever Plaid at The Blumenthal Performing Arts Center (Charlotte, NC). He played the title role in Bat Boy! The Musical at Charleston Stage Co., in Charleston, SC. His Television credits include Camelot, Live from Lincoln Center and Sondheim! The Birthday Concert, both directed by Lonny Price for PBS at Lincoln Center. In 2007, Brian won The Kurt Weill Foundation's Lys Symonette Award for Dramatic Excellence. He has appeared in concert at 54 Below & Joe's Pub, and as a soloist with the Oregon & Seattle Symphony Orchestras. www.BrianCharlesRooney.com
Book & Lyrics
Jason has been named a NYTheatre.com ‘‘Person of the Year.’’ He was formerly the co-artistic director of Theatre Askew, where he co-created and directed Bald Diva! and devised numerous projects with LGBTQA youth. He directed Jeremy Lawrence’s Lavender Songs (TOSOS II & Pangea, 2008 Bistro Award), After the Chairs (2014 Fresh Fruit Festival, Best Direction) and the Modern Living series (LaMama Club). His co-adaptation of Uncle Tom’s Cabin recently appeared at Pittsburgh Playhouse and his play Another Horatio Alger Story was seen at Chicago’s Pride Film and Players Gay Play Fest. Regional productions at Vermont Stage Company and Kitchen Theatre. Member of Lincoln Center Theatre Directors Lab. B.A., Yale and M.F.A., Columbia.
MATTHEW C. PRITCHARD
Music & Lyrics
Matthew began his career as a boy soprano studying at the Peabody Preparatory of Music and the Baltimore School for the Arts, followed by stints at Manhattan School of Music and New York University. He's performed with the Baltimore Opera Company, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and, for the Metropolitan Opera Guild/Kennedy Center, he originated the title role in the workshop of Carly Simon's opera Romulus Hunt. With songwriting partner Isam Rum he has provided original music and/or sound design for Bianca Leigh’s BUSTED: The Musical, I, Claudius Live and the GLAAD Award nominated productions of Bald Diva! & I Google Myself (all for Theatre Askew), The Abduction of Becky Morris & The Return of Coyote Katie (NY International Fringe Festival), Home/Away & The F On My Chest (Theatre Askew Youth Performance Experience), Jason Jacobs’ Another Horatio Alger Story (The Cell). As a singer he has performed in concert at venues such as 54 Below, CBGBs, Rockefeller Plaza, the Highline Ballroom, Joe’s Pub and the Hammerstein Ballroom.
Jen is a director/choreographer based in Brooklyn. Her work has been seen at theaters in New York and across the country. New York credits include Less Than 50% (59E59), Surfer Girl (Animus), My Heart is in the East (La Mama); Fable (NYMF), The King’s Whore (Walkerspace); F#%king Up Everything (Elektra Theater) Estrella Cruz [The Junkyard Queen] (Ars Nova). Touring productions include Twelfth Night and A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Asolo Repertory Theatre). Regional credits include Shakespeare in Love (Virginia Rep); Into the West (Tantrum Theater); Baskerville (Dorset Theatre Festival); The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity (Asolo Repertory Theatre & Miami New Drama); Sweeney Todd (Playmakers Rep); The 39 Steps, Shipwrecked (Triad Stage); The Hunchback of Seville (Washington Ensemble Theatre); Bubble Boy (American Theater Group); Aloha Say the Pretty Girls (Theatre Vertigo).
Jen was a co-founder and co-artistic director of Studio 42, a New York City-based company that, from 2001-2015, produced “unproducible” new plays by emerging playwrights. She is an affiliated artist with New Georges, an alum of the Soho Rep Writer Director Lab, an associate member of Telluride Theatre, and a proud member of the SDC. Jen has taught at the City College of New York, Vassar College, Ithaca College, SUNY Purchase, and is on the faculty at Primary Stages’ Einhorn School of Performing Arts in New York City. She received a B.A. from Vassar College and her M.F.A. in directing from Yale School of Drama.
Up next, Jen will direct and choreograph the world premiere of Game On, a new musical by David Dabbon (music) and Marcus Stevens (book/lyrics).
Robert is an NYC-based pianist, music director, arranger, and educator. Select MD credits include Miss Blanche Tells It All (NYMF); We Live In Cairo and Cardboard Piano (O’Neill Theater Center); Minor Character (Sharon Playhouse); Jonah and the Whale (7th House); and My Fair Lady (Arkansas Shakespeare Theater). Robert serves as the music director and conductor of Icons/Idols, a tetralogy of choral plays for over a dozen women+ singers. As a pianist, music director, and arranger, Robert has also worked with Arkansas Rep, The Cher Show (Lab: Music Assistant), Berkshire Theater Group, New Georges, NYU, New Dramatists, Lincoln Center, Brown University, Connecticut College, and Molloy College. Adjunct Faculty: NYU Tisch and Connecticut College. Former Resident MD: O’Neill Theater Center’s National Musical Theater Institute.
Press & Reviews
"(Brian Charles Rooney) is a consummate performer who dazzles (and) peels away the vulnerable layers of Lee's identity in a subtle and polished performance"
"Part cabaret, part literary mystery, Miss Blanche Tells It All is among the top shows at this year's NYMF. Jason Jacobs and Matthew C. Pritchard's musical, bursting with memorable numbers magnificently performed by Brian Charles Rooney, blend the confessional format of Hedwig and the Angry Inch with the breathy nostalgia of Tennessee Williams in a moving and highly satisfying work."
"The music itself shows sophistication and a deep sensitivity to this cabaret style of storytelling. . .nothing prepares us for the crushingly beautiful "Too Much Skin in the Game," the show's most haunting and memorable number"
NYMF 2017: Miss Blanche Tells It All; The Cadaver Synod; The Body Politic
By Pete Hempstead, Theatermania.com
"an intelligent and timely piece"
"Brian Charles Rooney is mesmerizing"
"the band is hot"
"Jason Jacobs book is heartbreaking and touching. The music by Matthew C. Pritchard, and lyrics by the duo, is worth a CD so that it does not get lost in the shuffle. I can not wait to see what these two do next"
NYMF: Miss Blanche Tells It All and Wins Our Hearts
by Suzanna Bowling, TimesSquareChronicles
"a nuanced story and a tour de force performance by a consummate professional"
"Kudos also to Jacobs & Pritchard for writing a piece that both looks back but resonates today, and has layers of interest and meaning to keep us interested and focused"
"jaw-dropping performance by the mega-talented Brian Charles Rooney"
Review of Miss Blanche Tells It All
by Donna Herman, www.TheFrontRowCenter.com
The best musicals to see at NYMF in 2017
by Adam Feldman, TimeOut NY
5 NYMF Shows That Are Grabbing Everyone's Attention
by Zachary Stewart, Theatermania.com
PLAYBILL JUNE 15, 2017
Audra McDonald Named Honorary Chair of New York Musical Festival
TICKETS ARE NOW ON SALE! JUNE 15, 2017
Click here to purchase yours now. LIMITED ENGAGEMENT. Get yours before we sell out!
MISS BLANCHE TELLS IT ALL announced as an invited production to NYMF 2017
Click here to read the press release.
MISS BLANCHE TELLS IT ALL (a new, work in progress at Dixon Place HOT! Festival)
Click here to read an interview with Jason Jacobs
"The story is so well crafted by Jason Jacobs and the storytelling by Brian Charles Rooney is so pristine that to give much detail would require a spoiler alert"
"a fine tuned, superbly crafted piece of theatre"
"Jason Jacobs and Matthew C. Pritchard have developed a masterful story"
"Brian Charles Rooney delivers a bravura performance"
Off-Broadway Review: “Miss Blanche Tells It All” at the New York Musical Festival at the Peter Jay Sharp Theater
by David Roberts, Theatre Reviews Limited
“(Brian Charles Rooney) can seemingly do anything and be anything. He can sing and look convincingly dramatic as a man, woman, or the vast spectrum in between. His voice can be lovely and classically feminine without camp, can be delicate or heavy-duty or crackle with fire. With the flicker of a manicured eyelash or fingernail, he can turn on a dime and change moods, gender, persona, or the temperature in the room by forty degrees. The miracle man is mesmerizing.”
“Rooney is everything and anything. You believe him. You root for him. You wonder about his character and want to protect the little boy he was. You want to hear him sing everything and play every role. And he has a better chance of scoring with them than just about anyone. Versatility is his flag and he waves it with command. It’s not quite news to some of us, but it’s solid proof. The audience belongs to him and to his character.”
“(Pete) portrayed by Robert Frost with restraint but unblinking challenge and playing the keyboard with aplomb and suitable stylings"
2 NYMF Weekend Hits Likely to Come Back: Would You Believe Blanche DuBois and Matthew McConaughey
by Rob Lester, NiteLifeExchange.com
"(Brian Charles Rooney) is particularly comfortable portraying bittersweet sexual ambiguity and androgyny, and his vocal agility is the show’s greatest asset."
- ELISABETH VINCENTELLI,
THE NEW YORK TIMES