Set in Nashville, Music City follows TJ and 23, two singer/song writers as they try to escape the poverty of their surroundings. 23 struggles to balance her own desires with taking care of her meth addicted mother. TJ, staying true to his voice passes up the opportunity to sell his music, hoping to secure a recording contract. Just as their career starts to gain some traction, the Twin Towers come down.
Romeo and Juliet meets American Idiot meets Cabaret in this explosive new musical with music by JT Harding including Country Billboard hits: Somewhere with You recorded by Kenny Chesney, Somewhere in my Car by Keith Urban, Sangria by Blake Shelton, Smile by Uncle Kracker and Alone with You by Jake Owen.
Book: Peter Zinn Music: J.T. Harding
June 16, 17 and 18 at The Pitch at the Fingerlakes Musical Theatre Festival. Click HERE for more information.
August 19, 20 and 21 at Amphibian Stage Productions in Ft Worth, Texas. Click HERE for more information.
Chick Flick The Musical
FRIENDSHIP IS THE BEST MEDICINE TGIF and time to join Karen, Dawn, Sheila, and Meg as they get together to watch a chick flick and play their favorite drinking game! As the festivities proceed and the beverages flow, they each divulge that their lives haven’t quite turned out the way they’d hoped. When they view themselves with the same kindness, humor and reverence that their friends do, they learn how to make real life better than the movies. Whether you’re a fan of romantic comedies or teary sisterhood dramas, you’ll recognize the delicious tidbits of life advice that chick flicks offer our four friends on their transformative journey of empowerment. Chick Flick the Musical promises that you can get through anything with a little help from your friends … and chick flicks!
Book, Music and Lyrics by Suzy Conn Director: Mary Catherine Burke Choreographer: Tiffany Green Musical Director: Seth Weinstein Vocal Arrangement & Orchestrations: Frank Galgano & Matt Castle General Manger: Daryl Roth Theatrical Management Casting: Alison Franck, CSA
Craterian Theatre: September 2016 29 Hour Reading: January 14 &15, 2016 Workshop: Millbrook Playhouse: October 2014 Workshop: Loft 227, NYC: February 2013
Whitney Maris Brown & Kendall Chaffee-Standish in the 2014 production
Rachel Joyce in the 2014 production
Whitney Maris Brown, Rachel Joyce, Kendall Chaffee- Standish in the 2014 production.
You're A Good Man Charlie Brown
You're A Good Man Charlie Brown
by Clark Gesner, Michael Mayer, Andrew Lippa
February - March 2017
Musical Director: Terri Gorgone Choreographer: Sarah Webber-Gallo Set Design: Jen Price-Fick Lighting Design: Elaine Wong Costume Design: Peter Fogel Sound Design: Justin McCormick Pictured: Rachel Eddy, Claire Rea, Marcus Beckett, Brandon Santoro, Mikey LoBalsamo, Chris Goodrich Photo Credit: Joe Epstein Photography
Reviews: The intrepid, peppy cast of six sings and dances their way into your hearts.
Burke skillfully helps the cast find their childhood wide eyes, pitchy speaking voices, with impressionable on the dime turns from existential angst (“I was jumping rope … and all of a sudden everything seemed so futile”) to exuberance.
She successfully mines Charles Shultz’ Peanuts comic strip for all the inherent anxiety and wit.
The raffish cast is endearing, devious, energetic and entertainingly expressive.
New Jersey Stage
“You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown” is a delightful evening for the whole family—with quick-moving, top-notch production that will keep you and the kids entertained from the get-go.
Though written in 1967, the direction and choreography of this production give it a very ‘now’ feeling, as it shows us the ups and downs of life as a kid (or a dog, as the case may be). I cannot say enough what a great ensemble this cast is.
Directed by Mary Catherine Burke, You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown is pure happiness.
Burke's direction is snappy. She guides her sextet of actors through a musical playground of fun and whimsy, bringing the youthfulness out with a hint of maturity.
Mile Square Theatre has a charming production on their hands. You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown is bound to make you smile and define your own version of happiness. I know I sure did.
Theater in the Now
Mile Square Theatre has created a moment for kids of all ages to laugh, clap, reminisce, and reflect.
The show is, simply, non-stop joy. The actors -- Mikey LoBalsamo, Marcus Beckett, Rachel Eddy, Chris Goodrich, Claire Rea and Brandon Santoro -- are a delight: Precise, vibrant and full of wonder.
There are solos, ensemble pieces and plenty of reasons to laugh, clap and – for some of the younger audience – go berserk with excitement.
by Lucas Hnath
February - March 2016
Set Design: Seancolin Hankins Lighting Design: Adam Chamberlin Costume Design: Bree Moore Sound Design: David Lanza Pictured: Michael Linden, Ashlee Elizabeth Bashore, Greg Holt, Patrick Bynane
"Under Mary Catherine Burke’s smart direction, fluid, intriguing interplays charm ... a finely executed production." Dallas Morning News
"Director Mary Catherine Burke and an energized and compelling cast work the material for all it’s worth....there’s more than a bit of Slightly Drunk History here, blended with a snifter of The Social Network."
"In Amphibian’s quick-thinking and engaging production, recognizing that it’s not always so easy to distinguish fact from fiction is part of the fun... sharply directed by Mary Catherine Burke."
Time Stands Still
Amphibian Stage Productions, TX By Donald Margulies
Set Design: Bob Lavallee Costume Design: Lighting Design: Suzanne Lavender Sound Design: David Lanza Pictured: Jakie Cabe, Aleisha Force, Greg Holt, Kelsey Milbourn
"Incisively directed by Mary Catherine Burke"
"Sarah, played with laserlike clarity by Aleisha Force"
"It’s a lovely home, elegantly designed by Bob Lavallee" Dallas Morning News
"This thoughtful and emotional area premiere from Amphibian Stage Productions...the play is quippy and comical at times, and rings painfully true at some crucial moments. And director Mary Catherine Burke keeps a fine cast of four cooking all through the first act and into the second."
"Mandy -- in a light and charming performance from Milbourn...Holt is spot-on and funny...Cabe has a natural, easy style onstage that lets us draw close to his character...But Sarah’s role is the heart of Margulies’ story. Force, making her Amphibian debut along with Milbourn, has more than a few fine moments, especially in portraying a woman who guards her innermost heart all too well."
"Time Stands Still is a good-looking production for Amphibian, with Bob Lavallee’s curving Manhattan flat set design made singular by its double use as a screening room for Sarah’s fraught images of war and death. David Lanza adds a memorably pulsing beat to those images that sets our hearts pounding with hers." Theatre Jones
Times Stands Still looks and feels exactly like the sort of show you would see off-Broadway in New York.
The acting in this production, ably directed by Mary Catherine Burke, is as professional and polished as anything you might see in Manhattan. The set, by the always-impressive Bob Lavallee, is as sleek and gorgeous as one of those magazine spreads...The lighting, by Suzanne Lavender, and sound, by David Lanza, are handled adroitly. DFW.COM
By Steven Dietz Set Design: Bob Lavallee Costume Design: LaLonnie Lehman Lighting Design: Frederick Uebele Sound Design: David Lanza Pictured: Jakie Cabe, Lydia Mackay, and Cara L. Reid
P R E S S & A W A R D S Voted one of the Best Productions in Dallas Theatre for 2013 by Texas Arts and Culture Magazine!
DALLAS MORNING NEWS I’m not making this up: ‘Fiction’ at Amphibian Stage Productions in Fort Worth is loads of fun... Lydia Mackay has played lots of great roles all over North Texas..her performance here, however, tops anything she has done before....No doubt New York based director Mary Catherine Burke, in her area debut, helped the actors bring off their intriguing interpretations. -TAITE LAWSON
DFW NEWS This is an exceptionally well presented play...the acting and direction, by Mary Catherine Burke, in this production are absolutely first-rate. -PUNCH SHAW
THE COLUMN Under the guidance of Director Mary Catherine Burke, and the scenic vision of Bob Lavallee, the play flowed organically...shifting constantly between past and present, with many addresses directly to the audience, in other hands it might have become a confusing mess. Burke clearly defined each step, whether forward or back, along the way, and her and Dietz’s intent in balancing the fact from the fiction was never more evident. The grace in which each of the three moved through the space was proof of Burke’s complete understanding of the play. - MARY L. CLARK
THEATRE JONES In unskilled hands, these are characters who might have audiences rolling their eyes by the second scene. But by digging out every bit of warmth and humor from a script that could read as a bit detached and brittle, New York-based director Mary Catherine Burke and the actors of this nimble company manage to bring it off in style. -JAN FARRINGTON
CRITICAL RANT The truth about “Fiction”? Amphibian’s production rises to the challenge. Bob Lavallee’s multi-level thrust set drives the reality v. fiction quandary with visual acuity. Hauntingly ephemeral as it leads the eye upstage through contemporary-styled portals with cool lighting, in contrast it reveals increasingly detailed elements with office and home “realities” downstage bathed in warm glow. New York based Director Mary Catherine Burke chose a capable cast that follows the conceit and keeps its audience engaged and interested. Find delight in the engaging, entertaining production director Burke and her creative team have crafted. That’s the honest truth.
by Robert Schneider
Set Design: Edward K. Ross Costume Design: Hunter Kaczorowski Lighting Design: Dan Jobbins Sound Design: Steve Brush Pictured: Christopher Domig
Press: Robert Schneider’s fertile ‘Dirt’ is a disturbing and original journey into self-loathing otherness. The riveting Christopher John Domig plays the febrile, highly unreliable narrator... You leave feeling sweaty, shaken and soiled. Time Out, *Critics' Pick
A startling young actor whose name is Christopher Domig, will not remain unknown for long. Watching Domig in DIRT brings to mind a young Dustin Hoffman or Al Pacino when they were just starting off Broadway. Theater Life
See this show....Christopher John Domig is captivating, highly skilled, and utterly heartbreaking. NY Theatre
A smart piece of writing, well-performed. London Times
[Dirt] is stunningly realized in Christopher John Domig’s performance. Backstage, *Critic's Pick
Little Shop of Horrors
ReVision Theatre, Asbury Park, NJ Set Design: Clifton Chaddick Costume Design: Sarah Maiorino Lighting Design: Dan Jobbins Pictured: Michael Linden, Rhiannon Hansen, Alex Michaels, Dayna Jarae Dantzler and Bradley Mott
Reviews: The NJ Star-Ledger With its extraordinary production of “Little Shop of Horrors,” ReVision Theatre is once again living up to its name.
Director Mary Catherine Burke has revised the 1982 musical camp classic in a subtle but distinct way. She’s done it without changing a word of Howard Ashman’s, or even a single note of Alan Menken’s rock-infused music.
Burke looks at one of the show’s characters in a markedly different way. Let’s leave it at that, lest the surprise be spoiled. But take it from someone who’s seen a sweet 16 productions of “Little Shop” since the show’s off-off Broadway debut in 1982: I’ve never encountered it done this way before. Chances are you haven’t, either.
This version of “Little Shop of Horrors” offers another bolt from the blue — or shall we say green? -Peter Filichia
The Upper Wet Side Director Burke and choreographer Brad Landers keep things moving admirably on an often crowded stage, particularly in the big company number “Downtown” and the delicate dance of tangled telephone cords on “Call Back in the Morning.” -Tom Chesek
The New York Musical Theatre Festival at The Julia Miles Theatre Musical Director: Matt Castle Choreographer: Rhonda Miller Set Design: Jesse Poleshuck Costume Design: Sarah Maiorino Lighting Design: Jeff Croiter Pictured: Stacey Sargeant, Stephen Bel Davies, Lisa Asher, Paul Wyatt, Amy Goldberger, George Merrick and Stephanie D'Abruzzo Photo Credit: Bobby Octaviano
P R E S S & A W A R D S NYMF's Best Featured Actor Winner-Stephen Bel Davies
The New York Times ...But the festival appears to be less about finding new modes of theatrical expression than about the next Off Broadway hit ... It certainly has a bid for some kind of success in “Austentatious,” about a community theater group staging its own adaptation of “Pride and Prejudice.” The press release invokes “Waiting for Guffman,” and the musical does partake of the sweet, earnest zaniness of a Christopher Guest film, as channeled through “The Drowsy Chaperone,” another endearing bonbon about the joys of being stagestruck.
But there were a number of good performances including ... Lisa Asher, Stephanie d’Abruzzo and Stacey Sargeant in" Austentatious”. -Anne Midgette
Backstage ...this crowd pleaser makes the satire of community theatre winningly fresh again by dint of superb and drum-tight direction by Mary Catherine Burke and a wonderful cast, each member fully invested in the delightful peculiarities of his or her character. -Christopher Murray
Curtain Up A play about a bad play can be a dicey proposition, but Austentatious is well served by Mary Catherine Burke's speedy direction. -Julia Furay
Theatre Scene Credit must go to the trenchant stage direction by Mary Catherine Burke, the hilarious Riverdance parody by choreographer Rhonda Miller, and the assured musical direction of Matt Castle.
Help Wanted: Pirates!
Help Wanted: Pirates! Book & Lyrics: Chris Widney Music & Lyrics: Sebastian Fabal
New York City Set Design: Edward K. Ross Lighting Design: Jason Jeunette Costumes: Shawn Sturdevant Pictured: James David Larson, Jessica Kaufman, Katie Cortez, Eric Williams, Amber Grant, Elizabeth Twachtman, Miles Smith, and Andrew Wheeler Long
Millbrook Playhouse Set Design: William Brown Lighting Design: Monica Chavez Pictured: Amelia Lang-Wallace, Drew Bastian, Dan Neufer, Amanda Hibbler, Cierra Long, Kyleigh Barler, Marc de la Concha Photo Credit: William Brown
P R E S S Bloomberg News: Pick of the week “Help Wanted: Pirates!” packs a lot into a 50-minute drama, including mistaken identity, swordplay, audience participation and 10 pleasing songs by J. Sebastian Fabal.
The Sitters Studio production, directed by Mary Catherine Burke, is ideal for kids under 10 and their parents. Expertise in pirating and British nautical history not required.
Theatre Online.com Mary Kate Burke’s direction is swift and smooth while the performances are spirited and…pirate-y. James David Larson is an exceptional leading man, playing Captain Squid. Elizabeth Twatchman and Amber Lee Grant are delightful as Crabby and Shabby…Miles Alexander provides a Caribbean charm to Kokomo Joe….Best of all is Jessica Kaufman as Toby. She’s given the most to do in the book and she nails it. She’s lively, funny and has that WHAM-BAM spirit that a show like this needs.
Mommy Poppins Catchy songs, a cute story and fun interactive elements like a pirate fashion show that kids really enjoy. My son and I saw it last weekend and spent the rest of the day swashbuckling.
Be Your Best Mom.com The cast was funny and the music excellent! I’m never quite sure what to expect from a kids show, but this appealed to both adults and kids. Everyone could have a good time. It seemed a good time was had by all, not just my family. Catch it if you can, you won’t regret it!
Stroller in the City The music was super catchy and the kids were in awe the entire time.
Broadwayworld.com For me, that’s always the measure of how well a show has connected with my kids…if my three year old spends the afternoon re-enacting what he’s seen on stage, I know he was paying attention. And if a cast can get my future little ADD diagnosis to engage, I know they are doing something right.
Raising Three Savvy Ladies Help Wanted: Pirates! was loved by my two oldest savvy ladies. The energetic cast made you want to become a pirate. The songs were spectacular and my girls began singing along. During this interactive show, my oldest walked the “fashion” plank. Seems appropriate that she wore stripes! They liked the idea of traveling during the musical to a different part of the theater.
The Mama Maven I recently attended a performance with my children and we all had a great time! The show, which runs 45 minutes, is appropriate for kids ages 4-12 but my 3 year old son loved it! We also enjoyed the songs and the beautiful voices of the performers.
The Digital Latina Help Wanted: Pirates! isn’t your ordinary children’s play. The cast really gets the kids involved from the beginning to end. Packed with hilarious interactive games with the audience to the trips backstage to assist the Pirates in preparing some icky and interesting Pirate Stew, the fun never ends. There’s a treasure out there was the opening to Help Wanted: Pirates! and it really set the tone for the rest of our time at the show. For us, the real treasure was all the fun and excitement we had.