With her towering blonde beehive, spectacular outfits, and most of all, her unforgettable, soulful voice, Dusty Springfield became the first great female pop star of the 1960s. But how did a shy, awkward Catholic schoolgirl with the cumbersome name of Mary Isobel Catherine Bernadette O’Brien, transform herself into an icon for a generation?
Forever Dusty tells the compelling and moving story of Dusty’s journey, in a dramatic, high-energy musical filled with some of the most exciting pop songs ever written, including “Son of a Preacher Man,” “You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me,” “The Look of Love,” and many others.
Michael Thomas Murray will serve as the Musical Director. The complete cast and creative team for Forever Dusty will be announced shortly.
Forever Dusty will play the following performance schedule: Mondays at 7:00 p.m., Wednesdays at 2:30pm & 7:00 p.m., Thursdays & Fridays at 8:00 p.m., Saturdays at 2:30 p.m. & 8:00 p.m., and Sundays at 3:00 p.m.
KIRSTEN HOLLY SMITH (Co-Writer/Performer).For the past several years, the dynamic singer-actress has devoted herself to researching, writing, and developing her musical about the legendary Dusty Springfield. In 2006 she received The Spectrum Arts Grant at The University Of Southern California. Her show Stay Forever: The Life and Music of Dusty Springfield has its world premiere at The Renberg Theatre in Los Angeles to critical acclaim and sold out houses. She also created a concert version of the show, featuring many of Dusty’s greatest hits, which she has performed at numerous venues in New York and Los Angeles as well as regionally. She is thrilled to bring the biggest, most powerful version yet, Forever Dusty, to New World Stages. Kirsten's other credits include: Three Sisters at LATC (Natasha),The Foursome (Ellie) (Tim Robbins' The Actor's Gang Theatre),Tomfoolery (Pam) The Comedy Store, Of Mice and Men (Curly’s Wife) Cape Fear Regional. Other credits: Lysistrata (Lysistrata), Twelfth Night. (Olivia), Best Little Whorehouse in Texas and No Strings. Kirsten spent a year in Japan performing live with a big band orchestra. Her most recent TV/Print appearance was for the HBO show Hung as Kate.In film she was most recently seen in the Tribeca Film Festival selection, Curfew. She played the lead in the award-winning musical Isle of Lesbos (Berlin and other festivals), Forever Love with Reba McEntire, Firecracker with Karen Black, After Image with John Mellencamp/Sundance Film Festival. She has twice been a finalist in the Sundance Writers Lab. Currently studies acting with Alice Spivak and voice with Bill Riley and Dr. Linda Carroll.
JONATHAN VANKIN (Co-Writer) is an author, award-winning journalist, comic book writer and screenwriter. His writing has appeared in the The New York Times Magazine, Wired, Salon, L.A. Weekly and numerous other publications. Among his nonfiction books are five editions of the popular Greatest Conspiracies franchise, Based on a True Story (But With More Car Crashes) and The Big Book of Scandal. He wrote the graphic novels Tokyo Days, Bangkok Nights and Tasty Bullet. Continuing in the comics industry, his publications include the DC/Vertigo Comics series The Witching, The Search for Swamp Thing for DC Comics and Godzilla Legends: Rodan for IDW Comics. Television: “The Crow: Stairway to Heaven” (based on the comic The Crow). His screenplay credits include: Dragon’s Fin Soup, Testsuo: The Bullet Man (Tribeca Film festival in 2010, English adaptation), The Tripwire (semi-finalist Creative Screenwriting Magazine AAA Contest 2010), and Stay Forever (twice a finalist in Sundance Writers Lab selections). As a Senior Editor at DC/Vertigo Comics he edited the New York Times #1 Bestseller Get Jiro by Anthony Bourdain; The Exterminators, Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere and Testament, as well as the graphic novels The Quitter by Harvey Pekar, The Alcoholic by Jonathan Ames, and How to Understand Israel in 60 Days or Less, among many others. He won back-to-back New England Press Association Awards for sports feature writing. He also won a NEPA for news feature, as well as a Bay Area Project Censored award, and spent time as a sportswriter/editor at The Daily Yomiuri in Tokyo, Japan.
RANDAL MYLER (Director) received a Tony Award nomination (Best Musical/Best Book of a Musical) and a Drama Desk nomination (Best Musical Revue) for It Ain’t Nothin’ But The Blues, which he staged at both NYC's Lincoln Center and Broadway's Ambassador Theatre. Love, Janis, Mr. Myler's musical biography of Janis Joplin, reached over 700 performances at the former Village Gate, while his highly-successful musical HankWilliams Lost Highway has been performed both Off-Broadway (garnering Mr. Myler a 'Best Director' nomination from the Outer Critic's Circle) and throughout the United States, as has his coal mining musical (co-written with Dan Wheetman) Fire On The Mountain (which received five Joseph Jefferson Awards in Chicago). His many regional directorial credits also include both the Kennedy Center and the Arena Stage in Washington D.C., both the Mark Taper Forum and the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles, the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Arizona Theater Company, Denver Center, Dallas Theater Center, Houston's Alley Theater, Seattle Repertory Theater, Actor's Theatre of Louisville, San Diego's Old Globe Theater, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Cincinnati Playhouse, Chicago's Royal George, Northlight Theater and many others.
MICHAEL THOMAS MURRAY (Musical Director) has backed up acts including the Chantels, the Vandellas, Patty Labelle, and his mentor, Soul legend, Jimmy Guilford, who inspired Mike’s Rhythm and Blues musical, Great Googley Moo. Mike’s other composition collaborations include work with Gretchen Cryer and Ben George on Brain Cells, Chris Patterson on Dance, Bojangles and Ira Shapiro on 1812 the Musical. Music Director for Revision Theatre’s East Coast Premiere of Kingdom. Also at Revision: Tommy, The Bikinis and Rocky Horror. Favorite roles: Seymour in Little Shop of Horrors, Cole Porter in Cole and Noel, and Lenny Mendel in Murder Mystery Blues. http://www.michaelthomasmurray.com
EVA PRICE (Executive Producer) is the Executive Vice President of Maximum Entertainment Productions. Eva was recently named one of Crain’s NY 40 Under Forty Rising Business Stars. Broadway credits include: Annie, Peter and the Starcatcher (5 Tony Awards), Kathy Griffin Wants A Tony, Colin Quinn LONG STORY SHORT directed by Jerry Seinfeld, The Merchant of Venice, A Life In The Theatre, The Addams Family, Carrie Fisher's Wishful Drinking and Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Off-Broadway credits include: Voca People, Judy Gold's The Judy Show: My Life As A Sitcom, Circumcise Me, Los Big Names, The J.A.P Show: Jewish Princesses of Comedy and The Great American Trailer Park Musical. International and Touring credits include: The Magic School Bus, Live! The Climate Challenge, Ella, a bio musical about the life and music of Ella Fitzgerald, ‘S Wonderful: The New Gershwin Musical, Tomie dePaola's Strega Nona The Musical, Irving Berlin's I Love A Piano, The Great American Trailer Park Musical, Private Jokes, Public Places.
LESLIE BROCKETT (Producer) has produced theatre and film in New York and Los Angeles for 20 years. Her company, Bunnyhop Productions, has produced critically acclaimed short films, developed multiple screenplays and TV shows, and presently has a live Burlesque show, Harlow Gold, that has been running for three years in Santa Monica and Long Beach. Leslie produced Forever Dusty's first workshop production at USC, was lead producer for the run at the Renberg Theatre in Los Angeles, and is now thrilled to bring it to the NY stage. bunnyhopproductions.com
JORJA FOX (Producer) has just begun season 13 of the top-rated series CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. She portrays a long time brooding and shooting character named 'Sara Sidle' on the show. Fox also starred in NBC's top-rated series ER as 'Dr. Maggie Doyle' prior to her role as 'Secret Service Agent Gina Toscano' on Aaron Sorkin's Emmy Award-winning drama The West Wing. Her film credits include Memento, How to Make the Cruelest Month, and The Kill-Off, which was based on the book by Jim Thompson. Theater producing credits include Stay Forever: The Life and Music of Dusty Springfield in Los Angeles in February of '08, Dear Bernard, produced twice in Los Angeles in 2004, and five other original works also produced in Los Angeles. She also exec produced the feature length documentary, How I Became an Elephant, which is currently touring the globe in the film festival circuit.
JANE GULLONG (Associate Producer) is an arts administrator and fundraiser who has worked at the New York Shakespeare Festival, Arts International, the New York City Opera and the Brooklyn Academy of Music. Dusty is the soundtrack of her youth.
SANDALPHON PRODUCTIONS (Producer) is dedicated to telling stories in all media that express the progressive and humanitarian values of unity, peace and understanding in the hope that art can provide a unifying force across all cultures and borders. We believe that story is the purest, most powerful form of human communication and that all of us tell stories, to others and to ourselves. Our mission is to tell as many of those stories as we can, to as many people as we can reach. We are proud to launch that mission with Forever Dusty.
CRITICAL PRAISE FOR FOREVER DUSTY
“Smith delivers slam-dunk vocals... “Son of a Preacher Man” and “The Look of Love” are standouts, although lesser known numbers such as 'Breakfast in Bed' are sultry surprises.”
-- The Los Angeles Times
"Kirsten Holly Smith does a smashing Dusty Springfield! Smith captures both the soulfulness and the sultriness of the British chantoozie. ...By the end, you're in love with TWO top-notch singers."
-- The Village Voice
"Springfield's signature songs... (are) sung with passion and verve by Smith, who combines rich musicality with high-octane conviction and style."
-- LA Weekly
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