Bridge Street Theatre presents A Concert Reading of “Coney Island”

Bridge Street Theatre presents
A Concert Reading of a New Musical
CONEY ISLAND
with book and lyrics by Frank Cuthbert
music by Frank Cuthbert and Manny Focarazzo
Sunday May 21, 2017 @ 2:00pm
Bridge Street Theatre Mainstage
44 West Bridge Street, Catskill, NY

Frank Cuthbert’s New Musical “Coney Island” Comes to Catskill

It’s the summer of 1946 and Frankie’s back from serving in the Pacific with big dreams of takin’ New York City by storm! Hop aboard the F Train for this grand, old-school, Broadway-style musical comedy being presented for one performance only in a concert reading at Catskill’s Bridge Street Theatre on Sunday May 21 at 2:00pm.

Almost a decade in development, Catskill resident Frank Cuthbert’s swingin’ and affectionate tribute to WWII-era NYC is bursting at the seams with all the charm, grit, and promise of Gotham in the postwar years. Amidst the colorful backdrop of the iconic Cyclone roller coaster and Wonder Wheel, the story follows Frankie, a war hero, who has returned to his old neighborhood with dreams of making it as a crooner. Frankie struggles with recurring nightmares of war, his parents’ skepticism about his dreams, and a dangerous rivalry with a mob-connected club owner, who threatens his singing career and is in hot pursuit of his girlfriend Patsy, an aspiring Broadway dancer. Burlesque queens, freaks, hustlers, kooch dancers, entrepreneurs, grifters, small-time (and big-time) hoods – all play a part in the nostalgic tapestry of another time and place that the musical depicts.

The Cast
INKIE Ageless midget, tattoo artist, bookie and narrator – Steven Patterson
LOU Owns Coney Island Café – Robert Ragaini
ZENA Lou’s wife, makes the best sauce in Brooklyn – Lora Lee Ecobelli
FRANKIE Older son, handsome war hero, aspiring crooner – Chris Bolen
PATSY Dancer, aspiring Rockette – Alexandra Doggett
JUNIOR Younger son,wise guy, street hustler – Caedmon Holland
CARMELLA Junior’s girlfriend, gum chewing doll – Grace McGeoch
NATHAN Lou’s best friend, operates Boardwalk Hot Dogs – Parker Cross
HARRIET Nathan’s wife, Zena’s cynical, funny neighbor – Marian Zajac
MADAME LA ROUGE burlesque queen – Lex Grey
SALLIE BOY Sexy bad-boy, club owner – Tom Judson
MICKEY SHELTON Owner of Starlight Lounge – John McInerney
E. B. WORTHINGTON Insurance executive – John McInerney
READER – Florence Hayle

“Coney Island” paints an image embedded in our nations’ psyche –  a once uninhabited sliver of sand nine miles from Manhattan, transformed into a legend by ambition and imagination. For most of the twentieth century, Coney Island was a land of rides and exotic curiosities, where ordinary people encountered the extraordinary. Part carnival, part seaside resort, Coney Island was a refuge where people forgot about work and duty and escaped to a world of fantasy and joy. On hot summer days, a million people fled the heat of the city to frolic in the surf and stroll along the Boardwalk. Young and old, rich and poor shared laughter and sunshine by the shore. Cares washed away like footprints in the sand. Everyone entered with a smile and left with a memory. Just a ten-cent ride on the F train. Last stop Coney Island, the greatest amusement park in the world!

“Coney Island” will be presented on the Bridge Street Theatre Mainstage once only –Sunday May 21 at 2:00pm in the afternoon. Tickets, $15 and $10 for students, go on sale at the door 30 minutes prior to the performance on a first come-first served basis. Bridge Street Theatre is located at 44 West Bridge Street in the Village of Catskill, NY.

Events at Bridge Street Theatre are supported in part by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature and by Public Funds from the Greene County Legislature through the Cultural Fund administered in Greene County by the Greene County Council on the Arts.

For more information, visit the theatre online at BridgeSt.org

Performance Calendar:
Bridge Street Theatre presents
A Concert Reading of a New Musical
CONEY ISLAND
with book and lyrics by Frank Cuthbert
music by Frank Cuthbert and Manny Focarazzo
Sunday May 21, 2017 @ 2:00pm
Bridge Street Theatre Mainstage
44 West Bridge Street, Catskill, NY

Tickets:
General Admission $15, $10 for Students age 21 and under
Tickets go on sale at the door one half hour prior to the performance on a first come-first served basis.

Bios:

Frank Cuthbert (Composer, Book & Lyrics) is a composer and writer who has performed in New York, Los Angeles and Nashville. He has done shows with artists ranging from Talking Heads to Tanya Tucker. Mr. Cuthbert served as musical director for Shakespeare on the Hudson in Catskill, New York (1996-1998) and composed music for “The Tempest” and “Midsummer Night’s Dream”. His 2010 solo CD, “One Dog Town” evokes thoughts of Merle Haggard meets Leonard Cohen. He is currently recording the self-penned “Gratuitous Violets”. Mr. Cuthbert served on the board of the Greene County Council on the Arts from 2004-2014. From 2005-2012 he operated BRIK gallery in Catskill which showcased the region’s top visual artists and provided a venue for a jazz and classical musical series. Since 2000, Mr. Cuthbert has written five musicals. Four have been produced regionally: these include “Sea of Nod” based on the Rip Van Winkle legend; “River of Dreams” based on the book by the same name by Hudson Talbott, commissioned as part of the New York State Hudson River Quadra Centennial celebration; “O’Sullivan Stew” commissioned by the Greene Arts Foundation, produced in Manhattan by Urban Stages and at Bowling Green University in Ohio as a winner of their musical theater festival; and “Last Pine Tree on Eagle Mountain” commissioned by Urban Stages for Earth Day 2012 and performed at the New York Public Library. “Coney Island”, Mr. Cuthbert’s current musical theater project is set in 1946 at the dawn of the baby boom.

Manny Focarazzo (Composer) is a pianist, keyboardist, composer, and touring professional. Manny’s talents have taken him around the world with many of the most prominent artists in the music industry. He has been the keyboardist for Alan Parsons of the Alan Parsons Project since 2003. He is also keyboardist for the tours called Hippiefest and most recently The Happy Together Tour. On these tours Manny has performed with Christopher Cross, Chuck Negron of Three Dog Night, Country Joe McDonald, Dave Mason, David Pack of Ambrosia, Denny Laine of The Moody Blues and Wings, Felix Cavaliere of The Rascals, Flo and Eddie of The Turtles, Gary Lewis, Gary Puckett, Gary US Bonds, Gary Wright, Jack Bruce of Cream, Joey Molland of Badfinger, Jonathan Edwards, Leslie West of Mountain, Mark Farner of Grand Funk Railroad, Mark Lindsay of Paul Revere And The Raiders, Melanie, Micky Dolenz of The Monkees, Mitch Ryder, Rick Derringer, Spencer Davis, Terry Sylvester of The Hollies, Todd Rundgren, Billy J. Kramer, The Cowsills, The Grass Roots, The Association, The Buckinghams, and many more. Since 2000, Manny has been performing the music of Eric Clapton in a show called “Clapton Is Godfrey” with Godfrey Townsend. And most recently touring with The New York Bee Gees in a show called “You Should Be Dancing”. Some of Manny’s original music can be heard on a CD entitled “Impressions”.

Further Information:
To contact Bridge Street Theatre directly, email contact@bridgest.org or call their offices at 518-943-3894.

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