Judson Arts Presents
In the dark early days of the Great Depression, in the spring and early summer of 1932, tens of thousands of unemployed World War I veterans and their supporters marched on Washington, D.C. They demanded that Congress, which had voted the war veterans a cash bonus to be paid in 1945, redeem their bonus certificates immediately, when they desperately needed the money. They called themselves the Bonus Expeditionary Force, but were known as the Bonus Marchers or the Bonus Army.
Music and lyrics by Al Carmines
Book by David Epstein
The Bonus Army is a musical written by David Epstein, with music and lyrics by Al Carmines that was first performed by the acclaimed Judson Poets' Theater in 1976. This revival is directed by Russell Treyz and will run September 6-19 at THE GYM AT JUDSON.
Between 1962 and 1981, the composer/lyricist/playwright Al Carmines wrote over 40 productions for Judson Poets’ Theater (which he founded), had 7 musicals moved to commercial Off Broadway runs, and won 4 Obies in '64, '65, 68, and 79, including the first Obie for Sustained Achievement. This while serving as a minister at Judson Memorial Church. Carmines’ Virginia roots gave him a deep sense of the sacred music lexicon that he expanded and infused with a broad range of secular styles to produce his “oratorios”—musicals that were as eclectic and experimental as the offerings at other growing off-off-Broadway sites like Café Cino and La Mama. His characters were equally surprising—from Aristophanes to Winnie the Pooh, Joan of Arc to Gertrude Stein. Carmines was among the first to write about gay relationships, notably with The Faggot (1973). Promenade (1965) was a commercial success and ran off-Broadway in a theater that was then named Promenade. Carmines died in 2005 but his oratorios can still be heard, notably Christmas Rappings, which was a seasonal delight in Greenwich Village.
David Epstein’s plays have been produced Off-Broadway, in Europe and at regional theatres across the U.S. including, South Coast Rep, Yale Rep, Woolly Mammoth, and Actors’ Theatre of Louisville. With Carmines, in addition to The Bonus Army (1976), Epstein wrote the book and collaborated on the lyrics for the Off-Broadway musical Wanted (1971). James Naughton directed his Surface to Air at Symphony Space and last year’s Brace Yourself in the Berkshires. Exact Change was seen at the Lyric Hammersmith during a critically acclaimed run in London. He wrote the screenplay for Palookaville (1995), an award winner at the Venice Film Festival. Mr. Epstein, a graduate of the Yale School of Drama, was Artist-in-Residence at Colgate University for a number of years.
Russell Treyz (Director) is well known for his work in regional and New York City theaters. Earlier this summer he directed Samuel D. Hunter’s Good Beer for Theater Breaking Through Barriers at the Clurman Theater in NYC and All’s Well That Ends Well for Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival. Also in NYC, past directing credits include: American Place, La Mama ETC, The Pearl, and Playwright’s Horizons. Regional: Actors Theater of Louisville, Arts Center of Coastal Carolina, The Alliance, Cape Playhouse, Dallas Theater Center, Florida Studio, Goodspeed Opera Co., McCarter, Merrimack Repertory, North Shore Music Theater, PCPA, Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera, Riverside, Syracuse Stage, and the Orlando, Pennsylvania, St Louis, Utah and San Francisco Shakespeare Festivals. As both director and playwright, he collaborated with the late Harry Chapin on the musical Cotton Patch Gospel. A graduate of Princeton and Yale, Treyz has received a Drama Desk and regional theater awards.
Michael Conley (Musical Director) has earned a notable reputation here and abroad for his multifaceted career as conductor, pianist, organist, singer, composer, accompanist and vocal coach. The New York Times wrote of his work, “first-rate conducting,” and of his compositions, “tuneful,” “handsome,” “ambitious,” “piquant,” and “surprising.” He is Artistic Director of the West Village Chorale (14th season) and also conducts the Hudson Chorale in Westchester. Conley is the Music Director at Judson Memorial Church. He has been a soloist with The Gregg Smith Singers, The Dessoff Choirs, Manhattan Voices, The Yuletide Singers, and at the Woodstock Fringe Festival. He is a singer/conductor/composer member of C4: The Choral Composer, Conductor Collective (C4ensemble.org). A graduate of Westminster Choir College (studying with renowned choral conductor Joseph Flummerfelt), Conley is the composer of numerous works in a range of mediums. He is currently writing an opera on the subject of Frank Lloyd Wright, entitled Fallingwater.
Choreography: Mark DiConzo
Assistant Choreographer: Kelly Moran
Costume design: Jennifer Raskopf
Lighting design: David M. Upton
Production Manager: Zachary Mosely
Production Stage Manager: Morgan Eisen
Stage Manager: Anna Fearheiley
|Beau Allen * |
Sarah Blaze *
Greg Carter *
Mark DiConzo *
Steve Greenstein *
Rob Hatzenbeller *
Christopher Johnson *
Robert Lydiard *
Robin Manning *
|Marilyn Matarrese * |
Uriel Menson *
Bergin Michaels *
Paul Murphy *
Michael C. O’Day *
Tony Perry *
Tom Romero *
Kim Sweet *
Megan Thomas *
Paul Thomas Ryan *
Terry L. Walker *
Kevin B. Winebold *
D. Zhonzinsky *
* These actors appear courtesy of Actors' Equity Association. The Bonus Army is an Equity-approved Showcase
JUDSON ARTS continues the long tradition of arts presentations at Judson Memorial Church, a worshiping community that has been a force in Greenwich Village for over 120 years not only in the arts but in social reform, freedom of expression, and advocating for the marginalized. From the acclaimed Judson Poets’ Theater and Judson Dance Theater to today’s Bailout Theater and Magic Time performances, Judson embraces the vitality and necessity of the arts in our lives. This is the first production of Judson Arts in The Gym at Judson.
End of run. Thanks to all those who supported and attended!
Equity Approved Showcase
"I was pleased and surprised to learn that musical theatre can still give me chills, for it is not often that an audience is treated to such a large cast, heavy on deeply resonant men's voices, singing music that sounds as genuine and true to the story being told as is the case in The Bonus Army."
- Seth Bogner, Theatre is Easy
"I was there 37 years ago when 'The Bonus Army' premiered and found it one of Al Carmines' most tuneful and moving works. So when it was announced for revival, I made certain to make my reservation early. How wonderful to be able to report that Russell Treyz's in-the-round revival surpasses the original in every way."
--Peter Filichia, Broadway Stars
THE GYM at Judson cultivates an uncensored environment for developing workshop performance, inviting established and emerging talent to exchange creative energies and encouraging unique interdependent community in the arts.
Leave a voicemail at (347) 464-9589 or email bonusarmymarchers (at) gmail.com.
THE GYM is located at the corner of Thompson and Washington Square South
The GYM is wheelchair accessible. Enter at 243 Thompson St. and and take the lift to the bottom level.
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THE GYM at Judson Reviews
"The infamously intimate gym at Judson Church was transformed into a ghostly theatre from the early 1900s. Glass chandeliers hung from the ceiling, a player piano sat before the audience (which was piled into bleachers on either side of the “stage”) and a small orchestra was veiled behind specter-like scrims painted to imitate old theatre interiors....What follows is one of the most important pieces of new American musical theatre that’s happening on the stage today."
- Jordan Shavarebi, Out.com
"There's an obscene amount of fun being had in a church gymnasium on Washington Square South in Lysistrata Jones....Off Broadway company the Transport Group, which specializes in site-specific shows, has found a perfect fit with a full-size gymnasium in the process of being converted to a performance space in the Judson Memorial Church in Greenwich Village."
- David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter
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