New York-based What's The Benefit? inc. has announced that they are preparing to mount their production of WEAKER PEOPLE...A DANGEROUS NOTION for runs Off-Broadway and in London's West End.
WEAKER PEOPLE debuted in March 2012 to a sold-out crowd on Broadway at the Stephen Sondheim Theatre in New York. The new "fantasy-rock" musical was performed as part of a benefit in honor of Operation Respect, which was founded by Peter Yarrow of the platinum-selling folk group "Peter, Paul and Mary".
The Off-Broadway production is expected to open this fall.
WEAKER PEOPLE has a strong British influence. Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama alum Paul Daniel Cloeter penned the music and lyrics. London area natives Nicco Franklin and Anja Radford are set to direct and assistant direct. Jennifer Tanarez, a Mountview Academy graduate and longtime member of the West End's AVENUE Q will be heading to New York as one of the confirmed cast members. Mia Charran is returning to the technical staff to serve as Aesthetic Director.
In 2010, What's The Benefit? inc. produced an adoption-themed musical called KEEPERS on Broadway at the world-famous Studio 54 Theatre.
WEAKER PEOPLE...A DANGEROUS NOTION was created to honestly address the issues facing students in schools today.
"We wanted to create a unique musical atmosphere that accentuated our characters' desires for an escape from their less-than-desired circumstances. I think the feedback we received affirmed that music can be a powerfully transformative medium-one that we used to tap into a collective social discontentment," said Cloeter, who also performs in the cast.
The soundtrack of WEAKER PEOPLE...A DANGEROUS NOTION is currently available on iTunes and Amazon.
The Broadway premiere at the Stephen Sondheim was attended by several celebrities, including Cynthia Germonatta, co-founder of the Born This Way Foundation with daughter Lady Gaga. Lucy Simon, composer of THE SECRET GARDEN spoke at the event, as did Yarrow, who led the audience and cast in a sing-along of "Blowin' in the Wind". Yarrow also read a congratulatory letter, sent in absentia by Bill Cosby.
"It was a really magical evening", said Director Nicco Franklin. "We all agreed that the message of WEAKER PEOPLE...A DANGEROUS NOTION not only deserved a more permanent voice in the theatrical community, but that the community needs to see this kind of theatre and see the change it can inspire in people's hearts and attitudes."
Molly C. Blau headed the book-writing team, supported by Franklin. "The thing I love about this show is how it conveys understanding for everyone's point of view. Here there are no bullies, no 'weaker people'-just people trying to survive. If we all took that to heart, think of the difference it could cause in the world".
What's The Benefit? inc. plans to continue supporting Operation Respect with the Off-Broadway production.
For more information, visit www.whatsthebenefit.org.