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The Man Who Would Be King

The musical based on Rudyard Kipling’s novella was first developed in sessions of The Musical Writers’ Playground, a peer group of librettists, lyricists and composers founded by Leslie Becker, V.P. Boyle, and DJ Salisbury. After a presentation of 20 minutes of the show’s material to enthusiastic crowds at the Minetta Lane Theater in New York, writers Neil Berg and DJ Salisbury created further explored the material in a small workshop at the Antrim Playhouse in upstate New York with direction by Karen Azenberg. Subsequently, the show was selected for presentation in the inaugural New York Musical Theatre Festival. Various processes have allowed the writers to continue to shape the musical and in 2008, two readings supported its continued development- one in NY with dramaturgical support by Moises Kaufman, and another at the Rubicon Theatre in Ventura, California directed by Michael Michetti. Both readings were graciously facilitated by producer Adam Friedson. In 2009, The Village Theatre in Issaquah, WA near Seattle presented the show as part of its Festival of New Musicals with direction by Brian Yorkey (Tony-winning writer of Next to Normal.) A CD of the show’s concept album has been recorded and released with the vocal talents of Marc Kudisch, Brian d’Arcy James, Judy McLane, Mandy Gonzalez, Don Richard, Paul Schoeffler and an ensemble of Broadway’s best. The orchestrations are by Larry Hochman (Spamalot, Fiddler on the Roof, A Class Act, Jane Eyre, The Addams Family), and the 20-piece orchestra was conducted by the show’s Musical Supervisor Wendy Cavett.

Additional actors, directors, and designers that have been invaluable to the development of the show include Paul Dobie, David Weinstein, Dana Kenn, Sam Fleming, Scot Woolley, Ken Clifton, Mandy Bruno, Tony Lawson, Alison Briner, Paul Anthony Stewart, Rita Harvey, Joe Cassidy, Bob Cuccioli, Tom Hewitt, John Bolton, Josh Grisetti, Kevin Reed, Brynn O’Malley, Liz Ward Land, Candace Nicole, Kevin Earley, Jessica Roush, Bill Parry and many other wonderful talents.

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Wendy Cavett and Brian d'Arcy James in CD recording session

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