Prospect’s 10th

September 21, 2008

1998 saw the founding of two ambitious new organizations: Prospect Theater Company and Google. Over the past decade both companies have grown tremendously.

Okay, Google may have grown a bit more…

Their 26-acre “Googleplex” has roughly half a million square feet of office space, while Prospect’s headquarters occupy a bit over 200 square feet on the third floor of the Ripley-Grier building. Nevertheless, we have come a long way in ten years, and on September 21 st , 9pm at 37 Arts, we plan to celebrate our past successes, our continued survival, and our bright future with a 10th Anniversary concert during this year’s New York Musical Theater Festival.

I can trace the history of our company in a long line of postcards adorning the walls of our aforementioned headquarters. Beginning with the earliest shows, a colorful parade of productions proceeds, season by season, through almost thirty mainstage shows and a host of smaller “Dark Nights” events. That line of postcards has now turned the corner twice and is quickly running out of real estate on our little office’s walls–another healthy sign of Prospect’s growth!

Almost half of our mainstage shows have been new musicals, and as Prospect’s resident writer, I have written music and/or lyrics for ten, yes ten, of those new tuners in as many years. The concert on the 21st will feature highpoints from each of those musicals: Malcolm Gets will sing “Way Ahead Of My Time,” from THE TAXI CABARET, the very first show I wrote; Gavin Creel will reprise his performance of “Highway Miles” from THE FLOOD; the cast of ILLYRIA will be on hand for a special sneak preview of Prospect’s upcoming revival. And those are just the first three of the fourteen we’ll be re-visiting!

In more recent years, Prospect has become a home for new musicals other than mine–another healthy sign! The NYMF concert will also include music from THE TUTOR, the Rodgers Award-winning show by Andrew Gerle and Maryrose Wood; THE BOOK OF THE DUN COW, Randy Courts’ and Mark St. Germain’s adaptation of the National Book Award-winning novel; TOCK TICK, a sweet and surreal fable by Tim Nevits and Gihieh Lee; and the haunting Dada-inspired piece, THE BLUE FLOWER by Jim and Ruth Bauer.

The star-studded evening, hosted by Stephen Bogardus, will include performances by Matt Cavenaugh, Jose Llana, Adama Jacobs and more. As Prospect begins its second decade, the prospects look good. Who knows… perhaps in another ten years we’ll have a 26 acre “Prosplex” of our own!

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