Hey AcaFans! We hope you are filling your summers with lots of fabulous a cappella!
What is ACAPPELLA the Musical, and who is making it happen?
ACAPPELLA is a groundbreaking piece of theater melding two exciting art forms together. Musical theatre meets a cappella in this romantic musical comedy for all ages. The project was conceived and is being produced by Greg Cooper. Award-winning Atlanta playwright Vynnie Meli has woven an engaging story around the soul-stirring music of The Acappella Company. [More about the Creative Team here! We see you, Evan Feist. -AFB]
A gospel singer leaves home, going from the “music of praise” to the “music that pays.” A jaded roadie rushes him away from an arena full of screaming fans while a forgotten and ignored old man on a street corner belts some beautiful blues just because it feeds his soul. Jeremiah realizes that somewhere along the way, it became more about the money than the music. He goes back – to family, to friends, to the woman he left behind, but can he? Is it love or just nostalgia? He returns to the place where everything is familiar, except that nothing is. He learns that he has to find his own way home.
Introduce us to the cast! What previous a cappella (contemporary or otherwise) experience do they have, or what groups have they been a part of?
Our cast is made up of both Broadway veterans and several vocal band members with a ton of a cappella experience. Featured in the company are Virginia Woodruff (Violet, Leap of Faith, The Color Purple, All Shook Up, Smokey Joe’s Café), Cheryl A. Freeman (The Who’s Tommy , Disney’s Hercules), Tyler Hardwick, Anthony Chatmon II, Miche Braden and Darilyn Castillo have joined the cast of ACAPPELLA. Rounding out the company are Katrina R. Dideriksen, Gavyn Pickens, Emily Goglia (SoCal Vocals, Element), Rachel Gavaletz, Janelle McDermoth (UPenn Off The Beat, RANGE), Darryl Williams, Alex Koceja and Garrett Turner. [More about the Cast here! -AFB]
Tell us about the Acappella Company and how they got involved with your project.
Every vision has a genesis. And the vision for ACAPPELLA The Musical launched with some of the most soul-stirring music ever created! All of the songs featured in the production were originally produced by The Acappella Company – more commonly known as Acappella. Acappella has sold well over three million units and toured every continent on the globe since Keith Lancaster – songwriter, producer, and original lead singer – formed the group in 1982.
Believing in the awesome versatility and flexibility of the human voice, this renowned vocal group can fill a large concert hall with beautiful, intricate music without ever plucking a string or beating a drum. Acappella’s current model, launched in August 2014, combines the talents of the ministry’s past and present singers on concerts and albums. The group’s lineup will vary from event to event, showcasing vocalists from multiple eras of Acappella Ministries’ 32-year history in fresh new combinations. Acappella has featured special lineups for reunion concerts and other select events in the past, but is now in position to make that a permanent fixture for fans to enjoy.
Melissa Lancaster, Keith’s daughter, is currently Vice President of the group and oversees much of the current line production. She can hardly contain her passion for music. “I’m sort of a workaholic – mainly because I love what I do! I grew up on a bus touring with my family for my dad’s singing group. I saw the whole country at an early age, and now I can’t stay put. It made me a gypsy so I have to travel and sing or I get antsy!”
Melissa has served as a both an invaluable resource and a constant source of inspiration for the show!
What style(s) of a cappella music will acafans be treated to? How did you select the songs?
We’ve got something for everyone! Gospel, jazz, blues, R&B, soul, hip-hop – you name it! The Acappella Company has recorded 24 albums in their long history, so it was like diving into a treasure chest! We tried to select songs that would be effective in the telling of this timeless story.
Where can acafans see ACAPPELLA the Musical?
New York City! Performances run Tuesday, July 7 at 7:00 pm, Friday, July 10 at 5:00 pm, Saturday, July 11 at 9:00 pm, Sunday, July 12 at 12:00 pm, Tuesday, July 14 at 1:00 pm at the PTC Performance Space – located at 555 West 42nd Street (between 10th and 11th Avenues on the South Side of 42nd Street).
Is there an opportunity to meet you and the cast after the show, and maybe get some autographs?
Sure, if you can catch us! We’re usually hanging around in the lobby after each show. Come and say “Hi!”
The show starts TONIGHT, July 7, and runs through the July 14. How do acafans buy their tickets?
Easy! Simply visit our website: www.acappellathemusical.com – Hurry! Tickets are going fast and opening night SOLD OUT!
So, AcaFans – who’s going (we are)?! Be sure to let us know, and tell us all about it!