"A lot of writers do evenings of their work," says musical-theater writer Ryan Scott Oliver, who will present an evening of his tunes at 54 Below on February 2. Oliver is the author of seven musicals that have taken on a cult following in recent years, a list that includes the rock tuner Jasper in Deadland, the jazz operetta Darling, a Southern Gothic thriller called We Foxes, and a multimedia song cycle titled 35MM. "What sets this apart [is that] we go chronologically through my canon, with a couple of songs from each show. We have TV screens set up to give you context, so you feel like you're getting a snippet of the actual musical, almost like a trailer."
RSO at 54 Below, at 7 and 9:30pm, is also expected to feature several of Oliver's frequent collaborators, including the trio he refers to as his "muses": Jay Armstrong Johnson, Lindsay Mendez, and Alex Brightman, all of whom can currently be heard on the recording of 35MM. "Every time I write something, there's something in it for them," Oliver notes. Additional performers include Derek Klena (Diner), Katie Thompson (Giant), Ben Fankhauser (Newsies), and Julia Murney (Wicked), among others.
Johnson joined Oliver at a recent press preview of the concert, where he performed "Stroke by Stroke" from Oliver's musical Jasper in Deadland. You can check it out below.
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