A nice Jewish Girl from New York finds herself singing at the famous Italian Restaurant Rao's, hosting the Ms. Italian-American pageant, dodging bullets, becoming a member of the exclusive Friar's Club, and torturing her eighty-nine year old grandma because she's still not married. Friars, Famiglia and a Yiddish "My Way" (Mein Veg) - it's in there!
SPAGHETTI & MATZO BALLS! tells the story of how Rena Strober found her inner Italian, with music ranging from Italian Pop Opera to Billy Joel, Joni Mitchell to Yiddish favorites, Tom Waits to Broadway standards and includes original music by Jeff Blumencrantz ( Urban Cowboy) and Brad Alexander (Just So Stories). This musical explores what it means to find home again. Highlights from her journey include an appearance on the HBO Mob reality show House Arrest, her performance for Bill Clinton and the struggle of being true to both Sonny Grosso (the French Connection cop and movie producer) and Sunny Strober (the Jewish grandmother).
Rena Strober made her Broadway debut 4 years ago in Les Misérables and went on to perform leading roles at Playwrights Horizons, Goodspeed Opera House and the Long Wharf Theatre. Rena recently originated the role of Tonya in Zhivago at the LaJolla Playhouse directed by Des McNuff ( Jersey Boys) for which she won the Craig Noel Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical. She has sung at Lincoln Center, Town Hall and Westbury Music Fair, and has performed for such luminaries as Bill Clinton, Regis Philbin, Don Rickles, Nikki the Vest and Johnny Roastbeef. Rena currently performs every week at the Friars Club in New York, and will be on the dais for the upcoming roast of Pat Cooper on October 19th.
The creative team for SPAGHETTI & MATZO BALLS! includes musical director William Hindin (who has worked with Rosemary Clooney and many others), Joseph Brent ( Spring Awakening, Drowsy Chaperone) on violin, Italian Mandolin and guitar, and nationally recognized soloist Mark Wade on bass. Dean Strober ( Die Hard: The Puppet Musical), who co-wrote the show with Rena, will direct.