Helena and Ari have a rare moment of joy after they have run away together. A scene from the July 30th concert reading.
Composer Ray Hoese brings a full and vivid spectrum of songs and music to this incredible tale. Heartbreaking, memorable ballads like "Follow You To Forever" and "You Would Be Mine". Driving beats and amazing rock and dance numbers like "Rock N Role of War" and "Underground."
The daughter of a Nazi officer falls in love with a Jewish resistance fighter in occupied Poland. They run away together but are separated in the chaos of war. Struggling to find each other, they endure pains of the heart, family, and trust, until they are reunited in New York City after the war.
“I was born in the wrong era.”
Being insatiably curious, much of it focused on Europe in World War II, informed Alexandra's search for a story she wanted to tell. She has always made it a point to stop and talk to veterans where ever she found them, whether Scotland, Hawaii, or stateside. Holocaust survivors always kept a special place in her heart. Listening intently to countless stories over the years, she was fascinated by the everyday heroes and their journeys. She never left them without a big hug and expressing her gratitude for their work and sacrifice.
The idea of this improbable love story came to her as she began college, studying acting and writing for theater. She continued to hone the idea while getting her BFA in theater, and acting in numerous stage, screen and television roles during and since graduating. Recently married to a guy who helps train astronauts (I know, right!), she splits her time between Houston and New York, where she grew up seeing every Broadway production she could and attending the Tony Awards. She also has an addiction to dogs (especially this one) and is looking forward to owning more than one at some point.
"The antidote to writer's block is dogs, bike riding and sun!”
Ray is a writer. Period. Or maybe a semicolon... His degree is in journalism but his first professional gigs included an NBC sitcom and The X-Files. Also an avid songwriter, it was only after separately writing hundreds of songs and thousands of pages of scripts that he joined Alexandra to help bring this story and its music to life.
Ray still has the violin his parents bought when they got him lessons in the fourth grade and he is most proud of raising children that love and play music for fun, which (as he says) is what music was meant for. Ray's other love is flying airplanes for fun and profit. And, of course, big, big dogs.
"The only safe mirror is the theater.”
The theater has always been home for Brian. Coming from a family of musicians, artists, artisans, and the grandson of a renowned dancer. Under the mentorship of Tony Award winner Joseph A. Walker, his mentor at Rutgers, Brian received a scholarship to The American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York. Almost immediately after graduation he found himself performing on stage at Lincoln Center. Not long after, The Metropolitan Opera made an offer he couldn't refuse, starting his 16-year run as a full company member, staff Performer, and even earning title of fight captain.
When his first son was born a (not so) difficult choice was made to put his family first and relocate from New York to Texas. Now with two boys, Brian is excited and honored to contribute to this amazing work and return to his life's pursuit of theatrical art. He is also "provider" to three geriatric chihuahuas: Frijolito, Chela, and Peanut.
“Musical theater gives ordinary life extraordinary meaning.”
When New York calls, you answer. Shavonne got the call, but spent two years touring the country with a band before answering for real and calling New York home for twenty years. She established her love of theater while growing up (in her real home, Texas), which led to an MFA in theater/voice.
In New York, Shavonne was cast in many shows on and off Broadway, regional theaters, as well as roles on network television and in commercials. A gifted singer and actress, she is also a massively organized, people-mover, which led her to many successes behind the camera and curtain. She calls Texas home once again, and like her daughter, indulges an addiction to her five canine “babies”. #roverdose
“Any endeavor, done with passion, compassion and quality is a win.
And this show is a winner!”
A distinguished 30-year career in the military, first piloting T-38 jets and then serving as lead in the public affairs offices of the Pentagon, Hal knows his success comes from putting people first. Medals for valor and meritorious service are just a few of the many shiny things on his uniform when he retired.
Hal was responsible for thousands of service members around the world tasked with creating and producing radio, television and live entertainment for America's armed forces. A veteran of the Vietnam War and other conflicts, he is grateful to his country and the people who served along with him.
Hal’s role overseeing the Air Force’s public affairs, led to involvement with all forms of entertainment, including work with the LA Film office and the National Football League. His love of Broadway and musical theater led to involvement with this story. Hal also has a very personal connection to this story. His father, Harold Sr., was one of the WW II soldiers that liberated prisoners at the Dachau concentration camp just north of Munich, Germany in 1945.
On a lighter note, Hal names all his dogs Lucy.
“I believe the world is a better place if there is more theater in it.”
Ken Davenport is a Tony Award-winning Broadway producer whose credits include A Beautiful Noise: The Neil Diamond Musical, Once On This Island (Tony Award), Gettin’ the Band Back Together, The Play that Goes Wrong, Groundhog Day (Tony nomination), Deaf West Theatre’s Spring Awakening (Tony nomination), It’s Only a Play, Macbeth starring Alan Cumming, Godspell, Kinky Boots (Broadway – Tony Award, National Tour, Toronto, Australia, and West End), and many others.
Ken is acting as a coach at this point (not producing our show) but is our guide and mentor through this wonderful, multi-layered world of Broadway. He generously shares his experience and advice with us and is an invaluable resource.
Learn more about how Ken helps people bring theater to life at Theatermakers Studio. (Ken's dog Koda runs the show at home.)