Monday, March 03, 2014

Sleeping Cutie Musical to Premiere at Thick House!

The development of a new theatre work can be a long and winding journey. More so for a new musical. Our fractured fairy tale begins on March 6, 2009 when PlayGround announced the topic for the March 16 Monday Night PlayGround: Adaptation of a Fairytale. Diane Sampson created an elegant and highly entertaining short play about an erstwhile "king" of commerce waiting on his final appeal (think Bernie Madoff) who tries to orchestrate the match-up of his only daughter, Lucy, a seeming narcoleptic who’s just a bit tired from hanging out at rock clubs every night in pursuit of her dream to be an indie rock drummer. The short play was a huge success and here the story may have ended - a short play content to remain a short play - but for the intervention of a fairy godmother in the form of a PlayGround Alumni Commission. In 2012, Diane received such a commission to adapt her short play into a full-length musical. She teamed up with past collaborator New York-based composer Doug Katsaros, and in January 2013 PlayGround hosted the first read-through of the new work. Two more workshops and a year later and we're pleased to announce a very happy ending to this modern-day fairy tale: Off a Cliff Productions in association with PlayGround will premiere SLEEPING CUTIE: A Fractured Fairy Tale Musical at San Francisco's Thick House for a four-week run beginning April 17, 2014 and tickets are now on sale at!

Directed by Cindy Goldfield with music direction by David Aaron Brown, the show features a stable of well-seasoned Bay Area actors including: Jesse Caldwell* (Father); Luke Chapman (Charlie); Marissa Joy Ganz* (Lucy); Buzz Halsing* (Man 2); Gwen Loeb* (Woman); John Patrick Moore* (Man 1) and Stephanie Prentice* (Mary) with Bethanie Baeyen* stage managing. (*Member Actor’s Equity Association)

Sleeping Cutie runs Thurs-Sat at 8pm and Sun at 2pm, April 17-4 with a special Monday evening performance on May 5 at 8pm and concluding matinees on Saturday, May 10 and Sunday, May 11 at 2pm. Opening Night is Saturday, April 19. Tickets are $30-$35 (priority seating available for an additional $10; student/group discounts available) and Thursdays are Pay-What-You-Can, subject to availability. Thick House is located at 1695 18th Street (between Arkansas and Carolina Streets) in San Francisco's Potrero Hill neighborhood. To purchase online, visit


Diane Sampson (Author, Lyricist) has written the lyrics and melodies (and co-written the books) for two previous musicals, Writes and Re-writes and Oh, Progeny! (two Bay Area productions). She has been a member of the PlayGround writers pool for nine years, and under their auspices has written over 50 ten-minute plays. Her short pieces have been staged in venues as far a field as Seattle and Miami. One of them, Undone, was made into a film that was screened as part of PlayGround’s 2nd  Annual Film Festival in May 2013. Her full-length (non-musical) plays include Charlotte Takes the Plunge and Naked, another PlayGround commission. Her past life included singing in local cabarets, but she doubts that the demise of such once-numerous venues is her sole responsibility! 

Doug Katsaros (Composer) is an Emmy-winning composer who has been making some kind of noise for years, conducting, composing, orchestrating, arranging on and off Broadway for shows like Footloose, The Life, Rocky Horror, Altar Boyz, The Toxic Avenger and A...My Name is Alice. He is composing Broadway’s upcoming Somewhere In Time and his Orphan Train musical will open at Grand Central Terminal in October 2014. He has written and conducted TV and film scores for Sarah Jessica Parker, Robert Loggia and Sandra Bullock. He has dozens of gold and platinum CDs for artists such as Kiss, SinĂ©ad O'Connor, Gloria Estefan, Frank Sinatra, Todd Rundgren, Rod Stewart, Judy Collins, B. B. King, Marlo Thomas (Grammy), Donny Osmond, Richie Havens, Aerosmith, Bon Jovi, Cher, Michael Bolton, and Peter Paul & Mary. He orchestrated Dee Snider’s Heavy Metal Broadway tribute, “Dee Does Broadway” and on TV, he garnered an Emmy nomination for his score to "The Tick" and wrote themes for “The Jim Henson Hour,” “Mancuso FBI” and the “ABC Sunday Night Movie.” He has conducted PBS’s “Great Performances” and the Boston Pops. He writes special material for Ringling Brothers Circus, Macy's 4th of July Fireworks and their Thanksgiving Day Parade, winning the Emmy for Best Original Song. He tours the world with Argentinian pianist Raul Di Blasio, who's latest CD, Primavera, he co-produced. He has two grown sons, and lives in NYC with his wife, composer/keyboardist Elise Morris, raising two teenage girls, who now make all the noise. And yes, he is the guy who wrote "By Mennen". 

Cindy Goldfield (director), an award-winning director, is pleased to be involved with Sleeping Cutie. Other directing/choreography credits include: As Thousands Cheer, Once in a Blue Moon, Finnian’s Rainbow, The Roar of the Greasepaint—The Smell of the Crowd and most recently, SNOOPY!!! for 42nd Street Moon.  She has also directed for The Willows Theatre, CUBIT Productions, The Dance Palace and numerous corporate shows around the world. Ms. Goldfield is also a two-time recipient of both the Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle and the Dean Goodman Choice awards for acting. Her regional theatre credits include The Mystery of Edwin Drood (title role) (Center REPertory Company); Spring Awakening and Bill W. and Dr. Bob (San Jose Repertory Theatre); Another Midsummer’s Night (TheatreWorks); Brimstone, Moon over Buffalo, and Merrily We Roll Along (The Willows Theatre); Oliver! (Broadway by the Bay); Moving Bodies (Marin Theatre Company); Crimes of the Heart (Playhouse West); OMFG! (world premiere- ODC); Texas Chainsaw Manicurist and Cowardly Things (New Conservatory Theatre Center); Mack & Mabel (42nd Street Moon); and D’Arcy Drollinger’s Scalpel! (Brava!). NY credits include Drollinger’s Project:Lohan, and Mr. Irresistible, with music by Christopher Winslow, at La MaMa E.T.C. In Spring 2014 she will star in the SF production of Mr. Irresistible. Ms. Goldfield also enjoys a thriving voice-over career and the collaboration of Goldfield& Koldewyn with the inimitable original Cockette -  Scrumbly Koldewyn.

David Aaron Brown (Music Director) is a Bay Area-native music director, composer, and pianist. He was most recently seen tickling the ivories as Arnie in The Speakeasy presented by Boxcar Theatre.  Favorite musical credits include Spamalot (Conductor/Pianist, 6th Street Playhouse), 'Tis Pity She's A Whore (Composer/Pianist, Bigger Than a Breadbox) and Parade (Asst. MD/Pianist, Trinity Rep).

Jesse Caldwell* (Father) has worked at many local theatres including A.C.T., TheatreWorks, CenterREP, Shotgun Players and TheatreFirst. Moon, He holds a B.A. in Drama from Tufts, an M.F.A. in Acting from Stanford and a J.D. from the U. of Georgia.  Jesse is a proud member of Actors Equity Association.

Luke Chapman (Charlie) is proud to be a part of his first PlayGround show. Last seen as Claude in Hair (Coastal rep), Luke has performed all over the bay area. SF Playhouse, 42nd Street Moon, Hillbarn, Ray of Light, and DTC.

Marissa Joy Ganz* (Lucy) is a Native New Yorker Triple Threat who has been performing since the age of 4. Marissa originated the role of Susan in the World Premiere/1st National Broadway Tour of Disney's  High School Musical. She was also seen on the National Tour of The Boy Friend directed by  Julie Andrews. European Tours: Hair and The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber. Regional: Paper Mill Playhouse, Goodspeed Opera House, Pittsburgh CLO, Atlanta TOTS. A recent transplant, Marissa has  been directing/choreographing throughout the Bay. Much love to my Family, friends and Brent.

Buzz Halsing* (Man 2) is a Bay Area native, performing in companies throughout Northern CA and beyond. Regional credits include Odysseus (Ensemble) at A.C.T., The Music Man (Harold  Hill) at Stockton Theater Co., November (Pres. Chucky Smith) at Ross Valley Players,  Hairspray (Wilber Turnblad) at The Mountain Play, Mill Valley, and various roles at 42nd St. Moon in San Francisco. Buzz is a proud member of Actors Equity.

Gwen Loeb* (Woman) has been a company member with PlayGround for 13 years and is honored to have been a part of this world premiere musical since its first workshop. Some of Gwen’s Bay Area productions include: A Bright New Boise, The Arsonists, and Trojan Women at Aurora Theatre Company, Truffaldino Says No and World In A Woman’s Hands at Shotgun Players, and the upcoming Pride & Prejudice at Livermore Shakespeare.

John Patrick Moore* (Man 1) has worked with Central Works (Artistic Associate), Marin Theatre Company, The Magic Theatre, 42nd Street Moon, The Shotgun Players, and  CenterRep. In NYC with NYMF and Expanded Art’s Free Shakespeare in the Park(ing) Lot.

Stephanie Prentice* (Mary) is thrilled to be working with PlayGround! Credits include appearances with Shotgun Players, SF Playhouse, and Shakespeare at Stinson. Stephanie lives in Danville with her husband and two young children. She is also a member of the voice faculty at Santa Clara University.

Jim Kleinmann (Producer) co-founded PlayGround in 1994 and has served as Artistic Director since 1996. For PlayGround, he has provided artistic and administrative leadership for the past 20 seasons, developing PlayGround’s unique array of new playwright and new play incubator programs, including Monday Night PlayGround, the Best of PlayGround Festival, the full-length play Commissioning Initiative, the New Play Production Fund, and most recently the PlayGround Film Festival. He is a veteran arts administrator with more than 20 years of experience, including stints leading Traveling Jewish Theatre, Smuin Ballet and Berkeley Symphony, and received his MFA from the Yale School of Drama.

PlayGround (Co-Producer) is the Bay Area’s leading playwright incubator. Founded in 1994, PlayGround creates community by nurturing collaboration between early career playwrights and established professional directors and actors. Led by co-founder and Artistic Director Jim Kleinmann, PlayGround has developed more than 700 short plays by 190 Bay Area writers and, since 2002, has commissioned and developed 50 new full-length plays and musicals, including The Tale of the Sleeping Cutie. PlayGround is the producer of the Monday Night PlayGround staged reading series at Berkeley Rep and the Best of PlayGround Festival, the Bay Area’s largest annual showcase for local writers. For more information, visit

For more information, visit


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