POPSTAR Industry Reading to Star Sydney James Harcourt. October 17 & 18
Posted by: Official_Press_Release 10:52 am EDT 10/08/19









An invitation-only staged reading of the new musical PopStar – featuring an original score by one of the music industry’s leading songwriting teams – will take place at Ripley Grier, 305 W. 38th Street, on Thursday, October 17 and Friday, October 18.

Featuring a book by Martin Casella (The Irish Curse) and music and lyrics by Sophie Dupin (Manhattan Nocturne starring Adrian Brody; performs as Brix) and Jay Levine (“iCarly”), PopStar is conceived and directed by Sharon Rosen (Play It Cool) and choreographed by Josh Assor (Saturday Night Fever National Tour - Assoc).

PopStar features an original story and score about what it takes to make your mark in the cutthroat music industry. "Buzz" Michaelson – a driven, brilliant, but abrasive Hollywood record executive – decides to strike out on his own, risking it all to take his young proteges to the top of the charts. Featuring an exuberant, pulsing pop score and a diverse cast, PopStar is a modern tale about taking charge of your own destiny at all costs.

The cast includes Sydney James Harcourt (Hamilton) as “Buzz”, Roman Banks (Dear Evan Hansen) as “Luka”, Kalyn West (The Prom) as “Katie”, Sally Wilfert (The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee National tour) as “Mimi”, Ashley D. Kelley (Eve’s Song Off-Broadway) as “Daphne”, Eddie Cooper (The Cradle Will Rock Off-Broadway) as “The Lodge”, Perry Young (In the Heights National tour) as “Marco”, Amy Keum (Be More Chill – regional) as “Daisy”, Levin Valayil as “Chaz”. The ensemble features Liam Allen, Ian Campayno, Erik J. Christensen, Alex Hartman, Carolyn Miller, Genny Lis Padilla, Nico de Jesus, Cajai Fellows Johnson, and Monica Woods.

The music team for PopStar includes Dominick Amendum (First Date) and Aaron Jodoin (Pretty Woman) as Music Supervisors, and Matt Hinkley (Godspell) as Music Director. Casting is by Geoff Josselson (Southern Comfort, Yank!) and general management is by Alchemy Production Group (Come From Away).


MARTIN CASELLA (Book). Black Tom Island (Commission – Premiere Stages/Liberty Hall Museum 2018); THE REPORT (2015 FringeNYC); The Irish Curse (Off-Broadway, London, Edinburgh, Prague; published by French), Directions for Restoring the Apparently Dead, Scituate, Mates, Paydirt, Desert Fire, Beautiful Dreamer, Grand Junction. (Musicals) Mary Modern, Play It Cool (Off-Broadway, NAMT, NYMF), Paper Moon (NAMT, Papermill, Goodspeed, Walnut Street, Ford’s Theater, Tokyo), Happy Holidays (Pasadena Playhouse), Saint Heaven (Village Theater), DOO-DAH! (workshop at Stratford Festival, Canada). (Film/TV) One Night Stand; screenplays/TV scripts for Steven Spielberg, HBO, CBS, ABC, Disney, Universal, WB. (Awards) FringeNYC 2015/2005 Overall Excellence Award for Playwriting, THE REPORT /The Irish Curse.; Dramalogue/LA WEEKLY Outstanding Play Awards for Mates; NY Outer Critics Circle nomination, Best New Off-Broadway Musical, Play It Cool; GLAAD nominations for Outstanding New Play, The Irish Curse and Best New Off-Broadway Musical, Play It Cool. Pride Films and Plays Great Gay Play Award, Directions for Restoring the Apparently Dead. Casella taught playwriting at CalArts and NYC’s Harvey Milk School. Member of The Dramatists Guild and the Writers Guild Of America.

SOPHIE DUPIN (Music & Lyrics) has developed and written for various artists, and successfully placed songs in numerous commercials, television shows, and films; among them are Crayola, Fabreeze, Charmed, and Manhattan Nocturne. Dupin also records under the artist name Brix. Most recently, Brix’s cover of Gwen Stefani’s (No Doubt) “Just a Girl” was featured in Disney’s official trailer for “The Nutcracker and The Four Realms”. Brix’s vocals and songwriting are also featured on Hollywood Records’ (Disney) artist Cole Plante’s “Before I’m Yours”, which topped the Billboard Dance Charts. Artist LOREN, developed by Dupin, was labeled 5 Artists to Watch in September 2015 by SPIN MAGAZINE. Dupin is also the co-writer of viral sensation Kimberly Henderson’s “Tiny Hearts”, which received national press and was performed on the Steve Harvey show. Dupin has worked as a judge for X-Factor and a scout for America’s Got Talent. Dupin also sang with the band Passion Pit on Saturday Night Live. The recent loss of Dupin’s father to cancer provoked a period of writing and reflection, evident in her latest work, the “Broken Vessel” EP, and propelled her into releasing her own music for the first time in 2018.

JAY LEVINE (Music & Lyrics) Jay Levine is a music producer and songwriter whose passion is helping artists find their voices through songwriting and development. He has discovered, produced and written for multi-platinum artists such as Fefe Dobson, Susan Cagle, Catey Shaw, Prozzak and The Philosopher Kings. Levine has written and produced songs for over 20 feature films, and has written singles for Miranda Cosgove (“iCarly”) and Elizabeth Gillies (“Victorious”). His latest project, Today Kid, has been featured in Reebok, Best Buy, Match.com, Verizon and Benjamin Moore and Chase commercials. In 2013, Levine was the head music producer at the Orchard’s sync department and taught songwriting workshops at NYU. Jay has consulted for Lyor Cohen (WMG) and his label Lefthook Entertainment has been supported by Columbia Records, Island Def Jam and Sony/ATV. Currently, Jay is supervisor for a feature film called Manhattan Nocturne starring Adrien Brody. Levine’s band Prozzak is currently playing sold out shows across Canada, and is developing a TV show based on the band. Levine is in the process of recording an album for Catey Shaw, whom he discovered in the subway in NYC, and who now has over 30 million plays on Spotify.

SHARON ROSEN (Creator & Director) produced and directed Play It Cool from NYMF to NAMT to Off Broadway, where it received an Outer Critics Circle Best New Musical nomination, and a Best Off-Broadway Musical GLAAD nomination for its NYMF production. For the Los Angeles production, Play It Cool received several award nominations, including a GLAAD Award nomination for Outstanding New LA Play. Sharon also produced and directed the West Coast premiere of Always…Patsy Cline, starring Sally Struthers, which played The Coronet Theater (LA), The Laguna Playhouse and in Las Vegas, where it received Best Production honors. Her American premiere of Slow Love earned seven Drama-Logue Awards (including Critic’s Choice and Best Production); her LA premiere of David Budbill’s Judevine brought her three more. Sharon also produced RUMI with Paul Sills, founder of Second City and creator of the Tony Award-winning Story Theater. Sharon is preparing to direct a revival of Oh What A Lovely War.


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