OY BAND, a new musical ...a private industry reading to take place June 21 in NYC
Posted by: Official_Press_Release 07:25 pm EDT 06/20/24

Drama Desk Award winner Sammi Cannold (How to Dance in Ohio) will direct a private, developmental reading of OY BAND, a new musical with book, music and lyrics by Bonnie Gleicher (Addy & Uno, Gavroche) on Friday, June 21 at 12PM at Sunlight Studios (321 W. 44th Street, NYC). Featuring Anna Zavelson (The Light in the Piazza at Encores!), Maya Jacobson (Fiddler on the Roof at Paper Mill Playhouse), Sofie Zamchick (Disney's Enchanted) and Hailey Lynn Elberg (Little Red Car), the reading will be presented by stage, film and screen producer Mitchell Leib, for his King of Van Nuys Theatrical Productions.

When a band of four Orthodox Jewish girls from Brooklyn come of age and are no longer allowed to sing in front of men, they disguise themselves as a boy band to perform for the forbidden world. OY BAND is the empowering new musical about discovering who you truly are... by pretending to be someone else.

Cynthia Meng is Music Director. Marnie Price is Co-Producer. Hillel Friedman of Evan Bernardin Productions is General Manager. Howie Tilkin is Stage Manager. Travis Rigby is Music Copyist. Casting is by Benton Whitley and Micah Johnson-Levy for Whitley Theatrical.

"Oy, I'm kvelling, thrilled and privileged to be back in business with Bonnie Gleicher on her new original project OY BAND," says producer Mitchell Leib. "Bonnie is a force of nature as author, songwriter and visionary in creating this wholly (holy as well) original and timely story about figuring out who you really are. As the old adage goes, ‘you can't pick your parents, and Bonnie's message is a passionate metaphor for the same. We are all born into that which we have no control over: skin color, sex, economic class, religion, expectation and Bonnie's heartfelt, insightful and masterful storytelling is going to take the audience on a fulfilling and celebratory journey of self-discovery. And what a mitzvah that the acclaimed, experienced and classy Sammi Cannold said ‘yes' to direct. Sammi is an unstoppable, multi-talented rockstar and we are blessed to have her at the helm as well as the tremendous team she's assembled. I'm putting this important and timely musical on a fast track path, heading for a defining workshop this fall, followed by a commercial off-Broadway debut. This is a challenging time for the stage business, and the need to be more resourceful, inventive and committed to out of the box thinking, especially with how unique properties are brought to life, is an absolute must".



Actors and stage managers are appearing courtesy of Actors' Equity Association.

BONNIE GLEICHER (Book, Music & Lyrics) is a songwriter, orchestrator, and playwright whose music is heard off-Broadway, on TV, and on YouTube. Her theatre career began as a kid performing on Broadway in Jane Eyre and Annie , and has come full circle, writing musicals and pop for audiences of all ages. Her songs have been sung by Bonnie Milligan, Liz Callaway, Taylor Louderman, Chuck and Lilli Cooper and more. Bonnie is the creator of the upcoming musical OY BAND. When four talented Orthodox Jewish girls from Brooklyn come of age and can no longer sing in front of men, they disguise themselves as a boy band to perform for the whole forbidden world. OY BAND is the new empowering musical about the visceral need to do what you love and express yourself, no matter what. Produced by Broadway and film producers Marnie Price and Disney music vet Mitchell Leib. Bonnie is also the writer of the musical Gavroche. Gavroche is a new adaptation of Victor Hugo's book Les Miserables for the next generation with a pop, contemporary score, told from the POV of scrappy street kid Gavroche Thenardier and his teen sisters Eponine and Azelma. It's been performed across the US, had an Equity industry presentation, and is produced by Leib and Price. You can hear her music and voice on the Hulu show MarMar Land, created by Pocket.watch studio, with three albums released by Universal Music Group, and Cool School, created by Driver Studios, with over 200M views on YouTube alone. She's written and arranged 20+ songs about optimism, the planets and more.? Bonnie is the composer and lyricist of the off-Broadway musical Addy & Uno about Uno, a young boy with autism and a talent for math. The feel-good show for kids of all abilities ran nearly two years off-Broadway, was an Off-Broadway Alliance Award nominee, a top-rated family show, and tours schools. Out of over 500 submissions, Taylor Louderman chose Bonnie's song "Love" to perform live at 54 Below for Write Out Loud. Selena Gomez and Victoria's Secret models danced to her and ELEW's song "I Want Tonight Forever," chosen as the behind-the-scenes theme song for the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show 2015. In honor of Addy & Uno, Bonnie was awarded a Proclamation from Westchester County's Office for People With Disabilities. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a degree in Journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and studied at the BMI Musical Theatre Workshop. She lives in New York with her husband and their dog Gerbert.

SAMMI CANNOLD (Director) is a theater, film, and television director who is one of Forbes Magazine 's "30 Under 30 in Hollywood and Entertainment," one of Variety's "10 Broadway Stars to Watch," and one of Town & Country's "Creative Aristocracy." She recently made her Broadway debut as director of How to Dance in Ohio at the Belasco Theater, for which she won a Drama Desk Award. Sammi has directed at some of the world's most prestigious venues, including The Kennedy Center, Radio City Music Hall, and Lincoln Center as well as for the National Symphony Orchestra, CBS, ABC, Nickelodeon, Paramount+, and Cirque du Soleil. As a speaker, she has spoken at the Global Business Summit in New Delhi, TedxBroadway, the US State Department, several universities, and will speak at the upcoming Aspen Ideas Festival. Recent theater credits include Evita (A.R.T., STC, New York City Center -- Critic's Pick, Elliot Norton Award nominee), Rent in Concert (The Kennedy Center), Sunset Boulevard (The Kennedy Center, Helen Hayes Award nominee), Carmen (Rose Hall, Lincoln Center -- NYT Critic's Pick), Celine Song's Endlings (New York Theatre Workshop, A.R.T.), Ragtime on Ellis Island, and Violet on a moving bus (A.R.T.). In the television space, Sammi has served as Director of Curtain Up!, live on ABC, and served as Creative Consultant on the 2021 Tony Awards, live on Paramount+ and CBS. Sammi's first documentary feature film premiered at Broadway's Majestic Theatre and was released worldwide on AppleTV. Sammi has also served as an Artistic Fellow at the A.R.T., a member of Cirque du Soleil's Creative Cognoscenti, and a Sundance Institute Fellow. Sammi holds a B. A. from Stanford University and an M.A. from Harvard University. She is represented by CAA and Grandview. www.sammicannold.com

Entertainment media entrepreneur, MITCHELL LEIB (Producer) is drawn to talent, art, and creative execution. With interests in stage, film, TV, immersive exhibitions and publishing, the exploration of visceral engagement is where Leib's excitement lies. Leib's King of Van Nuys Theatrical Productions boasts stage interests in the current hit Stereophonic, the Broadway smash Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Ian Shaw's The Shark Is Broken, Sandy Rustin's The Cottage, creator Bonnie Gleicher's OY BAND and Les Mis spinoff Gavroche as well as closing investments on upcoming original productions of Spielberg/Meron/Greenblatt's SMASH and Stephen Schwartz' Queen of Versailles. Upcoming development and staging of more than a dozen ground up original properties are ahead including acclaimed stage director Steve Broadnax "Winans Gospel Rock" project, the family dramedy On My Way Out and an untitled new Sandy Rustin stage play. Leib is a 30 plus year veteran of The Walt Disney Studios, having retired in 2022 from his position as President of Music & Soundtracks. At Disney, Leib sat atop creative and physical production as well as contractual and financial administration for all of Disney Studios' live action films, a position which was additionally was responsible for optimizing ancillary development of Disney's soundtracks, film musical publishing interests and furthering the monetizing of the created film music assets. Leib personally oversaw the music for the live action film adaptation of John Favreau's The Lion King, Guy Ritchie's Aladdin, and Bill Condon's Beauty and the Beast, the three most successful live actions film musicals in movie history. Preceding his career at Disney, Leib worked with iconic Producer Arnon Milchan at his Regency Enterprises/Warner Brothers, Clive Davis at Arista Records and as head of A&R West Coast for the EMI Records Group. Throughout his long career, Leib's imprint is on over 400 films and soundtracks including Marvel's Black Panther, Pretty Woman, Austin Powers, MTV's Save The Last Dance, Varsity Blues, Regency's Empire Records, Natural Born Killers, Boys On The Side, Tom Cruise's Cocktail and Mission Impossible 2, Beaches and Good Morning Vietnam to name a few, which culminated in the sales of 90 million albums and dozens of hit singles. A third generation native Los Angeleno residing in Malibu, Leib is a family man first. He is married to his wife Stacy of 35 years, and has two amazing daughters, Rachel, a practicing pediatric physician in NYC, and Jordan, a second-year veterinary student.
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