After breaking through in the late 90’s with his Top 20 single, “Barely Breathing,” Duncan Sheik spent much of the subsequent decade taking a breather from the usual rock singer/songwriter rituals. His focus was on albums that broke with pop music conventions, and additionally, theatrical musicals like Spring Awakening, the Broadway sensation that won him 2 Tony Awards and a Grammy.
With his new album(s), Sheik make his long awaited return to singing stand-alone pop songs, but he hasn’t given up his recent habit of inhabiting characters. In this case, though, the characters are Morrissey, Robert Smith, Martin Gore, and David Sylvian. Duncan Sheik Covers 80’s, released in 2011, features twelve of his highly personalized takes on the synth-pop era. In 2012, Sheik took the interpretation one step further and enlisted a coterie of DJ’s such as El-p, Samantha Ronson, Chi Duly, Bookworm, Gabriel & Dresden and others to remix each track from Covers Eighties Remixed.
Beyond setting out to work soon on a new album of original songs, Sheik still has plenty of irons in the musical theater fire. One of them, coincidentally, is also 1980’s themed: a musical adaptation of the infamous Brett Easton Ellis novel American Psycho, which is soon to reach the workshop stage and will premiere in the near future by London’s Headlong Theatre.
If axe-wielding masters of the Wall Street universe aren’t your thing, there may still be other theater pieces for you on Sheik’s plate, “Whisper House looks like it’s going to have another reincarnation for our ghosts,” And he’s working on two projects with his Spring collaborator Steven Sater. One is adaptation of The Nightingale, the Hans Christian Anderson fairy tale. The other is a musical retelling of Alice in Wonderland that is set for London’s National Theatre in early 2012. He is also working on an adaptation of the youth novel, Because of Winn Dixie with Nell Benjamin.
Laurence O'Keefe is a composer/lyricist, bookwriter, arranger and pianist for Broadway, movies and television. He has won the Olivier Award, the Ed Kleban Award, the ASCAP Richard Rodgers New Horizon Award as well as the Jonathan Larson Foundation Award for his music, lyrics and songs.
Larry wrote music and lyrics for Bat Boy: The Musical, based on the absolutely true story of the bug-eating bloodthirsty cave boy discovered by the Weekly World News. Bat Boy won two Richard Rodgers Awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Lucille Lortel and Outer Critics’ Circle awards for Best Off-Broadway Musical and was nominated for seven Drama Desk awards including Best Music and Best Lyrics. Bat Boy has been produced worldwide, including London's West End, Japan, Korea, Berlin and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
With his frequent co-writer and wife, lyricist and bookwriter Nell Benjamin, Larry has scored hits in children's theater (Sarah, Plain And Tall; Cam Jansen And The Curse Of The Emerald Elephant) and on Broadway (Legally Blonde: The Musical). Legally Blonde ran for over 600 performances at the Palace Theatre on Broadway and was nominated for seven Tony Awards and ten Drama Desk Awards. Blonde had two North American national tours before opening at the Savoy Theatre in London's West End where it won three Olivier Awards including Best Musical and ran for over two years. Blonde has current tours running in the UK and Australia and will open in Vienna's historic Ronacher Theatre in February 2013.
Larry and Nell developed Sarah, Plain And Tall into a full-length show at the Eugene O'Neill Musical Theatre Conference. The updated Sarah received its premiere production at the Dallas Theatre Center in Dallas, Texas in 2009. Larry and Nell recently co-wrote book, lyrics and music for Life Of The Party, an original piece commissioned by the Opera Workshop at LaGuardia High School for the Performing Arts (the "Fame" school). Set in the movie industry of Stalin's Soviet Union, Life Of The Party had a successful production at LaGuardia in May 2012 and will receive its professional premiere soon.
Larry's next project is co-writing book, music and lyrics for Heathers, the stage adaptation of the beloved teen noir comedy cult film, co-authored with Emmy-winning writer Kevin Murphy (Reefer Madness, "Desperate Housewives"). Heathers had a smash New York concert debut at Joe's Pub at the Public Theater in New York in September 2010 and will have its world premiere production in Boston this fall.
Larry has written music and songs for shows on MTV, VH-1, "The Daily Show" and Disney's "Johnny And The Sprites," and composed score for PBS's recent documentary series "Make 'Em Laugh." Larry has taught master classes and workshops in music, theater and comedy at Harvard, Yale, NYU, Florida Atlantic University and elsewhere.
Born in New York, Larry studied anthropology at Harvard University, film scoring at Berklee College Of Music and the University of Southern California, and drama and literature at the Pushkin Institute in Moscow. Larry and Nell live in New York City with their 3-month-old daughter/singing coach, Persephone.
Ewalt and Walker are currently at work on two commissions; one from Broadway Across America, and Pumped, a fashionable new musical about the world of designer shoes. Their show, Bromance: The Dudesical was most recently performed in sold-out concerts at Caroline’s on Broadway and at 92YTribeca, and has been developed by GroundUp Productions. Other shows include Separate: Battle Songs of Youth, selected by Ars Nova for ANTFEST 2010, and The Making of Madeline Moore (The Merc NYC 2009). Their work has been seen in Michigan, Toronto and London, and in New York at Playwrights Horizons, Joe’s Pub, Theater Row, Galapagos Art Space and as part of the We Are the Song Benefits for the After the Storm Foundation. They are also the curating producers of 92Y's musical theater series Behind the Music-al, which has featured songwriters including Adam Guettel, Stephen Flaherty, Lisa Lambert, Ryan Scott Oliver, Kerrigan & Lowdermilk, Joe Iconis and Adam Gwon, amongst many others.