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2011/12 Press Releases
Arden Theatre Company presents Tulipomania: The Musical
Book, Music, and Lyrics by Michael Ogborn, Directed by Terrence J. Nolen, On the F. Otto Haas Stage, May 24-July 1, 2012
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April 17, 2012

(Philadelphia, PA) Arden Theatre Company concludes its 2011/12 Season with the premiere of Tulipomania: The Musical, with Book, Music, and Lyrics by Michael Ogborn. Directed by Terrence J. Nolen, this world premiere musical will run on the F. Otto Haas Stage from May 24-July 1, 2012.

Before we had the subprime mortgage crisis or the dot com bust, Holland had the Tulip craze of 1636, the first recorded financial bubble. Six strangers in an Amsterdam hash bar recall this seedy story of love, sex, money, and power, as the story shifts seamlessly between both time periods. The music likewise carries the same influences, says composer Michael Ogborn: “The score is contemporary in sound, structure and arrangement with harmonic underpinnings of 17th century music and folk ballad forms, along with influences from Turkey and Afghanistan where the tulip was first discovered. This story gives me the opportunity to return to the themes I began exploring as a young composer: greed, forgiveness, redemption—and how one man’s actions profoundly affect those around him and history itself.”

Tulipomania: The Musical marks the Arden’s third Michael Ogborn premiere, following 2001’s Baby Case (Barrymore Award for Outstanding Original Music) and 2003’s Café Puttanesca. Ogborn’s other work includes Box Office of the Damned, numerous musical pantos at People’s Light and Theatre Company, and he has received multiple awards as a cabaret performer.

At the helm of this production is Terrence J. Nolen, the company’s co-founder and Producing Artistic Director, who worked on both previous Ogborn productions at the Arden. “I find myself especially drawn to Michael’s sometimes quirky, often edgy, and at all times compassionate view on what it is to survive in a complex and often absurd world,” says Nolen. “It is especially poignant that this musical, originally inspired by the dot-com bubble, would gain renewed relevance over the course of its development with the recent subprime mortgage crisis—a fact that undeniably demonstrates that the timeless subject matter of Tulipomania.”

A host of Arden favorites comprise the ensemble cast of six strangers who seek camaraderie and anonymity on a rainy Amsterdam afternoon. These returning actors are Jeff Coon (Sunday in the Park with George, Assassins), Ben Dibble (Candide, Assassins), Adam Heller (My Name Is Asher Lev; Caroline, or Change), Joilet F. Harris (Barrymore Award for Caroline, or Change; Violet), Alex Keiper (The Flea and the Professor), and Billy Bustamante (Pacific Overtures).

The production team creating this smoky production includes set designer James Kronzer (Clybourne Park, Barrymore Award winner for Something Intangible), costume designer Rosemarie McKelvey (Barrymore Award winner for Something Intangible and Caroline, or Change), lighting designer John Stephen Hoey (Assassins, Sweeney Todd), and sound designer Jorge Cousineau (Clybourne Park, Sunday in the Park with George). Music Director Dan Kazemi leads the live band of six onstage musicians who are incorporated into the action of the on-stage hash bar.

The final dress rehearsal of Tulipomania: The Musical on Wednesday, May 23 at 8pm is open to the public as a Pay-What-You-Can performance, with all proceeds donated to the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, which motivates people to improve the quality of life and create a sense of community through horticulture.

Tulipomania: The Musical previews begin on Thursday, May 24. Preview performances run March 24, 25, 26, 27, and 29. Opening night is set for 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 30, 2012. The closing date is set for Sunday, July 1, 2012.

Single ticket prices are $29- $45, with discounts available for seniors, students, military and educators. Groups of 10+ enjoy significant discounts; please inquire about group rates. Call the Arden Box Office at 215.922.1122, order online at www.ardentheatre.org, or visit the box office at 40 N. 2nd Street in Old City, Philadelphia.

The Arden is wheelchair accessible and provides assisted listening devices and large-print programs at every performance. Open Captioned and Audio Described performances will take place on Friday, June 15 at 8pm and Saturday, June 16 at 2pm. Reservations are required for accessible seating and may be made by calling the Arden’s Box Office at 215.922.1122.

WHAT:
Tulipomania: The Musical

Book, Music, and Lyrics by Michael Ogborn
Directed by Terrence J. Nolen

SUMMARY:
Before we had the subprime mortgage crisis, Holland had the Tulip bulb bubble. Six strangers in an Amsterdam hash bar recall this seedy story of love, sex, money, and power. From the writer and composer of Café Puttanesca and Baby Case comes a new musical that gets high off our financial lows.

WHERE:
Arden Theatre Company
F. Otto Haas Stage
40 N. 2nd Street, Old City Philadelphia 19106

WHEN:
May 24-July 1, 2012
Preview performances: May 24-29, 2012
Opening night: 7pm Wednesday, May 30, 2012

TICKETS:
$29-$45 for adults depending on the performance chosen
Group discounts available for 10+
Student Rush tickets at the door only five minutes before curtain for $5 cash, pending availability (must present valid student ID)
Call the Box Office at 215.922.1122 or visit www.ardentheatre.org

CAST:
Billy Bustamante (Resident of Brooklyn, NY) - Waiter
Jeffrey Coon (Resident of Philadelphia, PA) - Owner
Ben Dibble (Resident of Malvern, PA) - Painter
Joilet F. Harris (Resident of Philadelphia, PA) - Woman
Adam Heller (Resident of New York, NY) - Man
Alex Keiper (Resident of Philadelphia, PA) - Young Woman

ARTISTIC STAFF:
Terrence J. Nolen - Director
James Kronzer - Set Designer
Rosemarie E. McKelvey - Costume Designer
John Stephen Hoey - Lighting Designer
Jorge Cousineau - Sound Designer
Dan Kazemi - Music Director
John Grassey - Stage Manager

Tulipomania: The Musical is produced under the auspices of the Arden’s Independence Foundation New Play Showcase.

This play is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.

PRODUCTION SPONSOR:
Fox Chase Bank

OPENING NIGHT SPONSORS:
Harmelin Media, 12th Street Catering, Hatboro Beverages


# # #
Reviewing members of the press are invited to all opening nights and may reserve tickets through Leigh Goldenberg at lgoldenberg@ardentheatre.org.

Arden Theatre Company is located at 40 North 2nd Street in the heart of Old City, Philadelphia.

Founded in 1988, Arden Theatre Company is dedicated to bringing to life great stories by great storytellers on stage, in the classroom, and in the community. We stage five productions each season as part of our mainstage series and two productions through Arden Children’s Theatre, the city’s first resident professional children’s theatre program. We create and produce new work through our new-work development program, the Independence Foundation New Play Showcase. The Arden Professional Apprentice program trains future theatre leaders, and our theatre classes through Arden Drama School teach children and teens about the craft of making plays. Our access program, Arden for All, makes our work available to the entire community through subsidized tickets and books for economically disadvantaged young people. We also offer sign language-interpreted, captioned and audio described performances and Pay-What-You-Can final dress rehearsals that benefit other nonprofits.

The Arden recently announced an expansion with the Hamilton Family Arts Center, a 22,000 square foot building located three doors north of the Arden at 62 N. 2nd Street. Once renovations are complete in 2013, this building will be a home for process and innovation, including seven classrooms for Arden Drama School, a rehearsal hall, an 80-seat Studio Theatre, Lobby, Parent Lounge, and Teacher Resource Center, and a Crafts Studio for construction of set and props. Details about the Hamilton Family Arts Center can be found online at www.ardentheatre.org/new.

The Arden has received seven Philadelphia Magazine “Best of Philly” Awards, the Arts and Business Council’s Arts Excellence Award, five City Paper “Reader’s Choice” Awards, four Philadelphia Inquirer “Theatre Company of the Year” citations, 53 awards and 272 nominations from the Theatre Alliance of Greater Philadelphia’s Barrymore Awards for Excellence in Theatre, and was named “Best Theatre Company” by Philadelphia Weekly in 2009.
©2012 Arden Theatre Company, 40 N. 2nd St., Philadelphia, PA 19106. For tickets, call 215.922.1122.
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