Battle of Bands Featured in New Rock Musical at Barrington Stage

Ben Platt, Harrison Chad and Jason Hite are 'The Black Suits' (photo Kevin Sprague)

(PITTSFIELD, MA) August 3, 2012 – New rock musical The Black Suits, about a high school garage band on suburban Long Island trying to win the St. Anne’s Battle of the Bands, runs in a workshop production as part of Barrington Stage’s Musical Theatre Lab, for which William Finn is artistic producer, through Sunday, September 2, 2012. The Black Suits features music and lyrics by Joe Iconis and book by Joe Iconis and Robert Emmett Maddock; is directed by John Simpkins with musical direction by James Sampliner; and plays at BSC’s St. Germain Stage (formerly Stage 2), located on the upper level of the Sydelle and Lee Blatt Performing Arts Center, 36 Linden Street, Pittsfield.

In The Black Suits, two teens struggle to learn how to be real friends as the inevitability of adulthood threatens to pull them apart. It’s a musical about dreams, blood, Pop Tarts, records, drug runs, blue hair and the transformative coolness of rock and roll music.

Joe Iconis (Book, Music and Lyrics) is a writer, concert performer, and lover of all things Pittsfield. Joe performed his Hell Raisers cabaret at BSC last summer and opened Mr. Finn’s Cabaret in May with Joe Iconis & Family.  He has been nominated for two Drama Desk Awards, a Lucille Lortel Award, and is the recipient of an Ed Kleban Award, a Jonathan Larson Award, and an ASCAP Harold Adamson Award. He is the author of Bloodsong of Love, The Black Suits (book co–written with Robert Maddock), ReWrite, Theaterworks USA’s The Plant That Ate Dirty Socks and We The People. The Original Cast Recording of Things To Ruin, Joe’s theatrical rock concert, is available on Sh-K-Boom/Ghostlight records.

The Musical Theatre Lab, created in 2006, is a place for young musical theater writers to develop their work on all levels: from staged readings to workshops to full productions. Since its creation, eight world premieres and four workshops have been produced. The critically acclaimed The Burnt Part Boys (2006), written by Nathan Tysen, Chris Miller and Marianne Elder, received a production at Playwrights Horizons in May/June 2010, and is now published by Music Theatre International. Kirsten Childs, who wrote the 2007 world premiere Funked Up Fairy Tales, continued developing her musical at the Sundance Institute in December 2007. Barry Wyner’s 2007 hit musical Calvin Berger recently received critical acclaim at the George Street Playhouse. See Rock City & Other Destinations by Adam Mathias and Brad Alexander was produced in 2008 and later played at the Transport Group in NYC, where it won a Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Book of a Musical.  Sara Cooper and Zachary Redler’s The Memory Show received critical acclaim and will be seen Off-Broadway in 2013.



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