Aaron Bower, Boca Raton Theatre, Closer Than Ever, David Shire, Elijah Word, Emily Tarello, Eric Alsford, Johnbarry Green, Jonathan Van Dyke, Marcie Gorman, Musical Theatre, Richard Maltby Jr., Shelley Keelor, ShowTix4U.com, Theatre on Demand
MNM Theatre Company will present
Maltby & Shire’s
Closer Than Ever
Correctly Socially Distanced!
Available for Streaming on Demand
November 27 – December 31
For Immediate Release
Contact: Carol Kassie
firstname.lastname@example.org / 561-445-9244
October 13, 2020
BOCA RATON, FL: MNM Theatre Company, like almost every theatre company around the world, has been drastically affected by COVID-19. All scheduled productions have either been cancelled or postponed indefinitely, with no re-start date in sight. However, the company’s Producing Artistic Director and CEO Marcie Gorman and Director Jonathan Van Dyke have come up with an innovative way to provide audiences with theatre, and the company’s first production Maltby and Shire’s Closer Than Ever will debut on November 27th and be available for On Demand streaming through December 31st.
“Since we haven’t been together for a long time, we knew it was time to be Closer Than Ever,” Gorman says. “Just the name of this show seemed to be a perfect fit for these times – so many of us are still so far apart and yet in many ways, Closer Than Ever.
“And Jonathan has developed a safe and incredibly creative way to present it to audiences”, she continues. “I’m excited about this on so many levels, not the least of which is to provide work for our actors and technical people, most of whom haven’t worked for months, and are so looking forward to once again ‘making theatre’”.
Closer Than Ever will be filmed at MNM’s Boca Raton warehouse/studio, which will be cleaned and sanitized regularly. Maximum safety precautions will be observed from the start of rehearsals through the final performance: Individual show segments will be filmed separately; actors and tech crew have been asked to observe COVID protocols and remain as isolated as possible unless rehearsing or performing. They will be COVID tested frequently; their temperatures will be taken each time they enter the building; and they will be required to hand sanitize multiple times every day. They will maintain at minimum a 6-foot social distance whether on stage or off; and masks will be worn at all times unless the actor is on stage or being filmed. A very small invited audience will be present at one taping – but everyone will have his or her temperature taken, audience members will also be properly socially distanced, and each audience member must be part of the show’s participants’ ‘bubble’.
Closer Than Ever is a nonstop exploration of everyday struggles in the “modern world”. Topics ranging from unrequited adoration… to aging… to Muzak are tackled with resounding sincerity and precisely placed hilarity. Each song is a unique story told by a new character, taking audiences into the minds of the individuals facing these completely relatable challenges. Lyricists Richard Maltby Jr. and David Shire based many of the songs on real-life experiences of their friends, or stories told to them. The show won the Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Off-Broadway Musical.
“Knowing what we are facing in live performance logistically and what would resonate artistically, for me the choice was Maltby & Shire’s Closer Than Ever,” says Jonathan Van Dyke who will direct and stage the production. “The title alone says so much of where we are. While unable to be close physically, in our hearts and minds we are Closer Than Ever.
“Working with MNM and our integrated video concept, we hope to have found a way to navigate safety measures and still execute some intimate moments in an artistic way,” he continues. “The humanity and honesty of the songs delivers such a layered theatrical experience. Maltby and Shire have created over a dozen Broadway shows, film and television scores, and are the recipients of Grammy, Tony and Academy Awards. I’m so looking forward to working on this material with this team.”
Closer Than Ever will star Johnbarry Green, Aaron Bower, and Carbonell Award-winners Shelley Keelor, and Elijah Word, all of whom have worked with MNM Theatre Company in the past. The technical crew, also all MNM alumni, includes Eric Alsford as the production’s Musical Director, and Emily Tarallo as the Choreographer, as well as Lighting Designer Clifford Michael Spulock, Sound Designer by Mike Kelly, Scenic Artist Cindi Taylor, and Scenic Designer Jordon Armstrong. Johnbarry Green will serve as Technical Director, Cliff Burgess as Videographer, Michael Joseph as Assistant Videographer, wigs by Tease & Floof Custom Wig Boutique, and Amber Mandic and Andrea Guardo will be the production’s co-Stage Managers and co-Props Mistresses.
The award-winning duo, lyricist Richard Maltby, Jr. (Miss Saigon, Fosse, Ring of Fire) and composer David Shire (film scores include The Conversation, The Taking of Pelham One Two Three, All The President’s Men, and parts of Saturday Night Fever), began working together as students at Yale University. Their first Broadway credit as a team was in 1968, when their song “The Girl of the Minute” was used in the revue New Faces of 1968. Their shared credits include Baby (1983), Big (1996) and Take Flight (2007). Richard Maltby conceived and directed the only two musical revues to win the Tony Award for Best Musical: Ain’t Misbehavin’ (1978) and Fosse (1999). David Shire won the Oscar for the theme song to Norma Rae “It Goes Like It Goes”; as a pianist Shire played for the original productions of both The Fantasticks and Funny Girl.
Closer Than Ever will begin streaming on November 27th and will be available On Demand through December 31st on Music Theatre International’s (MTI) streaming platform www.ShowTix4U.com via MNM Theatre Company’s website www.mnmtheatre.org or on the company’s Facebook page www.facebook.com/mnmtheatrecompany . Once tickets are purchased, patrons will receive a link to view the production. The link will be active for 48 hours from the first click. Tickets are $20.
MNM Theatre Company is an award-winning not-for-profit 501(c)(3) theatre company whose mission is to produce high quality professional live theatre that inspires audiences and enriches the cultural life of the community while creating Florida based jobs in the Arts.
Closer Than Ever
November 27 – December 31
Music by David Shire
Lyrics by Richard Maltby Jr.
Conceived by Steven Scott Smith
Directed by Jonathan Van Dyke
Tickets available at https://www.mnmtheatre.org/ and/or www.facebook.com/mnmtheatrecompany or