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Ben to work on 24-Hour Company theatre project

24hrplays_300A short item in The New York Times (free registration required) mentions that Ben Folds will take part in the next round of The 24-Hour Plays, a theatre project based in New York. Several writers and musicians gather for a 24-hour period to write, rehearse and ultimately perform short 15-minute stage plays and musicals. The format has been licensed around the world and over three hundred such projects have been undertaken since its inception in 1995. The next incarnation takes off Sunday, April 28 and culminates with a performance at New York’s Gramercy Theatre on Monday, April 29 at 8 PM. Tickets go on sale next month; other artists are yet to be announced. More information is available from The 24-Hour Plays site.

(April 19) Here’s an update with more details:

A team of nearly 100 stars from Broadway, film, television, and music, will cast, write, compose, direct, rehearse, tech, and perform four original musicals – all in the obscenely short time between an evening meet-and-greet on Sunday, April 28 and show time on Monday, April 29 at 8pm. The 24 Hour Company is teaming with the Exchange, an off-Broadway theater company, to create the fifth-ever 24 Hour Musicals. The event benefits the Exchange’s summer retreat, The Orchard Project, which kick-starts innovative new theatrical work from around the world.

The musicals will be written, cast, rehearsed, and performed at The Gramercy Theatre over the course of a single day, featuring an all-star line up of Broadway performers, stars from TV and film, great composers and writers, directors and – to top it all off – choreographers and musical directors. Participants will include singer-songwriter Ben Folds, Maulik Pancholy (30 Rock), Zosia Mamet (Girls), Josh Lawson (House of Lies), Deirdre Lovejoy (The Wire), Nikki M. James (TONY Award, Book of Mormon), Anthony Rapp (Rent, Without You), cabaret sensation Bridget Everett, Kristoffer Diaz (Chad Diety), Lisa Peterson (Obie Award, An Iliad), Jonathan Marc Sherman (Clive, Things We Want), Alicia Witt (Friday Night Lights, Law & Order), John Cariani (Law & Order, Fiddler on the Roof), Brian Crawley (Violet), Joe Iconis (The Black Suits), and Danny Goldstein (Godspell).

Tickets for the gala are between $115 and $500 and all include admission to the show and open bar at the Gramercy Theatre. To buy tickets, visit

Brick, the Musical

Omaha, Nebraska’s SkullDuggery Productions, a small, offbeat theatre company, is running a show titled Brick: The A Capella Musical, through the month of July 2010. It’s based on Ben’s music and story lines, including the eponymous Brick along with Effington, Zak and Sara and Fred Jones. The show’s writer and director, Andrew McGreevy, says the lead character, named Ben, isn’t necessarily supposed to be Folds himself, but rather a guy “who has breezed through his life without staying committed to much.” The Ben character goes on a road trip, encounters the football coach in Effington, meets a female couple who run the town restaurant, and gets involved in a love triangle where he discloses that he had taken his former girlfriend (Emaline) to a women’s clinic. More in this story in the Omaha Weekly Reader. The show runs through July 31; tickets are $20 and reservations may be made by calling the theatre at (402) 317-7893.