Gretchen Cryer - Director
Gretchen Cryer is most well known for writing the book and lyrics and starring in “I’m Getting My Act Together and Taking It On the Road,” with music by Nancy Ford. The show was originally produced in New York City By Joseph Papp’s Public Theater followed by a 3-year run at the Circle in the Square. The show subsequently ran a year in Chicago, a year in Los Angeles, had numerous productions around the country and over 100 foreign productions. In Chicago, the show won the Joseph Jefferson Award for the Best Musical and Gretchen won the Best Actress Award. The cast album won a Grammy nomination. Currently, Gretchen and Nancy have finished a follow-up musical, entitled, "Still Getting My Act Together."
Gretchen and Nancy have written numerous other musicals; “Now Is the Time for All Good Men,” (off-Broadway) “The Last Sweet Days of Isaac,” (Obie Award - Best Musical, Drama Desk Award, Outer Critics Circle Award) “Shelter” (Broadway - Golden Theater), “Hang On to the Good Times” (Manhattan Theater Club), “The Fabulous Party” (Williamstown Theater Festival), “The American Girls Revue” - (American Girl Place - Chicago, New York, and Los Angeles), and “Circle of Friends” - (American Girl Place - Chicago and New York) and “Anne of Green Gables” (Theatreworks, Lortel Theater.) Gretchen is the author of the play “The House That Goes On Forever” (Women’s Project, New York.)
Presently, Gretchen teaches a course called, Creating Your Own Solo Performance, in New York City. Mimi encourages you take it!
To Carry On…," is a one-woman tribute to the life and music of Laura Nyro as the ultimate role model for girls and women, written and performed by Mimi Cohen.
In the play, Mimi portrays herself and Laura Nyro, as well as key characters in Nyro’s life, like - David Geffen, Laura’s parents, and Artie Mogull who first signed Laura. Mimi weaves more than a dozen of Laura’s now classic, impassioned pop songs through the story of Laura’s early years in the music industry. Most people do not realize that Laura Nyro wrote many popular hit songs that were famously performed, and made into hit records, by other artists. Songs such as; “Wedding Bell Blues” by the 5th Dimension, “And When I Die” by Blood Sweat and Tears, “Eli’s Comin’” by Three Dog Night, and “Stoney End” by Barbra Streisand. Mimi portrays the joy and frustration Laura must have felt as an emerging pop star, just barely out of her teens. Mimi finds the intrinsic confidence that aided Laura in navigating through the ups and downs of her imminent adult life. Using her strong vocal prowess and funny characterizations of real people and events in Laura’s life, Mimi illuminates the rite of passage girls experience when becoming women. Girls seem to lose their voices, but Mimi shows one girl who always sang with abandon and never lost her voice, … Laura Nyro.
The intent of "To Carry On…" is to pass on Laura’s gift of authenticity and self-confidence to the next generation of young women.
The show inspires us all to carry on.
Gretchen Cryer says: (Star & Writer of "I'm Getting My Act Together & Taking It On The Road") "First of all, Mimi is a fantastic singer. She delivers the songs in an unbelievably exciting way. Secondly, Mimi is a very good actress who can do all of the characters in Laura's life -- Laura's mother, her father, various producers and (Nyro's manager) David Geffen. Mimi is able to give us the life of Laura Nyro and her own connection to that life. If anyone loves Laura Nyro's music, they're going to love this show."
Read about "To Carry On..." on Examiner.com.
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Mimi Bio w/picture to left
Gretchen Bio w/picture to left
Musical Director bio with picture to left
To Carry On ...
Mimi Cohen - Writer & Performer
...an earthy downtown Cabaret diva, is a soulful, stylized singer and performer. A native New Yorker, Mimi’s artistry is borne of a Manhattan sensibility. She is warm and urban, street smart and maternal. Women view her as a soul sister; men relate to her as a fun-loving former girlfriend.
In the early 90’s, Mimi served as one half of the avant-pop duo, Gene and Mimi, an all-original acoustic band. The duo was part of New York’s Anti-Folk scene, the scene that spawned Beck, Kimya Dawson and Nellie McKay. Gene & Mimi toured the country for many years, performing at every college and pizza parlor, from New York to San Francisco.
After graduating the well-known High School of Music & Art in New York City as a vocal major, Mimi went on to receive her B.A. in Theatre at Smith College. Upon graduation, Mimi went to work backstage in numerous Off-Broadway theatres in New York City; from The Roundabout to City Center. She has worked and studied at The Eugene O’Neill Theater Center in Waterford, CT.
As a solo performer, Mimi has sung at countless cabarets and clubs. She has participated in a landmark group performance, The Sisters of the Sixties, a tribute to girl groups and female artists, which took place at Town Hall in the late 90’s. The show was hosted by Darlene Love and featured such legends as Mary Wilson of the Supremes, Beverly Lee of the Shirelles, Leslie Gore and Vicki Sue Robinson.
Jeffrey Klitz - Music Director
Is a Yale graduate and highly regarded New York City music director, arranger and orchestrator.
On Broadway Jeff served as music director/conductor for "Priscilla Queen of the Desert," "Guys & Dolls," "Hot Feet" and "Lennon," and conductor and choral arranger for "Song and Dance" and "On Your Toes." Other Broadway credits include; "Chicago," "Grand Hotel," and "Stardust." He has worked with numerous performers, serving as music director and pianist for Judy Collins, Joel Grey, Betty Buckley, Tommy Tune, Judy Kuhn, Carol Hall and Amanda McBroom, among others. On the acclaimed 92nd Street Y Lyrics and Lyricists series, and Lincoln Center’s American Songbook, he has appeared as music director. At the Goodman Theatre, Jeff music directed "The House of Martin Guerre", for which he earned a Joseph Jefferson Award.
Mr. Klitz has taught at Yale College, conducted vocal performance workshops for Broadway performers, and taught at the National Theater Institute and the Cabaret Conference at Yale.