Rocking The White House: The Deciders hit the Fringe!

Within Reach Entertainment, Ltd. presents
Mitch Kess’ rock musical about Power, Patriotism, and Propaganda…

The New York International Fringe Festival – FringeNYC
A production of The Present Company
August 8 – 24
Tickets: $15. For tickets visit

Within Reach Entertainment, Ltd. is proud to present The Deciders as part of the 12th annual New York International Fringe Festival – FringeNYC. “I hear the voices, and I read the front page, and I know the speculation, but I’m the decider, and I decide what is best.” When President George W. Bush uttered this phrase on April 18, 2006, it was a cringe felt round the world, finally forcing more Americans to take a good hard look at Bush’s words and actions. New York City musician and playwright, Mitch Kess looked at these words and actions and created some of his own: the rock musical, The Deciders, joining this year’s Fringe Festival after a triumphant staging earlier in the year. The production will have a limited run at the Michael Schimmel Center for the Arts at Pace University.

Mixing reality with satire, The Deciders weaves the paranoid parable of Dubya, Dick, and Condi – architects of the Iraq War, their “real” reasons for it, and those who have to live with the consequences. Along the way, we discover a Saddam double had been running Iraq. Concerned with plummeting approval for the war and his future legacy, Bush offers to save the imprisoned Saddam’s life if he will help to restore order in Iraq. Saddam agrees, but only if his musical is given a Broadway run. Turning surreal into real this plotline isn’t far from the truth. In a February of 2004 article entitled “What Went Wrong,” Newsweek reported that the Iraqi National Theater was turning Saddam Hussein’s first novel, “Zabibah and the King,” into a musical … at the time of the U.S. led invasion. The Deciders’ driving rock score also features “A Nation Rocked to Sleep.” Kess’ music brings to life the raw emotions expressed in the poem written by Carly Sheehan. It was this poem that pulled her mother, Cindy Sheehan, from depression to dedicating her life to waking up a nation after the death of her son in Iraq. The character of “Cindy Sheehan” sings the piece in the production.

On the eve of a landmark election, The Deciders’ liberal mix of The Producers with Cradle Will Rock, plus a touch of Little Shop of Horrors and a healthy dose of “ripped from the headlines” reality could very well be the tonic this nation needs.

The energetic ensemble features Erik Hogan as the devout Dubya; John Stillwaggon as the dark “Dick;” Carla Euphrates Kelly as Condi; Paul Sadlik as Saddam; Dana Iannuzzi as Riverbend, an Iraqi blogger; and Amber Carson as Cindy. Rounding the ensemble are Dustin Cross, Michael Ruocco, and Rashad Webb; with Apphia Campbell, Momo Kajiwara, Maggie Glassman, and Susannah McLeod as a bevy of singing Fox News reporters called “The Foxes.” J. Michaels directs with David Fletcher as music director.

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Class Action: Brooklyn’s Latest Arts Program

For Immediate Release

Narrows Community Theatre
Bay Ridge’s oldest theatre company
Voicing Your Talents: A series of audition workshops and vocal classes.

Workshops conducted by J. Michaels
Thursday, July 10 & Thursday, August 7, both from 8 to 10pm.

Course conducted by Mary Elizabeth MiCari
Saturdays, July 12 through September 13, 2 to 4pm

Bay Ridge, Brooklyn – The venerable Narrows Community Theatre, bringing quality entertainment to the Bay Ridge area for more than 37 years, is opening a full arts education program starting this summer. On July 10 at 8:00 p.m. and then a month later on August 7 at 8:00 p.m., Narrows will sponsor “How To Audition for The Professional Theatre.” A pair of workshops designed to expand on the art of auditioning. Theatrical director and producer, J. Michaels brings this wildly popular series back to Narrows for a third year. He will guide the participants on a journey that will start with song choice and confidence building and continue through the intricate road of networking – before, during and after the audition. Mr. Michaels has Broadway credentials that include Guys & Dolls, Damn Yankees, Cats, and Big as well as numerous off- & off-off Broadway credentials including three years with the NY International Fringe Festival. He is a professor of speech, theatre, and marketing and has lectured or served as a guest artist at Kingsborough College, Fordham University, Yeshiva University, Lehman College, and NYU.  Lectures are $5 each for non-members and free to members of NCT. All ages welcome

Starting Saturday, July 12 and continuing until September 13 will be a course for the actor yearning to break into musicals: Singing for the Actor. Every Saturday from 2:00 – 4:00 p.m. Acclaimed musical theatre and operatic singer, Mary Elizabeth MiCari will train her students in the art of singing for the stage musical. Starting with the lyrics and working your way up to public performance, this course is designed to arm artists with the tools needed to be part of the musical theatre scene. Posture and breath support; voice and character type; interpretation; and finally … performance! Ms. MiCari is a celebrated opera and musical theatre performer as well as a recognized arts instructor. She worked on the original Broadway productions of Light In The Piazza, Little Women, and Wonderful Town; operatic credentials include concerts at Lincoln Center. She and
J. Michaels are the producers of Genesis Repertory, an off-Broadway arts & education company. She is also founder of None of the Above Theatre and The Chelsea Opera. The course is for ages 15 and up. Ten weeks cost a meager $180 with discounts abounding.

Michaels and MiCari recently moved to the Bay Ridge area and are thrilled to make Narrows their new theatrical home.

Call 646-226-0370 or email at for further information.