Although its grand premiere has been slowed by this year’s lockdowns and closings. Harrison Bryan, Rob Berliner, and Aaron Kenny have decided to premiere one of the rousing tunes and an uproarious animated teaser of their new musical A HANUKKAH CAROL, or GELT TRIP, The Musical.
Let’s meet the team:
Aaron Kenny (Music): I’m an Aussie composer, who’s lived and worked here in NYC for the past 7+ years. My work is wildly varied from writing for film and TV, to writing contemporary classical music for the concert hall, to writing songs and music for new Musicals. Whenever I get to write melodic and thematic work, that’s what gets me most excited! I also work for legendary composer Alan Menken, and have been involved in many of his recent screen and stage projects from Hercules in Central Park, to the Galavant series, to all the live-action Disney films (Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, Little Mermaid).
Rob Berliner (Book and Lyrics): I’ve been performing my whole life, singing for as long as I can remember, working musical instruments into the fold, and pursuing acting at and after Northwestern… but you learn very quickly in the biz how much is beyond an actor’s control. Discovering the BMI Workshop was like finding my home planet, and writing lyrics gave me such satisfaction and freedom. I love the challenge and the potential in the craft, and the opportunity to simultaneously delight/divert and challenge audiences.
And here’s a SONG from their new work, as a Hanukkah gift for this year and a preview for next:
The idea for this riff on the classic tale came from Harrison Bryan (Book and Original Concept) : I’m a Jewish American, Brooklyn-born, playwright, actor, and puppeteer who grew up literally believing in “The Hanukkah Fairy.” Recently nominated for a Helen Hayes Award, I’ve been performing and writing all over the country since graduating from Boston University. My favorite quote belongs to Charlie Chaplin: “I believe in the power of laughter and tears as an antidote to hatred and terror.”
“Whether on stage or screen, animated or live, we are SO excited to share our show with the world. A HANUKKAH CAROL, or GELT TRIP! The Musical isn’t just “A Christmas Carol for Jews”—it’s an irreverent and heartfelt musical comedy that celebrates being the best version of oneself in pursuit of making the world a kinder place. And if the concept or title feels *schticky* to you — we promise, it’s so much more. We’ve made it our mission to subvert expectations and the usual tropes… in fact, our score runs the gamut of musical influences, from Britney Spears to reggae to hard rock to Fiddler on the Roof. Unlike that ol’ Dickens tale, our story takes place today, with themes ranging from social media obsession to the dangerous consequences of narcissism, and from celebrity culture to a culture of division. In fact, we believe Dickens’ work has rarely felt more ready for modernization and newfound resonance.”
WATCH THE ANIMATED TRAILER
The method to the team’;s madness is to put the show in the public eye now so when it begins to be advertsied next year, it is already familar.
“We are celebrating Hanukkah this year by launching our website, and two really special videos! AHanukkahCarol.com We are really excited about this project and we wanted to share that excitement with the world, so we’ve written and self-produced a (fully animated!) teaser trailer. Plus! We’ve produced a slick music video for the #1 pop hit from “Hanukkah Past,” A LIGHT IN THE DARK—by the show’s (fictional) Jewish boy band, boys2mensch. We’re really proud of each video, and they can both be found at AHanukkahCarol.com.“
They also had #25DAYSOFHANUKKAH on Instagram, and #ahanukkahcarolchallenge on TikTok. Join them on social media and play along. https://linktr.ee/ahcmusical
The question arose of why did we need a Kosher Christmas Carol? The answer was heartfelt, and very much in the season’s multitude of holiday traditions.
“By shining a light in darkness, we each have the power to create change and make the world a little bit brighter. It’s this mission that motivates us not only to continue to create art, but specifically serves as a reminder that A HANUKKAH CAROL, or GELT TRIP! The Musical isn’t just a fun idea, it’s a necessary one. Hanukkah is a celebration of family and community. But it is also a celebration of those who’ve fought oppression, of those who’ve maintained their minority identity in the midst of an overwhelming majority. As we crafted this musical, these profoundly important themes continued to inspire the work. We hope A Hanukkah Carol can be a musical that appeals to the masses, that sheds some light in this too-often gloomy world. We hope it reminds people why “A Christmas Carol” is so beloved to begin with. We are confident that its appeal has far less to do with “Christmas” (or even “Hanukkah”), and has everything to do with the spirit of kindness, goodwill, and togetherness that unites all of humanity. We wanna celebrate Hanukkah 2021 by sharing our full show with the world! We’ve released our trailer and music video to generate some buzz, with the hopes of engaging stage and film producers / investors — whether in NYC or beyond! We know we have something special to share. To learn more—and to help us share it!—please contact us via our website at AHanukkahCarol.com.”