About this project
To raise a portion ($40,000) of the money we need ($70,000 is the full amount we need) to help mount our production of 'RIO' this July at the New York Musical Theatre Festival (NYMF) where our show was chosen as one of their coveted 'Next Link Selections'.
‘RIO’ is a musical about finding hope and celebrating life even in the darkest of times and places. It will transport you, through the eyes of a young boy in search of his mother, to Rio de Janeiro’s destitute shanty-towns and to the exotic street scenes of its world famous Carnival. Along the way, you will be entranced by the pulsating rhythms, playful yet profound script, colorful characters and decadent imagery that is, Rio.
This epic musical has been 8 years in the making and we are so excited about heading to the New York Musical Theatre Festival (NYMF) - The Sundance Festival of new musicals. ‘RIO’ was chosen from over 400 entries as one of NYMF’s ‘Official Next Link Selections’. A tremendous honor! But the accolades didn’t stop there. We were also selected as a finalist for the National Alliance for Musical Theatre Festival (NAMT ), making ‘RIO’ the only musical out over 600 shows to accomplish this incredible feat in several years.
Once news of our accomplishment spread, people started to take notice. Once they took a listen, the deal was sealed. It didn’t take long before we started causing a major stir amongst some of the heavy hitters in New York. We managed to secure Scott Faris as director. Having just directed William Shatner’s one man Broadway hit, "Shatner's World: We Just Live in It.", Faris will be ‘captaining’ the ‘RIO’ ship straight to stage this summer with a brilliant vision that will enthral the entire theatre (including the seats and spotlights). Jack DePalma, a veritable legend in the Broadway community, having worked creatively with such greats as Barbra Streisand, has been guiding us as dramaturg and creative consultant from the moment our show was selected. We are also blessed to have a Tony-nominated actor who will star in our production (whose name is to be announced very shortly) and the most amazing choreographer Kate Dunn, assistant choreographer from ‘Billy Elliot’, who will leave every audience member mesmerized when they see what she has planned.
Already, beyond the festival, word has started to spread about our show. In New York, a song from ‘RIO’ was selected to be performed for the Board of Directors of the New York Musical Theatre Festival at their "Meet the Artists" Salon this spring. Performed by Justin Lopez
In Washington D.C., ‘RIO’ was selected from dozens of other shows by acclaimed producer Charlie Fink, musical director Denise Puricelli and director Jay Brock, to be done as a workshop for the musical theatre students at Catholic University of America.
Now imagine that...a University in the USA, doing a workshop of a musical about Brazil written by two writers from Canada. But that is just another example of far-reaching power of 'RIO' can be felt. And that’s without even one production. Just wait until...
After years of inspired writing, detailed research, two workshops and a creative ‘dream-team’ the likes of which has almost never been seen at the festival level, we are proud to announce that with your backing ‘RIO’ will be premiering ‘off-Broadway’ at the St. Clements theatre on 46th Street in Manhattan. Opening night - July 10, 2012.
It’s almost hard to believe that what started off as a conversation in a booth at ‘Fran’s Lunch Counter’ in Toronto is now about to hit a New York Stage. But this is only the beginning. We’re playing with the big boys now and we have to produce a show that exceeds all expectations. And to do that, we need your BACKING.
'RIO' tells the story of a 12 year-old boy named Pipio who arrives in Rio on the morning of Carnival in search of his lost mother among the street-kids, gangs and drug lords that rule Rio's favelas - the toughest slums in the hottest place on earth. But Carnival is more than just the setting and background of our story. It is, in fact, the most honest and accurate expression of the joys and sorrow of the characters of 'RIO' - the relentless rhythm that drives these people to survive. It therefore must be communicated as effectively as possible, even within the economically scaled down production that we will be mounting at NYMF.
While most people cannot imagine Rio's Carnival without thousands of Cariocas dancing in the streets wearing magnificent costumes from head to toe, we can. Our creative team has thought up some innovative ways of presenting the power without the pageantry. Instead of elaborate full-bodied costumes, our costume designer will create simple, well-appointed headdresses to convey the different personalities of our varying Carnival characters. Instead of a drum 'bateria' of 100 drummers, we will rely on 2 experienced and well-equipped percussionists to arrange and perform the Brazilian-style score that drives the entire show. Instead of a cast of 40 to depict a samba school dancing through the sambadrome, we will innovate with a cast of 12 who will sing and dance with the vitality of thousands. Now, add to these costs, the additional production costs of rehearsal space, a director, a choreographer, a musical director, two stage managers, a casting director, sound, lighting, set design, costumes...and much more...and you can clearly see that we plan on maximizing the impact of every penny we receive.
WIth the 2016 Olympics around the corner, never before has the conflicting class structure in Rio been so clearly marked, as an army of indifference tears down the homes of the city's favelas, sending even more poor innocent children into the abyss of Rio's poverty. Never before has it been more important for a story about Rio's underprivileged to be told than today.
With your backing, ‘RIO’ is destined to become one of the hottest and most thrilling productions to reach the NYMF Festival in years. Help us spread the message for the children in the favelas of RIO and shine a light on their terrible struggle. Help us make a change.
Please support 'RIO' so we can tell their story and hopefully change it!
With the many tiers to choose from we have every budget in mind so choose your level and share your support. YOU can say that you were involved in helping shape the next big Broadway musical. Join us in making this a reality.
To immerse yourself even more in our Marvelous City, check out our RIO video.
To read more about the terrible plight of the street-kids of Rio...http://www.stephenbrookes.com/international/2006/4/18/the-murder-of-rios-street-kids.html
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