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A film-noir-musical short movie based on the new Off-Broadway musical, Samantha Spade, Ace Detective, premiering in spring of '14.
A film-noir-musical short movie based on the new Off-Broadway musical, Samantha Spade, Ace Detective, premiering in spring of '14.
49 backers pledged $17,675 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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Why Slingin' the Slang?

So now you've seen a sample of our artistic vision for this project, why should you get involved?

Movie musicals, old black and white films, great entertainment for kids and families, opportunities to get kids involved in the performing arts--all things that we love. Slingin' the Slang puts all those things together in one package that we can launch into the world on the internet. With your help, we can create a short film that embodies the values and mission of the great TADA! Youth Theater,

            but that reaches out past the confines of the live theater experience and is accessible to anyone with an internet connection.

Since 1984, TADA! Youth Theater has been providing young people of all different backgrounds, including a large number of disadvantaged children and families, the opportunity to explore and perform musical theater together in an educational, supportive and professional environment. As part of its mission, TADA! produces high-quality original musical theater productions performed by talented kids for family audiences.

Slingin' the Slang will broaden TADA!'s reach.

In partnership with two of the professional creative artists who write shows for us, together with young people who have graduated from the TADA! program, Slingin' the Slang will be our first production outside of a traditional theater and out on the internet--so if you don't live in the New York area and can't get the live theater experience, you and your children can still participate in the world of TADA!.

Did we mention that Slingin' the Slang will be available to watch on the internet for free?

By donating to Slingin' the Slang, you can help TADA! reach kids everywhere with entertaining and original family entertainment, and give them a window into the expressive worlds of theater, dance and music--not to mention the inspiration to explore those classic black-and-white movies that still have the power to engage and excite young imaginations.

The gumshoe is on the case.

It's no big mystery--here are the pieces of the plot. We've got big plans for Slingin' the Slang as the introduction of the Samantha Spade, Ace Detective multi-media project.

Slingin' the Slang will be the centerpiece of a swell website that will also feature mysteries to solve, blogs and other opportunities to interact with both the characters from Samantha's world and the young actors who will portray them, plus behind-the-scenes video, and book and movie recommendations. Slingin' the Slang will be the introduction to a whole world of mystery and film-noir, freshly imagined for tweens, young teens and families.

In a world full of cell phones, iPads, 3-D movies and instant gratification of all kinds, Slingin' the Slang reaches back to Harriet the Spy, Nancy Drew, Encyclopedia Brown and, of course, those great old Humphrey Bogart movies that we love, to create a black-and-white world full of colorful characters where imagination, intellect and observation--not extreme special effects--are required to solve the case.

And since you gotta talk the talk there,

Slingin' the Slang will give you the lingo--so when the buttons are standing around bumping their gums, and the redhot needs to borrow some spondulix from the butter and egg man so he won't get sent to the hoosegow--you'll know what they're talking about.

We've assembled a crack team of janes and jaspers, led by Lisa Diana Shapiro (Princess Phooey; Labor Pains, a Comedy in Nine Months) (book and lyrics) and Georgia Stitt (music). (More on Georgia here.)

Our director is Myles Matsuno, director of Ella the Film (which was successfully funded here on Kickstarter).

Our producer, David Feldman, brings 20 years of television experience to the project.

Other key creative personnel include our choreographer John Todd, our production designer Kevin Williams, and our costume designer Kate Bergh.

Some of our youthful performers

are TADA! alum Mary Claire Miskell and lead dancer Jessica Linde.

Behind the camera, we're joined by TADA! alum Norman Franklin. Norman's a recent film school grad who started out in musical theater at TADA! and has now made the transition to film-making. You can see some of his work here. Norman will be acting as Assistant to the Producer and also shooting behind-the-scenes video for the website.

And of course, Executive Producer is the renowned TADA! Youth Theater, led by Executive and Artistic Director Janine Nina Trevens.  Among many other honors, TADA! is the winner of a special Drama Desk Award and the Coming Up Taller Award from the President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities (now known as the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Awards).

So what's the rumble?

We are planning a three-day shoot at the Victory Theatre in Burbank, California, using locations onstage, backstage, in the lobby, and outside along the sidewalk where the classic architecture will give us a great period feel.

Spinach, kale, cabbage, mazuma, spondulix,

whatever you want to call it, here is where it will go:

  • camera and equipment rental
  • location rental
  • rehearsal space
  • props and production design
  • costumes
  • contracts and insurance (legal)
  • feeding the gang
  • post-production (editing, etc.)
  • recording the track - musicians, studio time
  • talent - singers and dancers!
  • director and choreographer (working for love, but they have to eat)
  • last but not least:

                       SWAG!

featuring the Limited Edition Samantha Spade, Ace Detective artwork

Stickers, pencils, Official Investigation pads and Private Eye ID cards--donate enough to have your own detective kit so you will be fully outfitted to join Samantha's adventures!

Limited edition bookmarks, posters (signed by cast and creators)--even your very own private eye fedora, complete with a Samantha Spade hatband.

And you will need that swell topper if you donate enough to get a walk-on role in the video (provided you are in the Los Angeles area the weekend of June 22).

For extra-special donors we even have a limited number of tickets to the September workshop of Samantha Spade, Ace Detective in New York (see the show first, be part of the creative process!) or (drumroll please!) tickets to the show itself. (If you're in New York.) You can even get a character in the show named after yourself!

$150 donors and above will be listed in the Samantha Spade, Ace Detective program at TADA! next spring.

Everyone who donates will get listed on our special "Thank you" website page, and if you donate enough, you can get an actual "Associate Producer" credit at the end of the video.

TADA! Youth Theater

Since 1984, TADA! has been providing young people of all different backgrounds, including a large number of disadvantaged children and families, the opportunity to explore and perform musical theater together in an educational, supportive, and professional environment. TADA!'s mission is two-fold: to provide high quality original musical theater productions performed by talented kids for family audiences and to provide a safe, creative and nurturing place where kids can harness their inherent energy, build their self-assurance and realize their true potential through the unique collaborative art form that is musical theater. Through TADA!'s high-quality work, young people gain confidence and learn commitment, responsibility, communication and teamwork . . . skills that are critical to their success both in school and in life. For more information: www.tadatheater.com.

TADA! Youth Theater is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization #13-3311294 and the Executive Producer of "Slingin' the Slang." All gifts and contributions are tax-deductible to the fullest extent of the law.

Risks and challenges

The challenge with any creative endeavor is to make something entertaining and fun that people will want to watch. We're starting with a script, a song and characters that we love--now we have to turn those assets into a living, singing, dancing video world. We challenge ourselves on a daily basis to make things different, creative, better and more fun.

Most of us are theater people, so a big challenge for us is working in the video medium. That's why we have recruited Myles and David. Myles brings us his experience as an indie film director who has successfully made his own project happen, and David brings us many years of experience wearing almost every technical hat there is in television. Also helping us in that department is Norman, a TADA! alum who started in theater and then went to film school, successfully making the transition to working in film.

As theater artists, we are constantly putting ourselves out there, taking the risk that the audience won't laugh, won't respond, won't "get" us. We thrive on that excitement, and now we're ready to take it to the next level and reach a new and bigger internet audience. We think it's worth it, to spread the joy of TADA! and our belief in the transformative power of the performing arts.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    Five bucks--that's a fin! You get a personal tweet from one of our cast members or creative staff! Plus, you get listed on the "thank you" page of our website.

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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    A sawbuck! You get the official Samantha Spade, Ace Detective sticker. Plus a personal tweet, and of course, your name goes on the "thank you" page of our website.

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    What a palooka! You get the official, limited edition Samantha Spade, Ace Detective bookmark--along with the sticker and your name on the "thank you" page of our website.

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    You're a doll! You get Samantha Spade, Ace Detective's Official Pencil--for getting the goods on the hoods. Plus the sticker, bookmark and, of course, your name on the "thank you" page of our website.

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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    You're starting to look like a snooper--with the Samantha Spade Ace Detective Official Investigation pad, the pencil, the bookmark, the sticker, and your name on the "thank you" page of the website.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    A century! That makes you a sleuth--with the whole Samantha Spade, Ace Detective kit--a personalized, private eye ID card, the pad, the pencil, the bookmark, the sticker, and your name on the "thank you" page of our website.

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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    Now you're hitting on all eight--with your name in the program of the Off-Broadway production of Samantha Spade, Ace Detective--plus the official kit with ID card, pad, pencil, bookmark, sticker--and your name on the "thank you" page of our website.

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    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    For a pair of C's, you get a digital download of the song, "Slingin' the Slang"--plus your name in the program of the Off-Broadway show, the official kit with ID card, pad, pencil, bookmark, sticker--and your name on the "thank you" page of our website.

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    That's some geetus right there! You get a digital download of the whole video of "Slingin' the Slang," plus a download of the song, your name in the program of the Off-Broadway show, the official kit with ID card, pad, pencil, bookmark, sticker--and your name on the "thank you" page of our website.

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    Pledge $300 or more About $300

    That's a lotta berries! You get your name in the credits of "Slingin' the Slang"--plus downloads of both the song and video, your name in the program of the Off-Broadway show, the official kit with ID card, pad, pencil, bookmark, sticker--and your name on the "thank you" page of our website.

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    Pledge $400 or more About $400

    You're quite a looker! You get an autographed, limited edition Samantha Spade, Ace Detective "Slingin' the Slang" poster--plus your name in the credits of "Slingin' the Slang," downloads of both the song and video, your name in the program of the Off-Broadway show, the official kit with ID card, pad, pencil, bookmark, sticker--and your name on the "thank you" page of our website.

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    For all that cabbage, you get the lid--a private eye fedora, complete with Samantha Spade, Ace Detective hatband--along with your name in the credits of "Slingin' the Slang," downloads of both the song and video, an autographed, limited edition Samantha Spade, Ace Detective "Slingin' the Slang" poster--plus your name in the program of the Off-Broadway show, the official kit with ID card, pad, pencil, bookmark, sticker--and your name on the "thank you" page of our website.

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    For a Grand, you really rate! You get a walk-on role in "Slingin' the Slang" (if you're going to be in the Los Angeles area the weekend of 6/22)--and the lid, your name in the credits of "Slingin' the Slang," downloads of both the song and video, an autographed, limited edition Samantha Spade, Ace Detective "Slingin' the Slang" poster--plus your name in the program of the Off-Broadway show, the official kit with ID card, pad, pencil, bookmark, sticker--and your name on the "thank you" page of our website.

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    Also known as a Large--you get to be part of the process. Two tickets to the workshop performance of Samantha Spade, Ace Detective at TADA! Youth Theater in New York. Be in on the very first performance of the show in front of an audience, see how a new musical is developed--even give your feedback! This is a very special reward, we only have two of them, and you must be in the New York area on the September date (TBA) of the workshop performance. Plus, you get all the other swag--the lid, your name in the credits of "Slingin' the Slang," downloads of both the song and video, the autographed, limited edition Samantha Spade, Ace Detective "Slingin' the Slang" poster--plus your name in the program of the Off-Broadway show, the official kit with ID card, pad, pencil, bookmark, sticker--and your name on the "thank you" page of our website.

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    Whether you're a jasper or a jane, this reward wants to know your name! Because we're going to name a character in the Off-Broadway production of Samantha Spade, Ace Detective after you! Plus, you get all the other swag--the lid, your name in the credits of "Slingin' the Slang," downloads of both the song and video, the autographed, limited edition Samantha Spade, Ace Detective "Slingin' the Slang" poster--plus your name in the program of the Off-Broadway show, the official kit with ID card, pad, pencil, bookmark, sticker--and your name on the "thank you" page of our website.

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    Pledge $2,500 or more About $2,500

    You're really jakeloo. And for you, we've got two tickets to the premiere production of Samantha Spade, Ace Detective, opening Off-Broadway at TADA! Youth Theater next spring. (You must be in NY for this one, too.) Plus, you get all the other swag--the lid, your name in the credits of "Slingin' the Slang," downloads of both the song and video, the autographed, limited edition Samantha Spade, Ace Detective "Slingin' the Slang" poster--plus your name in the program of the Off-Broadway show, the official kit with ID card, pad, pencil, bookmark, sticker--and your name on the "thank you" page of our website.

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    Pledge $5,000 or more About $5,000

    You are the butter and egg man--and we call you Associate Producer. That's your credit at the end of "Slingin' the Slang." Plus, you get all the other swag--the lid, downloads of both the song and video, the autographed, limited edition Samantha Spade, Ace Detective "Slingin' the Slang" poster--plus your name in the program of the Off-Broadway show, the official kit with ID card, pad, pencil, bookmark, sticker--and your name on the "thank you" page of our website. You also might get a kiss or two.

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Funding period

- (30 days)