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“Hereafter Musical” explores what happens when a loved one dies from the perspective of both the living AND the dead.
264 backers pledged $61,250 to help bring this project to life.

Tickets Are On Sale Right Now

The Ticket Window Is Now Open!

 

By now a good portion of you, our Kick Starter supporters, have already reserved your seats. For those of you who haven't, you should email us at hereaftermusical@gmail.com asap.

We also proud to announce that the ticket window has OPENED for the general public. Please feel free to forward this email to friends and family that you think might be interested in our show.

This is the link to purchase tickets online. You can also call order directly from the Theater 80 box office at (212) 388-0388

It's reserved seating and every seat in the theater is an excellent one. This is a seat chart and there's a show schedule below for easy planning!

We will only be open for two weeks (sixteen shows) and we anticipate a huge ticket demand. 

 

  • Tuesday, 4/24 at 8p   
  • Wednesday 4/25 at 2p
  • Wednesday 4/25 at 8p
  • Thursday 4/26 at 8p
  • Saturday 4/28 at 2p
  • Saturday 4/28 at 7p
  • Sunday 4/29 at 2p
  • Sunday 4/29 at 7p
  • Wednesday 5/2 at 2p
  • Wednesday 5/2 at 8p
  • Thursday 5/3 at 8p
  • Friday 5/4 at 8p
  • Saturday 5/5 at 2p
  • Saturday 5/5 at 7p
  • Sunday 5/6 at 2p
  • Sunday 5/6 at 7p

Theater 80 is in a great location in St Marks Place. For those of you who don't know the area you are in for a real treat. There are so many great restaurants you'll not only want to come back to see us again but also to try a new place. We'll be updating you with more details on the area and on all the great things we are planning for our show.

Here's a little cheat sheet that will help people discover who and what we are!

  • A good place to start for people who don't know about us would be at Kickstarter where they can see the video we made that helped make our campaign so successful.
  • This is a pretty good article from the Monmouth News about my partner and I and about the show.
  • You can also see and hear all of the music from the show at our Youtube Channel
  • You can stream all of the music for free here at Bandcamp
  • You can download the sound track CD from iTunes or Amazon.
  • You can follow us on Twitter an Facebook.

We Have Our Dates!!!!!

Things Are Happening

I know we went form lots of emails to radio silence since the end of our insanely successful Kickstarter campaign. We have all been hard at work getting everything in order for our off-Broadway debut in April. We are almost done building our creative team (and it's pretty damn impressive). We are in pre-production for our very first music video (for the song "Waiting") and are getting ready to launch our new website. By now you all should have received your "Hereafter Musical" merchandise (and if you haven't please email me ASAP). And for all of you that pledged for phone calls, lunches or dinners, rest assured, all will be fulfilled!

I Read The News Today Oh Boy

There's lots of great news coming out in the next few weeks (including a big piece in the Jersey Star Ledger's "Inside Jersey" magazine). They did a photo shoot and interviewed lots of people associated with our back story. We also will be featured in CBS "Watch Magazine" (hmm I wonder how that happened?).

Book Your Dates Now!

But the biggest news right now is that WE HAVE OUR DATES! We are excited to announce that “Hereafter Musical” will have its off-Broadway premiere on Tuesday, April 24th at 8pm. It will be the first of SIXTEEN SHOWS that we will be performing! We will get you exact theater information in a follow up email. The space we are looking out is perfect for our show and we are just waiting to tie up a few details. But we feel it’s important to get you the dates and times so that you can lock in your ticket reservations right now. We need you make these arrangements ASAP because we still have 1,826 tickets to sell (on top of what we’ve already reserved for you). It’s a small theater that seats 160 people. Since it’s unlikely that all you will want the same day, we have reserved a block of the best seats for each performance just for you. We are going to try and hold off selling the remaining tickets until we book all of the Kickstarter supporters.  Email us your first and second choices as soon as you can. And if you pledged a large block of tickets, the more date choices you give us the better. Once I confirm your date, you’ll get an official, confirmation email from the theater with all of your ticket information.

We’ll be sending you another email in the next week or so, which will have a link for you to share with friends and family who may also want to come see the show. They will be able to purchase their tickets online.

These are exciting times for our “Hereafter Musical” family of which you are now all a part of. Thanks again because NONE of this would have been possible without your support

  • Tuesday, 4/24 at 8p·     
  • Wednesday 4/25 at 2p
  • Wednesday 4/25 at 8p       
  • Thursday 4/26 at 8p          
  • Saturday 4/28 at 2p
  • Saturday 4/28 at 7p           
  • Sunday 4/29 at 2p
  • Sunday 4/29 at 7p
  • Wednesday 5/2 at 2p
  • Wednesday 5/2 at 8p
  • Thursday 5/3 at 8p
  • Friday 5/4 at 8p      
  • Saturday 5/5 at 2p  
  • Saturday 5/5 at 7p  
  • Sunday 5/6 at 2p    
  • Sunday 5/6 at 7p

It Was A Very Good Year [A Very Special Video]

Another Year Over And A New One … 

"The entire cast of "Hereafter Musical" (minus Carolyn Mignini) at our Friars Club Showcase in November; (L to R) Frankie Keane, Jenna DiMartini, Shea Hess, Deborah Tranelli, Ilene Grossman, Paul Blankenship, Pierce Cravens, Muriel Remo, Vinnie Favale, Bill Hindin."

Well, well, well! Let me be the LAST person this year to wish you a happy new year. It was an incredible year for our show and this coming year promises to be an even bigger one for us. This will be THE year we finally get to put on the show the way it was meant to be experienced. However, before we could get to 2012, there were a whole lot of years leading up to it (eight to be exact!). So let’s go back in time and see how we ended up here…

Someday Between Heaven And …

When I attended catholic school in the sixties (St Finbar in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn from 1963-1972!) it was made perfectly clear to all of us what would happen after we died. The extremes were Heaven and Hell, with very little leeway. Sure there was some talk about limbo and purgatory but I never fully understood it (and I still confuse the two).  It was literally a fire and brimstone religious upbringing. I remember the nuns marching us into the confraternity center when I was in the first grade. We were all excited because we were going to see a film (my first!). The film opened up on a beautiful countryside. Awesome for me cause I think it was also the first time I saw grass! There was beautiful scenery until the ground started to shake and then opened up to reveal (dramatic pause) HELL! This wasn’t a film about hell but it was presented as actual footage of hell!  There was no plot, just lots of people tossing and turning with flames all around them. The imagery in the film was so disturbing that it literally scared the hell “into” me. The seeds were planted.

"I think I was praying for a Jewish wife...my prayers were answered!"

It’s A Matter Of Life And …

People often ask me about the origins of our musical. Where did the inspiration come from? In late 2003, a eighteen year old, Middletown, NJ resident, (DJ Wheeler) died in an automobile accident (the car he was a passenger in hit a tree).  I didn’t know DJ or his family but his death inspired me to write a song called "Nineteen". It wasn’t my intention to write a musical. But I was haunted by the imagery of the memorial that quickly grew around this lone tree on the side of a busy road. There were photos of DJ and flowers all around the base of the tree (the memorial is still up there almost ten years later). Driving by the spot every week for over a year I was compelled to get what I was feeling out of my system. DJ left behind his parents and two sisters. I kept thinking back to when I lost my youngest (1974) and my oldest (1977) brothers and how unfair and unbalanced life felt to me. My heart went out to this family that I didn’t even know because I could feel their pain.  After I wrote the song I turned to two great friends (John Titta and Pat Barry) to record a demo and it came out great.  In 2004, I started kicking around the idea of a musical about a group reading with a psychic where the spirits appear and are only seen by the audience. This idea was very much inspired by watching my wife Debbie struggle with the loss of her mother Sylvia in 1993. After her mom died, we both tried to find comfort in the world of psychics and new age books about re-incarnation and the after-life. We had some interesting experiences but nothing really tangible came of it. We never found the Holy Grail. In fact, the more we read about the subject, the more questions we had. But I think DJ’s death caused a chain reaction that led me to wanting to create a world where maybe people who have suffered a loss can get some kind of closure. But what the “hell” did I know about writing a musical?! The only thing I did know was that there was no way I was going to be able to do this alone. 

The Hereafter Almanac

It seemed like an insane undertaking, but I started writing songs for a show that would be called (at the time) “Life & Death”. I continued to write songs through 2005. I have a long commute so I started writing the songs going in and out of NY from NJ (yes, I wrote most of the songs on the New Jersey Turnpike!). I became more prolific when Eric Garner came on board in 2006 as my music consultant. I knew I was on to something when the first three demos that Eric recorded of my songs (for “Life & Death”, “Nineteen” and “Take My Life”] made my hair stand on end. The energy, vibe and rock and roll that Eric’s demos brought to the table were an excellent contrast to the heaviness of the subject matter. But I lost a great deal of steam due my father’s passing in late 2006. A show that started out as a hopeful message for people who were suffering with the loss of a loved one took a darker turn because I wasn’t feeling so hopeful anymore. I quite honestly wanted to walk away from it. I took some time off from writing. But one day a melody came to me that I could not ignore. Coupled with my dad’s loss, it inspired me to write the song “Hereafter”.  Eric’s beautiful demo for this song was the jolt I needed. Dani Donadi came on board in 2007. He did the orchestrations for the psychic’s song (“Talk To Me”) and that demo was so Broadway sounding that I began to think this could really happen. Things then took an amazing turn when Frankie Keane came on board in June of 2008. I thought I was just meeting another singer for some demos but it turned out I was meeting my new writing partner. Frankie’s arrival sealed it for me. She became my co-creator on every aspect of the show from that point on. There was now a focus and a drive and someone to share the load with on a daily basis. Then in an unforgettable two-week period in August of 2008, our musical director Bill Hindin came on board and between Bill, Frankie and the insanely talented Francesca Vannucci, we work shopped five songs for the show. Frankie’s extensive background in performing live gave me the confidence to produce our first live performance of the music in May of 2009 (at the Two River Theater). Together, Frankie and I began writing the book and had our very first reading at the Dramatist's Guild in October of 2009. We learned a great deal from the reading (mainly that the story we set out to write needed to be re-visited). We probably had our busiest year in 2010. We had another concert in May (Ranney Theater), continued to re-write the book, record demos AND we co-wrote our first song together for the show ("The Toe Tag Tango"). We topped the year with a very successful six show, sold out run of staged readings in August of 2010 at the Roy Arias Theater in NYC. In 2011 we completed and mastered the "Hereafter Musical" soundtrack. And we topped it all off with our hugely successful Kickstarter campaign where we raised over sixty thousand dollars to fund our two week, off-Broadway run in April 2012

From This Moment On aka “Hereafter”

And that’s how we got here [after]. Now sometimes it takes awhile for me to fully comprehend things (my poor wife can attest to that) but the significance of the word “Hereafter” did not dawn on me till recently. It took me awhile to understand it’s true meaning but I guess needed to look back to see what was right in front of me. When I was younger, every once in awhile I’d hear the word “Hereafter” crop up as another word for Heaven. I liked it because it took religion out of the equation for me and there was a nice poetry to it. As I got older I started to see the word “hereafter” more often but in a different context. For those of you familiar with contracts, you’ve probably have seen it used many times. It literally means “from this moment on”.  And one day it just hit me, that this is what this show is all about. We all have “hereafter” moments in our lives. It’s the moment when something so significant happens in your life, that from “that moment on” you are a different person. For the Wheeler family, that moment happened in 2003. For Frankie, her “hereafter” moment happened at the age of eight when her mother died in 1978. For Debbie it was 1993. For Bill Hindin, it was when his dad died in earlier this year. For me, well…you can figure that out yourself. And so on, and so on, and so on… It never ends (even when it’s ending). I think the important thing to take away from all of this, is what you you do with that “hereafter” moment. It would be so easy to shut down when that moment hits you. Who could blame you if you did, right? But like the characters in our show, we all have to somehow find our way when this happens. It’s not always easy and for some people it can take years. But if you surround yourself with special people in your life like I have, you will find that they can help you with the light you need when things get dark.

Eight Years In Eight Minutes

This video compiles eight years of memories into eight minutes. I used some beautiful songs to help convey the feelings of love and appreciation that all of us feel for each other. As you can see in the video, our Hereafter Musical family keeps growing and we are honored you count all of our Kick Starter supporters as part of it

Happy 2012...enjoy the video!

Your “Hereafter Musical” Merchandise Is Ready To Ship And We Need Your Address!

Things Are Heating Up

Boy have we been busy! Frankie and I have had weekly story meetings with our brilliant director Bill Persky (where he is teaching us the fine art of “un-writing” the book). Bill’s influence on the show can’t be understated. Our fingers are numb from writing down and trying to capture the deep wisdom in all of his script notes. We’ve also been having small readings with our cast as we continue to reshape the material. And just to keep our performance skills up to snuff, we had a small showcase at the Friars Club where we were able to get the word out about our show to some of Manhattan’s media elite. We are looking at theaters this week and next. We will be meeting with our set designer the week after next. And we are about to start pre-production of our very first music video (for the song "Waiting")! Oh and one more thing; your “Hereafter Musical” merchandise is ready to ship!!!!!

 

That’s right! We enlisted the help of some friends and family (they drew the short end of the stick). We locked them in my overheated basement and we did not let them out until they were done packing every last bit of your merchandise. They folded every t-shirt and packaged it with our brand new CD. Then they folded our beautifully sincere form letter and personally paper clipped every single one with our snazzy new business cards. The paper cuts were in the hundreds, the tension was high and everybody ended up with dry tongues…no wait…that was my honeymoon!

 We Need Your Shipping Address

We are so excited for you to get this first part of our pledge fulfillment! Now we just need one thing from many of you and that is your mailing address. If you’ve been unfortunate enough to receive a Holiday Card from me in the last few years (remember the one with me as Santa in a Speedo!) then chances are pretty good that I already have your address. For my Late Show and CBS colleagues, your swag will be hand delivered by me so no worries there. But for everyone else, please email us your home address ASAP.

Don't delay because we can’t wait for you to hear how beautiful the CD came out! And the T-shirts are a little slice of Hereafter Heaven!

We will be announcing a theater and show dates soon (for April) and then we’ll follow up with you each of you to reserve your dates as we continue our march to off- Broadway (and to you’re your final pledge fulfillment).

Food For Thought

And to the many of you who get to dine with me as part of your pledge, I will be reaching out to you individually in the next few weeks to schedule our meal together! There’s this great new Irish restaurant I want try out (it's called McDonald's I think ;).

Sincerely

Vinnie, Frankie and the entire cast of Hereafter Musical!

The Road To Off-Broadway Starts Now!

Thank You, Thank You…What Happens Now?

It’s been a little over a week since we hit out Kick Starter goal and we are all still on cloud nine [clouds one through eight were taken up by this week’s Noble Peace Prize winners]. We had wanted to give you all a little break from the weekly updates but we just can’t quit you! We just want to let you know where we are at and what the next steps are. As you can see from the frame grab below, our final tally was $68,553! That is not a typo! And once again, the reason that Kick Starter has a lower figure is because of the checks that came in from the cookie people after our deadline. It truly was a humbling experience to see such an outpour of support from friends, family and complete strangers (not to mention the strange family members). So to quote a line from our own show, “What happens now?” The simple answer is LOTS! There are so many things that we have to do between now and April that we thought we’d share some them. It dawned on us the other day that planning an off-Broadway run is a lot like planning a wedding. And in our case if feels a little like the bride is pregnant and there’s a shotgun on the horizon. But we’ve always worked well under pressure (at the expense of our finger nails).  So here’s a little glimpse into our preparations and be forewarned, I predict that this whole wedding analogy thing will lose steam after two paragraphs.

 

The CD & T-Shirts [”The Wedding Favors”]

When planning a wedding, the favor is usually something that doesn’t get much attention. I have a whole basement full of wedding favors gathering dust (and each one has a candy coated almond in a white mesh with ants crawling around it). In our case, we have spent a great deal of time on our “favors”. One of the reasons being that since all of you were kind enough to purchase tickets in advance, we want you to have something to show for your money until the performances. We have been in the studio the past three weeks recording the final tracks for the sound track CD. We have one more afternoon of back up vocals that our multi talented, co-creator Frankie Keane will lay down in a four hour, coffee induced session. Then our magical engineer MP Kuo will master the CD and we will ship it off to Disc Makers in late October. We also just placed the order for our nifty “Hereafter Musical” t-shirts. We expect to ship all of our “wedding favors” in early November. We will confirm via email once they go out. Here’s a glimpse of the CD cover and the T-shirt logo!

 

The Theater [“The Wedding Hall”]

One of the keys to a fun and memorable wedding is the location. Now depending on all of the other variables (the music, the guests, the food) you can have an awesome wedding just about anywhere. I once went to a wedding at a Benhana’s. What a great time, until one of the guests decided to dance on the table and suffered third degree burns. In our case, we think the location is essential. There are so many little things we would like to do to enhance the production and having the perfect place will help us achieve that. We are almost done compiling a list of possible theaters and will be checking them out in the next few weeks. We’ll keep you posted with that and if you have any suggestions, please feel free to email us at hereaftermusical@gmail.com. We need a space that can seat between 150-199 people (no more) and has enough room for a small orchestra.

The Orchestra [“The Wedding Band”]

The music at a wedding is the key to its success. Whether it’s a DJ spinning the latest hits or a seven-piece band recreating Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing”, you MUST have a great song selection AND a perfect representation of it. In our case we are half way there. We already know that the music and performers are great, now we need to create the perfect orchestra to bring it to life. Our trusted music director, Bill Hindin will be working very closely with us as we begin our search. With the exception of the CD, our music has only been performed live with just piano. Just wait till you hear how great the music will be when we re-create the CD live!

The Cast [“The Bridal Party”]

Here’s where the wedding/off-Broadway analogy starts to wear thin…but we’re almost done so bear with me! In a real wedding, the bridal party rarely has an effect on the success or failure of a wedding (except for the occasional, awkward drunk toast from cousin Kevin). And in a real wedding, the bridal party often has a few people in it that only there because of family politics. I once went to a wedding where one of the bridesmaids didn’t even know the bride! She was only there because of some payback from the old country. In our case, the “bridal party” has been handpicked and with us for a very long time. We do need to cast a new member because one of our original cast members has “another wedding” commitment. So we’ll be casting a net in the upcoming weeks for her replacement.

The Director [“The Wedding Planner”]

As one of the producers of our show, I feel like part of me is the wedding planer. But as one of the authors I’m more like the “father of the bride”. I think that Bill Persky, our director is the true wedding planner here. Frankie and I had our first meeting with Bill last week and it was very exciting. We are currently going over the script and making adjustments and now for the first time, with Bill on board, we are actually talking about the staging of the show. Of course every time we come up with some great new idea, Bill reminds us that we need to know what size our stage will be before we could explore all of these great ideas.

Opening Night [“The Wedding Date”]

Ok, this is the last wedding analogy. If what we’re doing with “Hereafter Musical” is like planning a wedding then you can multiply that. We’ll be doing the show for two weeks (approx. seven shows a week) so it will be like planning fourteen weddings!!! We still haven’t confirmed our “wedding dates” but we could ballpark it to being the last two weeks of April. We’ll be done with both Easter and Passover by then and we can work in some interesting marketing tie-ins to the holidays. You know something like, “It’s Easter, Christ Is Coming Back And So Is Hereafter Musical”. Or how about; “Don’t Get Passed Over For Tickets, Get Yours Now”. I know, it needs work but you get the idea. Anyway, as soon as we lock in our theater, we will coordinate the dates that work best for you all to attend. And we’ll do it before we sell other tickets. Those “Johnny come lately” folks can wait! But if you do know anyone that wants to come see the show, we will be selling tickets starting in December.

The Final Roll Call ("The Thank You Notes")

In addition to updating you all on the progress of our show, we also need to thank this final batch of ticket pledgers. These folks came in with their ticket orders on the last day and insured that we not only made our goal but eve surpassed it! We are indebted to all of them as well as the rest of you for the amazing success of our campaign.

 

Muriel, Gil and Gabby Remo – I only just met this special family (pictured above).  They are close friends of Frankie. But don’t let the short time we know each other fool you. In that short amount of time, I have had the pleasure of having Muriel’s beautiful voice grace two of the songs on our CD! We spent an unforgettable day in the studio and you all will be blown away by her performance. And if our show has the long run that we hope it will have, there’s a pretty good chance you’ll see Muriel’s daughter Gabby in it one day!

Scott Farley – I just met Scott this past summer. He is one of the best electrician’s I have ever encountered (and I’ve met a lot…I went to a vocational high school!!!).  If you need any work done let me know and I’ll hook you up. Thanks Scott.

Ezequiel Gutierrez – I don’t know this person. I’m afraid to even type her/his name again cause it might break my keyboard. It’s another one of those brilliant Scrabble words…two “Z’s”!! But we are so thankful for her/his pledge that I will be signing all of my paperwork with this name for one entire week.

Benji Bronk – We know Benji. You all know Benji. Some people say that there are like fifteen different Benjis. The Benji we know is talented and super sweet. He came to last year’s showcase and now he does this. I can’t wait till he writes a musical so that we could support him.

Jim Mellett - We don’t know Jim Mellett. That is awesome because it means he bought tickets because he likes us…he really, really likes us!

Rachel Miller  - Here’s another person we don’t know! How great is that?! Thanks for supporting us Rachel!

Jennifer Lebeau  - I met Jennifer through Frankie. They worked together on that great Simon & Garfunkel re-issue from last year. Jennifer and I spent an awesome night together once…relax, there was a cover charge and other people watched (wait that sounds weird).  It was at Sugar Bar when we watched our favorite singer (Frankie!) perform.

Maureen Costello – Maureen is a new friend and appropriate for the wedding theme of this update we met at Kerry and Steve’s wedding when were seated at the same table…now that was a GREAT wedding!

Luree - We LOVE Luree! We met her, along with Joe Mooski through the super popular "Stern Superfan Group" on Facebook! Luree came to see our show last August. Thanks Luree for being the nicest person of Facebook!

Johanna Fuentes  - Love, love Johanna. She is one of TV’s top publicists so you know what that means right? Well not much because we’re not a TV show. Damn, why couldn’t she be one of Broadway’s top publicists.

Glenda Jinks – Wow. There are two things we love about Glenda…one is that we don’t know who she is and two…how about that last name! I’d say this is the first time we’ve ever been lucky by being “Jinks-ed”…thanks Glenda!

Steve Kingston – The only person that knows more than Steve about radio is Marconi. And since Marconi is now broadcasting from the Hereafter, I nominate Steve as the King Of Radio.

Mwolff – Ok how great is this. You may remember this person (whom we don’t know) from a previous pledge. Well, he/she/canis lupus is back with an upgraded pledge! And with a name that sounds like the title of movie, I say we refer to them as “Mwolff 2…This Time It’s Musical

Jeffrey Ballabon – Jeff is another pledger who doubled down! Either that or he has short-term memory loss and if that’s the case, we’ll be selling him lots of tickets!

Dolly & Neil – I think it’s pretty ironic that the last person on the honor roll is “Hereafter Musical’s” number one fan…the fabulous Dolly Marting and her husband Neil.  We met them when they attended our reading back in June and it was group love at first site. It’s hard to describe but Dolly was so taken with the performance that day that I almost questioned whether we saw two different shows. Frankie and I are too close to it and see all of the problems and things we need to fix, make better or get rid of. And here comes Dolly with this insightful commentary on every aspect of the show. Dolly and Neil were in New York earlier this week and the entire cast came together to enjoy lunch with our patron Saint Dolly!

 

Thank you (we can't stop saying that) and we’ll update you when the merchandise goes out!