The Path to Catherine - A New Musical
The Path to Catherine - Write Act Repertory Company
Reviewed by V Cate Stage Raw
... Zehentmayrs book and lyrics defy the density and make the lessons quite digestible... songs are so well composed that it has serious potential as a mainstream musical....the musical direction and live musicians are impressive...The potential for this musical, inspired by the true story of an epic feminist icon from history, is vast...
There is not much more a noblewoman can do in 1740's Germany than dream of love and the intrigues of court life. She can become a nun if she fails at a betrothal or she can marry. Young Princess Sophie plans to do just that. And do it well!
Russia's Empress, Elizabeth, needs to strengthen her throne because her heir and nephew, Peter, is unfit to rule. She invites Sophie and her mother, Joanna, to visit with a view that Sophie might prove to be a suitable bride for Peter and could thus produce a proper heir. But when Sophie's focus shifts from love to power, each woman must decide what is most important to her and what she is willing to do to achieve it. This is the true backstory of three women, their complicated relationships with power, and the path that led a teenage princess to become Russia's most powerful female monarch, Catherine the Great.
The Path to Catherine features a cast of three women and a sung-through score with modern musical elements similar to Hamilton and Fun Home, utilizing a combination of percussive grooves and soaring, emotional melodies that take this historic tale into the 21st century.
Elise Walters (Sophie/Catherine)
Martha Thatcher (Sophie/Catherine Understudy)
Jessica Reiner-Harris (Joanna)
Robyn Roth (Elizabeth)
Jade Rosenberg (Elizabeth/Joanna Understudy)
PRODUCTION / CREATIVE TEAM
PRODUCERS: John Lant & Tamra Pica
BOOK/LYRICS: Patricia Zehentmayr
COMPOSER: Jan Roper
DIRECTOR: Joanna Syiek
PRODUCTION STAGE MANAGER: Zad Potter
ASSOCIATE PRODUCER / OPERATIONS FOR WRITE ACT REP: Jonathan Harrison
Patricia Zehentmayr (Book and Lyrics), has a long background in theater arts. She attended the Booker T. Washington School for Performing and Visual Arts in Dallas, TX as a performer, studied dance at The University of Texas at Austin with scholarships from The National Young Arts Foundation and the Igor Yousekevitch Endowment, and graduated from UCLA with a degree in English Literature. Her senior project was a highly praised song cycle based on the works of Edith Wharton. While at UCLA, she received the Barry Manilow Scholarship for lyric writing. As a songwriter, Patricia has collaborated with writers in a number of musical genres; from Rosie Flores (Queen of Rockabilly) to John Axelrod (Artistic and Musical Director of the Royal Symphony of Sevilla). Her musical theater works include Wanting Miss Julie, The New York Society for the Suppression of Vice, and Madwomen. Patricia's pop music works are licensed by A Matter of Sync and she is a member of the Dramatists Guild, SAG-AFTRA, ASCAP, and Society of Composers and Lyricists.
Jan Roper (Music), is a composer and music director based in Los Angeles, California. Her theater career started with the full-scale production of her own original rock opera, Jerusalem A.D. in 2006. Another original work, City of Light, was chosen for the ASCAP Stephen Schwartz workshop (2016) and the sheNYC Festival (2017), where it won Best Score. City of Light has also been featured as a new work to watch at Feinsteins / 54 Below in NYC after a sold out concert reading there in 2018. In 2019 Jan had a featured song in the new world premiere, Girlhood, produced by CPA Theatricals. Another new work, América Tropical, won the 2020 Raise Your Voice playwright competition, sponsored by Inclusion Media Group, and is a semi-finalist for the National Musical Theatre Group this year. She stays busy as a faculty accompanist and teacher at AMDA College of the Performing Arts, and a vocal and music director in the local theater and cabaret community of LA. She won the L.A. Scenie Award for Music Director of the Year for her accumulative work in 2019 and early 2020.
Joanna Syiek (Director), is happy to be returning to stages with The Path to Catherine, a piece that celebrates the power of women both onstage and off. She is the founder of Color and Light Theatre Ensemble, a Los Angeles theatre initiative dedicated to exploring new works and modern musical theatre. Directing credits include American Idiot (Indy Award Winner Direction), Lizzie, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, Assassins, Company, and Tick TickBoom! along with the West Coast premieres of both Joe Iconis Things to Ruin and Brad Alexander and Adam Mathias See Rock City and Other Destinations. She is dedicated to new musical theatre work and as such has directed new musicals including Merely Players, Giraffenstein, as well as The Pokémusical, which received the awards of Best Musical and Best of Fringe from the Hollywood Fringe Festival, along with a Broadway World Nomination for Best Direction in the musicals extended run. She stands in solidarity with Ukraine, and knows that a country celebrating freedom, social progress, and knowledge for its citizens would've been the goal of the women we see in this show, instead of a reason to wage a war.
The Brickhouse Theatre is located at 10950 Peach Grove St., N. Hollywood, CA 91601 (off Vineland, just north of Camarillo) Performances are Saturday night at 8pm, Sunday afternoon at 3pm. Tickets are $20.00 online from Brown Paper Tickets or at the door.
Theatre is heated / ADA Accessible / On-street Parking.
OUR COVID POLICY IS THAT THE AUDIENCE IS VACCINATED AND MASKED AT ALL TIMES FOR THE PERFORMANCE. This is a vaccinated workspace.
Write Act Repertory
Under the artistic leadership of John Lant since 2003, WRITE ACT REPERTORY has produced over 60 Mainstage and 100 original one-act plays in Los Angeles and New York City. Write Act Repertory currently has four Off-Broadway plays running at St. Luke's Theatre and Actors Temple, in the heart of Broadway Theatre District, and is dedicated to the development of original plays, lesser-known works by established writers, adaptations of classical-themed materials and musicals. Write Act Repertory also produces rarely seen works and unfinished musicals by composers who passed before their work was completed. www.writeactrep.org
Write Act Repertory (View)
10950 Peach Grove Street
North Hollywood, CA 91605
|Minimum Age: 12|
|Kid Friendly: Yes!|
|Dog Friendly: No|
|Wheelchair Accessible: Yes!|