manu narayan

Look down the rabbit hole with Manu

Shooting Fox’s “The Following” with Kevin Bacon, James McDaniel, Shawn Ashmore, and more

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Kevin Bacon – The Following (image credit: Michael Lavine/ FOX)

I finally have one degree of separation between me and Kevin Bacon. Kevin and I are both alumni of The Pennsylvania Governors School of the Arts, the PA state sponsored summer professional training school for gifted high school arts students.  But even though there has always been that connection, I had never met Kevin in person, only seeing him in passing at the opening night party of Broadway’s Life  x 3 a few years ago. I have always enjoyed Kevin’s work. He was incredible in Footloose, Stir of Echoes, JFK, and a favorite of mine A Few Good Men.   I am really excited to have spent time with him this past Wednesday on the set of Fox’s The Following.   Kevin is so gracious and so kind to his fellow actors.  In preparation for my role as FBI analyst Reece in the first episode of season 2, I watched a few episodes of The Following. What impresses me most about Kevin, both as Ryan Hardy on the show and in his other roles in film, is that he so easily straddles the line between a believable leading man and a character actor of varied depth.  I admire him greatly for his skill onscreen.   That he was so gracious and came out of his way to introduce himself to me was the icing on the cake

James McDaniel in ABC’s “Detroit 1-8-7” (image credit: Mark H. Preston-ABC,2010)

James McDaniel, another favorite actor of mine who was nominated for two EMMY awards for his work on NYPD Blue as Lt. Arthur Fancy, is on season 2 of The Following playing our FBI boss Ken Phillips.  As I learned recently, he is friends with Peter Jay Fernandez, a colleague of mine in the Actors Center Workshop Company.  James and I quickly made the Peter Jay connection and had a couple of wonderful conversations between takes. I am currently deep in rehearsals for the new musical Gettin’ The Band Back Together at George Street Playhouse in New Brunswick, NJ.  So traveling and transitioning from the world of Broadway to a television set in Brooklyn was a good challenge.

Valerie Cruz in "The Following"

Valerie Cruz in “The Following” (image credit: The WB)

Going from acting as a singing/ dancing Dermatologist in a musical comedy under TONY award winning director John Rando, to playing an FBI crime analyst with a lot of dry technical text under executive producer/director Marcos Siega was what we actors live for. Thankfully, even though TV is much faster paced than theatre, Marcos and the entire cast and crew including Kevin, James, Canadian Shawn Ashmore (Iceman on X-Men and a great guy), and Valerie Cruz (Nip/TuckDexter, True Blood) were incredibly helpful and the shoot seemed to turn out well.

Kyle Barisich

Kyle Barisich (image credit: Jemal Countess/Getty Images North America)

Kyle Barisich, who recently left the Broadway company of  Andrew Lloyd Weber’s The Phantom of the Opera starring as Raoul, was my crime analyst partner in the scene. Kyle is a true pro, smart and talented. It is easy to see why he is a Broadway Star.  TV and film stardom is sure to follow.

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GETTIN’ THE BAND BACK TOGETHER at George Street Playhouse, NJ from 9/24-10/27/13

I am having a blast in rehearsals for Ken Davenport’s new musical Gettin’ The Band Back Together (previously known as Garage Band: the musical) at George Street Playhouse in New Brunswick, NJ. Performances run September 24th – October 27th, 2013. Opening night is scheduled for October 4th at 8PM.

Getting_the_band_back_together_flyer1This original Mike Myers/Will Farrell style ensemble musical is about four high school friends from a small town in New Jersey, who, while grappling with turning 40, reunite their hometown garage band to reclaim their dreams and finally triumph over their high school nemesis.

The cast is incredibly talented with the resumes that speak to their superb singing, acting, dancing and instrumental skills. The rehearsal room is a constant source of fun as we are having a ball collaborating with the creative team here in New Brunswick, NJ. I am hopeful that this funny, poignant musical will be a hit here and later up the New Jersey transit lines to Manhattan.  You definitely will be humming the tunes back home from the theatre.

I won’t give away too much, but our re-formed band of heroes are called “Juggernaut.” It consists of four high school classmates: I play Robbie, the dermatologist on keyboards;  my fellow Carnegie Mellon alumnus Mitchell Jarvis (Rock of Ages) is Mitch the investment banker and lead singer;  Jay Klaitz (High Fidelity) is Bart, the high school math teacher on Bass; Adam Monley (Mamma Mia!) is Sulley, the hometown cop on drums, as the reuniting band mates.  Newcomer to the band is Evan Daves (The Coast of Utopia) on guitar.  The cast also features two-time Tony nominee Alison Fraser (GSP’s Lend Me a Tenor, Gypsy on Broadway) as Sharon, Mitch’s mom, and another fellow Carnegie Mellon alumnus and classmate of mine Brandon Williams (TV’s “Entourage,” “Stay at Home Dad”) as Tygen, the band’s high school arch-nemesis.  The company is rounded out by Heather Brave (Circle of Friends) as Billie , Michelle Duffy (Leap of Faith) as Dani, Ryan Duncan (Soul Doctor) as Dr. Patel, Sr., Deidre Goodwin (A Chorus Line) as Officer Roxy, Christopher Gurr (Memphis national tour) as Sargent Sullivan & JP, Garth Kravits (The Drowsy Chaperone) as Ritchie, Emily McNamara (NEWSical the Musical) as Tawney, and Tad Wilson (Wonderland) as the Mayor.

photo courtesy of Ken Davenport productions

The cast and creative team of “Gettin’ the Band Back Together” at George Street Playhouse. photo courtesy of Ken Davenport productions

Mitch Jarvis (MITCH) on a Coffee Break

CMU Alumnus Mitch Jarvis (MITCH) on a Coffee Break

Jay Klaiitz (BART) on Bass in “Juggernaut” music rehearsal

Evan Daves,Ryan Duncan, Heather Brave,

Evan Daves (RICKY), Ryan Duncan (Dr. PATEL), Heather Brave (BILLIE) in GTBBT Rehearsal at Davenport Studios, NYC 8/27/13

Fellow CMU Alumnnus Brandon Williams (TYGEN), Deidre Goodwin (ROXY), Emily McNamara (TAWNEY) at Davenport Studios in NYC 8/27/2013

Fellow CMU Alumnnus Brandon Williams (TYGEN), Deidre Goodwin (ROXY), Emily McNamara (TAWNEY) at Davenport Studios in NYC 8/27/2013

Tony Award-winner John Rando (Urinetown, GSP’s Toxic Avenger) is director of Gettin’ The Band Back Together which is written by Ken Davenport and The Grundelshotz, with additional material by Sarah Saltzberg, and music and lyrics by Mark Allen.  Fred Hartenstein is Stage Manager.

Orchestrations are by Doug KatsarosFred Lassen serves as musical director, Kelly Devine is choreographer. Creating the world of the play are scenic designer Derek McLane, lighting designer Ken Billington, costume designer Gregory Gale and sound designer Peter Fitzgerald.

George Street Playhouse is run by Artistic Director David Saint.  It was founded in 1974 by former Rutgers faculty member Eric Krebs.

Discount code using the word BOMBAY

GSP flyer advertising the 2 for 1 discount code using the code BOMBAY

A 2 for 1 ticket deal is available using the code “Bombay” which harkens back to my Broadway debut as the lead in AR Rahman’s Bombay Dreams.

Read more about Gettin’ the Band Back Together

George Street Playhouse

Manu Narayan, Alison Fraser, Garth Kravits, Emily McNamara and More Set for Gettin’ The Band Back Together at George Street Playhouse, September 24-October 27, 2013 – Backstage Pass with Lia Chang

Alison Fraser & Mitchell Jarvis to Lead GETTIN’ THE BAND BACK TOGETHER at George Street Playhouse; Full Cast Announced by www.broadwayworld.com

Manu Narayan appointed to the Carnegie Mellon University Board of Trustees

Manu Narayan. Photo by Lia Chang

Manu Narayan. Photo by Lia Chang

When Dr. Jared Cohon, the outgoing president of Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), set up an appointment to talk with me in May, I assumed that we were going to discuss some of the details regarding my duties as Master of Ceremonies for the June 15th CMU Inspire Innovation Gala in Pittsburgh, PA.

I quickly realized that this conversation was about something bigger and much more personal to me. Dr. Cohon stunned me with the invitation to join the Leadership of Carnegie Mellon University as a member of the Board of Trustees.

Fully aware that there is a Silicon Valley Manu Narayan who, unfortunately for me, has most combinations of the name as his email and other usernames, I asked Dr. Cohon if he was sure that he was asking the right guy. He assured me that this Manu Narayan is whom they wanted: the actor/musician. I was beside myself – thrilled and at the same time stunned. But it was an easy decision, I heartily accepted!

On July 1, 2013, I began my three year term on the Carnegie Mellon University Board of Trustees as a Young Alumni Term Trustee, joining new president Subra Suresh and the distinguished members of the Board (listed below). As an alumnus of the College of Fine Arts, School of Music, with a double degree in Vocal Performance and Saxophone Performance, and as a performing arts professional, hopefully I bring a unique perspective to the University that has given me much.

MANU NARAYAN BIO

ECONOMIC TIMES: Manu Narayan, Bajaj among Carnegie Mellon University trustees (July 20, 2013)

HINDUBUSINESSLINE.COM: Artiste Manu Narayan named trustee on board of Carnegie Mellon University (July 20, 2013)

INDIAEXPRESS.COM: Manu Narayan, Bajaj among Carnegie Mellon University trustees (July 20, 2013)

BUSINESS-STANDARD.COM: Manu Narayan, Bajaj among Carnegie Mellon University trustees (July 20, 2013)

Photos & Video: Frank London’s Klezmer Brass All-Stars, Manu Narayan, Deep Singh and More

Manu Narayan, Rajika Puri, Kannan Vasudevan and More Set for THUMBPRINT, A New Contemporary Opera, by Kamala Sankaram and Susan Yankowitz at The Watermill Center

Manu Narayan, Mark Bennett, Lea Salonga, Michael K. Lee and Stafford Arima Among 2012 Craig Noel Award Nominees

Multimedia: Manu Narayan Dazzles as Richard Roma in La Jolla Playhouse’s Revival of David Mamet’s Glengarry Glen Ross

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ABOUT CARNEGIE MELLON UNIVERSITY:

Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) is a global research university with more than 12,000 students, 92,000 alumni, and 5,000 faculty and staff.

CMU has been a birthplace of innovation throughout its 113-year history.

Today, CMU is a global leader bringing groundbreaking ideas to market and creating successful startup businesses.

Their award-winning faculty members are renowned for working closely with students to solve major scientific, technological and societal challenges. They put a strong emphasis on creating things—from art to robots. Their students are recruited by some of the world’s most innovative companies.

CMU has campuses in Pittsburgh, Qatar and Silicon Valley, and degree-granting programs around the world, including Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe and Latin America.

  • In 2012, Times Higher Education of London ranked CMU No. 22 in the world, and No. 15 among U.S. universities.
  • In a 2010 Wall Street Journal poll, job recruiters looking for new hires ranked CMU No. 1 in computer science, No. 4 in finance and No. 7 in business. CMU ranked 10 overall.
  • Nearly 35 percent of CMU’s students are from 115 countries outside the US, giving the university one of the 10 most international student bodies, by percentage, among four-year U.S. institutions.
  • CMU has ranked No. 1 among all US universities without a medical school in the number of startup companies created per research dollar spent since 2007. Find out more: CMU’s Entrepreneurial ecosystemhelping to create startup companies– Greenlighting Startups 
  • In the past 15 years, CMU faculty, students and alumni have created more than 300 companies and 9,000 jobs.
  • CMU is a world leader in robotics. CMU’s autonomous vehicle, Boss, earned the $2M prize for winning the 2007 DARPA Urban Challenge. Now, CMU researchers are developing a flying car, and working to land and operate a robot on the moon through Google’s Lunar X Mission—a project that combines technology and art.
  • CMU attracts award-winning talent. Current and former faculty and alumni are winning top awards in art, science and technology.
  • With 100 percent of CMU’s electricity coming from green power sources, the university ranked as a green power leader by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Currently in the final stages, the university’s “Inspire Innovation” campaign has already reached its $1 billion goal.

CMU consists of seven schools and colleges: Carnegie Institute of TechnologyCollege of Fine ArtsDietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences,  Heinz CollegeMellon College of ScienceSchool of Computer Science and the Tepper School of Business.

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Trustees of Carnegie Mellon University

Officers of the Board

Raymond J. Lane, Chairman
E. Kears Pollock, Vice Chairman
James E. Rohr, Vice Chairman
Subra Suresh, President
Mark S. Kamlet, Provost and Executive Vice President
Jay Calhoun, Treasurer
Mary Jo Dively, Vice President and General Counsel
Cheryl M. Hays, Secretary
Charles A. Kennedy, Chief Investment Officer
Karen T. Khan, Assistant Secretary
Robbee Baker Kosak, Vice President for University Advancement
Elizabeth Milavec, Assistant Treasurer
Michael Murphy, Vice President for Campus Affairs
Amir Rahnamay-Azar, Vice President for Finance and Chief Financial Officer

2013-2014 Board of Trustees – Ex Officio Trustees

Subra Suresh, President
Darlene M. Harris, President, Pittsburgh City Council
Roberta Klatzky, Chair, Faculty Senate, Carnegie Mellon University
Steven Price, President, Andrew Carnegie Society
Luke Ravenstahl, Mayor, City of Pittsburgh
Antoinette Ungaretti, President, Carnegie Mellon Alumni Association

2013-2014 Board of Trustees – Life Trustees

John R. Bertucci, Chairman, MKS Instruments, Inc.
Frank Brunckhorst, Boar’s Head Provisions Co., Inc.
Erroll B. Davis, Jr., Interim Superintendent, Atlanta Public Schools
Linda A. Dickerson, Principal, 501(c)(3)2
Philip L. Dowd, Sherick Enterprises, LLC
Dina Dublon
Howard Ellin, Partner, Skadden Arps Slate Meagher and Flom
Edward H. Frank, Vice President, Apple, Inc.
Yoshiaki Fujimori, President and CEO, LIXIL Group Corporation
Ira J. Gumberg, President and CEO, J.J. Gumberg Co.
Teresa L. Heinz, Chairman, Heinz Family Philanthropies
Torrence M. Hunt, Jr.
Tod S. Johnson, Chief Executive Officer, The NPD Group, Inc.
Raymond J. Lane, Partner Emeritus, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers
Bruce McWilliams, CEO and President, SuVolta
Ambar Paul, Director, Caparo Group Limited
E. Kears Pollock, Retired Executive Vice President, PPG Industries, Inc.
James E. Rohr, Executive Chairman, The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc.
Jonathan Rothberg, Founder and Chairman, Raindance Technologies and Ion Torrent Systems
David S. Shapira, Executive Chairman, Board of Directors, Giant Eagle, Inc.
J. Lea Hillman Simonds
Manoj Singh, Chief Operating Officer, Deloitte
James C. Stalder
Donald E. Stitzenberg, Principal, CBA Associates
David Tepper, President and Founder, Appaloosa Management
Mary Ann Ulishney, Vice President and Wealth Specialist, Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.
Sunil Wadhwani, Chairman and Co-founder, iGATE Corporation
Paula Kauffman Wagner, Producer/Owner, Chestnut Ridge Productions

2013-2014 Board of Trustees – Term Trustees

Joel Adams, General Partner, Adams Capital Management, Inc.
Kushagra Bajaj, Vice Chairman, Bajaj Group
Luis Ball, President, Allegheny Medical Systems LLC
Ronald Bianchini, Co-founder, President and CEO, Avere Systems
Aristides Candris, Senior Consultant, Westinghouse Electric Company LLC
Eric Cooper
David Coulter, Vice Chairman and Managing Director, Warburg Pincus LLC
Russell Crockett
Jeanne Cunicelli, Partner, Bay City Capital
Francisco D’Souza, President and CEO, Cognizant Technology Solutions
Evan Frazier, Senior Vice President, Community Affairs, Highmark, Inc.
Dirk Gates, Chief Executive Officer, Xirrus, Inc.
James Gianopulos, Chairman and CEO, Fox Filmed Entertainment
Eric Giler, Chief Executive Officer, WiTricity Corporation
Edward Grefenstette, Chief Investment Officer, Dietrich Charitable Trusts
Roy Haley, Retired Chairman of the Board, WESCO International, Inc.
Oscar Harris, CEO and Founder, Turner Associates
Jeffrey Housenbold, President and CEO, Shutterfly
Larry Jennings, Jr., Senior Managing Director, ValStone Partners, LLC
Erren Lester, Director, Product Management, The Advisory Board Company
Candace Matthews, Chief Marketing Officer, Amway Corporation
David McCormick, Co-Chief Executive Officer, Bridgewater Associates
Michael McQuade, Senior Vice President for Science and Technology, United Technologies Corporation
William L. Meaney, Chief Executive Officer, Iron Mountain
Anne M. Molloy, Executive Director, Posner Fine Arts Foundation
Manu Narayan, Performance Artist
David Porges, Chairman, President and CEO, EQT Corporation
Roy J. Shanker, Consultant
Ajit Shetty, Retired Chairman of the Board, Janssen Pharmaceutica
Luke Skurman, CEO and Founder, College Prowler, Inc.
Lip-Bu Tan, Chairman, Walden International; CEO, Cadence Design Systems
Rohet Tolani, Managing Director, Tolani Shipping (Singapore) Pte. Ltd.
Thomas Tull, Founder, Chairman and CEO, Legendary Pictures
Carol A. Williams, Executive Vice President, Manufacturing and Engineering, The Dow Chemical Company

2013-2014 Board of Trustees – Emeritus Life Trustees

Paul A. Allaire, Former Chairman and CEO, Xerox Corporation
Arthur H. Aronson, Retired Executive Vice President, Allegheny Teledyne
Carol R. Brown, Former President, Pittsburgh Cultural Trust
Robert M. Brown, III, President, B-III Capital LLC
Frank V. Cahouet, Retired Chairman and CEO, BNY Mellon
Lucian Caste, Retired Owner, Lucian Caste Architects & Engineers
Douglas D. Danforth, Retired Chairman and CEO, Westinghouse Electric Corporation
W. Logan Dickerson, President, Lindwood Farm, Inc. & Protos Foods, Inc.
Edward Donley, Former Chairman, Air Products and Chemicals, Inc.
William B. Ellis, Retired Chairman and CEO, Northeast Utilities
Cynthia Friedman, Co-owner, Union Real Estate Company of Pittsburgh
Henry J. Gailliot
Claire W. Gargalli
William Goldsmith, Chairman of the Board, Nucon Energy Group
Richard D. Hamilton, Retired Director of Product Supply, Procter and Gamble
Wilton A. Hawkins
Orion Hoch, Chairman Emeritus, Litton Industries
T. Jerome Holleran, Chairman, Precision Medical Products, Inc.
W. Lee Hoskins, Retired Chairman and CEO, The Huntington National Bank
Justin M. Johnson, Retired Judge, Superior Court of Pennsylvania
Patricia Askwith Kenner, President, Campus Coach Lines
David M. Kirr, Partner, Kirr, Marbach & Company
Hans W. Lange
Edward E. Lucente
Thomas A. McConomy, Retired Chairman of the Board, Calgon Carbon Corporation
Jack E. McGrath, Retired Senior Vice President, Booz & Company
Regina Gouger Miller, Owner/Artist, Ginger and Spice; Regina Gouger Miller Studio
Lindsay J. Morgenthaler
Alessandro Ovi, President, TechRev srl
Norman F. Parker, Retired President, Varian Associates
Charles J. Queenan, Jr., Retired Senior Counsel, K&L Gates LLP
John G. Rangos, John G. Rangos, Sr. Charitable Foundation
David M. Roderick, Former Chairman and CEO, United States Steel Corporation
Vincent A. Sarni, Retired Chairman and CEO, PPG Industries, Inc.
Joyce Bowie Scott, J. Bowie Scott Studio
Raymond Smith, Chairman, Rothschild Continuation Investments
William P. Snyder, III, President and Chairman, The Wilpen Group, Inc.
W. Lowell Steinbrenner, Retired Chairman, Contours, Ltd.
James M. Walton, President Emeritus, Carnegie Institute
Konrad M. Weis, Former President and CEO, Bayer Corporation

My June: a new Opera, an Ibsen Play, 3 Concerts and an Important Celebration

I am very excited for the busy month ahead. I’ll be working on four varied projects with many diversely creative artists, and am glad to be back on the East coast after spending most of the year in California.

OPERA: June 3 – 9, 2013 @ The Watermill Center, Watermill, NY. I’ll be in New York rehearsing a new contemporary opera called Thumbprint created by composer Kamala Shankaram and playwright/librettist Susan Yanowitz, at Robert Wilson’s Watermill Center on Long Island.

IBSEN: June 10 – 29, 2013 @ University of Scranton, PA. I join rehearsals a week late as Peer Gynt in a continuing workshop of the Ibsen play in Scranton, PA. The Peer Gynt Project, co-directed by Grace Zandarski and Felix Ivanov, is part of a new artistic summer residency that was dreamed up by Grace, and is sponsored by the University of Scranton as a collaboration amongst its students, faculty, and outside arts professionals. Last summer, we worked on the first three acts, and this year we are working the rest of the piece.

CONCERT 1: June 10, 2013 @ The Laurie Beechman Theatre, NYC (9:30PM). I am excited to return back to NYC to sing a concert celebrating the music of a fantastic theatre composer Rona Siddiqui. Entitled Songs Rona Wrote, The Music of Rona Siddiqui, the evening features some of the most talented Broadway actor/singers.

CONCERTS 2 & 3: June 14, 2013 @ The Stone, NYC (8 & 10PM). I have two Klezmer/Bhangra concerts in NYC (The Stone is at Ave. C and 2nd Street, Manhattan), with Frank London, Deep Singh and the rest of the crew from the Washington Jewish Music Fest concert we did a few weeks ago in DC. The two sets are part of Frank London’s week long residency at The Stone, which is under the Artistic direction of John Zorn.

CELEBRATION: June 15, 2013 @ The Fairmont Hotel, Pittsburgh, PA. I am proud to be at my alma mater – Carnegie Mellon University – to celebrate the successful completion of the Inspire Innovation Campaign which, amongst many other things, has impacted CMU’s global visibilty by raising over $1 billion for the university endowment. For More Information on Carnegie Mellon University go to : http://www.cmu.edu/index.shtml

After the celebrations, I am back to Scranton for the last two weeks of the Peer Gynt Project.

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 THUMBPRINT – (a new contemporary opera)  

June 3 – 9th @ The Watermill Center, 39 Watermill Town Road, Water Mill, New York.

(Public open rehearsal on June 9th, 6 – 7 PM)

I am excited to be doing my first contemporary opera – theatre work, THUMBPRINT by Indian-American composer Kamala Sankaram and playwright/librettist Susan Yankowitz,  from June 3rd – June 9th at Robert Wilson’s Watermill Center in Long Island.  Using a mix Indian Classical and European Opera styles, Thumbprint is a new piece inspired by the experiences of Mukhtar Mai, a young illiterate peasant who was gang-raped as retribution for an alleged ‘honor’ crime by her little brother and who became the first woman in Pakistan to bring her rapists to justice. When offered a settlement, she instead asked for a school where girls in her village could be educated so that they, unlike her, would never know the humiliation of having to sign their names with a thumbprint. Despite government opposition and repeated death threats, she has now become an international voice for human rights. Mukhtar’s remarkable story is at the heart of this boundary-leaping work. While in residence at Watermill Center this summer, Kamala and Susan will be revising and finalizing the libretto and score. At the same time they will be exploring the piece on its feet with director Rachel Dickstein and a small cast of singers/actors as a first opportunity to work on the intersection of words, music, movement and character. The cast includes Eric Brenner, Miriam Khalil, my friends Rajika Puri and Kannan Vasudevan, whom I grew up with in Pittsburgh.

Kamala Sankaram’s music has been praised as “strikingly original” (Allan Kozinn, The New York Times), and performed as part of American Opera Projects Opera Grows in Brooklyn series, at HERE Arts Center, the Stone, the Bang on a Can Summer Festival, the Santa Fe New Music Festival, and the Lucerne Festival, among others. She had the featured commission on the 2009 21C Liederabend, selected as one of Time Out’s 10 Best Classical Concerts. Her music for Sounding (directed by Kristin Marting) was praised as “gorgeous pop-rock interludes” (Time Out New York). She was the 2011 Con Edison/Exploring the Metropolis Composer-in-Residence at the Brooklyn Youth Chorus Academy and the 2012 Composer-in-Residence at the Eugene O’Neil Theater. She has received grants from the MAP Fund, the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, Meet the Composer, and the Asian Women’s Giving Circle, as well as residencies from the MacDowell Colony and the Hermitage. As a resident artist at HERE Arts Center, Kamala created Miranda, a steampunk murder mystery opera called “enjoyable, utterly original opera” and “among the very best theater achievements of 2012”.

Susan Yankowitz is a playwright, novelist, librettist and occasional screenwriter. Among her best-known plays are Night Sky (produced off-B’way and internationally); Phaedra In Delirium (produced at CSC and WPP, NY; winner, QRL poetic play competition); Terminal and 1969Terminal1996, collaborations with Joseph Chaikin’s Open Theatre (Drama Desk Award); and A Knife in the Heart (Sledgehammer Theatre). Boxes A-Z just won the 2012 award for Best Ensemble Play in Ankara, and her long monologue about Mukhtar Mai is in continual production in the U.S. and internationally, on its own and as part of Seven, most recently in India and Afghanistan. Silent Witness, her novel, was published by Knopf and her teleplay about Sylvia Plath aired on PBS and won her a WGA nomination for best-written documentary of the season. She has collaborated on opera-theater works with Elmer Bernstein, Taj Mahal, Moshe Cotel, and Michael Dellaira, and has been awarded grants from the NEA, NYFA, TCG, and Guggenheim, McKnight, Bogliasco and Rockefeller Foundations, among others. She is a frequent resident at Yaddo and MacDowell. Her work is archived and catalogued at Kent State Library.

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SONGS RONA WROTE, The Music of RONA SIDDIQUI  

Monday, June 10th @ The Laurie Beechman Theatre, 407 West 42nd St.,  New York, NY

9:30pm

Tickets are $15 and can be purchased at http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/392358

Join composer Rona Siddiqui and her amazing lyricist friends, Zayre Ferrer, Sander Gusinov, Laura Kleinbaum, Rebekah Melocik, Zoe Samuel, Chris Staskel, Liz Suggs, and Max Vernon, for a night of new theatre music spanning from comic metal love songs to aquatic predator funk jams and everything in between.

The Featured Performers: Manu Narayan (Bombay Dreams), Erin Dilly (A Christmas Story), Sarah Stiles (Avenue Q), Gideon Glick (Spring Awakening), Mykal Kilgore (Hair), MJ Rodriguez (Rent), Margo Seibert, Liam Forde, Ayesu Lartey, Matt Bauman, Andrew Leggieri, and Ben Langhorst.

Directed by: Andrew Willis-Woodward

Band: Rona Siddiqui (Piano), Jon Russ (Guitar), Ayesu Lartey (Bass), Hiroyuki Matsuura (Drums), Susan Mandel (Cello)

Rona Siddiqui is a composer and music director based in New York City. She is the 2011 recipient of the ASCAP Foundation/Max Dreyfus Scholarship and the 2010 recipient of the award for Best Musical Direction by the Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle in San Francisco. Rona wrote the music for the original musical One Good Day which has had readings at NYU, Custom Made Theatre Company in San Francisco, and in the Sacramento New Works Festival. She also composed the music for an original 20-minute musical, The Tin, which was selected to be part of the 2012 Samuel French Off Off Broadway Short Play Festival. She vocal arranged and music directed Tree of Life, the Oneida Nation float song in the 2012 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Original scores she has written include The Vagina Monologues, The Good Person of Szechuan, The Clean House, and Love Song of J Robert Oppenheimer. She received international recognition for her composition “Storms and Whispers” from the International Association of Women in Music. She was recently a featured songwriter in The Bill Finn Cabaret: A Night of Comedy Songs, Songs By Ridiculously Talented Composers and Lyricists You Probably Don’t Know But Should at Barrington Stage, and the concert series Broadway’s Future at Lincoln Center. She received her B.A. in music composition from UCLA and her Masters from NYU’s Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program. Rona is currently Music Director for the Off-Broadway production of Piggy Nation.

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The Frank London Klezmer Brass Allstars & Bhangra Brass Party feat. Deep Singh, Sarah Gordon & Manu Narayan

Friday, June 14th @ THE STONE (corner of Avenue C and 2nd street, NYC)

8 & 10 PM

 $15 per set *there are no advance ticket sales, all admissions are at the door prior to each performance

8 pm
Bhangra Brass Party: featuring Frank London’s Klezmer Brass Allstars & guests—Yiddish Cabaret feat. Eleanor Reissa + Bhangra Brass Party feat. Deep Singh, Sarah Gordon & Manu Narayan
Frank London (trumpet, alto horn, piccolo trumpet, leader) Susan Sandler (trumpet, vocals) Mark Hamilton (trombone) David Harris (trombone, baritone horn) Curtis Hasselbring (trombone) Merlin Sheperd (clarinet)

Matt Dariau (clarinet, alto saxaphone, guida) Mark Rubin (contrabass helicon) Aaron Alexander (drums) Matt Moran (bass drum) Deep Singh (percussion) Sarah Gordon (voice) Eleanor Reissa (voice) Manu Narayan (voice) And many more!

10 pm
Bhangra Brass Party: featuring Frank London’s Klezmer Brass Allstars & guests—Songs of Zebulon feat. Jeremiah Lockwood & Shoko Nagai + Bhangra Brass Party feat. Deep Singh, Sarah Gordon & Manu Narayan
Frank London (trumpet, alto horn, piccolo trumpet, leader) Susan Sandler (trumpet, vocals) Mark Hamilton (trombone) David Harris (trombone, baritone horn) Curtis Hasselbring (trombone) Merlin Sheperd (clarinet)

Matt Dariau (clarinet, alto saxaphone, guida) Mark Rubin (contrabass helicon) Aaron Alexander (drums) Matt Moran (bass drum) Deep Singh (percussion) Sarah Gordon (voice) Eleanor Reissa (voice) Manu Narayan (voice) And many more!

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The Peer Gynt Projecta month long exploration of the classic Ibsen play

June 3 – 29th @ University of Scranton, Pennsylvania

Grace Zandarski is a faculty member of the Acting Department at Yale School of Drama where she has taught Voice since 2002, specializing in Advanced Vocal Technique and Text for 2nd and 3rd Year Actors. She has coached numerous YSD productions and coaching credits at Yale Rep include Comedy of ErrorsThe Master Builder and the 2010-2011 season’s Romeo and Juliet. In addition to YSD, she has served on the faculties of some other fine actor training programs in the U.S. including Fordham University, A.R.T./MXAT (Harvard’s Advanced Actor Training Program), N.Y.U., and The Actors Center. She has taught master classes on Voice and Text for the Lincoln Center Director’s Lab and the Public Theatre’s Shakespeare Lab. Grace was named Associate Teacher of Fitzmaurice Voicework in 1998. She was a member of the 2006 Voice Consortium Delegation/Teaching Exchange Program with Russia’s MXAT, GITES, and Vaktangov Theatre Schools. In 2008 and 2010, she was the recipient of YSD STAR Grants for work with Pantheatre, Paris, France. Grace continues to work as an actor, director, and voiceover artist. Stage acting credits include the McCarter Theatre, Wilma Theatre, Oregon Shakespeare Festival Ashland, and A.C.T. Vocal Coaching credits include Yale Rep, McCarter Theatre and BAM. She has an M.F.A. in Acting from the American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco and a B.A. in English from Princeton University.

Felix Ivanov has an M.F.A. from the Vakhtangov Academy Theater, Russia. He is a graduate of the Schukin Theater School at the Vakhtangov Academy Theater and the Stasov Musical School (violin), Moscow, Russia. Mr. Ivanov is well versed in the art of the musical clownery, physical comedy, stage combat, movement, and character dance. In addition, he has achieved the master’s level in Chinese martial arts of Kuoshu and the black belt/Shodan rank in Judo. Felix has developed an original dynamic training for the actors, and he gained an international recognition for his teaching method. He has taught at numerous international and American colleges and universities. His choreography of stage movement/combat has been seen at such venues as the Shakespeare Theater in Washington, D.C.; the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis; the Shakespeare Theater Festival in Cleveland; and the Acting Company, the Lincoln Center Theater, the Metropolitan Opera, the New York Theater Workshop, the Wooster Group, at the Pearl Theater, the Cherry Lane Theater, the Soho Repertory Theater, Soho Playhouse, and Tele/Vest (TV serial) in New York City, among others in the U.S.A.

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VIDEO: Manu Narayan sings “MUSTT, MUSTT” in Klezmer /Bhangra Concert w/ Frank London’s Klezmer All-Stars, Deep Singh at the Washington Jewish Music Fest.

This is one of the famous and very difficult Urdu / Sufi / Qawwali songs from the great Master Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. He recorded a famous non traditional version with Peter Gabriel.

While I was offstage, I was touched that Frank introduced me as …”having taken the Yiddish theatre world by storm”

Thanks to you, Frank for giving me the opportunities and the introductions!

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VIDEO: Manu Narayan sings “Venkatachala Nilayam” in Klezmer/Bhangra Concert w/ Frank London’s Klezmer All-Stars, Deep Singh at the Washington Jewish Music Fest.

“Venkatachala” is a special song for me.

I grew up listening to my parents singing with their friends.

It is also one of the first songs I learned while studying with my Carnatic classical  Saxophone Guru- ji Sri Kadri Gopalnath in Mangalore, India

It was a pleasure to sing it with Frank , Deep, and the band who picked it up effortlessly.

I hope that you enjoy it!

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VIDEO: Sarah Gordon and Manu Narayan sing “Mo Asapro, Ma Adabro” Klezmer /Bhangra Concert w/ Frank London’s Klezmer All-Stars, Deep Singh at the Washington Jewish Music Fest.

5/7/2013

MO ASAPRO, MA ADABRO… (in Yiddish)

FRANK LONDON’S KLEZMER BRASS ALL-STARS and DEEP SINGH
w/ special guests Manu Narayan, Sarah Gordon, and Jeremiah Lockwood
LIVE at 2013 Washington Jewish Music Festival
16th street JCC, Washington, DC

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Photos: Klezmer/Bhangra Concert w/ Frank London’s Klezmer Brass All-Stars, Deep Singh at the Washington Jewish Music Fest. http://wp.me/p2WxGV-fV
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Frank London, Bandleader, Trumpet, Arranger, Composer
Deep Singh – Dhol, Percussion
Manu Narayan – Vocalist
Sarah Gordon – Vocalist
Jeremiah Lockwood – Guitar, Vocalist

The Frank London Klezmer Brass All-Stars Include:
–Aaron Alexander. Drum Set
–Ron Caswell, Tuba
–Brian Drye, Trombone
–Patrick Farrell, Accordion
–Michael Winograd, Clarinet

Photos: Klezmer/Bhangra Concert w/ Frank London’s Klezmer Brass All-Stars, Deep Singh at the Washington Jewish Music Fest.

Manu Narayan. Photo by Lia Chang

Manu Narayan. Photo by Lia Chang

I had the pleasure of singing with Grammy award winning trumpeter Frank London and master percussionist Deep Singh this past Tuesday, May 7, 2013,  as part of the Washington Jewish Music Festival at the 16th Street JCC, Washington DC.

Frank London. Photo by Lia Chang

Frank London. Photo by Lia Chang

The concert also featured Yiddish Poet/Klezmer Singer Sarah Gordon, Guitarist/Singer Jeremiah Lockwood, and The Frank London Klezmer Brass All-Stars: Aaron Alexander (Drum set); Ron Caswell (Tuba); Brian Drye (Trombone); Patrick Farrell (Accordion); and Michael Winograd (Clarinet).

Deep Singh. Photo by Lia Chang

Deep Singh. Photo by Lia Chang

I always enjoy singing with Frank. The music making in rehearsals and performance is fun and exhilarating, and he always has the best musicians.

Manu Narayan, Aaron Alexander and Frank London. Photo by Lia Chang

Manu Narayan, Aaron Alexander and Frank London. Photo by Lia Chang

Although I had sung with Frank, Aaron, and Ron around Europe as a part of Frank’s A Night in The Old Marketplace, and had done months on Broadway with Deep Singh during Bombay Dreams, this was the first time that we and the rest of the band collaborated on this new material. The prep for this concert was a little different for me because I was battling a horrible cold through the first two rehearsals, the set list was filled with songs that many of us had not done before, and we were performing music from seemingly opposite ends of the music spectrum. But we found common ground quickly.

Manu Narayan. Photo by Lia Chang

Manu Narayan. Photo by Lia Chang

Klezmer, historically the Jewish wedding, dance and spiritual music of Eastern Europe and West, is sometimes combined with other styles of world music, such as Jazz, Gypsy, Pop, etc. Similarly the South Asian music on the set, Punjabi Bhangra, South Indian Karnatic, North Indian Hindustani, Pakistani Qawwali, and Bollywood Film music, are the wedding, dance, and spiritual music of the various regions of the South Asia and are often combined with other styles. I am always struck by how much the melodic scales that I hear in Klezmer, echo in the south Indian Classical Ragas that I grew up listening to, and then studying. It was wonderful to feel the rhythmic and harmonic instruments add to the South Asian Melodies, in addition to Deep and his Dhol adding interesting eastern and western dance grooves to the Klezmer Music. Each of us dove head first into understanding melodic, rhythmic, harmonic, and language specificities of each song. In the end, it was a great collaboration all around.

Sitting: Deep Singh, Sarah Gordon, Frank London; Standing: Jeremiah Lockwood, Aaron Alexander, Michael Winograd, Ron Caswell, Patty Farrell, Brian Drye and Manu Narayan. Photo by Lia Chang

Sitting: Deep Singh, Sarah Gordon, Frank London; Standing: Jeremiah Lockwood, Aaron Alexander, Michael Winograd, Ron Caswell, Patty Farrell, Brian Drye and Manu Narayan. Photo by Lia Chang

The Frank London Klezmer Brass All-Stars kicked off the evening with a medley of Klezmer tunes including: Wedding Crown Heights, German Hora, Moldovian Hora and Fast Hasidic Nign. Deep and Jeremiah played Zalubij Se;  Sarah Gordon joined in with Shabbos in Feld & Lubo Nign; and then I joined in completing the band, singing Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan’s hit Mustt, Mustt. Other songs in the rest of the set included Klezmer tunes Lustige Hasidim; the South Indian Karnatic Classic Purandara Dasa song Venkatachala Nilayam; A.R. Rahman’s Chhaya, Chayya from the film Dil Se and Bombay Dreams. Other items included Jeremiah singing a Cantorial style song while accompanying himself on the guitar, and a new song composed by Frank with Yiddish lyrics written and sung by Sarah: M and M.
VIDEO: Manu Narayan sings “MUSTT, MUSTT” in Klezmer /Bhangra Concert w/Frank London’s Klezmer All-Stars, Deep Singh at the Washington Jewish Music Fest.
VIDEO: Manu Narayan sings “Venkatachala Nilayam” in Klezmer/Bhangra Concert w/ Frank London’s Klezmer All-Stars, Deep Singh at the Washington Jewish Music Fest.

Front Row: Deep Singh, Sarah Gordon, Manu Narayan, Frank London, Michael Winograd and Brian Drye. Back Row: Jeremiah Lockwood, Aaron Alexander, Ron Caswell and Patty Farrell. Photo by Lia Chang

Front Row: Deep Singh, Sarah Gordon, Manu Narayan, Frank London, Michael Winograd and Brian Drye. Back Row: Jeremiah Lockwood, Aaron Alexander, Ron Caswell and Patty Farrell. Photo by Lia Chang

During the concert, the sold out audience of fellow musicians and music festival patrons, which included former Ohio Representative/Presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich and his wife Elizabeth, and fans were on their feet, dancing and clapping throughout the 100 minute concert.

Sarah Gordon, Aaron Alexander, Manu Narayan, Ron Caswell, Frank London, and Michael Winograd. Photo by Lia Chang

Sarah Gordon, Aaron Alexander, Manu Narayan, Ron Caswell, Frank London, and Michael Winograd. Photo by Lia Chang

Michael Winograd plays a custom built "C" clarinet, handmade for him in Canada. It has a beautiful sound, somewhere between a Shenai and a western orchestral clarinet. Always in tune which is not normal on a C clarinet. Photo by Lia Chang

Michael Winograd plays a custom built “C” clarinet, handmade for him in Canada. It has a beautiful sound, somewhere between a Shenai and a western orchestral clarinet. Always in tune which is not normal on a C clarinet. Photo by Lia Chang

A highlight of the night was the popular song, Mo Asapro, Ma Adabro. It appears in many languages and is a traditional cumulative song sung on Passover and found in the haggadah. It enumerates common Jewish motifs and teachings. It is meant to be fun and humorous. Sarah sang our version in Yiddish with the audience clapping and singing along. The solo section was fantastic with each of our musicians taking a turn, then culminating in the final percussion duel. The song has lyrics that count in Yiddish to 13.
VIDEO: Sarah Gordon and Manu Narayan sing “Mo Asapro, Ma Adabro” Klezmer/Bhangra Concert w/ Frank London’s Klezmer All-Stars, Deep Singh at the Washington Jewish Music Fest.

The encore was a three song medley with Frank starting an instrumental jam on his hit Mi Yamalay which segued into the Bhangra hit Tunak, Tunak, Tun and then ending with Sarah rocking out on a final Yiddish song.

At the end, the audience held nothing back, they stood clapping and singing for the entire encore. They gave a lengthy, loud, appreciatve standing ovation, and their after concert giddiness seemed to be a good omen for the future of our “Klezmer Brass All Stars Bhangra Concert Extravaganza!”

It was nice to meet Dennis and Elizabeth Kucinich. They were so kind and are real fans (rightfully so) of  Michael and Frank.

Elizabeth and Dennis Kucinich with Manu Narayan. Photo by Lia Chang

Elizabeth and Dennis Kucinich with Manu Narayan. Photo by Lia Chang

It was also nice to hang out with some old friends after the concert. I was so happy to see my old roommate from Carnegie Mellon University, Tim Conley and a dear family friend whom I grew up with in Pittsburgh, Padma Natarajan and her friend Amy. All three came out on short notice and it meant a lot.

Deep Singh. Photo by Lia Chang

Deep Singh. Photo by Lia Chang

Deep Singh, is one of those musicians who inspires me every time I either hear him play or I am singing with him. I am proud to call him brother and friend. On Tuesday night, he was solely on Dhol, the punjabi wedding and Dance drum, playing it at different times as the loud dynamic Punjabi Wedding instrument it was made for, at other times with light stick work like the Cuban timbales, and still at other times with his fingers like the south Indian Mrudangam. He has the percussion abilities and talent of all of the master percussionists in India, while having the facility to introduce the best pop, reggae, Hip Hop, rock and roll beats without needing a machine to keep the beat steady. He is a machine, a talented, calculating, hand/ eye/ ear coordinating Machine !!!! When he plays you feel like you are in the best pocket the best groove, which is probably why Sting, Mark Mothersbaugh, Malkit Singh, Hariharan, Falu Shah and many many others ask for him to be in their studios and play on their concerts. A renowned percussionist/composer/studio musician, Deep Singh was born in London, England, and is currently based in NYC. Singh began to play the Tabla at the age three, and at the age of seven became the youngest disciple of Ustad Allah Rakha. Singh’s professional career started at the age of nine, and since has performed at prestigious venues such as The Royal Albert Hall, London; The Royal Festival Hall, London; The Waldorf Astoria, NYC, Carnegie Hall, NYC, among many others. Singh has accompanied the finest musicians from India such as Dr.Aruna Sharma, Ustad Salamat Ali Khan, Ustad Sultan Khan, Hariharan, Ghulam Ali and many more. He is currently touring a concert of Indian classical music and working with other percussion bands.

After many years of playing in the NYC downtown club scene and merging Indian sounds with rock/pop, he is now coming out with his own unique style of music. With his years of experience as an Indian classical musician and playing with western bands, Singh is revered as a master in blending music from the East and West.

Deep Singh, Frank London and Manu Narayan. Photo by Lia Chang

Deep Singh, Frank London and Manu Narayan. Photo by Lia Chang

As always, the hit of the night was Frank London. With his infectious energy, his amazing horn solos, and his ability to organize and conduct the concert on the fly. I am always amazed at his tirelessness and ability to expertly digest different styles of music and quickly arrange them for his bands.

Frank London (trumpeter, composer, bandleader) is a member of the Klezmatics, Hasidic New Wave, has performed with John Zorn, LL Cool J, Mel Torme, Lester Bowieπs Brass Fantasy, LaMonte Young, They Might Be Giants, David Byrne, Jane Siberry, Ben Folds 5, Mark Ribot, Maurice El Medioni and Gal Costa, and is featured on over 100 cds. His own recordings include INVOCATIONS (cantorial music); Frank London’s Klezmer Brass Allstars’ DI SHIKERE KAPELYE and BROTHERHOOD OF BRASS; NIGUNIM and THE ZMIROS PROJECT (Jewish mystical songs, with Klezmatics vocalist Lorin Sklamberg); THE DEBT (film and theater music); THE SHEKHINA BIG BAND; the soundtrack to THE SHVITZ; the soundtrack to Perl Gluck’s THE DIVAHN and four releases with the Hasidic New Wave.

His projects include the folk-opera A NIGHT IN THE OLD MARKETPLACE (based on Y.L. Peretz’s Bay nakht oyfn altn mark), DAVENEN for Pilobolus and the Klezmatics, Great Small Works’ THE MEMOIRS OF GLUCKEL OF HAMELN and Min Tanaka’s ROMANCE. He composed music for John Sayles’ THE BROTHER FROM ANOTHER PLANET and MEN WITH GUNS, Yvonne Rainer’s MURDER AND MURDER, the Czech-American Marionette Theaterπs GOLEM and Tamar Rogoff’s IVYE PROJECT.

He was music director for David Byrne and Robert Wilson’s THE KNEE PLAYS, collaborated with Palestinian violinist Simon Shaheen, taught Jewish music in Canada, Crimea and the Catskills, and produced CD’s for Gypsy Ledgend Esma Redzepova, and Algerian Pianist Maurice el Medioni.

He has been featured on HBO’s “SEX AND THE CITY,” at the North Sea Jazz Festival and the Lincoln Center Summer Festival, and was a co-founder of Les Miserables Brass Band and the Klezmer Conservatory Band.

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Manu Narayan in concert with Grammy Award winning Klezmer Artist Frank London on May 7th at the Washington DC Jewish Festival

Manu Narayan is singing again with Grammy award winning Frank London (Band leader/ composer/ trumpet, The Klezmatics, A Night in the Old Marketplace) and master Percussionist Deep Singh (Broadway’s Bombay Dreams, collaborations with Sting, Malikit Singh, Devo) in what is being billed as a Klezmer Brass All-Stars – Bhangra concert extravaganza for The 2013 Washington Jewish music Festival.

The concert is on Tuesday May 7th at 730 PM at the Washington D.C. JCC (1529 16th St, NW, Washington, DC) and also features Klezmer singer Sarah Gordon (lead singer for Yiddish princess), guitarist Jeremiah Lockwood (lead singer for Sway Machinery, guitarist for The Balkan Beatbox) and musicians Aaron Alexander (drums), Ron Caswell (Tuba), Brian Drye (trombone), Patrick Farrell (accordion), and Michael Winograd (woodwinds).

Tickets can be purchased at here

5/2/2013 Rehearsal at Rivington Studios, NYC. Photo by Lia Chang.

Back Row (l to r) Manu Narayan, Aaron Alexander, Frank London, Ron Caswell, Deep Singh. Front Row (l to r) Sarah Gordon, Patrick Farrell, Jeremiah Lockwood on 5/2/13 at Rivington Studios, NYC. Photo by Lia Chang.

NBC’s “Deception” premieres Monday 1/7/2013 @10PM

I will be guest starring on the premiere episode of Deception on NBC, Monday, 1/07/2013 at 10PM.

Deception was a blast to work on and stars my friend Meagan Good (Think Like a Man) as Detective Joanna Padget Locasto. A few years ago in Toronto, we spent a lot of time together on the set of Mike Myers’ The Love Guru. In addition to Meagan, Deception also stars Victor Garber (Alias), Tate Donovan (Damages), Wes Brown (True Blood) and Laz Alonso (Avatar). Law and Order’s S. Epatha Merkerson, with whom I did the Public Theatre’s production of Fucking A, plays Beverly Paget, Detective Locasto’s mother.

Meagan, pictured with me (below) at The Love Guru premiere in Los Angeles in 2008, is getting rave reviews for her performance in NBC’s new drama. Besides being talented and beautiful, she is the nicest person. The show is going to be a huge hit, definitely check it out if you can.

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NBC’s synopsis of its new series Deception premiering Monday, January 7th, 2013 at 10PM:

When wealthy socialite and notorious party girl Vivian Bowers is found dead of an overdose, no one is really surprised. The heiress to the Bowers pharmaceutical empire has been tabloid fodder for years: wild, pretty, privileged … and now dead at the age of 32. But for FBI agent Will Moreno (Laz Alonso), things don’t add up with this suspicious dynasty. Convinced the troubled girl’s death was a homicide, he has a clever plan to get to the truth. Her name is Detective Joanna Locasto (Meagan Good).

Twenty years ago Detective Joanna was Vivian’s best friend and practically grew up inside the Bowers’ home. And when she appears at Vivian’s funeral, the family re-embraces her, and no one is the wiser. Joanna quickly begins to uncover dark secrets and clues about why Vivian’s life was very much in danger. At the same time, she rekindles an old romantic relationship and rediscovers the allure of the luxurious lifestyle she once knew. She’s about to see once again just how the other half lives … and dies.

TV Rage Deception Pilot