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ITHACA, NY: The Kitchen Theatre Company continues its 2005/06 - 15th Anniversary MAIN STAGE Season with Tony & the Soprano, a brand new musical comedy with book and lyrics by Rachel Lampert, original music by Larry Pressgrove and arrangements of classical opera by Richard Montgomery. This original musical play was commissioned and workshopped by the Kitchen Theatre with a cast of seven. It begins previews on Thursday, January 12 at 7:30pm, opens Saturday, January 14, and runs through Saturday, February 11, 2006.

Rose (Susannah Berryman) is worried. Sure, her son Tony (Joey Steinhagen) is a good boy, never gets in trouble, and Is healthy and strong; but, he's thirty-five years old with a dead-end job fixing cars and still lives at home in their Brooklyn brownstone on Carroll Street. At this rate, Rose may never get her grandchildren! But when the attic apartment is rented to Frances (Erica Steinhagen), a soprano fresh from a small town in Wisconsin and about to start studying at Julliard, the usually predictable daily routines begin to shift. Musical numbers, Italian mothers, mobster near misses, food and opera combine in this adventure of changing lives and finding love.

 Everyone living in the tight-knit neighborhood is on the brink of change. Carol (Sophie Reppert), the latchkey kid next door is gaining new confidence. Vinny (Jesse Bush), Tony's best friend since high school, has just opened a restaurant and is looking to a great future - if only he could pay off his "backer". But, that is not going to be so easy. Carmine Bruno (Robert J. De Luca) keeps upping the ante. And the timely hiring of the new waitress, Isabel (Jessica Flood), may not offer anything close to Vinny's expectations.

Original songs by composer Larry Pressgrove and lyricist Rachel Lampert propel the story with songs about long-time dreams of driving cross country in a refurbished classic car (Passed the Jersey Shore); getting out from under the loan shark's thumb (O, Paisan); shared complaints about overbearing and absentee moms (A Mother Like No Other); looking at change (In the Old Country) and many more. In addition to the original songs, arias from Mozart to Verdi to Rossini filter into the lives of the characters and initiate surprising results.

Sara Lampert Hoover directs the play. "What a treat it is to be working again at the Kitchen Theatre with this great cast. It is exciting to be staging a new play and working to set the right tone, the right mix between the operatic and musical theatre moments as well as the interplay of naturalism and farce," says Lampert Hoover. Tony & the Soprano is a love-story inhabited by characters that define neighborhood pride, the possibility for change and a valentine to Brooklyn.


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