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Photos from "Born To Ride The Waves"
photos by Joe Nangle


A Note From The Directory

Welcome to my experiment. Three shows. Three casts. Inside of two hours. With a nibbly, drinky intermission. Whose idea was this?

I grew up around music. My father was a conductor (symphony, not train) and my mother was a concert cellist. I was humming "Oh no Anita no Anita no" while my friends were learning Dick and Jane. And even though I learned later in life that there were some situations where it's best not to talk about Barbra Streisand in "Funny Girl", I have never been able to hide my identity as a "musical theater lover".

About a year ago, when I was hired by the acclaimed CD label "Fynsworth Alley", which specializes in Broadway oriented material, I was given the glorious opportunity to look for new projects to develop. These three leapt to mind.

Several years ago, I directed a production of a show that after several evolutions has now become "Born To Ride The Waves". It was one of my most cherished experiences- not only because of the joyous collaboration with Joe Mulroy, Marie De La Palme, Jay Howarth, Brent Schindele, Eric Anderson, and Dan How, who were all part of earlier incarnations, but because of the catchy tunes and clever lyrics that have stayed with me for years. Even today, many of these songs stay in my head as though they had been hit singles back in the day.

Darren and Judy

Darren Ritchie and Judy Butterfield


Eric Anderson, Darren Ritchie and Judy Butterfield


Darren Ritchie and Judy Butterfield


Brent Schindele and the cast of "Born To Ride The Waves"


Darren Ritchie





I first came into contact with what is now called "Lost In Hollywoodland" (also the 75th title I am aware of), close to ten years ago when a friend invited me to a reading of a new musical. Over the years, I have become close friends with it's bookwriter and lyricist, Alex Wexler, yet no one was more surprised than I when he called me out of the blue one day to ask me to play the part of "The Devil" in a reading of his musical. Since I no longer considered myself a performer, I declined at which point he quipped, "It'll be easy....You're perfect for it!" Not knowing whether to be more offended by his comment, or by the fact that when I complained to ten other friends about the remark, they all echoed his sentiment. I got over myself and did it, and ever since that night I have been a fan of this peculiar cross between "Ed Wood" and "Damn Yankees" (my summation, not Alex's- he would hate it.)

(Pictures of "Lost In Hollywoodland"coming)

The final offering, "Fall Cruise", is an innovative, imaginative, and inspired blend of Southern culture, character study, and morality play all served up like an amusement park ride. In tonight's window into the world of "Fall Cruise", we hope to give you a sketch pad of the ideas, themes and design elements which make up this completely original vision from the pen of author and composer, Barbara-Ann O'Connor.

(Pictures of "Fall Cruise" coming)

What began as my simple desire to explore the future of these three projects became what you'll see tonight. What began as ten actor/singers in unitards (kidding!) simply reading from their hand held scripts, has now become a semi-rehearsed, semi-costumed, semi-staged, semi-teched" adventure. Through the enormous talent and the extreme professionalism of the cast, crew, musicians, and creative teams, we have thrown ourselves into giving you the best show we can in a "concert reading" medium with minimal rehearsal, limited budget, and artistic simplicity being our guide.

Writing this 36 hours before the first performance, I'm feeling very confident that you're in for a wonderful, easy, enjoyable, and yes, moving experience. And knowing that in 36 hours it could all go to Hell, well, let's hope for the best.

Thank you for being here... and I'm hoping that tonight is just the beginning of your relationship with these projects. I've seen lots and lots of what's around and I really like these three.




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