Thursday, March 4, 2010

Funny YouTube Matzah Video Leads Michelle Citrin to Broadway

In yesterday's New York Times ArtsBeat blog, Patrick Healy reported that the creator of a musical adaptation of the 1993 Tom Hanks-Meg Ryan film, Sleepless in Seattle, was so enamored with a YouTube video featuring singer/songwriter Michelle Citrin, that he tapped her to write the music and lyrics for the show, which has a planned Broadway opening in February 2011.

The video, 20 Things to Do With Matzah, performed by Citrin and William Levin, first appeared on YouTube two years ago.  It has been viewed over one million times, many of them by David Shor, an entertainment executive who holds the rights to make a musical based on the film.  Shor sent the clip to his friends as a holiday greeting, and started a Facebook correspondence with Citrin which eventually led to bringing her on the team for the Broadway musical.  Josh Nelson and Michael Garin are also joining the team of songwriters and musicians.

Reporting the story in Theatre News, Andy Propst writes:
Singer/songwriter Citrin's work has earned her recognition as one of Billboard Music's "Top Songwriters," as well as a Great American Songwriting Honor and a place as finalist in Sony Music's future Rock Competition. Her work is also a fixture on YouTube, where she has released such songs as "Rosh Hashanah Girl," "20 Things to do with Matzah," and "Pass the Candle." Her latest CD, Left Brained Right Hearted will be released in the near future.
Reporting in Playbill, Andrew Gans quotes Shor:
"We are thrilled to have Michelle, Michael, and Josh on board to make this timeless musical sing in a contemporary, exciting way," said producer Shor in a statement. "The process that we went through to find our writing team is unique to say the least. We are glad we found them and are thrilled with the results of their collaboration. Who knew that Facebook and YouTube would break the mold to discover new voices for the theater?"
If you're not among the 1.2 million who have seen the "Matzah" video, here it is for your enjoyment.  Remember, Pesach is less than a month away!
(A tip of the kippah to Esther Kustanowitz for bringing this news to our attention.)

No comments:

Post a Comment