RSO: MONDAY THE 13TH feat. DRAG RACE’S JACKIE COX, BEN CRAWFORD, JAY ARMSTRONG JOHNSON, BONNIE MILLIGAN and MORE

Very Intense Productions is pleased to present RSO: MONDAY THE 13TH, an intimate evening of songs by multi-award-winning composer-lyricist Ryan Scott Oliver at Feinstein’s/54 Below. Show time will be 7:00pm on Monday, September 13, 2021. The show will also be livestreamed.

Rounding out the cast is Kerstin Anderson, Heath Saunders, Bandits on the Run, and Arielle Jacobs, with Kathryn Allison, Kae Bragg, Ethan Carlson, Lillian Andrea De León, Nicole DeLuca, Caitlin Doak, Alina Fontanilla, Jessie Hooker-Bailey, Michael Lowney, Miranda Luze, Adam Magnacca, Milo Marami, Kim Onah, The acoustic stylings of Eleri Ward, Donté Wilder, and Daniel Yearwood

It’ll be a scary good time.

Joshua Zecher-Ross music directs Allison Seidner on cello, Hiroko Taguchi on Violin, Yuka Tadano on basses, and Andrew Zinsmeister on guitars. Orchestrations are by Ryan Scott Oliver.

Audience members can expect to hear tunes from the prolific list of Oliver’s work, from Mrs. Sharp; Darling; 35mm: A Musical Exhibition; Jasper in Deadland; We Foxes; Rope; Otherbody, a brief musical allegory; Three Points of Contact, and world premieres from Oliver’s latest work from Heart and Souls, Hugo, and Shirley Jackson’s Demons.

RSO: MONDAY THE 13TH plays Feinstein’s/54 Below (254 West 54th Street) on September 13, 2021 at 7:00pm.  Seats for the show are currently sold out, but seats may come available closer to the show date. A live stream is available for $15 plus fees. Tickets and information for both are available at www.54Below.com. Tickets on the day of performance after 4:00 are only available by calling (646) 476-3551.


RSO returns to NYC with RSO: MIDSUMMER

Very Intense Productions is pleased to present RSO: MIDSUMMER, an intimate evening of songs by RSO at Feinstein’s/54 Below. Show time will be 9:45pm on July 6, 2021.

The show will star Kerstin Anderson, Caitlin Doak, Ben Fankhauser, Jessie Hooker-Bailey, Kim Onah, and Dontè Wilder.

Joshua Zecher-Ross music directs Allison Seidner on cello, Hiroko Taguchi on Violin, Yuka Tanada on basses, Rosa Avila on drums, and Micah Burgess on guitars. Orchestrations are by Ryan Scott Oliver.

Audience members can expect to hear tunes from Mrs. Sharp; Darling; 35mm: A Musical Exhibition; Jasper in Deadland; We Foxes; Rope; Otherbody, a brief musical allegory; Three Points of Contact, and world premieres from Oliver’s latest work.

RSO: MIDSUMMER plays Feinstein’s/54 Below (254 West 54th Street) on July 6, 2021.  There is a $35-$45 cover charge and $25 food and beverage minimum. Tickets and information are available at www.54Below.com. Tickets on the day of performance after 4:00 are only available by calling (646) 476-3551.


’35MM: IN FOCUS’ NOW STREAMING

John Johnson and Very Intensive Productions are pleased to announce the release of 35MM: A Musical Exhibition in Focus, an album of commentary, original cast interviews, and track-by-track song breakdowns. The album is available now (March 9) via Spotify, Apple Music, and all streaming platforms.

  • Did you know that the song “Crazytown” is structured around the 20 most common nightmares of college students?
  • Or that “The Ballad of Sara Berry” was written in 2 days before its world premiere?
  • Hear how the guitar riff of “Good Lady” was pulled straight out of “Giants in the Sky,”
  • The first line of “Party Goes with You” was recorded with the wrong lyric … and no one caught it,
  • And learn the tragically true story that inspired “Cut You a Piece.”
  • Plus so much more.

35MM: A Musical Exhibition is a cult-hit musical written by Ryan Scott Oliver that has been performed hundreds of times all over the world, including Japan, Australia, Scotland, England, Canada and across the US. With a cast recording (by Ghostlight Records) that has been experienced more than 20 million times, the show is song cycle based on photographs by world-renowned Broadway photographer Matthew Murphy (Murphymade.com).

The podcast-style album is narrated by Ryan Scott Oliver and features interviews with original cast members Alex Brightman, Ben Crawford, Jay Armstrong Johnson, Lindsay Mendez and Betsy Wolfe, with additional commentary by Murphy. Every song (including transitions) receives a track-by-track breakdown, analyzing music and lyrics and digging deep into their origins and inspirations.

A comprehensive deep dive perfect for actors, directors, writers, and creatives of any kind, 35MM: A Musical Exhibition in Focus also includes Oliver and Murphy reflecting on the decade-old songs and photographs respectively (“Matt and Ryan Grade 35MM”), a discussion with the original cast about the show’s legacy (“Parting Shots”), and a TedTalk-style tutorial guiding young creatives on how to develop and produce their own work by the writer himself (“RSO’s Thoughts on Making Stuff Happen”).


SHIRLEY JACKSON + RSO COLLAB, ‘FUTURE DEMONS,’ now streaming

RSO and Very Intensive Productions are pleased to announce the release of Future Demons, an album of songs based on tales by acclaimed 1950s psychological horror author Shirley Jackson, composed by Ryan Scott Oliver with words by Jackson and Oliver. The new recording is available now (October 9) via Spotify, Apple Music, and all streaming platforms.

FUTURE DEMONS Cover

DOWNLOAD THE COMPLETE LINER NOTES AND LYRICS

LISTEN ON SPOTIFY

LISTEN ON APPLE MUSIC

Among the stories included in the spooky collection:

  • In “My Life with R. H. Macy,” a young woman gets a job working at a dystopian department store where everyone’s called Miss Cooper and sales associates go missing all the time.
  • In “What a Thought,” a man is enjoying an evening at home with his husband, when he gets the thought, “I should kill him.”
  • In “The Story We Used to Tell,” two women become trapped in a photograph and must fight for their lives to escape.

REVIEWS

“An object of enduring fascination, RSO reacts to her world with protean glee, producing a kind of endlessly evolving music that is breathtakingly exciting, making its listeners almost part of the process of its invention.  Yet, though he gallantly preserves much of her texts in each of his masterfully modernised, transformed and crafted lyrics, it all sounds – as ever – like totally him, and no-one else.” — BritishTheatre.com

“‘What a Thought’ by Ryan Scott Oliver and Shirley Jackson plays with the merry murderousness of couples stuck together for way too long during quarantine. The increasingly hilarious daydreams of violent retribution tap right into the increasingly dark humor we’re all using to deal with these days.” — Broadway World Album Review

“Ryan Scott Oliver and Shirley Jackson’s ‘What A Thought,’ performed by Oliver and by Jay Armstrong Johnson, is a riotously funny account of the effects of isolation, when a loving couple are driven to consider murdering each other.” — Reviews Hub

PRESS AND MORE

PLAYBILL: Lindsay Mendez introduces RSO’s write-up of Future Demons

BROADWAY.COM: Check out a sneak peak on Broadway.com!

Jackson’s work was the basis of the hit Netflix series The Haunting of Hill House and the classic Robert Wise-directed film The Haunting. She is also the author of the iconic  short story “The Lottery,”  and was the subject of the recent film Shirley, executive produced by Martin Scorsese and starring Elisabeth Moss.

Future Demons will feature an impressive line-up of theater stars including (in alphabetical order) Kerstin Anderson, Britney Coleman, Jessie Hooker-Bailey, Victoria Huston-Elem, Jay Armstrong Johnson, Gerianne Perez, Catherine Ricafort, and Heathcliff Saunders — with Allie Boyle, Nicole DeLuca, Caitlin Doak, Samantha Ferrara, Alina Fontanilla, Adam Magnacca, Liam Joshua Munn, Kim Onah, Chloe Savit, Andreas Schmidt, Byron Turk, and Nicole Zelka.

The Band features Joshua Zecher-Ross on synths, keyboards and  auxiliary instrruments, Felix Herbst on violins, Allison Seidner and David Tangney on cello, Andrew Zinsmeister on guitars, banjo and mandolin, Joseph Wallace on bass, and Joshua Samuels and Gary Seligson on drums/percussion. The album is produced by Zecher-Ross and Oliver (JZRSO Studios), and orchestrations by RSO.

The track list is as follows:

1: “My Life with R. H. Macy” — Kerstin Anderson and ensemble

2: “James Harris” — Heath Saunders and women

3: “The Story We Used to Telll” — Britney Coleman & Victoria Huston-Elem

4: “What a Thought” — Jay Armstrong Johnson

5: “Family Treasures” — Caitlin Doak, Alina Fontanilla, Jessie Hooker-Bailey, Kim Onah, Gerianne Perez, Catherine Ricafort & Nicole Zelka

Shirley Jackson, the author of “The Road Through the Wall”, is seen in this April 16, 1951 photo. (AP Photo)

SHIRLEY JACKSON was born in 1916 in San Franciscco and later moved to Burlingame. At university in Syracuse, she met her husband, the future literary critic Stanley Edgar Hyman, with whom she had four children. In 1948 she published her iconic short story “The Lottery” in The New Yorker, sparking furious letters from readers to the magazine. Her novels —— most of which involve elements of horror and the occult —— include The Road Through the Wall, Hangsaman, The Bird’s Nest, The Sundial, We Have Always Lived in the Castle and The Haunting of Hill House. Her short story collections include The Lottery and Other Stories, Come Along with Me, Just an Ordinary Day and Let Me Tell You. Shirley Jackson died in her sleep in 1965 at the age of 48.