An event every week that begins at 8:00pm on Friday and Saturday, repeating until September 23, 2018
PARADISE – A Divine Bluegrass Musical Comedy
A Live Band on Stage with Book/Music from National Lampoon Writers at Ruskin Group Theatre
When a southern coal-mining town goes from boom to bust, a charismatic preacher arrives to offer salvation…along with his bombshell sidekick who was rescued from a stripper pole. But, now there’s a network reality TV producer from Hollywood who has different ideas about how to make this town great again.
“While working with Broadway veterans Stafford Arima and Joseph Church, after developing this bluegrass musical at the Ruskin, we found additional inspiration. Adding four new numbers and tweaking the book made it finally feel complete, and certainly timelier at this point than when we first began,” says Cliff Wagner who created the book and music.
Bill Robertson (Book/Lyrics) recently wrote two films for A&E and the Lifetime Movie Network in collaboration with Tom Sage. He is Writer/Producer on the upcoming feature film Lincoln Perry being produced by Higher Purpose Entertainment for 2019.
Tom Sage (Book/Lyrics) has written several plays and was a script consultant on the award winning short film, Night Deposit and worked as a Writer and Senior Segment Producer on the groundbreaking Reality TV show Blind Date. He is currently working, along with Bill Robertson, as a Staff Writer for ReelOne, which has produced one of their films for LMN and is now in pre-production for their second film.
Cliff Wagner (Book/Music) and his band, The Old #7, gained national exposure on The Next Great American Band (Fox TV) and played to over 10 million people each week. They appeared on six of the shows and finished 7th out of 8,000 bands who originally auditioned for the series. Soon after, Cliff and the boys recorded “Hobo’s Lullaby.” The album debuted at #35 and shortly rose to #28 on the AMA Americana chart, climbing to #9 on the Euro Americana chart. The band was featured in an episode of Justified (FX ) and performed Cliff’s song “Castleneck.” Their recording “Country Funk” became part of the songbook for the Bluegrass musical Paradise.
Directed by Michael Myers, the ensemble cast includes Nina Brissey (Chasity Jones), Chip Bolcik* (Mayor Gayheart), Jamie Daniels (Peter Silverman), Dave Florek* (Ezra Johnson), Kelsey Joyce (Louanne Knight), Jon Root (Preacher John Cyrus), Paige Segal (Cyndi), and Richard Taylor (Tater Gayheart).
The creative team includes Stephanie K. Schwartz (Set Designer), Edward Salas (Lighting Designer), Chip Bolcik (Sound Design), Dianne K. Graebner (Costume Designer), Paul Ruddy (Casting Director), and Nicole Millar (Stage Manager). Producers are John Ruskin, Kevin Frost, and Geric Frost.
PARADISE – A Divine Bluegrass Musical Comedy opens at 8pm on Friday, August 17, 2018 and runs Fridays and Saturdays at 8 pm, Sundays at 2 pm through September 23, 2018. Ruskin Group Theatre is located at 3000 Airport Avenue, Santa Monica, CA 90405. Tickets are $30 – $35 (group discounts with 6 or more) and can be purchased in advance online at www.ruskingrouptheatre.com or by calling (310) 397-3244. Free parking is available at the theater.