Developmental concert of new musical, ‘Facing East,’ to benefit The Trevor Project

Got this press release in my box. I’m all for supporting new musical works, especially when the support of new works supports worthy nonprofit organizations — in this case, The Trevor Project, which provides crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) youth.

The new musical, Facing East, will hold a developmental concert performance on October 3, 2011 at the Greenhouse Theatre Center. The performance will serve as a benefit for The Trevor Project, in advance of a full production next year.

Based on the play by Carol Lynn Pearson, Facing East features a score by David Rigano, with book and lyrics by Mark-Eugene Garcia. Chicago director Andrew Hobgood, of The New Colony, will helm the reading, with musical direction by Michael Evans.

Facing East follows an upstanding Mormon couple dealing with the suicide of their gay son. When they unexpectedly meet their son’s lover, they must face a reality that until then has been ignored, and reconcile their feelings and beliefs.

The original play by Ms. Pearson was a hit when it premiered at Salt Lake City’s Plan-B Theatre in 2007, going on to engagements in New York, and San Francisco. A feature film based on the play is also in development, to be directed by Broadway’s Will Swenson.

The concert will feature Kevin Stangler (fresh off the Fiddler on the Roof national tour) as Andrew, Matthew Keffer as Marcus, Anita Kallen as Ruth, and Erin Kahoa as Alex.

Facing East is produced by Nathan Gardner, in association with Deborah Barrigan, Sean Bryan, Cat Stevens, and The New Colony.

The performance will be at the Greenhouse Theatre Centre, 2257 N. Lincoln Ave, in Chicago. Tickets are $20.00, and available from Brown Paper Tickets, 1-800-838-3006 or at

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