In Cahoots with Main Street Theatre & Dance Alliance

Common Man Musicals Find Common Ground On Roosevelt Island

Updated 2 years ago David Stone
Cast of Common Man Musicals's "You Can Always Come Home"
Cast of Common Man Musicals's "You Can Always Come Home"
Photo courtesy of Common Man Musicals
"Main Street Theatre & Dance Alliance is in cahoots with Common Man Musicals to initiate a project  of gathering the community in a positive, educational and inspiring atmosphere of live music and theater," reads the blurb. You're invited to the cahoots production, You Can Always Come Home, at MST&DA, 548 Main Street, on June 17th at 8:00.

Did you notice?

Roosevelt Island thrives on music and theatre, from MST&DA's annual spring student shows to Russ Cusick's staged readings series to last year's holiday sing along. It's in the air, nurturing emerging stars like Tony Award nominated Sidney Lucas for Fun Home to the Cusick family's Joan Marie who recently launched the Shellscrape Theatre Company with a creative band of friends out for some innovative fun.

Into this fertile Main Street canyon arrives Jonathan and Kimbirdlee Fadner's Common Man Musicals.

The first thing you need to know about this company is that it's... uncommon.

Here's the idea...

"Common Man Musicals invites all folks who crave a real-life experience in the arts with shows that are relevant, relatable, and affordable!"

Affordable is a very good idea for most of us who find Broadway's current astronomical prices a tragic blow to our budgets. We appreciate the pleasures of musical theatre that leave us with some grocery money left at the end of the week.

"Our audience should expect a friendly, down-to-earth vibe of humble storytelling through cutting edge theatre and music at the price of a movie ticket," the group says. "Show-goers will enjoy refreshments, drinks, and merriment before the show begins, to create a fun and easy-going atmosphere."

Keeping It Close

Lessening the distance between writers, composers, actors and their audiences brings a community of collaboration together unlike anything else today. To call it radically enjoyable is to express the obvious.

For You Can Always Come Home, Common Man Musicals sets a tone by opening the doors at 7:00, a full hour before showtime, with an invitation to mingle and enjoy refreshments in a casual and inclusive atmosphere.

What to expect when lights turn the stage into an imagined world...?

An intimate experience of "...all brand new original songs inspired by the current political and social environment, written and composed by a creative NYC collective, ranging from comedic satire to serious commentary to whimsical tales."

In other words, fasten your metaphorical seat belts. You're in for a ride that will stay with you long after the lights go down again.

Step One, putting together an original cabaret experience, is Common Man Musical's job. It's already underway. Step Two is your work: buy your tickets online now. Step Three: Common Man Musicals and you musical theatre lovers all get together on Saturday, June 17, at Main Street Theatre & Dance Alliance, starting with refreshments and spontaneous interaction at 7:00 followed the live show at 8:00.

CMM in Cahoots with MST&DA

Vibrant variety is a key element in Main Street Theatre & Dance Alliance's growing success, this year, and expanding partnerships - that is, going into cahoots - is part of MST&DA Executive Director Kristi Towey's strategy.

"Jonathan and Kimbirdlee are a wonderful addition to the MST&DA family," Towey says. "Creating a 'home' for the performing arts on Roosevelt Island is our common mission and we look forward to having Common Man Musicals create more original works for the community to enjoy."

You Can Always Come Home is Common Man Musicals third production with MST&DA.

Past and Future: Jonathan and Kimbirdlee Fadner

We asked Kristi Towey about the uncommon couple driving Common Man Musicals's success.

"Jonathan Fadner has served as Musical Director for the past two years at MST&DA in the children's theatre program and the teen musical, Pippin, last month," she told us. "He and his wife, Kimbirdlee, have produced two previous Common Man Musicals at MST&DA."

In addition, "This year, Jonathan and Kimbirdlee teamed up at PS/IS 217 with the 5th grade providing a musical theatre workshop enrichment program. Students wrote, composed, choreographed, staged, and performed original musicals with the guidance of Jonathan and Kimbirdlee.

"We are excited to announce that they will team up again this year with our in-house children's theatre program to direct and produce a show for next Spring.

"Jonathan and Kimbirdlee are a dynamic duo, and we are so fortunate to have them as part of the MST&DA team."

And, also, as part of the musical theatre world on Roosevelt Island.

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