The Road to Qatar!, a true new musical comedy, will have three staged "concert readings" as part of the new Page to Stage Festival at London's Landor Theatre Saturday 16th February 7.30pm and Sunday 17th February 3pm and 7.30pm.
Produced by Katy Lipson (currently producing The Secret Garden at the Kings Head Theatre in London) for Aria Entertainment, the musical comedy with book and lyrics are by Stephen Cole and music by David Krane, is having its UK premiere in the festival. Directed by Kate Golledge (The Wizard of Oz, Sweet Charity) and Musically Directed by George Dyer (The Wiz, Ragtime) the cast includes Kimberly Blake (Sweeney Todd), Nic Gibney (Pirates of Penzance), Ralph Bogard (Lend Me A Tenor), David McKechnie (Chicago) and Sami Lamine. The authors will be in London to oversee and make any necessary changes.
The show premiered at Dallas Lyric Stage in Irving, Texas, winning Best New Musical from the Dallas/Fort Worth Drama Critics Circle and was subsequently produced in January of 2011 at the York Theatre Company in NYC. The original cast CD was recorded and released by Jay Records.
Cole and Krane based the show on their real life experience of being commissioned to write the first American musical to premiere in the Middle East.
One day six years ago both Stephen Cole and David Krane (who did not know each other at the time) received an email that read: "We want you write musical. How much?"
This began an unbelievable but true journey that introduced the two "short Jews" to an alien world of camels, deserts and crazy Egyptian theatrical producers. During the course of this crazy Arab adventure, Stephen and David starred in their own personal Bob Hope-Bing Crosby "road picture" that took them to Dubai, Qatar, London, Bratislava and back to the USA after writing and presenting a huge original musical for the Emir of Qatar and one thousand of his invited guests. When they returned, they had no other choice but to write their story in the only way they knew how: as a musical! The names have all been changed, but the story is totally true.
Stephen Cole has been represented in New York by The Road to Qatar!, After the Fair (Outer Critics Circle Nominee for Best Off-Broadway Musical starring Michele Pawk, which also played in London), The Night of the Hunter (NYMTF starring Beth Fowler and Dee Hoty) and Piano Bar (The Triad). Hunter and After the Fair both have played regionally and After the Fair was a great hit in London. Stephen has also written Saturday Night at Grossinger's (produced in LA, Long Island, Dallas and Florida), Dodsworth (produced at Casa Manana starring Hal Linden and Dee Hoty), Casper (Pittsburgh CLO and Summer tour starring Chita Rivera) and others. His books include That Book about That Girl and I Could Have Sung All Night (with Marni Nixon). Stephen's awards include the Edward Kleban Award for his libretto of The Night of the Hunter and a Gilman-Gonzales Falla Commendation for After the Fair.
David Krane is best known as the composer of incidental and dance music for dozens of Broadway shows including the LA CAGE AUX FOLLES revival, the Tony award winning revival of CABARET (Sam Mendes/Rob Marshall), MAN OF LA MANCHA, the new OKLAHOMA! (London/Broadway) for which he composed a new dream ballet for Susan Stroman, KISS OF THE SPIDER WOMAN, THE MUSIC MAN, SHOWBOAT, VICTOR/VICTORIA, & RAGTIME among many others. His TV credits include ONCE UPON A MATTRESS 2005 (Disney/ABC) starring Carol Burnett & Tracey Ullman, the award winning ANNIE (Disney/ABC) for which he received a special citation from the Academy of TV Arts & Sciences Primetime Emmy Awards, MRS. Santa Claus (CBS) with Angela Lansbury, CINDERELLA (Disney/ABC) starring Whitney Houston, the 2003 OSCARS, & THE KENNEDY CENTER HONORS. David is a protegé of Leonard Bernstein and a composition graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music. His work on the film version of Chicago brought him a Gold Record and he is also worked with Rob Marshall on the film version of Nine, and is preparing to start on the film version of Into the Woods this spring.