6:30pm doors • 8pm show
Spend a night with the last bastion of resistance in an imagined dystopian near-future with V Town, a dramatic set of character studies in song. A diverse cast of singers, performance artists, and dancers bring a small upstate enclave to life, giving voice to the joys, sorrows, strengths, and struggles of those bearing the brunt of tyranny, patriarchy, and white supremacy. With songs about trans bodies, opioid addiction, elder abuse, the new Jim Crow, and more, V Town gives powerful voice to stories seldom told on the musical stage.
Music and lyrics by Mur
Directed by Jonathon Loy
Cello: Karlos Rodriguez
Starring: Danny Franzese, Aisha Carpenter, Sarah Stewart Chapin, Demi Washington, Gale Sorel, Bailey Vincent, Holly Overton, Elissa Wells, Hannah Cullen, Miguel Grisanti, Erin Carr, Bridget Barkan, Haley Fortune, Alex Schleuderer, and Jade Litaker.
Mur (Matthew Sabato) is a nonbinary New York City–based composer and performance artist. He premiered his first song cycle, Shopgirl, as part of an installation for Creatures of Comfort in 2016. As a performance artist and composer, he has exhibited solo works in collaboration with La Mama, Jill Platner, Justin Vivian Bond, Alan Cumming, Illesteva, Soho House, Elle, and Tictail, and he is currently the artist in residence for the Wild Bird Fund.
V Town premiered at the 13th Street Theater in 2017 and reopened at La MaMa in the fall of 2018.
Jonathon Loy, New York City based, is the Director of Production and Co-Founder of Berkshire Opera Festival, a summer festival in Western Massachusetts, that produced its first full festival season during the summer of 2016 to great critical and popular acclaim, restoring fully-produced opera to the Berkshire region. Mr. Loy is also a Guest Director on the Staging Staff at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City since 2009 and a 2002 OPERA America Fellowship winner. As a fellow he focused on stage direction and artistic administration, during which time he completed residencies at New York City Opera, Seattle Opera, Opera Memphis, and Cincinnati Opera.
An active Stage Director, Mr. Loy has directed Tosca, Carmen, Le Nozze di Figaro and Faust at the Metropolitan Opera. He has directed his new productions of Rigoletto, Ariadne auf Naxos and Madama Butterfly with Berkshire Opera Festival for the 2018, 2017 and 2016 seasons, respectively. He spent five summers directing with Opera Fairbanks in Alaska where in the summer of 2014 he staged a new production of L’Italiana in Algeri with Vivica Genaux and Barry Banks and summer of 2015 saw a new production of Hansel and Gretel.
The season includes his 10th season at the Metropolitan Opera, where he will direct Tosca and assistant direct the new production of La Traviata, and revivals of Aida, Carmen, and La Fille du Régiment. The summer 2019 season includes directing a new production of Don Pasquale with Berkshire Opera Festival.
He has also directed Don Giovanni for Opera Las Vegas, Hansel & Gretel adapted by Perry Lorenzo for the Seattle Opera Young Artist Program, three new operas Golden Gate, Fade and Hunger Art as well as La Traviata, La Boheme, Rigoletto and more for Center City Opera Theater. Mr. Loy is also an active assistant director and has worked with such companies as The Metropolitan Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Seattle Opera, Washington National Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Opera Company of Philadelphia, Michigan Opera Theater, Palm Beach Opera, Opera Memphis, Opera North and more.
Mr. Loy is the former General Director of Center City Opera Theater in Philadelphia where he was the first person to produce opera in the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts.
Mr. Loy graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a degree in Interdisciplinary Studies, with a focus on theater, business, and Italian. He had the unique opportunity to work at Pittsburgh Opera for four years while attending the university and also meeting the renowned voice teacher Claudia Pinza who took Mr. Loy to her school in Italy, where he was able to study the operatic repertoire and experience first hand the training of young singers.
Cellist Karlos Rodriguez made his orchestral debut at the age of thirteen to great audience and critical acclaim. As an advocate for multifaceted musical diversity in the 21st century, he is an avid soloist, recitalist, chamber musician, clinician, recording artist, and administrator. Having appeared at many of our important musical venues including Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, Alice Tully Hall, the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the New World Center, Philadelphia’s Kimmel center, and Radio City Music Hall, to name a few. Mr. Rodriguez has also had the honor of working with distinguished artists such as the Beaux Arts Trio, American, Cavani, Cleveland, Emerson, Guarneri, Juilliard, Miami, Orion, Tokyo, and Vermeer String Quartets; Janos Starker, Lynn Harrell, Zuill Bailey, Pieter Wispelway, Rachel Barton-Pine, Awadagin Pratt, Joshua Bell, and Steven Isserlis. His teachers have included Richard Aaron, Peter Wiley, and David Soyer. A love of modern dance paired with live music has led to collaborations with the Thomas/Ortiz Dance Company, Freefall, Mark Morris Dance Group, and Chita Rivera. Karlos has attended and been a guest artist at the ENCORE School for Strings, Sarasota, Aspen, Great Lakes and Kneisel Hall chamber music festivals, Grand Canyon Music Festival, Cleveland Chamber Music Society, strings Music Festival, Philadelphia Orchestra Chamber Music Society, and Napa’s Festival del Sole. As an educator he is on the faculty of Summertrios, the Dean of Artistic Affairs at the Sphinx Performance Academy and has given master classes domestically and abroad. Mr. Rodriguez has worked on various films, Pop albums, Broadway musicals, and is a member of the Radio City Music Hall Orchestra. In addition to these musical activities he is former Principal Cellist of the Florida Grand Opera Orchestra in Miami and cellist of the Catalyst Quartet.
Karlos plays on a cello by award winning maker Michael Doran made possible through a Sphinx MPower artist grant.
Aisha Carpenter is a Seattle WA born and raised performer who has always dreamed of changing the world through art and education. After graduating high school in 2016, she moved to New York in pursuit of those dreams. Since moving, she has had the honor of performing in venues such as Feinstein’s/54 below, Lincoln Center, The Apollo, La Mama, and Club Cumming. However, there has been not one performance more fulfilling both spiritually and emotionally than Vagina Town. Aisha believes with every cell, breath, and bone in her body that V Town is just what humanity needs, and there are no words that can adequately express her gratitude to you for coming and sharing this space.
Daniel Franzese is an actor/comedian/ activist perhaps best known for his iconic role as Damian in the cult classic movie Mean Girls other career Highlights include starring roles in Film: BULLY, I Spit On Your Grave, Kill Theory. TV: Jackson in ABC’s Conviction, Vern in Freefrom’s Recovery Road, Eddie in HBO’s Looking, Party Down, The Comeback, S.W.A.T. Off Bdwy: Orig. Van in Dog Sees God, Co Creator/ Ronnie in Jersey Shoresical: A Frickin’ Rock Opera!, I Never Really Made the Kinda Money to Become a Mess. Regional: Rocky Horror Show, The Heart Of Robin Hood, Damn Yankees, 1776, 1st Natl Tour: Tony and Tina’s Wedding. YouTube Viral Hits: Shit Italian Mom’s Say, Please Go Home. Franzese is thrilled to return to Brooklyn where he got his start as a toddler performing jokes and songs on his relatives coffee tables in Bensonhurst and he is currently on his international stand up comedy tour YASS! You’re Amazing! Follow his adventures @whatsupdanny everywhere online.
Sarah Stewart Chapin is thrilled to return to V Town after performing at The La Mama Gallery earlier this year and in the original production at the Thirteenth Street Theater in 2017. A recent graduate from Yale University with a degree in Theater Studies, Sarah recently made her Off-Broadway debut in Medicine the Musical at the HERE Arts Center. Thanks to Mur and the fabulous ladies of V Town for their unending love and support. sarahstewartchapin.