Transient
 

Script by Jeff Whitty

Music by Tom Kitt & Lin-Manuel Miranda

Lyrics by Amanda Green & Lin-Manuel Miranda

Directed by Andy Blankenbuehler

 

REVIEWS

"Jeff Whitty, who’s got his own Tony for “Avenue Q,” is on his A-game. His script, which shows a keen ear for teen-speak, is topical, toothy and consistently giggle-inducing."

-- Joe Dziemianowicz, New York Daily News

"I braced, I flinched, and then, to my surprise and delight -- I applauded. Repeatedly. ... As for show-stealers, well, it's a talent melee: Whitty's expansive, badinage-filigreed script—a complete rewrite of the movie's plot—gives generous stage time and plentiful spotlight moments to an array of supporting characters."

-- Scott Brown, New York Magazine

"Further diversity comes courtesy of Jeff Whitty’s book, which hews to the obligatory central story but often shifts focus to lovable outsiders, including the hefty, overeager Bridget and a transgender Afrotastic sidekick named La Cienega. ... Give yourself over to the spirit of the show, and you’ll leave the theater with cheer in your heart."

-- Adam Feldman, Time Out New York

"You get the distinct sense that the creators aren't looking down their noses at this little world they've tapped into. In contrast, librettist Jeff Whitty, a Tony Award winner for Avenue Q, and his equally accomplished collaborators cared enough to craft an original story with new characters, rather than simply rehash the film while making snarky jokes at its expense. ... Whitty's wry, good-natured dialogue makes the clichés go down easily."

-- Elysa Gardner, USA Today

"It’s got more than spirit. This musical, inspired by the 2000 movie and set in the high-flying world of competitive cheerleading, has exuberant dance numbers and enough self-lacerating attitude to make up for all the perky blondes with pompoms. ... The show, by Lin-Manuel Miranda, Tom Kitt, Amanda Green, and Jeff Whitty, has a canny grasp of the teen vernacular and a winking awareness of its own clichés."

-- The New Yorker

 

History of the Show

 

January 2011

"Bring It On: The Musical" made its world premiere at the Alliance Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia

November 2011

A nine-month national tour kicked off at the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles and proceeded to San Francisco, Denver, Houston, Fayetteville, Dallas, Chicago, St. Louis, Charlotte, Durham, Providence and Ontario.

August 2011

"Bring It On" opened at Broadway's St. James Theater for a limited run, which was extended quickly after opening night.

Writer Jeff Whitty and director Andy Blankenbuehler at rehearsal.

Writer Jeff Whitty and director Andy Blankenbuehler at rehearsal.


Transient

(Winner: Best Musical Script, San Francisco Critics Circle)

Script by Jeff Whitty

Music and Lyrics by
Jason Sellards & John Garden

Directed by Jason Moore

Based on "Tales of the City" by Armistead Maupin

REVIEWS

"ACT's world premiere is a blithe, comic and pleasantly tuneful celebration of sex, drugs and all kinds of coming out in freewheeling, pre-AIDS San Francisco circa 1976. ... Whitty, who wrote the ever-popular "Avenue Q" (and Broadway-bound 'Bring It On'), has done a great job of boiling down the many stories to a few primary ones and retaining the empathy and comic flair of Maupin's serial."

--Robert Hurwitt, The San Francisco Chronicle

"With a Broadway-pedigreed team of creators and glam-dance-rock band Scissor Sisters, this 3-hour tour faithfully maintains the heart and soul of the source material. Jeff Whitty (Avenue Q) does an exceptional job culling the dialogue from the book, creating cohesive links between characters and scenes, and keeping the stories overlapping at a brisk pace."

-- Mike Ward, Broadwayworld.com

"In Maupin’s “Tales,” set in 1976, a group of lost souls tests the bonds of love and friendship, and Jeff Whitty’s libretto, as well as Jason Moore’s direction, are perfectly calibrated to the local author’s joyful, storytelling sensibility."

-- Jean Schiffman, The San Francisco Examiner

"It's a particular pleasure to see "Tales of the City" -- an extremely rare venture into a full-blown, potentially Broadway-bound, world-premiere musical -- turn out very nicely indeed.  ... The "Tales of the City" books (the first two tapped here) didn't necessarily seem a natural fit for this form. But Jeff Whitty's book and the score by clever alt-rock act Scissor Sisters' Jake Shears and John Garden mostly translate the books' playful yet heartfelt flavor with aplomb."

-- Dennis Harvey, Variety

History of the Show

Based on the first two novels in Armistead Maupin’s beloved Tales of the City series, the world premiere of the musical version of “Tales of the City” took place in the city of its setting -- San Francisco -- at American Conservatory Theater’s Geary Theater in June, 2011. Two-time Tony Award winner Judy Kaye helmed the cast as Mrs. Madrigal, alongside Wesley Taylor, Mary Birdsong, Betsy Wolfe, Richard Poe and a dozen others. Originally intended as a limited run, “Tales of the City” extended its closing date three times.

Director Jason Moore, writer Jeff Whitty, and composers John Garden and Jason Sellards.

Director Jason Moore, writer Jeff Whitty, and composers John Garden and Jason Sellards.


Transient

(Winner of three Tony Awards:
Best Book of a Musical, Best Score, and Best Musical)

Book by Jeff Whitty

Music and Lyrics by
Jeff Marx & Bobby Lopez

Directed by Jason Moore

Jeff Whitty at the Tony Awards, 2004.

Jeff Whitty at the Tony Awards, 2004.

History of the Show

March 2003-May 2003 (New York): "Avenue Q" makes its debut at Off-Broadway's Vineyard Theatre in New York City.

July 2003-September 2009 (New York): The show moves to Broadway's Golden Theater where it runs for 2,534 performances.

June 2006-March 2010 (London): West End Production produced by Cameron Mackintosh.

October 2009-Present (New York): In a surprise move announced on the Broadway closing night, the Broadway production transfers back to Off-Broadway to a 499-seat house at New World Stages, where its run continues. It is the first show to move from Broadway to Off-Broadway to continued success.
 
In addition: Two U.S. national tours, multiple U.K. tours, a nine-month run at the Wynn Casino in Las Vegas, plus international productions in Israel, Australia, Spain, France, Finland, Sweden, Turkey, Mexico, Brazil, Hungary, Italy, and many more.

Now available for stock and amateur productions, the musical is produced all over the United States while the New York run continues.


PLAYS

The Further Adventures of Hedda Gabler

In Henrik Ibsen's classic "Hedda Gabler," the title character shoots herself in the head at the end of her play. Now, in the sequel, one of drama's most famous suicides lingers on in an alternative universe where fictional characters exist as long as people in the real world remember who they are. And these long-remembered characters all live together. The other primary character is Mammy from "Gone With the Wind." In a hell-bent adventure fueled by passion to address their immortality, the two unlikely allies are joined by characters as diverse as Medea, Jar-Jar Binks, Jason from "Friday the 13th," Little Orphan Annie and four different versions of Jesus Christ.

The play's life began as a blind commission by South Coast Repertory, who proceeded to give the play its first full production with direction by Bill Rauch. The next production was also helmed by Rauch: a seven-month long run at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. 

"Hedda Gabler, last seen prostrate on a couch with a bullet hole in her head, makes a surprising return in Jeff Whitty's sprightly new comedy, The Further Adventures of Hedda Gabler. ... What's most satisfying to report is the way Whitty takes a premise that could easily have amounted to a revue sketch -- a series of gags of diminishing returns -- and transforms it with his giddy wit and fertile inventiveness into a genuine play."

-- The Los Angeles Times

 "Whitty also wrote the book for the Broadway puppet adventure Avenue Q, and so it’s no surprise that The Further Adventures is exquisitely theatrical, a staged event that repeatedly folds back on itself and the shards of Ibsen’s iconic tragedy, winking broadly at its own artificiality. "

-- Bob Hicks, Artscatter.com

After dozens of productions at regional theaters around the country, the play arrived in New York in a production directed by Ed Iskandar, with some unexpected casting: author Jeff Whitty played Hedda and Broadway legend Billy Porter joined him as Mammy. The show was a hush-hush underground production, closed to the critics and not advertised. Securing a reservation became impossible in a theater that allowed sixty people to lounge comfortably (a space , it should be noted, that doubled as the director's living room by day). Dinner was served at intermission and drinking went on well after the curtain call. The ensemble of eight performed the show 25 times in one month.

The production was closed to critics, but nothing in life is closed to bloggers:

"The play, starring Whitty in a transformative turn as the titular character, takes place in a netherworld where fictional characters live on for eternity.  Gabler meets up with Mammy from "Gone With the Wind," played with heart and searing soul by Billy Porter, as well as a host of other notable characters who are too delicious to reveal as they all try to find their way out of immortality and into real life. ... The whole experience made me think of what it must have been like being in NYC during the experimental theatre scene as it blossomed in the late 60's and early 70's."

--  HiFiBri.blogspot.com

The Hiding Place

Set in a world of New York artists both accomplished and starting out, the play was developed at New York Stage and Film before anointing the newly-created second stage at the Atlantic Theater Company in New York. The production was directed by Christian Parker, with actors including Mary McCann, Susan Pourfar, Kate Blumberg, Brian Hutchison, Steven Goldstein and Richard Clarke. In the play, a young writer sparks the romantic yearnings of an older, successful novelist, and an affair or words leads to a series of entanglements that eventually catch the attention of his less-than-perfect (but honest) wife. "The Hiding Place" has since been performed in regional productions around the country.

The Plank Project

This is the play that got Jeff Whitty an agent at William Morris and opened the doors for "Avenue Q." Using the language of "documentary theater" -- in which actors play real-life people, using their own words -- a perky group of New York actors tell the tragic tale of of Abby Storch, a heterosexual 1100-pound transvestite who became trapped down a well in the town of Plank, Washington, then died during a liposuction catastrophe. Then the play takes a tasteless turn.

The play was produced at the Kraine Theater in the East Village. It was directed by Erik Sniedze. In the cast were Mike Doyle, Jenn Harris, Saidah Arrika Ekulonah, Lisa Jolley, Nat DeWolf and Matthew Lawler. 

Uncredited sources suggest that enthusiasm exists among the cast and author for a 10th Anniversary Reading.

Suicide Weather

Jeff Whitty's first play finds a bipolar mother of two realizing that her life is nothing like she'd planned, so by hell or high water she will make her current life perfect -- though she herself isn't quite sure what that means. The biggest wrench in her expectations comes from everyone else in her family: a spooky daughter so depressed she hasn't slept in weeks, a high-strung son who can't even find an original way to rebel against her, and a husband firmly closed to the emotional tremors around him. The play was developed at New York Stage and Film.

Transient