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Letters title

– World Premiere


Book, Lyrics and Music by Daniel Schwartzman
Directed by Elmore James
Musical Director: Erica Kaplan
Stage Manager: Colette Ambo
Asst: Troy Powell
Pianist: Daniel Schwartzman.


Maria Baratta, Jacob Harran, Susan Varon, Troy Powell

“Letters” is a musical about Frida, a middle-aged writer of children’s books, long estranged from her parents. The reasons come into focus as the action progresses, moving back and forth in time. With her parents recently deceased and no longer a supposed threat, Frida decides to re-read the letters they had sent her over the years, all unanswered.

Her mother and father read the letters out loud, often leading into highly charged scenes. As Frida grows from age 5 to 16 we see a toxicity emerge in her home life which eventually destroys the family.

In the final third of the musical, we discover the source of this. Frida’s beloved younger brother, Mikey, drowned in the sea at age 6 while the parents had one of their nasty arguments nearby. Frida was present at the scene. That terrible day put into motion what would eventually become Frida’s loathing for her parents, fueled by the false notion that she herself was to blame as well.

She reads these letters by the sea, an element which plays an important role, opening Frida’s mind and enhancing her ability to plunge the depths of meaning in her parent’s words. The sea becomes a metaphor for the human mind, memory and mortality. In fact, the opening song, sung by Frida is: “Gazing Out at the Sea”. The songs are modern Broadway in style, ballad-like, with some naïve, childlike ongs. She reconnects in these letters to the loved child she once was, and the parents she once loved in return. Frida begins to see them as real people, with their flaws like the rest of us, and will achieve, if not exactly peace with her past, then at least a cessation of hostilities.


Community Theater


Wednesday - September 6 - 9pm
Saturday - September 9 - 8pm
Sunday - September 10 5pm
Wednesday - September 13 - 6:30pm
Thursday - September 14 - 9pm
Saturday - September 16 - 5pm
Sunday - September 17 - 5pm

Running time: Letters is 45 Minutes $18.

Letters Image

Daniel Schwartzman – Bio
Daniel Schwartzman is a playwright, composer, music director, conductor and faculty member of several theatre schools.
Born in New York City, he has been based in Tel Aviv since 1983. Daniel received a B.A. in music from S.U.N.Y at Purchase and an M.A. from Tel Aviv University in composition and conducting. In the last few years alone he has conducted and music directed the Israeli productions of The King and I, Billy Elliot (which won best Israeli musical for 2016 in the Broadway World competition), and the Sound of Music, for which Daniel received a letter of high praise from the Rogers and Hammerstein Organization.
Daniel has written book, music and lyrics for at least 15 musicals, several of which have been produced in the United States and Israel. The Dream Up Festival in NYC has already presented 2 of Daniel’s musicals, and a third one, “Letters”, will be performed in September 2017.
For more about Daniel:   www.musicaldan.com

Elmore James is a theater director, musical performer, opera singer, a professor of acting and musical theater, having worked both in the United States and in Europe. He is a veteran of five Broadway shows and has performed in regional theater and in opera, including the Metropolitan Opera House as well as the opera houses of Italy, Germany, France and Scandinavia. He has directed everything from Shakespeare, Tennessee Williams, Harold Pinter and Lanford Wilson to Jerry Herman, Stephen Sondheim, Rodgers and Hammerstein and Andrew Lloyd Weber. Many of the venues he has directed at include the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, at the Performing Arts Center at SUNY Purchase, at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama in Glasgow, Scotland and at the Mynt Teatern in Stockholm, Sweden. He was the artistic director for an acting company he founded in Munich, Germany called the Münchner Ensemble Theater. He was also resident director at the Urban Arts Theater in New York City, which was the home of many great Broadway hit musicals.

His award-winning career spans over forty years and he now teaches a course he created called, A Course in Genius, which he has taught t universities here in the US and in Europe. The course deals with awakening the inherent genius creativity within. He has taught at NYU, Stephens College, Fordham University, Temple University and Mercy College, among others and was trained at the School of Performing Arts, at SUNY Purchase, at the Juilliard School, and for many years was under the mentorship of the great Broadway director and co-founder of The Actors Studio, Robert Lewis. 



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