Friday, September 25, 2009

Zak Zooms in on Vampire Zeitgeist

Posted by Bruce Miller
Zak Resnick, who was recently nominated by the Richmond Theatre Critics Circle as Best Actor in a Musical for his portrayal of Jimmy Smith in last summer’s Thoroughly Modern Millie at Barksdale, will be making his NYC theatre debut with the New York Musical Theatre Festival this month, playing a leading role in The Cure, described in blurb-speak as follows:

“In this rock ‘n’ roll fable, two friends stumble across the world’s last surviving vampires. Offered the chance to live forever, one man is seduced while the other barely escapes with his life, setting in motion an even greater fight for survival. At the crossroads of humanity and immortality, lies … THE CURE.”

Is it just me, or do vampires seem to be everywhere these days?

While earning his BFA in Acting and Musical Theatre from Carnegie Mellon University, Zak racked up some NYC concert credits as one of the Broadway Boys, a popular ensemble of tenors who deliver hip renditions of Broadway classics on the cabaret scene.

The New York Musical Theatre Festival marks a great step forward.

In 1983, actor Tim Jerome founded the National Music Theatre Network to produce and present staged readings of promising new musicals, providing NYC exposure and career-building opportunities to countless new composers and lyricists. Four Part Harmony, a new musical about the Vietnam prisoner-of-war experiences of Richmonders Paul and Phyllis Galanti which debuted at Theatre IV in the early 90s, was selected by the NMTN for an NYC reading shortly after its Richmond premiere.
In 2004, realizing that readings were now endemic in American theatre, the NMTN morphed into the New York Music Theatre Festival, presenting full-blown productions of new musicals. For the last five years, the Festival has presented more than 30 new musicals during a three-week fall marathon at venues throughout NYC’s midtown theatre district. Hit shows that have originated at the Festival include Altar Boys, The Great American Trailer Park Musical, and [title of show].

In 2008, [title of show] (a particular favorite of mine) became the first Festival production to transfer to Broadway, complete with its Festival cast.

Many congratulations to Zak for landing this great opportunity so soon after his move to New York. We’ll follow his advancing career with best wishes and great interest.

--Bruce Miller

(All photos are of Zak and the cast of The Cure.)

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