And then this happened.

 

"Artists and poets are the raw nerve ends of humanity. By themselves they can do little to save humanity. Without them there would be little worth saving."  -- Anonymous

Apparently, when I was an infant and lying in my crib, I was rocking to the beat of the music with every album that my beautiful mom and dad played on the record player. When I was four years-old, they took me to the "Piano Barn" where I somehow played "Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head" (like a carnival freak-show act). and with both hands. I drew a crowd. Gratefully, an ancient, mammoth and gold-colored piano arrived a couple of days later. Life changed for me when that piece of beauty entered the home and landed in the "back room."  A short time later I began piano lessons with Mrs. Luko -- the greatest and most patient of teachers. Her spirit, talent, and gentle demeanor was a gift from the gods. By the second grade I was tinkling the keys like a little four-foot pro, and was often asked  (or required ) to play at fundraisers, funerals, charity events, and numerous graduation ceremonies within my hometown of West Hartford, Connecticut - and often for a dollar a pop. By the time fifth grade came around, I discovered that I loved to sing, as well - and landed a leading role in an original musical entitled, SWEETWATER'S FOLLY (thanks for casting me, Rick!) , and became hooked with performance fever. Later in my adolescence, and when I moved to NYC, I had the fortune of performing on and Off-Broadway (crazy fun and just plain crazy) - and in a few European mega-tour extravaganzas, as well. I received two degrees from New York University (thanks, student loan!), one in theater and the other in music composition. It was there that I began working with my mentor -- the famed, brilliant, controversial and extremely complex, Elizabeth Swados, for seven-plus years. What an education! It was through my work with Liz that I discovered my passion for composing and my desire to write about subject matters that were slightly outside of the box. And it was only until later in life that I realized that every show that I've composed music and lyrics for was a show about personal transformation. 

 

I've collaborated on over twenty-five Broadway and Off-Broadway shows including productions with The Public Theater, The Manhattan Theatre Club, The Shubert Organization, The Brooklyn Academy of Music, Theatre for a New Audience and Lincoln Center. I've written the scores to the documentary film about racism, THE HATING POT (co-produced by Steven Spielberg), the 25th Anniversary production of Harvey Fierstein’s, TORCH SONG TRILOGY, the Off-Broadway hit, END OF THE WORLD PARTY and the Dr. Seuss parody, WHO'S HOLIDAY? , starring Lesli Margherita.

 

As a composer and lyricist: OH, WELLDERIN BROCKOVICH, THE SNOWMAN IN THE DUNES, ONE DAYand the critically acclaimed, INAPPROPRIATE --  a musical based on the journal entries and poetry of teens in crisis. INAPPROPRIATE  is being optioned for a television series.

Current projects include  JOAN,  (co-written with TONY nominee and two-time Grammy nominee, AnnMarie Milazzo) and PALLADIUM - a musical based on the controversial New York City nightclub of the 1940's & 50's.

I'm a proud member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society (SDC) and the Dramatists Guild Foundation of America. 

When I'm not writing, thinking about, dreaming about, or stressing about working on my latest project, I'm usually reading a book, walking the city streets, shopping at Whole Foods, hanging with my favorite people on the planet, cooking a meal while watching House Hunters International, or my evolvement as a human being on the planet. (Just sayin').

Thanks Mom & Dad!

© 2019 Whistling Mario Productions