In their ongoing commitment to diverse, vibrantly talented and symphonically-centered productions, Musical Theatre Artists of Pittsburgh (MTAP) is putting forth its second-ever, groundbreaking Hot Metal Musicals. Coordinated and initiated by MTAP’s creative mastermind, Stephanie Riso, Hot Metal Musicals was designed to appeal to the plethora of multi-talented artists within the greater Pittsburgh community, often most ardently calling upon those individuals with minimal experience or previous limited opportunity to perform and create musicals or staging theatrical acts. Hot Metal Musicals, like MTAP, seeks to be a bastion of inclusivity within the musical/dramatic sphere in Pittsburgh, encouraging innovation, wonderful ludicrousness, provoking ideas and unique talents to join together to generate a fascinating decoupage of musical performances.
This year’s Hot Metal Musical features a bevy of blissfully irreverent and compelling original and reimagined songs from a number of different creative talents. Fantastically, this year’s Hot Metal Musicals is helmed by Steve Cuden, working as Production Director. A Pittsburgh native and Point Park graduate, Steve Cuden gained recognition and fame for co-creating the Broadway sensation Jekyll and Hyde (with Frank Wildhorn), and brings his distinct, storied perspective to the Hot Metal Musicals lineup.
Additionally, Cuden is joined by fellow MTAP member Douglas Levine, who serves as Musical Director. The two are leading up a compelling gamut of eclectic, eccentric and intriguing works. The musicals and amalgamated songs traverse a spectrum of topics and themes, challenging the conventions of musical theatre and standards of musical expectations. One such example is Stephen Flaherty and Lyn Ahrens’ collaborative effort piece, “I Was Here,” a powerful song from their well-received, Italian renaissance-based, commedia dell’arte-centered musical The Glorious Ones. Connected to Pittsburgh, the musical enjoyed its off-Broadway, world debut in Pittsburgh at the Pittsburgh Public Theatre in 2007. Another song, posing an equally existential stance, is “Can It Be,” from Jeanne Drennan’s recent musical Juiced! An active member of the Pennsylvania Council for the Arts, Drennan, a widely published playwright and librettist, has put forth several other plays and musicals, such as 12 Dogs, a post-apocalyptic play focusing on the efforts of a resilient teacher. Juiced! is an enjoyably irreverent musical highlighting the bizarre experiences of high school, and her input in the Hot Metal Musicals adds to the complexities and multifaceted nature of the series.
MTAP and Hot Metal Musicals showcase are positioned as the pioneering vanguards of welcoming, multi-voice theatre and musical work with the realm of Pittsburgh drama. Given the wild selection of songs, spanning from WWII musicals and off-the-wall thigh-slapping comedies, MTAP and Hot Metal Musicals seem to be tremendously living up to their promise to provide audiences with the most varied selection of talents, perspectives and voices. Moreover, the newest installment of Hot Metal Musicals holds true to the MTAP mission of giving a stage and a performance space for works in progress, as well as works from individuals at massively different stages in their careers. MTAP will premier Hot Metal Musicals on July 17th, for free to the public, at Cabaret Theatre at Theatre Square. The evening portends exhilarating, multidimensional and raw works.
To reserve your tickets, click here.