Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Adorable Children Sing Xenu’s Praises in NJ Premiere of “A VERY MERRY UNAUTHORIZED CHILDREN’S SCIENTOLOGY PAGEANT”

WHEN: September 20, 21, 27, 28, at 7:30 pm; September 22, 29, at 3:00pm
WHERE:
Art House Productions, 262 17th St., Jersey City
TICKETS: $15 for Under 30, $20 for Adults, $25 for Premium Seats
Tickets available at arthouseproductions.org
Running time: 60 minutes

Unattended Baggage and Art House Productions presents a darkly funny and entertaining evening featuring the songs of the award-winning cult classic A Very Merry Unauthorized Children’s Scientology Pageant, an unforgettable celebration of Kyle Jarrow’s (with material by Alex Timbers) brilliant re-envisioning of a traditional Christmas pageant featuring E-Meters, Xenu, and L. Ron Hubbard’s Dianetics.

Experience incredible songs such as “Hey! It’s A Happy Day,” ''Science Of The Mind” and “Rain” like never before! Featuring an all-star cast of fine young talent from Broadway and New Jersey, this will be an unforgettable, Scientology-packed experience at Art House. This hit musical won the OBIE Award in 2004 during its Off-Broadway run, and it’s the first time the musical has been staged in the garden state by Director/Executive Producer/Costume Designer and Mountain Lakes native Sean Pollock; Choreographer/Producer Vanessa Berry of Rumson, and owner/founder of Kick Dance Studios with locations in Rumson and Fair Haven. Featuring music direction by Lauren Brancato of Middletown with Stage Management/Lighting Design/Scenic Design by Jak Prince of Totowa.

“Growing up in Mountain Lakes, there was no shortage of opportunities to perform as a child,” says Director Pollock. “Some of my favorite productions I did were at The Darress Theatre in Boonton, Brundage Park Playhouse in Randolph, and the now defunct Sandcastle Kids out of Parsippany in a show about bullying called The New Kid performed across the tristate area and eventually had a limited run at The York Theatre Off-Broadway. It’s really exciting to be bringing this show back to my home state as an homage to the children’s theatre I used to do that’s totally formed the artist I am today.” Director Pollock said.

“The show has a lot of layers to it that spoke to me as a former child actor. Speaking from experience, many times children aren’t cognizant of the material that they’re performing, they’re just simply repeating what they’re told to say, hit their marks, and look like a deer in headlights, in the same way that people who are brainwashed act. Kyle has brilliantly found a parallel in cult mentality and children's theatre that all cumulates in hilarious levels of awkward, forced pageantry that kids’ shows always seem to have. The appeal of the play is that it somehow manages to be existential, funny, sad, and creepy at the same time, which uses the actual text of Scientology documents at its base. It’s a show for adults that kids happen to be performing in—but the kids are fully in on the joke. My team and I make sure to educate them and their parents. The kids have fun with it! I mean, how many times do children get the opportunity to play aliens like Lord Xenu on stage or sing about E-meters? It’s a really unforgettable experience. There’s no other show out there like it.”

The cast features Henry Berry and Alex Bradley (Sound Of Music Tour) of Rumson, Timothy Yang (King and I on Broadway) of West Nyack, NY, Arjun Athalye of Secaucus, Grace Brancato and Cameron Brancato of Rumson, Mollie Widemeir of Marlboro, Adriella Goncalves of Wall, Maxim Swinton of Paramus, Jordan Coates of Brewster, NY--with more to be announced at a later date.

The creative team includes Sean Pollock (Executive Producer/Director/Costume Designer), Vanessa Berry (Producer/Choreographer), Lauren Brancato (Music Direction), Jak Prince (Stage Management/Scenic Design/Lighting Design) and Drew Weinstein (Sound Design).