Concept and Book by MISS HAZEL JADE
Music and Lyrics by JEROME KURTENBACH
Directed by MINDY COOPER
Award-winning playwright, dramaturg, and queer activist, Miss Hazel Jade, returns to the stage with QUEER, an original Broadway-aimed musical that explores the complexities of gender and sexuality, and the intersections, thereof — within the LGBTQ+ community, at large.
Set in Greenwich Village, New York, QUEER unfolds the story of Mackenzie Martinez, a fierce Latinx bisexual woman who’s lost her voice in her marriage to her wife, Gizelle Davenport, a genderfluid femme who owns Gender Threads Customs, a custom clothing shop which has come to be a safe haven to their community. The shop employs Jessica King, a Black transgender woman desiring to be loved for who she is, and her witty gay best friend. However, when an old friend of theirs comes to town after being discharged from the military, the three will find that their lives will be transcended forever. QUEER celebrates acceptance, unity, and the courage it takes to be authentic to one’s self.
Directed by Mindy Cooper (Dracula, The Musical); with a book by Miss Hazel Jade (Paper or Plastic); and an electronic-pop score by Jerome Kurtenbach (“Crazy Ex-Girlfriend”) that is mixed with a live string orchestra. We invite you to experience LGBTQ+ love and Chosen Family like never before!
Listen to songs from the show:
LAITH ASHLEY — Laith Ashley is a singer/songwriter, dancer, model, and LGBTQIA+ activist who launched his career with a monumental campaign for Barneys New York, back in February of 2014. He has been on the cover of many magazines and has had featured stories published on countless others. He was also on the cast of reality TV series Strut, executive produced by Whoopi Goldberg. Since then he has been working with organizations like FLUX, the trans* division of AIDS Healthcare Foundation, to help raise the profile of the trans and gender non-conforming community by leveraging social events, safe spaces and innovative advocacy initiatives. He is continuing his work as an artist as well, having released two incredible pop singles in 2017. Before beginning his career in the entertainment industry, Laith was a counselor for homeless youth in New York City. He uses his platform to help inform others, in hopes for a more open, loving, and accepting world.
ARAM GIRAGOS has been involved in music and arts since he was a wee lad, starting with piano lessons very early, singing on stage throughout acting school as a teenager, and in rock bands as a bass player and backup singer throughout his 20s. At 30, he redirected his energy toward a masters degree in LGBTQ+ psychology and has dedicated much effort toward queer activism and his psychotherapy license. Aram is also known well as porn performer Adam Ramzi, using what he's learned in the porn industry to inform his therapy work by exploring issues of sex positivity, body image, gay shame, and gay liberation. He has also been on stage throughout Los Angeles in productions by artist and longtime collaborator Juan Martin Matamoros, and can be seen in an episode of Netflix show Eastsiders.
BROOKLYN PAGE TORRES is a queer Philipx performing artist originally from Winters, CA, recently earning his B.A. in Theatre and Performance Studies from the University of California, Berkeley. Brooklyn was designated a California Arts Scholar after graduating from the music program at CSSSA, and is an alumni of the Open Jar Institute for musical theatre training in New York City. He currently works as a dance and music instructor, and is co-director of an elementary school drama program. Brooklyn has performed with the Projector Room Play Readings Ensemble, a Bay Area theatre troupe committed to uplifting queer and multiethnic narratives and artists, and has been a part of several other stage productions and independent short films.
HAZEL JADE (Original Concept, Book, Producer) is a Broadway dramaturg and investor, whose projects include: Waitress: The Musical, Once On This Island, SpongeBob Squarepants: The Broadway Musical, Frozen on Broadway, and Moulin Rouge! The Musical; and also the lead producer of Jesus Freak! by Jeff and Molly Brown, and her own musical, QUEER. Two of the three musicals she and Kyle Anthony invested in during the 2017-18 season won Tony Awards. She also has a career as a private dramaturg and literary consultant for several musicals, where she works with writers to develop strong female leads. She is also a proud bisexual woman of color.
JEROME KURTENBACH (Music and Lyrics) is a composer, producer, artist, and musician. Starring Rachel Bloom, he is a composer, lyricist, co-songwriter, and orchestrator for the pilot and various episodes of “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend”. He’s also served as a lead orchestrator for various projects, including the opening of the 2017 MTV Movie and TV Awards. He’s also scored over 30 other shorts, and his musical Outside the Lines (book by Matt Mancuso) had a private industry reading last fall. Kurtenbach also wrote the music and lyrics for Hazel Jade’s new Broadway-aimed musical, QUEER, and produced its electronic-pop score.
GIA RYAN (Choreographer) is delighted to be making her debut as a theatrical choreographer in this musical, aimed for the Broadway stage! She has recently headlined at Vince Pride, along with working with Hollywood Now's Vagina Monologues. Currently a member of The Fanatix and FIASCO Dance companies, regional productions include: Nutcracker Ballet, Birthday of the Infanta, All in the Timing, and HAIR. Gia has also been featured in AT&T's This is Me LGBTQ+ commercial campaign, and can currently be found teaching dance at Diva Dance in Woodland Hills, CA.
ADAM DAVID MARINO (Production Dramaturg) is ecstatic to be part of the team of QUEER! A natural performer at heart, Adam was born, raised, and educated in Rochester, NY, where he attended Nazareth College and earned a BFA in Musical Theatre. He’s since spent his time performing all over the country and internationally – most recently joining as Lead Tenor for The Diamonds, an professional doo-wop vocal group. Favorite credits include Grease (Doody), Tarzan (Terk) and The Buddy Holly Story (Ritchie Valens).
STEPHEN GIFFORD (Scenic Designer) is a Los Angeles-based theatrical, opera, and environmental scenic designer. He is an MFA graduate from Tisch School of the Arts at New York University. His designs have been seen coast to coast from New York City to Juneau, Alaska. Stephen’s local work for theatres like La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts, Celebration Theatre Company, the Theatre at Boston Court, and has garnered multiple nominations/awards including the Bob Z. Award for Lifetime Achievement in Set Design from the Los Angeles Critics Circle. Working with many familiar faces with which he has collaborated with brings him so much joy, and he can't wait to bring Gender Threads and Greenwich Village to life.
HUSAM SALMAN (Costume Designer) is an Iraqi-born fashion designer who immigrated to the United States at a very young age to proudly become an American Designer. After years working for other labels, he started HORSE OF ARABIA. Over the years, Husam’s career has allowed him to create garments for celebrities, including Brad Pitt, Ryan Gosling, Britney Spears, Heidi Klum, Katy Perry, Celo Green, and Ke$ha - to name a few. Please follow his journey as he explores language through vintage fabrics in the designs of QUEER.
JARED A. SAYEG (Lighting Designer) is a four-time Ovation Award Nominee and winner of the Ovation, StageRaw & Garland Award as well as a recipient of the LADDC Kinetic Lighting Award. Broadway: The Illusionists (Neil Simon Theatre, US Tour), Bravo Bernstein (Hudson Theatre). Regional: Center Theatre Group, Pasadena Playhouse, South Coast Repertory, International City Theatre, Ensemble Theatre Company, Cabrillo Music Theatre, Laguna Playhouse, The Colony, and CLO of South Bay. West-End: Rolling with Laughter (Her Majesty’s Theatre). Jared has served as designer to artists such as Sutton Foster, Jason Alexander, Barbara Cook, Martin Short, Liz Callaway, Lorna Luft and Betty Buckley. His architectural designs are seen regularly in restaurants and exhibits, and Long Beach Aquarium of the Pacific.
CRICKET MYERS (Sound Designer) earned, both, a Tony nomination and a Drama Desk Award for sound design of the Broadway play, Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo with Robin Williams. Off-Broadway: The Marvelous Wonderettes. Regional: The Geffen Playhouse, La Jolla Playhouse, The Ahmanson, The Mark Taper Forum, Berkley Repertory Theatre, Arena Stage, South Coast Repertory, The Kirk Douglas Theater, and Pasadena Playhouse. Los Angeles: East West Players, Ghost Road Theater Company, The Celebration Theater, and Anteaus Theater Company. She has earned 20 Ovation Nominations, as well as winning The Kinetic Award for Outstanding Achievements in Theatrical Design, an LADCC and a Garland Award.
TELSEY + COMPANY (Casting) — Broadway/Tours: Pretty Woman, Straight White Men, My Fair Lady, Carousel, Mean Girls, Frozen, SpongeBob SquarePants, Once on This Island, Hello, Dolly!, Come From Away, Waitress, Hamilton, Kinky Boots, Wicked, The Color Purple, On Your Feet!, The King and I. Off-Broadway: Be More Chill, Sweeney Todd, Atlantic, MCC, Park Avenue Armory, St. Ann’s Warehouse, Second Stage. Film: Mary Poppins Returns, The Greatest Showman, Miss Sloane, Into the Woods, Margin Call, Rachel Getting Married. TV: “Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert,” “This Is Us,” “House of Cards,” “Divorce,” “NCIS: New Orleans,” “One Day at a Time,” “Atypical,” commercials. www.telseyandco.com
THE JADE/ANTHONY COMPANY (Production Management) is a Los Angeles-based theatrical producing firm that focuses on building writing & creative teams, and producing developmental readings and workshops/labs for new original musicals — while also providing: production management, general management, and event consulting. We specialize in regional and first-class theatrical productions, corporate events, meetings, and concerts throughout the country.
KYLE ANTHONY (Producer) is proud to make his producing debut with this fabulous and relevant musical! After years of being a dedicated LGBTQ+ ally, and avid theatre-goer and investor in numerous theatrical productions with his partner Miss Hazel Jade, he would like to thank her for this opportunity to show the world “what impact going outside of your comfort zone can have on [other people's lives]”.
BLOSSOM C. BROWN (Producer) is a transgender health advocate, HIV-AIDS activist, actress, motivational speaker, and activist in the trans community. She graduated from Mississippi University for Women with her Bachelor’s degree in Public Health Education and is the first trans woman of color to graduate from the university. Her story gained national attention when she appeared on Caitlyn Jenner’s documentary series, “I Am Cait”, which allowed her to further leverage the platform she had to help the trans community after also appearing on “The Ellen Show”. Blossom currently lives in Los Angeles, balancing the many hats she loves to wear, including producing. Please continue following her journey as she proudly joins the team of QUEER to make her theatrical producing debut.
PATRICK GUILLEN (Producer) — Biography coming soon.
CECE SUAZO (Associate Producer) is an accomplished actress, director, producer, and playwright who could have last been seen in the New York Time's Critic's Pick Off-Broadway production of Street Children at the New Ohio Theater. New York Theater scene credits include: Incongurence at NYTW, This Ability (Beckett Theater), Translations (Liberation Theater), O. Earth (Workshop/Foundry Theater), Friends Of Dorothy (Shooting Lobster and Wow Cafe Theater). Her television series appearances included: “OLTL” (ABC TV), “Your Pretty Face is Going to Hell” (AdultSwim), “Girlhattan” (Karmaloop Network) & CityKids (Jim Henson/ABC TV). Stay tuned — you will want to hear all her fierceness coming soon.