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FringeNYC – Comedy of Errors

July 16th, 2014

I’m so excited to be back! Both back in this slapstick, cartoon-y production of The Comedy of Errors, reprising my role as Dromio of Syracuse, and back at the New York International Fringe Festival. If you missed it two years ago, now’s your chance. If you saw it, there will be new and exciting updates. I hope you’ll come and see me in all my wacky, weird glory. There’s even a performance on my birthday, August 16th! Full details below:

CAGE Theatre Company, in association with The Present Company and as part of the 18th Annual New York International Fringe Festival, presents:

A 1940′s Comedy of Errors

Venue #7: Theatre 80
80 St. Marks Place between 1st and 2nd Avenue, NYC

Sunday, August 10 at 7 pm
Thursday, August 14 at 7 pm
Saturday, August 16 at 1 pm
Thursday, August 21 at 1:30 pm
Saturday, August 23 at 4:15 pm

For more information, including a forthcoming link for tickets, visit fringenyc.org.

Midsummer and Pageant Princess

June 20th, 2014

It’s a gloriously busy month! Last night, the West Village Musical Theatre Festival opened, and with it, a 15-minute snapshot of Pageant Princess, the Musical, in which I play 8-year-old tomboy Max Thompson, competing in a beauty pageant because her girlier twin has the chicken pox. Come see this glittering show, in a series with four other new musical excerpts. Shows are at The Players Theatre, 115 Macdougal Street, NYC. Remaining showtimes: June 22 at 12:00pm, June 27 at 10:00pm, June 28 at 8:00pm. Get tickets here.

Opening tonight is A Midsummer Night’s Dream, produced by my very own company, The Fools & Kings Project. See me as Hermia, in this delightful outdoor production in New York City Parks. You can RSVP on Facebook, but shows are FREE – no tickets needed! Show times and locations are as follows:

June 20th @ 7pm, Summit Rock in Central Park (West Side between 81st & 85th Streets)
June 21st @ 5pm, Summit Rock in Central Park
June 22nd @ 3pm, St. Nicholas Plaza at 135th Street
June 25th & 26th @ 7pm, Jackie Robinson Bandshell on 145th St & Broadhurst Ave
June 27th @ 7pm, TBA
June 28th @ 5pm, TBA
June 29th @ 3pm, TBA

Producing and Acting and Singing – Oh MY! – 2014 Update

May 1st, 2014

This year has been about a lot of exciting preparation. Together with my brilliant and talented friend Vanessa Wendt, I’ve undertaken a wildly ambitious quest: to produce every single one of Shakespeare’s plays. For real. Even King John. We’ve named our venture The Fools & Kings Project. The idea was planted in our brains last year, while Vanessa was in Chicago, when we mused about how wonderful it would be to do A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and play Helena and Hermia. Since she’s been back in town, we’ve revealed the project to the public, and devised plans for our very first production: Midsummer, of course! We’ve hired a wonderful director, Janie Martinez, assembled a stellar cast, and we’re running an Indiegogo campaign. It’s set to go up in a NYC park in mid- to late-June, 2014. Hope to see you there!

Cupcake Lady Productions is also gearing up for some more exciting theatre coming later in the year. But, not ones to sit back and relax, we hosted a sold-out event last month, “A(nother) Taste of Rotten Theatre“. The night featured an Awful Play Contest, which received submissions from all over the country and the world. We presented five finalists, and the grand prize winner was chosen by an esteemed panel of judges and an audience ballot. Fun was had by all.

But I haven’t been lacking for performance opportunities, either! In fact, next Tuesday, May 6th, I’m singing at Don’t Tell Mama as part of Seth Bisen-Hersh’s 300th Showcase Extravaganza! I also sang in Seth’s Not Your Grandma’s Cabaret, and performed in the very first staged reading of a brilliant new musical, The Runaway Clone with Ruckus Rockwell.

Finally (I think that’s it?), I’ve started a blog about my adventures running not-for-profit production companies in NYC, and what it’s teaching me about becoming a better actor. Please read and subscribe to An Actor Produces; I’m hoping some young actors might find it helpful!

More info about Midsummer to follow soon…

Runo Rimac

October 13th, 2013

This week, I’m joining my friends at Black Henna Productions for a FREE staged reading of Runo Rimac in the EstroGenius Festival. What happens when a frustrated actor and his unrequited crush come across a zombie in the lost and found?

The 14th Annual EstroGenius Festival & Black Henna Productions present Runo Rimac by Manny Rodiguez

Directed by Nick Radu (Imaginary)
Featuring Ian McDonald. Melissa Meli, Trey Blackburn, Laura Packer, Laura Cetti, Will Manning and Jim Anderson

Tuesday, October 15th – Thursday October 17th at 8pm
357 W 36th St. New York, NY 10018

Free Admission

Reservations are strongly encouraged
Limited Engagement
Kicking off the EstroGenius Festival
EstroGenius 2013 – Runo Rimac (Staged Reading)

250th Showcase Gala Celebration

September 4th, 2013

Composer Seth Bisen-Hersh is celebrating the completion of 250+ showcases at Don’t Tell Mama! I’ll be singing in this concert series one night only, next Tuesday. Details are below:

Tuesday, September 10th at 7pm
$12 Cover/ 2 Drink Minimum (cash only)
Don’t Tell Mama, 343 W. 46th St.
Call for reservations after 4: 212-757-0788 or online at donttellmamanyc.com

New York Fringe Festival

August 9th, 2013

July kept me quite busy! I performed in the Midtown International Theatre Festival in The Renaissance Dueling Play, and directed the 5th Annual Broadway Meows concert. This month, I’m performing in the acclaimed New York International Fringe Festival! I play Julia in Shakespeare’s The Two Gentlemen of Verona. It’s my first Fringe show as an actor, and it’s going to be fantastic: sword fights, melodrama, silliness, and of course, romance. I’m thrilled to get to perform Julia’s famous letter speech! Here are the details:

C.A.G.E. Theatre Company presents…

Two Gentlemen of Verona: A Swashbuckling Comedy!
Fringe NYC
CSV Flamboyan Theatre at 107 Suffolk St.  Showdates are:
Sunday, August 11th at 5:30 pm
Monday, August 12th at 2:00 pm
Monday, August 19th at 9:15 pm
Thursday, August 22nd at 7:00 pm
Saturday, August 24th at 2:15 pm (this performance includes a talk-back)
Tickets are $15 in advance, $18 at the door. Click here.

Go to FringeNYC.org for more details.

My company, Cupcake Lady Productions is thriving! This month we are performing at Summer Streets. Please visit our website for more details.

Planet Connections Theatre Festivity: Hit and Match

May 26th, 2013

“Hit and Match” is back again – this time, in the Planet Connections Theatre Festivity (planetconnections.org/hit-and-match)! I’ll be reprising my role as Betty. Information is as follows:

Gene Frankel Theatre, 24 Bond Street, NYC
Friday 6/7/13 – 4:30pm
Saturday 6/8/13 – 6:30pm
Wednesday 6/12/13 – 9:30pm
Tuesday 6/18/13 – 5:30pm
Friday 6/21/13 – 4:30pm
Saturday 6/22/13 – 3:00pm
Hit and Match runs 1 hour with no intermission

Tickets: $18 General Admission, $9 for Film/Music Participants, FREE for Theatre Festivity Participants. Click  here.

The Importance of Being Earnest

April 16th, 2013

I was trained in theatre directing at school, but I’ve never put it to use. Until now! Next week, my directorial debut opens in Manhattan. Here are the details:

Caitlin LaBarge presents…
The Importance of Being Earnest
A Trivial Comedy for Serious People
by Oscar Wilde

Directed by Melissa Meli

Five Performances Only:
Thursday, April 25th at 8:00pm
Friday, April 26th at 8:00pm
Saturday, April 27th at 2:00pm
Saturday, April 27th at 8:00pm
Sunday, April 28th at 4:00pm

133rd Street Arts Center
308 W. 133rd Street
New York, NY 10027

Tickets: $18 at the door, $15 online: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/361266

March 2013 Update

March 12th, 2013

Phew! It’s been too long since I updated. I moved at the end of January, which occupied a lot of my time for a while, but now I’m happily working on lots of shows again.

Last week, I was lucky enough to play Miss Brittany and Tierra Rose in a wildly successful staged reading of Pageant Princess, the Musical. It’s an amazing new show by Lorelei Mackenzie, Kristen Penner and Joni Ernst that is destined for great things!

Next up, I’m singing in a brand new song cycle by Seth Bisen-Hersh: If Adele Can Do It, So Can I: an evening of mostly sorrow. Details below:

$10 Cover/ 2 Drink Minimum (cash only)
Don’t Tell Mama, 343 W. 46th St.
Call for reservations after 4pm: 212-757-0788 or online at donttellmamanyc.com

I’m also gearing up for the next event from Cupcake Lady Productions (www.cupcakeladyproductions.com) and directing my first full-length play, The Importance of Being Earnest. Stay tuned for more on those, coming in April! Hope to see you at the cabaret.

Melissa and Devra at the Duplex

December 3rd, 2012

Every once in a while, you meet someone who makes a huge impact on your life. Sometimes they’ll be around for only a few months; other times, they stick around for a lifetime. But once you know them, you’re changed. And so it was when Melissa met Devra Seidel. Their instant, profound friendship (and really natural blending of singing voices) has inspired this evening of songs about life-altering people and those imprints they leave.

Melissa and Devra’s Duo Show
December 19th, 2012, 7-8pm
The Duplex Cabaret and Piano Bar
61 Christopher Street, New York, NY

Two-drink minimum, but no cover charge!
Please reserve here: http://www.theduplex.com/webcalendar/view_entry.php?id=7074&date=20121219
(There’s a working title on the site, but they’re gonna come up with something different.)Featuring songs from:
Shrek the Musical
Side Show
City of Angels
Little Women
…and more