“life -affirming” – “engaging” – “inspiring” – “deeply moving” – “a celebration of artistic endurance”
“Once hailed as the next big thing, I’ve learned the hard way that lucky stars, can rise and fall. No longer a young ingénue with my head in the clouds, now older and wiser, I can feel the power that aging has given — to the shape of my dreams.”
THE PASS: Songs & Tales
DESCRIPTION: New York City performer, singer, songwriter Denise Marsa has undying dreams, a vivid spirit and a substantial music catalog of what many have called “catchy, beautifully powerful” songs. The story of THE PASS begins when Denise meets theater legend Gretchen Cryer and together they immediately go to work on Marsa’s idea for her one woman show: vignettes mingled with her original songs written over the past four decades. THE PASS evolves to tell the true tales of hit records, publishing deals with Warner Bros Music and Warner/Chappell, a record deal with a label run by a 21 year old French billionaire’s son, and Marsa’s own personal secrets. The production focuses on Marsa’s development as a musician, artist, and individual struggling with relationships and solitude. Filled with levity and candor, it centers on the concept of being true to your own definition of success, no matter what the consequences.
The audience will travel with Marsa as she starts her career in the mid-70’s, continues through the highly volatile, emotional 80’s, into the tech driven 90’s on into the present day. From her start in her West Village studio apartment dating from 1810, to London to West Hollywood and back again, you will come to know Marsa as an explorer, an innovator, and a woman drenched in tenacity–unwilling to play the game by anyone else’s rules but her own.
Experience some of the key situations that have shaped her as an artist, woman and entrepreneur and hear the songs that have been created in the process. From pop star, to record label owner, artist manager and producer, lover and partner, to publicist and marketer, her life and music are expressed through laughter, joy, disappointment, passion and power. In defying the stereotypes of the often sexist, not to mention ruthless, music industry, Denise has proven that a true voice will triumph. She hopes to inspire the audience to always be true to their own voices and to have the courage to sing out loud. It all started with Denise sneaking into the New York University Department of Music and Music Education practice rooms.
Theater legend Gretchen Cryer is well known for writing the book and lyrics and starring in “I’m Getting My Act Together and Taking It On the Road” (with music by Nancy Ford). She is a member of the Dramatists Guild Council and is President Emeritus of the Dramatists Guild Fund. In addition to these accomplishments, she has received various awards and degrees, among them a Phi Beta Kappa from DePauw University and a MAT degree from Harvard.
- Target audience: Music-lovers, theater lovers ages (35-65+) — 60% female/40% male
- Venues: (50-250 seats) Theater & music venues, theater & music festivals, museums, community performance programs, high school, college, university music & theater programs, music workshops and music camps for young female adults, television audiences.
THE PASS is 90 minutes in length, with two 40 minute acts and a 10 minute intermission in between. There is one musician, a pianist supporting Denise. There are two minimal sets for each act, and graphics to be projected during a few specific scenes. Over all it will be a very simple and intimate production, with the songs and tales, leading the way.