BREAHTE: A NEW MUSICAL to Premiere Online at OVERTURE+ May 14th

Speakeysie News Desk — April 11, 2021

ORIGINAL CAST RECORDING 

KELLI O’HARA, BRIAN STOKES MITCHELL, 

DENÉE BENTON, DANIEL YEARWOOD,  

PATTI MURIN, COLIN DONNELL, 

MATT DOYLE, MAX CLAYTON 

AND MORE STAR IN  

BREATHE: A NEW MUSICAL 

A NEW MUSICAL CONCEIVED & WRITTEN BY  

#1 BESTSELLING NOVELIST JODI PICOULT 

AND PLAYWRIGHT TIMOTHY ALLEN MCDONALD 

PREMIERING VIRTUALLY ON OVERTURE+ 

FRIDAY, MAY 14 

TO BE RELEASED ON BROADWAY RECORDS 

MAY 14 

New York, NYBREATHE, a new musical from #1 New York Times bestselling novelist  Jodi Picoult (in her theatrical debut) and playwright Timothy Allen McDonald, will have its world  premiere exclusively on OVERTURE+ on Friday, May 14th at 8 PM ET, it was announced today. Written  as the COVID-19 pandemic unfolded, Breathe chronicles the virus’s impact on five very different  relationships. Told in five interlocking suites – each with a different songwriting team and director – Breathe features an all-star cast that includes Tony Award-winners Kelli O’Hara and Brian Stokes  Mitchell, Patti Murin, Colin Donnell, Denée Benton, Rubén J. Carbajal, Matt Doyle, Max Clayton, Daniel Yearwood, T. Oliver Reid and Josh Davis. 

Tickets are now available at BreatheMusical.com. The Original Cast Recording of Breathe will be  released by Broadway Records on May 14 and available everywhere digital music is sold, and Music  Theatre International will be licensing the show worldwide this summer.  

Under the supervising direction of Tony Award nominee Jeff Calhoun, Breathe was filmed in March  2021 at the 92 Street Y’s Kaufmann Concert Hall in New York City without an audience, in compliance  with all New York State safety regulations. For most of the cast and crew, this marked their return to the  stage and in-person performance since Broadway shut down on March 12, 2020.  

Ranging from lighthearted to heartbreaking, unbelievable and all-too-real, Breathe traverses the COVID  realities of parenting in quarantine, generational divides on Black Lives Matter, grief rituals via Zoom, and  the vulnerabilities of intimacy and independence.  

“The arts have always helped people make sense of seismic shifts in the world,” Picoult said. “When the  pandemic began, Tim and I wanted to memorialize how we shared the same anxiety and fear and  frustration, even though we were all separated from each other. What’s theatre, after all, but a person 

isolated in their own seat, having the same feelings as the person beside them, because of what’s  happening onstage?”  

Adds McDonald: “As soon as I recovered from COVID-19 in March of 2020, Jodi and I started talking  about how we could capture the chaos around us. We were inspired by theatre makers like Larry Kramer  and Jonathan Larson, who also wrote about health crises in real time. With Broadway shut down, we  wanted to financially and artistically support as many theatre makers as possible — from stagehands to  music directors to songwriters to directors to general management to technicians to orchestrators to  copyists and more.” 

Each suite of Breathe, titled after a symptom of COVID-19, features a score from different composers,  including longtime songwriting duo Marcy Heisler and Zina Goldrich (Ever After), Rob Rokicki (The  Lightning Thief) and Rebecca Murillo (Not Quite Extinct), Daniel Mertzlufft and Kate Leonard  (Ratatouille: The TikTok Musical), Tony Award-winner Doug Besterman (Little Did I Know) and Sharon  Vaughn (Hats!) and Jonathan Larson Grant finalists Douglas Lyons and Ethan Pakchar (Five Points).  

Complete cast and creative team credits are as follows:  

FEVER, starring Denée Benton & Rubén J. Carbajal  

Music & Lyrics: Rob Rokicki & Rebecca Murillo 

Book: Rob Rokicki, Rebecca Murillo, Jodi Picoult, Timothy Allen Mcdonald 

Story: Jodi Picoult & Timothy Allen Mcdonald 

Director: Emily Maltby 

In Fever, a young woman’s one-night stand extends far longer than expected. 

ACHES, starring Matt Doyle & Max Clayton 

Music: Daniel Mertzlufft 

Lyrics: Kate Leonard 

Book & Story: Jodi Picoult & Timothy Allen Mcdonald 

Director: Joe Barros 

In Aches, a couple re-examines their relationship. 

SWELLING & IRRITATION, starring Patti Murin & Colin Donnell  

Music: Doug Besterman  

Lyrics: Sharon Vaughn 

Book & Story: Jodi Picoult & Timothy Allen Mcdonald 

Director: Lorin Latarro 

In Swelling & Irritation, a dual-career couple homeschool their children.  

FATIGUE, starring Josh Davis, T. Oliver Reid, Daniel Yearwood 

Music: Ethan Pakchar & Douglas Lyons 

Lyrics & Book: Douglas Lyons 

Story: Douglas Lyons, Jodi Picoult, Timothy Allen Mcdonald 

Director: Zhailon Levingston 

In Fatigue, a Black policeman finds himself weighing his career against the passions of his son, a  grassroots organizer. 

SHORTNESS OF BREATH, starring Kelli O’Hara & Brian Stokes Mitchell 

Music: Zina Goldrich  

Lyrics: Marcy Heisler 

Book & Story: Jodi Picoult & Timothy Allen Mcdonald 

Director: Jeff Calhoun 

In Shortness of Breath, a widow searches for closure. 

The Orchestra was produced and recorded by Dan Rudin, with orchestrations and arrangements by  Lynne Shankel and Meg Zervoulis serving as Music Supervisor. 

Tickets to stream Breathe (starting at $25) are available at BreatheMusical.com. The musical will be  available to stream on OVERTURE+ beginning May 14 through July 2, 2021. Breathe features a running  time of approximately one hour, fifty minutes. 

CONNECT & FOLLOW 

http://breathemusical.com/ 

Instagram: @BreatheOnStage 

Twitter: @BreatheOnStage 

Facebook: /BreatheOnStage 

https://www.jodipicoult.com/

Instagram: @jodipicoult 

Twitter: @jodipicoult 

Facebook: /JodiPicoult 

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