News: Live Tapings of "A Very Merry Unauthorized Children's Scientology Pageant - Live!" Nov. 5th
A Very Merry Unauthorized Children's Scientology Pageant - Live!, written by Kyle Jarrow (based on a concept by Alex Timbers) and directed by Sean Pollock, features a jubilant cast of children celebrating the controversial religion in uplifting pageantry and song. The actual teachings of The Church of Scientology are explained and dissected against the candy-colored backdrop of a traditional nativity play. The pageant is a musical biography of the life of L. Ron Hubbard, with child-friendly explanations of Hubbard’s notion of the divided mind (embodied by the lovely identical twins Emma and Sophie Whitfield in matching brain outfits) and a device called the e-meter (or electropsychometer), used to monitor the human psyche, which is demonstrated
by stick puppets. Grade school children, portraying Tom Cruise, Kirstie Alley, John
Travolta, and other less starry Scientologists, brings the controversial Church of Scientology to life in story and song.
This NBC Live!-style musical broadcast of the OBIE Award-winning cult classic is presented by Unattended Baggage and the TV Writers Studio at LIU Brooklyn. The musical will be taped Off-Broadway at the 14th St Y for a live in-studio audience on November 5th at 2pm and 7pm. In a recent development, the special will be available to stream with a new streaming service, IFT Network TV along with a separate live cast album release on SoundCloud – both release dates TBA.
A Very Merry...Live! is a graduate student-produced production where current students and recent college graduates from LIU Brooklyn and other colleges across the city will be at the helm. The special will be partially funded by LIU Brooklyn under the guidance of Ken LaZebnik, the chair of the TV Writers Studios/MFA in Writing and Producing for Television program.
Assistant direction, choreography, and vocal coaching is provided by Sarah Rose, and musical direction and arrangements are provided by Richard Lowenburg. Rounding out the cast is Jadaya Bivins (ANNIE LIVE!), Jordan Greenberg, Molly K. Lyons (CHASING RAINBOWS), Serena Parrish (NOT EVEN THE GOOD THINGS Off-Broadway, NEW AMSTERDAM), Byron Ramirez, Liliana Ruiz, Sadler Selby, Neo Vela (ALBA’S WAY on PBS), Nick Vivar (DISABLED DOWN CENTER & SANTIAGO OF THE SEAS on Nickelodeon), Eric. A Walker Jr. (TINA and KINKY BOOTS on Broadway), with
Maxim Swinton (HALSTON, upcoming FLEISHMANN IS IN TROUBLE) as the Angel and Gloria Manning (TINA on Broadway, THE LION KING Tour, 13: THE MUSICAL on Netflix, EVIL on Paramount+) starring as L. Ron Hubbard.