Wednesday 24 July 2019

Big Shot heads to Big Apple

Malahide composer takes her award winning musical to the biggest stage yet and takes on New York

John Manning

International award winning Irish Musical Big Shot, created by Malahide woman, Lauryn Gaffney makes its New York debut in August.

Big Shot The Musical will play five nights Off-Broadway and one night at landmark New York venue 'Feinstein's/54 Below' this August.

Big Shot is an original award winning Irish Musical written and composed by Malahide's Lauryn Gaffney.

In recent months Lauryn and team have been presented with an opportunity to bring Big Shot to New York City, where it will be seen and heard by people who can help bring her closer to her ambition of being the first female Irish composer-lyricist to have their work performed on Broadway.

The most recent production of Big Shot took place in February of this year at The Helix Theatre. For this performance, we invited Tony Award-winning Broadway producer Ken Davenport (Kinky Boots, Once On This Island) to critique the show and consult with the company on the next step for the show.

Ken was so taken with the show and performance that he has invited us to perform the show Off Broadway in New York for five nights as part of his musical theatre festival 'RAVE'.

The show has also secured a booking at esteemed and legendary New York venue 'Feinstein's/54 Below', where the cast will perform a programme of songs from the show and Lauryn's original music. It is steps from Times Square, the club is known as Broadway's living room.

The performers involved in past productions of Big Shot include bona fide West End performers and highly sought-after stars of the Irish musical theatre scene. The show has a full Irish band, cast and production team.

Written and composed by Malahide's Lauryn Gaffney, Big Shot will wow audiences on August 7 in 'Feinstein's/54 Below' and from August 9 - to 14 'Off Broadway' at Ken Davenport's festival 'RAVE'.

Lauryn explained how she came to write the musical at the age of just 21: 'I was in my final year in college and I always loved writing music and I always had it at the back of my mind that I wanted to write a show.

'I was sitting at the piano one day and I started writing a song and I heard a lawyer character singing it and it kind of grew from there. I built a story around it involving a lawyer and I started writing and writing and before I knew it, I had a musical. I was 21 when I started writing it and 22 when we started staging it.'

A J1 trip to Boston turned out to be crucial in the development of the show as Lauryn explained: 'I was in Boston on a J1 for four months and I was working in Ben and Jerry's, scooping ice cream and living in this Frat House with all these nerdy boys from MIT. 'They had rented the house out and we got this loft apartment in the house. They had a grand piano in the main house and nobody used it - it was just abandoned.

'So, every morning I would get up before work and I'd go down to the piano and write songs and then I would try them out on some of my house-mates. We would sit around the piano and they would ask to hear songs that they remembered so I knew it was those ones I should put in the show because they were obviously catchy.'

Big Shot tells the story of one Jeremy Crocker, a savvy defense lawyer thriving in New York City's bustling legal profession. Despite his ambitions, Crocker falls in love with Carrie, struggling Irish artist who works in Crocker's go-to café in Downtown Manhattan.

lthough the two become ever more infatuated by each other, this threatens to derail Crocker's career, with regard to the dubious new defense case he has taken on. Does Crocker follow his heart or stick with his legal client obligations? The theme of the story is love, justice and living in the moment.

With a blend of energetic and poignant songs and a suitable amount of drama one would expect of a Broadway-style musical, Big Shot is an exposition of original Irish composition and writing that simply cannot be missed.

Fingal Independent