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Prospect Theater Company Unveils Musical Anthology ‘Notes From Now’ (EXCLUSIVE)

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Prospect Theater Company announced the world premiere of “Notes From Now” with performances starting on March 2 and official opening night set for March 10 at 59E59 Theaters.

Directed and choreographed by Billy Bustamante, the musical anthology implements words and music to create provocative and profound observations on the human journey.

The slate features original songs by Jay Adana, Troy Anthony, Masi Asare, Jeff Blumenkrantz, Georgie Castilla, Jaime Lozano, Gretchen Cryer, Tia DeShazor, Derrick Byars, Alexandra Elle, Stephen Schwartz, Adam Gwon, Douglas Lyons, Ethan Pakchar, Peter Mills, Michelle Rodriguez, Ryan Scott Oliver, Angela Sclafani, Paulo K. Tirol, Amanda Yesnowitz and Deborah Abramson.

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“In these continued, challenging times for the theater community, ‘Prospect’ is excited and grateful to return to 59E59 Theaters with a new, collectively-written show,” said the project’s curator and creative producer, Cara Reichel. “Connecting so many powerful, artistic voices with audiences — and engaging around the times we are living through — feels especially meaningful.”

“Notes From Now” will play March 2-20 on the following performance schedule: Tuesdays-Fridays at 7 p.m.; Saturdays at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.; and Sundays at 2 p.m. Wednesday matinees will be at 2 p.m. on March 9 and March 16.

Sean Peter Forte serves as music director, with recently named to Forbes’ 30 Under 30 Macy Schmidt to serve as the orchestrator.

Tickets, starting at $25 for “first look” performances, are now available to be purchased by visiting https://www.59e59.org or by calling. Student Rush tickets and “30 and Under” membership tickets are also available.

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Additional information, including complete casting and creative eteam, will be announced shortly.

Gossips

Focus Features Buys Sundance Comedy ‘Brian and Charles’ (EXCLUSIVE)

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Brian and Charles

Focus Features has acquired the worldwide rights to “Brian and Charles,” a quirky and heartfelt comedy about an unlikely friendship that debuted to rave reviews this week at the Sundance Film Festival.

The film centers on Brian, a lonely inventor in rural Wales, who builds unconventional contraptions that rarely work. He soon sets out on his biggest project yet — spending three days to turn a washing machine and various spare parts into Charles, an artificially intelligent robot who learns English from a dictionary and has an obsession with cabbages.

Polygon’s Oli Welsh praised the film’s “warmth and tenderness” while Thrillist’s Esther Zuckerman wrote that the movie is “adorably whimsical and downright touching.”

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Director Jim Archer developed the film with Film4, which co-funded the production, and the BFI, which awarded funds from the National Lottery. It is based on a short film that Archer created and written by David Earl and Chris Hayward and produced by Rupert Majendie for Mr Box Productions. The executive producers are Damian Jones, Mary Burke for the BFI, and Lauren Dark and Ollie Madden for Film4.

Commented producer Rupert Majendie and director Jim Archer: “We have been so blown away by the reaction to the film from the Sundance audience and also want to say a huge thank you to the amazing teams at Film4, BFI & Bankside. They have all been amazing in their support of this little movie. We are incredibly excited to have found a partner in Focus who truly get this story and are as passionate about it as we are. We are still a little worried that they will wake up and realise they’ve just bought a film about a walking washing machine, but the ink is dry now so it’s too late!”

Focus Features will distribute the film domestically and Universal Pictures will distribute internationally. Film4 will retain free TV rights to the film in the United Kingdom. Archer is represented by Independent Talent Group.

“Brian and Charles” stars David Earl, Chris Hayward, Louise Brealey, James Michie and Nina Sosanya. This marks Archer’s feature directorial debut. He started out by shooting comedy sketches with friends before writing and directing several short films, culminating in winning gold at the Young Director Awards in Cannes for the short film version of Brian and Charles.

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The sale was handled by Bankside Films with Joe Toto and Carlen Johnson on behalf of Focus Features.

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Sundance 2022 Winners: ‘Utama’ and ‘All That Breathes’ Collect Early Prizes in Ongoing Fest Wrap

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The virtual Sundance Film Festival concluded with a virtual awards show, announcing the winners via social media in a series of tweeted statements and videos.

In recent years, the once-U.S.-centric festival’s world competition categories have emerged as important launching pads for international films (witness last year’s “Flee”). Expect to hear plenty more about World Dramatic grand jury winner “Utama” in the coming months, as director Alejandro Loayza Grisi’s portrait of an elderly Bolivian couple deciding whether to abandon their climate-endangered Altiplano home seems well-positioned to represent the country come Oscar time.

Meanwhile, the grand jury prize for World Documentary went to “All That Breathes.”

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In the NEXT category, trans portrait “Framing Agnes” won both the audience prize and the Jill Soloway-presented Innovator Award.

After hosting an abridged version of the 2021 edition virtually, Sundance organizers hoped to return with a hybrid online and in-person (Park City, Utah-based) event this year, but rising COVID-19 infections due to the Omicron variant forced them to shift the program online again. With the infrastructure already in place, the festival was able to make the pivot to the safer model, while losing out on much of the excitement and attention generated by the pre-pandemic model.

The full list of winners appears below — UPDATING LIVE:

U.S. DRAMATIC COMPETITION

Grand Jury Prize: “”

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Audience Award: “”

Directing:

Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award: “”

Special Jury Award: “”

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U.S. DOCUMENTARY COMPETITION

Grand Jury Prize: “”

Audience Award: “”

Directing: “”

Special Jury Award: “”

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WORLD CINEMA DRAMATIC COMPETITION

Grand Jury Prize: “Utama”

Directing Award: Maryna Er Gorbach, “Klondike”

Special Jury Award: “Leonor Will Never Die”

Special Jury Award for Acting for Innovative Spirit: Teresa Sánchez, “Dos Estaciones”

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WORLD CINEMA DOCUMENTARY COMPETITION

Grand Jury Prize: “All That Breathes”

Directing Award: “A House Made of Splinters”

Special Jury Award for Documentary Craft: “The Territory”

Special Jury Award for Excellence In Verité Filmmaking: “Midwives”

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OTHER AWARDS

NEXT Audience Award: “Framing Agnes”

NEXT Innovator Award: Chase Joynt, “Framing Agnes”

Alfred P. Sloan Feature Film Prize: “After Yang”

Sundance Institute NHK Award: Hasan Hadi, “The President’s Cake”

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Sundance Institute/Amazon Studios Producers Award for Narrative Features: Amanda Marshall, “God’s Country”

Sundance Institute/Amazon Studios Producers Award for Documentary Features: Su Kim, “Free Chol Soo Lee”

Sundance Institute/Adobe Mentorship Award for Editing Documentary: Toby Shimin

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