Review Fix chats with Lenny Schwartz, who discusses the production at this year’s Planet Connections in New York City, detailing the creative process and letting us know what to expect.
About the Production:
Planet Connections Theatre Festivity and Daydream Theatre Company is proud to announce the world premiere of the new musical “The Inside Of His Severed Head, Book by Lenny Schwartz and Music and Lyrics by Duncan Pflaster. The play will be directed by Lenny Schwartz with Musical Direction by Zachary Smallwood with choreography by Chelsea Cook.
The show will be performed on August 3, 2018, at 6 pm, August 4, 2018, at 9 pm and August 5, 2018, at 12:15 pm at the LATEA Theater at the Clemente Soto Velez Cultural and Educational Center, 107 Suffolk St, New York, NY 10002. Tickets are $25 Dollars and can be purchased at the door or at planetconnections.org
This comedic musical is about Willy Loman, an aging vampire hunter, who realizes his life is empty and he tries to fill it in the last 24 hours of his life. It is a musical about happiness, family, lies, love, and mental illness. And of course, killing some members of the undead.
It’s Death of a Salesman as a musical….if Willy Loman was a vampire hunter!
Review Fix: How did you get involved in theatre?
Lenny Schwartz: I was in high school and I was supposed to be in a journalism class. Well, my guidance counselor messed up and put me in a theatre class. While I was waiting to be switched back, I doubted I’d love the class, but eventually, I never wanted to leave.
And so I didn’t and I’m still here.
Review Fix: What was the inspiration for this project?
Schwartz: I really wanted to do a musical and try something different. I had the idea of Willy Loman as a vampire hunter for a long time. My good friend Duncan Pflaster is a genius and he has always offered to write music if I ever did one. And so it took us a year and here we are.
Review Fix: What’s your creative process like?
Schwartz: It’s crazy, Patrick. Absolutely crazy. It’s always going. Even right now. I’m always living with the next story.
Review Fix: What makes this different or special?
Schwartz: I actually wrote this during one of the hardest trials of my life. I won’t say what. But it helped me find a part of myself I lost. And I’m happy and grateful for that.
Review Fix: How does it feel to be a part of the Planet Connections Theatre Festivity?
This is my ninth time. My first show with PCTF was in 2010. I love everyone there. I live in RI and they’ve been so inviting and so wonderful to me. Plus, they once accepted a play I wrote called ACCIDENTAL INCEST: SOMEONE FOR EVERYONE into the festivity.
So they are like family.
Review Fix: What did you learn about yourself through this process?
Schwartz: I learned that I’m 41 years old and I’m still doing writing and directing like I did when I was 18.
And I’m still having fun.
Review Fix: Why do vampires still matter?
Schwartz: They matter because Twilight ruined them. And we have an obligation as a society to bring them back and give them the respect they deserve.
Review Fix: How are your vampires different?
Schwartz: My vampires are a little less threatening, a little more fun.
They loved working with me!
As long as I fed them small children, they did anything I asked!
Review Fix: What’s next?
Schwartz: I have a play I have written and will be directing about Steve Ditko, the co-creator of Dr. Strange and Spider-man. That goes on in the fall in RI.
After that, will be a Play called Me Three: A Guide to New Beginnings. That’s spring 2019 in RI followed by Seduction of the Innocent(based on the Wertham book)
I also have a few films coming up as well that I have written called Higher Methods and Codename: Dynastud.
My next musical will be in 2020 and it’s called Pussy Hannukah Comes To Harlem.
Review Fix: Anything else you’d like to add?
Schwartz: Just that the cast led by Michael Thurber and Victoria Paradis are amazing. It is truly one of the best casts and crew I have worked with.
And that everyone who comes to the show gets a hug. For real.