Review Fix Exclusive: Arnie Roman Talks Surviving the Rosenthals

Review Fix chats with singer/songwriter Arnie Roman who discusses his new musical, Surviving the Rosenthals.

About Surviving the Rosenthals:

Songwriter Arnie Roman sports an impressive list of music industry icons that have recorded his songs: Billy Porter, Al Green, Celine Dion, and Cher to name a few. His songs have been on albums that have sold more than eighty million records and CDs world-wide, and boasted top-ten singles on Billboard’s Pop, Country, R&B, and Dance charts. Now his new musical, Surviving the Rosenthals, premieres at downtown’s cutting-edge venue, Teatro Latea this May.

SURVIVING THE ROSENTHALS introduces us to songwriter Sammy. Sensitive and creative but damaged by an overbearing and abusive father, Sammy enters therapy to understand his relationship with his girlfriend and his father, but more importantly to heal himself and break free of the childhood shackles that still stifle him as an adult. Surviving the Rosenthals takes a surreal and innovative twist as Sammy meets – Sammy! Adult Sam meets 10-year-old Sammy in a battle to save himself. Surviving the Rosenthals is not sappy. It provides real-world hope and outcomes and does it in 90 minutes!

Stunning music and clever plot twists take the audience on a journey into Sammy’s psyche, thus providing a mirror into our own. Happy ending? Find out in May.

Review Fix: What was the inspiration for this project?

Roman: If I’m being honest, I have no idea. I just felt like I wanted to write it. I felt that in my bones. I had no other agenda, really. It was just something way down there that I wanted to excavate in this way.

Review Fix: What’s your creative process like? 

Roman: Well, once I have an idea for a show…and this is only my third musical…I do my research…I read a lot of books…and then I start with characters…I feel like I gotta know them really well and really intimately before I can start on the story. And then I constantly consult my sort of musical how-to manuals all along the way…and slowly slowly things start to emerge…and then, 11 years later, viola!…I have a musical :). Of course, along the way there are multiple table reads, a bunch of ego bruising, death wishes I send out to myself…you know, mirth. But in the end it’s all worth it :)

Review Fix: What makes this different or special?

Roman: If anything, I think there’s a raw quality to the dialogue that maybe isn’t typical for a musical. Especially when it comes to expressions of anger. No sanding down of rough edges. And hopefully the music itself is an interesting and unique pastiche. But also, this is not a musical about anything or anyone famous. It’s about, in a way, an ordinary person who has been emotionally abused and spends his life trying to overcome that. There’s a kind of heroism in that that’s quiet, and unseen, and unremarked on. But to me, it’s every bit as heroic, and worthy of celebrating, as any more public act of courage and heroism. And it’s the kind of heroism that’s available to every one of us.

Review Fix: What did you learn about yourself through this process? 

Roman: That I am a patient man :). And maybe a bit more resilient than I have given myself credit for.

Review Fix: What are your ultimate goals for this production and for the future?

Roman: Well, I’m thinking very short term at the moment. By which I mean that for now, I want to assemble the best cast I can, and present the show in the best possible way it can be presented. What happens after that I will deal with after that :)

Review Fix: What’s next?

Roman: Ha! I’m old enough to know that that is one unanswerable question, lol! But I do have ideas for two or three new musicals that I’m looking forward to starting to research, when it comes time to do that.

About Patrick Hickey Jr. 13072 Articles
Patrick Hickey Jr. is the Founder, Editor-in-Chief, Master Jedi and Grand Pooh-bah of and is the author of the book, "The Minds Behind the Games: Interviews with Cult and Classic Video Game Developers," from leading academic and non-fiction publisher McFarland and Company. He is currently the Assistant Director of the Journalism Program at Kingsborough Community College and is a former News Editor at NBC Local Integrated Media and a National Video Games Writer at the late He has also had articles and photos published in The New York Times, The New York Daily News, Complex and The Syracuse Post-Standard. Love him. Read him.

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