Producer Blair Russell (Slave Play, the immersive Off-Broadway production of Sweeney Todd) is pleased to announce a new concept album of the original new bilingual musical FOR TONIGHT, with a cast of West End musical theatre actors and a full Welsh ensemble, which will be released on all digital platforms (Apple Music, Spotify, Amazon etc) in Summer 2021. Music book and lyrics are by Shenelle Salcido & Spencer Williams, with additional book by Whitney Rhodes.
FOR TONIGHT is a new, original musical inspired by writer Spencer Williams’s three times great grandfather’s handwritten journal. The story begins in 1832, in a small town in northern Wales where a Roma family travels through, finding shelter on the farm of the Parry family.
Soon after their arrival, the Parry parents die from an unknown disease and the Roma are forced to go into hiding, after being blamed for bringing ‘filth and death’ to Trelawnyd.
The story then follows the three Parry children, Thomas, Haydon and Nettie, in the aftermath of their parents’ death. While the elder brother, Thomas, struggles with the guilt of events surrounding the Roma’s departure, Haydon, runs off to Liverpool in search of a new life, leaving Nettie behind to deal with the overbearing Thomas. In Liverpool, Haydon falls in love with Mirela, a Roma woman, who poses a threat to his already strained family relationships. Haydon quickly learns, however, that bias runs on both sides and that Mirela’s family will not accept a gadje (an outsider). Haydon and Mirela are forced to keep their love a secret. When events back home call Haydon to return, he and Thomas must finally face their past, and all three siblings face their biggest fears.
Through a riveting score, the atmospheric soundscape blends traditional Welsh choral, indie-pop, folk, and Romani-inspired melodies and rhythms. At its core, FOR TONIGHT is an exploration of the power and meaning of home.
The British cast is led by Simon Gordon (Girl From the North Country, Bat Out Of Hell) as Haydon Parry, Amy Di Bartolomeo (We Will Rock You, Bat Out Of Hell) as Mirela Kascht, Dale Evans (Kinky Boots, Showboat) as Thomas Parry, Erin Caldwell (Unravelling, Twist and Turn) as Henrietta (Nettie) Parry, Jade Davies (Les Misérables, The Phantom of the Opera) as Molly Llewellyn, Luke McCall (Les Misérables, The Phantom of the Opera) as Winn Lewis, Jake Halsey-Jones (Hamilton, Spring Awakening) as Durriken Kascht, Soophia Foroughi (The Prince of Egypt, Broken Wings) as Syeira Kascht, Glain Rhys (graduated from The Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in 2019) as Anne Parry and John Ieuwan Jones (Welsh National Opera, Grange Park Opera) as Joseph Parry, with Owen Jac as Young Thomas, Isaac Kreisky as Young Haydon and Alexis Wilson as Young Henrietta. Also in the cast are Jordan Allan, Eva Chelsea, Joey Cornish, Sam Ebenezer, Sion Emlyn, Michelle Beth Herman, Hannah Qureshi, Samantha Thomas and Mared Williams.
The concept album for FOR TONIGHT has music and lyrics by Shenelle Salcido and Spencer Williams, orchestrations by Shenelle Salcido, additional arrangements by Joseph Purdue and Drew Wutke, audio production and mixing by Joseph Purdue, music ensemble direction by Iestyn Griffiths and Romani script consultancy by Raine Geoghegan. The concept album is produced by Blair Russell.
MEET THE PEOPLE WHO MADE IT HAPPEN
SHENELLE SALCIDO – BOOK/MUSIC/LYRICS & ORCHESTRATIONS
Shenelle is a composer, lyricist, and playwright who writes with the intention of creating work that might convince her former musical theatre loathing self to embrace the power of theatre. Current projects include “The Mark of a Mendelssohn”, a musical which explores the life of Felix Mendelssohn’s sister Fanny, and “The Curtis Christmas Challenge”, a full-length play. As a former music educator and music director, Shenelle has taught everything from Mariachi to Music Theory, but she currently enjoys spending her free time attending law school at the University of Utah. Member of ASCAP.
SPENCER WILLIAMS – BOOK/MUSIC/LYRICS
Spencer is a queer musical theatre educator, composer and playwright. He focuses his teaching and work to include untold stories of underrepresented voices in the musical theatre canon. He is the founder of the educational platform and curriculum, BROADWAY REFOCUSED, and is the host of two new podcasts: Broadway ReFocused and Musicals with Impact. In educational theatre, he has premiered Duncan Sheik’s Whisper House; An Evening with Stuart Brayson; The Stories of Tonight and directed/produced over 30 musicals. He has directed choirs at St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican; Paris, France; Cadogan Hall in London, England; and Canterbury Cathedral. He also worked at San Jose Stage Company as resident Musical Director and Education Director for six years, where he also founded the Bay Area High School Top Honour Awards. Spencer has performed internationally at WORLD EXPO in Tokyo, Japan, CHILDREN’S FOLKLORE FESTIVAL in Matha, France, on national television on THE GONG SHOW, and been featured on TLC’S TRADING SPACES. Boston University: Masters of Music Education. Member of: Dramatist Guild, ASCAP, NAMT, Mercury Musicals Development (MMD) and Musical Theatre Network (MTN). Love to Thomas and Stephen.
WHITNEY RHODES – ADDITIONAL BOOK
Whitney Rhodes (Book) Whitney is an artist, administrator, producer, and content creator currently based in Chicago. She is the Artistic Director of Underscore Theatre Company, Chicago’s home for new musicals and a Senior Account Executive at Carol Fox & Associates. She also works as a freelance consultant specializing in non-profit strategic planning, marketing, and brand development. Prior to moving to Chicago she spent a decade in the Twin Cities as a performer and arts leader. She was the Director of Strategic Operations at Arts ink, Inc. and producer of the swan song 2017 IVEY Awards season. Additionally, she held leadership roles as the Chief Operating Officer of Mixed Blood Theatre and the Spotlight Programme Manager at Hennepin Theatre Trust. As a performer she was frequently seen onstage at Musical Mondays, Troubadour Wine Bar, and created an annual birthday concert that was beloved amongst the community raising over $15,000 for local non-profits. Favourite onstage credits include: She Loves Me (Amalia), DalekoArts; The Full Monty (Joanie), Theater Latté Da; Ragtime (Ensemble), Park Square Theatre. Drake University: B.F.A, Acting/Advertising.
BLAIR RUSSELL – PRODUCER
Blair is a Tony nominated producer, developer, supporter, and lover of theatre and live performance whose experience ranges from fringe festivals to Broadway shows. His most recent projects include Slave Play by Jeremy O. Harris and the critically acclaimed immersive Off-Broadway production of Sweeney Todd. As Co-founder and Director of Operations for Resounding he produces live radio plays in fully immersive binaural audio. He also creates virtual events and live performance in virtual reality as a producer for CRUX. He is currently Co-Chair of the board of The New Harmony Project and is Co-President of the board of New York Theatre Barn. He is a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University with a BFA in Technical Theatre/Stage Management.
DREW WUTKE – ADDITIONAL ARRANGEMENTS/DEVELOPMENTAL MUSIC DIRECTOR
Drew Wutke has been alongside Shenelle and Spencer since FOR TONIGHT’s New York City concert debut, shaping its amazing score, including the show’s 2019 world premiere. Drew is a New York-based multi-disciplinary artist, most recently seen in the studio producing/writing albums and film scores.
Selected credits: Live from Lincoln Center broadcast with American Songbook (Stephanie Blythe). Drew continues to play all over the world (even digitally), collaborating alongside Tony, Emmy, and Grammy winners. He tours as MD with Bravo’s Countess Luann’s live series, and has been a featured artist at the O’Neill, Goodspeed, and Philly Fringe. You can sing along with him every Wednesday at MARIE’S CRISIS, as featured in New York Times, The New Yorker and Time Out and many others. Drew received Best Piano Bar Entertainer Award, BroadwayWorld 2020. Co-creator and arranger/MD of Kevin Smith Kirkwood’s CLASSIC WHITNEY HOUSTON: ALIVE Concert series at Joe’s Pub @The Public. Broadway/Off-Broadway: keyboards/rehearsal: AMAZING GRACE, KINKY BOOTS; Fiasco/McCarter’s award-winning INTO THE WOODS (workshop MD, McCarter rehearsal).
IESTYN GRIFFITHS – MUSIC ENSEMBLE DIRECTOR
Originally from Pembrokeshire, Iestyn Griffiths is a Musical Director, Keyboardist and Producer, and the Co-Founder and Director of The West End of Wales (The WeoW). Since graduating from Cardiff University with a MA Distinction in Piano Performance in 2019, Iestyn has worked with numerous Musical Theatre companies across South Wales and further afield, including 3 seasons as the Musical Director of Tranquillity Camp in New York. Iestyn also won the Worshipful Livery Company Young Musician Award in 2019.
As a freelance Producer, Iestyn has produced videos and tracks for the likes of the BBC, S4C and Steffan and The Welsh of The West End, as well as the online content for The WeoW. He recently produced #GWLAD! – an online concert hosted by The WeoW for St. David’s Day, which featured performances from acts such as John Owen-Jones, Lucie Jones & Rhod Gilbert, as well as an address from HRH The Prince of Wales.
RAINE GEOGHEGAN – ROMANI SCRIPT CONSULTANT
Raine Geoghegan, MA is a Romany and Welsh award-winning poet, playwright and performance coach living in the UK. In 2020, she wrote and performed for the Same Boat Theatre Collective based in San Francisco for the online Earthquake Festival. She is currently working on an anthology and audiobook, ‘Gifts of Gravity and Light’ to be published with Hodder & Stoughton. Her poetry, monologues and songs have been published internationally and was featured in the film, ‘Stories from the Hop Yards’ with Catcher Media. She has a degree in Drama from Roehampton University where she founded ‘Earthworks’ a Women’s Experimental Theatre Company in the 1990’s. Prior to that, she founded ‘Burlesque’, a touring cabaret show and performed in London’s West End. She trained in Classical Theatre at Questors Theatre, Ealing and went on to become a member of the company. As well as training and working with the Physical Theatre Director Hans Dieter in 1992, she also had the great fortune of working with Paul Rebillot, the American film and theatre director in Ireland in 1995. Her Romany background informs her work and lights up her life.