NEW YORK, June 14, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Yesterday, the Broadway-bound new musical «Fly More Than You Fall» received a 29-hour reading for theater owners, producers and other industry members presented by Utah Valley University in New York City.  The poignant contemporary fantasy about a teenager and her family coping with a cancer diagnosis is set for a pre-Broadway production at UVU this September in a unique collaboration with the university prior to its intended Broadway transfer in 2020. 

(from left) Jeff Whiting, director, Nat Zegree, music and lyrics, and Eric Holmes, writer pose for a portrait after rehearsals for “Fly More Than You Fall” at Open Jar Studios in New York City, NY  Wednesday, June 12, 2019 (August Miller, UVU Marketing)

Book and lyrics are by Eric Holmes («Smash,» «The Good Fight,» «BrainDead»), with music and lyrics by New York City cabaret performer and recording artist Nat Zegree.  The reading was directed and choreographed by Broadway’s Jeff Whiting («Bullets Over Broadway,» «Big Fish,» «The Scottsboro Boys»).  They have been joined by the Tony Award-winning producing team of Suzanne Gilad and Larry Rogowsky («Moulin Rouge,» «Jagged Little Pill,» «Angels in America»).

«We learned so much from our first developmental reading in New York City and workshop at Syracuse University, and we created a new draft for this reading that is tighter and cleaner and yet still packs a real punch as a story,» said Whiting.  «The music is really driving and poignant as we deal with very challenging subject matter interwoven with surprising fantasy elements.»

«Fly More Than You Fall» introduces a young girl, Malia, who deals with the tragic news of her mother’s diagnosis in the only way she knows how – through her writing. Malia crafts a tale of a young bird with broken wings who embarks on the journey of a lifetime, continually weaving in and out of Malia’s real-life struggles to navigate grief, puberty and growing up in the middle of nowhere.

«When tragedy strikes her family, Malia draws on her own creativity and strength to cope and eventually, thrive,» said Gilad.  «As parents, this is the kind of story we want to share with our children. Kids today are asked to handle tremendous pressures.  ‘Fly More Than You Fall’ is the kind of show that makes us feel that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.  And, of course, the soaring melodies are beautiful, and the fantasy elements are spectacular!»

«It is truly a thrill to develop new work and welcome young voices to the theatre,» added Rogowsky.  «The sound of ‘Fly More Than You Fall’ is unique and moving.  As we think about the story we are telling, we are excited to see how many people will be touched by Malia’s journey.  We are honored to be part of the team.» 

The 29-hour industry reading starred Broadway performers James Moye («Tootsie,» «Dear Evan Hansen,» «Aladdin») and Natasha Yvette WilliamsChicago,» «Waitress,» «The Color Purple»), in addition to Sony recording artist and YouTube star Lexi Walker.

Additional cast members included Autumn Best, DeMarius Copes, Charlie Franklin, Carly Gendell, Carly Gold, Tyler Hardwick, Jeremiah Parker Hobbs, Max King, Brooklyn Faith Nelson, Nicholas Oliveri, Devina Sabnis, Jonalyn Saxer, John Rodney Turner and Ella Williams. The stage manager was Joshua Pilote

The full creative team and cast for the upcoming pre-Broadway production will be announced at a later date. 

For more information, visit www.flymorethanyoufall.com.

About Utah Valley University 
At 37,282 students and growing, Utah Valley University is the largest public university in the state of Utah and one of a few higher education institutions in the nation offering a dual-mission model that combines the rigor and richness of a first-rate teaching university with the openness and vocational programs of a community college. UVU’s unique model – which focuses on student success, engaged learning, rigorous academic programs, and faculty-mentored research – is transforming higher education by making it more affordable and accessible to students of all backgrounds.

UVU students Lexi Walker, Autumn Best, along with Eric Holmes, writer, Nat Zegree, music and lyrics, and Jeff Whiting, director put on the final show (29 hour read) for investors and others of “Fly More Than You Fall” at Open Jar Studios in New York City, NY  Wednesday, June 12, 2019 (August Miller, UVU Marketing)

(PRNewsFoto/Utah Valley University)

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SOURCE Utah Valley University