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Tchaikovsky

nytheatre.com q&a preview by Andrew Wyeth Neal
August 17, 2013

What is your job on this show?
Producer/Playwright.

What is your show about?
Tchaikovsky, is a play that delves into the controversial life and mind of the famous russian, romantic-era composer, Pyotr Ilych Tchaikovsky.

When did you know you wanted to work in the theater, and why?
I have always loved theatre and writing ever since I was little. I think that my ambition to pursue it as a career finally hit me when I was in High School. I had been cast in "Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat". Since then, i fell even more in love with theatre and knew from that moment that I wanted to be apart of that world. Since then, I have tried my hand at many things such as bring a lyricist, playwright, musician and a producer. "Tchaikovsky" is the first of many projects of mine to come. I love writing straight plays as well as musical theatre.

Complete this sentence: My show is the only one opening in NYC this summer that...?
That is basically, a play, a ballet AND an opera all in one. Tchaikovsky was so versatile in his musical talents, that he wrote not only symphonies, concertos and chamber music, but ballet and opera as well. To understand Tchaikovsky, the play takes a trip into his subconscious, and we use his music through dance and vocal performances as made famous by him, to show just what was going on in his head, when he wrote all those beautiful melodies we know. It also is a symbolism for equality fairness in our society today. Tchaikovsky was a homosexual, secretly, and with everything happening in Russia especially, its important to get this message our there, that EVERYONE is equal, and no one should be discriminated against.

Is there a particular moment in this show that you really love or look forward to? Without giving away surprises, what happens in that moment and why does it jazz you?
Without giving away too much, I would say the moment that makes me choke up the most is when Tchaikovsky finds out his sister has died. This is when he was writing The Nutcracker, in which a lot of the music in the ballet was dedicated to her. A piece that we use in the show, The Pas De Deux, strikes a real emotional cord in you and makes you feel what Tchaikovsky felt. That is probably my favorite moment in the play.

Groucho, Chico, Harpo, or Zeppo?
Of course Groucho! And his 3 letter names.

Who are your heroes?
Besides Tchaikovsky? I would have to say my grandfather, Fortunato Parrino, who brought me into the world of classical music and who taught me how to play the piano. He was a very artistic and loving man and I wish he were still alive to see this play go up. My other hero is of course my father, who is also a writer. I pretty much learned everything there is to know about writing from him. He also taught me how to be a good person and I wouldn't be the man I am now, if it were not for him. So those are my 3 heroes.