Backstage Pass with Lia Chang

Lia Chang Photos: Garth Kravits, Michael Keyloun, Klea Blackhurst, Eloise Kropp, Maxine Linehan, and Aaron Ramey in GROUNDED FOR LIFE at The York

Grounded for LifeThe York Theatre Company and its acclaimed Developmental Reading Series presented the new work Grounded for Life with book by Pat Hazell and Bill Habeeb, lyrics by Lawrence Goldberg and Mr. Hazell, and music by Mr. Goldberg at The York Theatre Company at Saint Peter’s in New York on the afternoon of June 26, 2015.

The creators of Grounded for Life- Bill Habeeb, Pat Hazell and Lawrence Goldberg at The York in New York on June 26, 2015. Photo by Lia Chang

The creators of Grounded for Life- Bill Habeeb, Pat Hazell and Lawrence Goldberg at The York in New York on June 26, 2015. Photo by Lia Chang

Grounded for Life: The Musical is a “staying-of-age” comedy about Mitchell Mulligan (Garth Kravits), a thirty-something guy serving a life sentence in his childhood bedroom for throwing a snowball at a school bus when he was twelve.

Garth Kravits as Mitchell Mulligan in the staged reading of Grounded for Life at The York in New York on June 26, 2015. Photo by Lia Chang

Garth Kravits as Mitchell Mulligan in the staged reading of Grounded for Life at The York in New York on June 26, 2015. Photo by Lia Chang

Twenty years later, in a literal case of arrested development, he is still doing his time. Secret visits from his best friends via a toy box tunnel have been keeping him going. But that is all about to come to an end. Mitch will have to face his own worst enemy: Himself.

Eloise Kropp, Michael Keyloun, Klea Blackhurst, Garth Kravits and Maxine Linehan in the staged reading of Grounded for Life at The York in New York on June 26, 2015. Photo by Lia Chang

Eloise Kropp, Michael Keyloun, Klea Blackhurst, Garth Kravits and Maxine Linehan in the staged reading of Grounded for Life at The York in New York on June 26, 2015. Photo by Lia Chang

An absurd and relatable metaphor, Grounded for Life explores the ways people get stuck, hold themselves back, and allow their live to be limited by their own fears.

Directed by Patrick O’Neill and with music direction by Matt Perri (Cagney), the cast stars Garth Kravits as Mitch Mulligan (The Drowsy Chaperone), Maxine Linehan as Tina Truesdale (Bronte: A Portrait of Charlotte), Klea Blackhurst as Mom (Goodspeed’s 50th Anniversary production of Hello Dolly!, Hazel, directed by Lucie Arnaz), Michael Keyloun as Ernest McKeever (Rocket to the Moon), Eloise Kropp as Wendy Wheeler (On the Town, Little Me), Aaron Ramey as Mike Hardy/Death (The Visit, Jekyll & Hyde) and Ryan Worsing as the Narrator (Chicago, Shrek). The Stage Manager is Melanie J. Lisby.

The cast of Grounded for Life - Aaron Ramey, Garth Kravits, Maxine Linehan, Michael Keyloun, Klea Blackhurst, Eloise Kropp, Ryan Worsing backstage at The York in New York on June 26, 2015. Photo by Lia Chang

The cast of Grounded for Life – Aaron Ramey, Garth Kravits, Maxine Linehan, Michael Keyloun, Klea Blackhurst, Eloise Kropp, Ryan Worsing backstage at The York in New York on June 26, 2015. Photo by Lia Chang

Garth Kravits as Mitchell Mulligan. Photo by Lia Chang

Garth Kravits as Mitchell Mulligan. Photo by Lia Chang

Garth Kravits (Mitch Mulligan) is an actor, singer, musician and composer. He made his Broadway debut in the musical The Drowsy Chaperone. Kravits has appeared in the Off-Broadway productions of Old Jews Telling Jokes and Toxic Audio Loudmouth; regionally in Getting’ the Band Back Together by Ken Davenport, Meet Me in St. Louis: A Live Radio Play, and It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play (Bucks County Playhouse); Happy Days: A New Musical (Goodspeed Opera House); and as Benny Southstreet in the regional tour of Guys and Dolls. On television, Kravits has guest starred on “30 Rock,” “The Blacklist,” “Nurse Jackie,” “Hostages,” “Tin Man,” and “The Carrie Diaries”. garthkravits.com

Klea Blackhurst as Mom. Photo by Lia Chang

Klea Blackhurst as Mom. Photo by Lia Chang

Klea Blackhurst (Mom) Goodspeed’s 50th Anniversary production of Hello Dolly!. Marvin Hamlisch/Rupert Holmes The Nutty Professor, directed by Jerry Lewis. Currently working on a new musical, Hazel, directed by Lucie Arnaz. Theatre: NY-A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Bingo, By Jupiter, Radio Gals, Oil City Symphony; Regional-2012 Drury Lane production of Gypsy in Chicago. TV/radio: “The Knick,” “Onion News Network,” “Sesame Street,” “Prairie Home Companion”. Distinguished Alumna University of Utah. Member of Trinity Boxing Club.

Michael Keyloun as Ernie McKeever. Photo by Lia Chang

Michael Keyloun as Ernie McKeever. Photo by Lia Chang

Michael Keyloun (Ernie McKeever) Off-Broadway: Rocket to the Moon, Drop Dead Perfect. Regional: Denver Center (Hamlet, Noises Off), Shakespeare Theatre (Merry Wives of Windsor), St. Louis Rep (The 39 Steps, Macbeth), Pioneer (The Producers, Is He Dead?), Hartford Stage (Bell, Book, and Candle), Long Wharf, La Jolla Playhouse, Goodspeed Musicals, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Cincinnati Playhouse, Geva, Virginia Stage and Indiana Rep, among others. Film/TV/Web: The Road from Erebus, The Tryout, Untitled Zombie Project, The Thing. Michael has an MFA from UCSD.

Maxine Linehan as Tina Truesdale. Photo by Lia Chang

Maxine Linehan as Tina Truesdale. Photo by Lia Chang

Maxine Linehan (Tina Truesdale) Irish native, actress, singer and recording artist. Favorite productions include Bronte: A Portrait of Charlotte (Off-Broadway), South Pacific (1st National Tour), and Oliver (UK). As a concert performer, Maxine has performed at Lincoln Center, Town Hall, and 54 Below, and has recorded three independent albums. Most recently, Maxine received national acclaim for her show and album Beautiful Songs. Maxine studied at LAMDA and is a member of Actors’ Equity. Maxinelinehan.com

Aaron Ramey as Death. Photo by Lia Chang

Aaron Ramey as Death. Photo by Lia Chang

Aaron Ramey (Mike Hardy/Death) Broadway: The Visit (Orig. Cast), The Bridges of Madison County (Orig. Cast), Jekyll & Hyde (Orig. Revival Cast), Young Frankenstein, Curtains, Thoroughly Modern Millie (Orig. Cast). National Tours: South Pacific, Jekyll & Hyde, Sweet Charity, Disney’s Beauty & the Beast. Regional/NYC: Williamstown Theater Festival, Weston Playhouse, Arena Stage, Barrington Stage, Baltimore CenterStage, Arden Theater Company, York Theater, NYMF, NAMT. TV: “A Gifted Man,” “Kings,” “New Amsterdam,” “Guiding Light,” “All My Children,” “As the World Turns”. BFA Musical Theater, Otterbein University. Proud member AEA. www.aaronramey.net.

Eloise Kropp as Wendy Wheeler. Photo by Lia Chang

Eloise Kropp as Wendy Wheeler. Photo by Lia Chang

Eloise Kropp (Wendy Wheeler) is excited to be making her York debut! Currently in On the Town. She just finished her NYC debut as Ramona in Little Me at City Center Encores! Other credits include Most Happy Fella (Encores!), Louise in Carousel (Goodspeed), and Patty Simcox in Grease (Paper Mill).

Ryan Worsing (Narrator) Broadway credits include Chicago, White Christmas and Shrek. Other favorites: Can-Can at Paper Mill Playhouse, The Actors Fund concert of Sweet Smell of Success, and the world premiere of The Nutty Professor directed by Jerry Lewis.

Director Patrick O'Neill and Grounded for Life creators Lawrence Goldberg, Bill Habeeb and Pat Hazell during rehearsal of the staged reading of Grounded for Life at The York in New York on June 26, 2015. Photo by Lia Chang

Director Patrick O’Neill and Grounded for Life creators Lawrence Goldberg, Bill Habeeb and Pat Hazell during rehearsal of the staged reading of Grounded for Life at The York in New York on June 26, 2015. Photo by Lia Chang

Director Patrick O'Neill, Garth Kravits and stage manager Melanie J. Lisby during rehearsal of the staged reading of Grounded for Life at The York in New York on June 26, 2015. Photo by Lia Chang

Director Patrick O’Neill, Garth Kravits and stage manager Melanie J. Lisby during rehearsal of the staged reading of Grounded for Life at The York in New York on June 26, 2015. Photo by Lia Chang

during rehearsal of the staged reading of Grounded for Life at The York in New York on June 26, 2015. Photo by Lia Chang

during rehearsal of the staged reading of Grounded for Life at The York in New York on June 26, 2015. Photo by Lia Chang

Michael Keyloun as Ernie McKeever during rehearsal of the staged reading of Grounded for Life at The York in New York on June 26, 2015. Photo by Lia Chang

Michael Keyloun as Ernie McKeever during rehearsal of the staged reading of Grounded for Life at The York in New York on June 26, 2015. Photo by Lia Chang

Pat Hazell introduces the staged reading of Grounded for Life at The York in New York on June 26, 2015. Photo by Lia Chang

Pat Hazell introduces the staged reading of Grounded for Life at The York in New York on June 26, 2015. Photo by Lia Chang

Garth Kravits as Mitchell Mulligan and Maxine Linehan as Tina Truesdale in the staged reading of Grounded for Life at The York in New York on June 26, 2015. Photo by Lia Chang

Garth Kravits as Mitchell Mulligan and Maxine Linehan as Tina Truesdale in the staged reading of Grounded for Life at The York in New York on June 26, 2015. Photo by Lia Chang

Michael Keyloun as Ernie McKeever and Eloise Kropp as Wendy Wheeler in the staged reading of Grounded for Life at The York in New York on June 26, 2015. Photo by Lia Chang

Michael Keyloun as Ernie McKeever and Eloise Kropp as Wendy Wheeler in the staged reading of Grounded for Life at The York in New York on June 26, 2015. Photo by Lia Chang

Maxine Linehan as Tina Truesdale and Garth Kravits as Mitchell Mulligan in the staged reading of Grounded for Life at The York in New York on June 26, 2015. Photo by Lia Chang

Maxine Linehan as Tina Truesdale and Garth Kravits as Mitchell Mulligan in the staged reading of Grounded for Life at The York in New York on June 26, 2015. Photo by Lia Chang

Michael Keyloun, Klea Blackhurst, Garth Kravits and Aaron Ramey in the staged reading of Grounded for Life at The York in New York on June 26, 2015. Photo by Lia Chang

Michael Keyloun, Klea Blackhurst, Garth Kravits and Aaron Ramey in the staged reading of Grounded for Life at The York in New York on June 26, 2015. Photo by Lia Chang

Ryan Worsing, Eloise Kropp, Michael Keyloun, Maxine Linehan, Garth Kravits, Klea Blackhurst, Aaron Ramey, Matt Perri at curtain call for the staged reading of Grounded for Life at The York in New York on June 26, 2015. Photo by Lia Chang

Ryan Worsing, Eloise Kropp, Michael Keyloun, Maxine Linehan, Garth Kravits, Klea Blackhurst, Aaron Ramey, Matt Perri at curtain call for the staged reading of Grounded for Life at The York in New York on June 26, 2015. Photo by Lia Chang

Ryan Worsing, Eloise Kropp, Michael Keyloun, Maxine Linehan, Garth Kravits, Klea Blackhurst, Aaron Ramey, Matt Perri at curtain call for the staged reading of Grounded for Life at The York in New York on June 26, 2015. Photo by Lia Chang

Ryan Worsing, Eloise Kropp, Michael Keyloun, Maxine Linehan, Garth Kravits, Klea Blackhurst, Aaron Ramey, Matt Perri at curtain call for the staged reading of Grounded for Life at The York in New York on June 26, 2015. Photo by Lia Chang

(standing) Patrick O'Neill, Pat Hazell, Aaron Ramey, Garth Kravits, Matt Perri, Klea Blackhurst, Maxine Linehan, Michael Keyloun, Lawrence Goldberg, The York's producing artistic director James Morgan; (front row) Ryan Worsing, Eloise Kropp and Melanie J. Lisby backstage at The York in New York on June 26, 2015. Photo by Lia Chang

(standing) Patrick O’Neill, Pat Hazell, Aaron Ramey, Garth Kravits, Matt Perri, Klea Blackhurst, Maxine Linehan, Michael Keyloun, Lawrence Goldberg, The York’s producing artistic director James Morgan; (front row) Ryan Worsing, Eloise Kropp and Melanie J. Lisby backstage at The York in New York on June 26, 2015. Photo by Lia Chang

Aaron Ramey, Scott Seagal, Maxine Linehan, Barbara Seagal, Klea Blackhurst, Garth Kravits after the performance of Grounded for Life at The York in New York on June 26, 2015. Photo by Lia Chang

Aaron Ramey, Scott Seagal, Maxine Linehan, Barbara Seagal, Klea Blackhurst, Garth Kravits after the performance of Grounded for Life at The York in New York on June 26, 2015. Photo by Lia Chang

Ian Hyland, Melissa Canaday, Pat Hazell and Edward James Hyland after the performance of Grounded for Life at The York in New York on June 26, 2015. Photo by Lia Chang

Ian Hyland, Melissa Canaday, Pat Hazell and Edward James Hyland after the performance of Grounded for Life at The York in New York on June 26, 2015. Photo by Lia Chang

Sarah Armstrong, Kimberly Much, Pat Hazell, Peilin Chou and Shari Pessah after the performance of Grounded for Life at The York in New York on June 26, 2015. Photo by Lia Chang

Sarah Armstrong, Kimberly Much, Pat Hazell, Peilin Chou and Shari Pessah after the performance of Grounded for Life at The York in New York on June 26, 2015. Photo by Lia Chang

Click here for demo tracks.

Actor Garth Kravits (center) with The Goldbergs after the performance of Grounded for Life at The York in New York on June 26, 2015. Photo by Lia Chang

Actor Garth Kravits (center) with The Goldbergs after the performance of Grounded for Life at The York in New York on June 26, 2015. Photo by Lia Chang

Creative Team

Musical director Matt Perri, Grounded for Life creators Bill Habeeb, Pat Hazell and Lawrence Goldberg, and director Patrick O'Neill at The York in New York on June 26, 2015. Photo by Lia Chang

Musical director Matt Perri, Grounded for Life creators Bill Habeeb, Pat Hazell and Lawrence Goldberg, and director Patrick O’Neill at The York in New York on June 26, 2015. Photo by Lia Chang

Lawrence Goldberg (Music and Lyrics) was the Music Director/Pianist for Inventing Mary Martin at the York last season. On Broadway he has conducted and played keyboard for nine productions (currently: On the 20th Century), and has music directed six national tours, with a seventh (A Gentleman’s Guide…) about to launch this fall. His award-winning music and lyrics were featured on the Pittsburg children’s TV show “Let’s Read a Story”. www.LawrenceGoldbergMusic.com.

Grounded for Life_photo by Lia Chang 3

Pat Hazell (Book and Lyrics) is an original writer for NBC’s “Seinfeld” and a “Tonight Show” veteran. His plays Bunk Bed Brothers, The Wonder Bread Years, and A Kodachrome Christmas continue to be produced at performing arts centers across America. Pat is the Co-Creator of the sitcom “American Pie” for NBC Studios. Mr Hazell was grounded once and used his time in the “big house” to develop the content for his latest production. More info at www.sweetwoodiscreative.com.

Bill Habeeb (Book) co-wrote the original stage play for Grounded for Life with Pat Hazell. Mr. Habeeb authored a book of non-fiction for HarperCollins titled Inside Mayberry. He is the author of the young adult novel iMplants, and his short story “Please Help” was published in a Tundra Books collection titled First Times: Stories Selected by Marthe Jocelyn. Bill’s television credits include “The Sweet Spot” for Comedy Central starring Bill Brian and Joel Murray.

Patrick O’Neill (Director) Credits include two companies of Leonard Bernstein’s Mass (Utah Symphony/Utah Opera), and the associate on Mr. Bernstein’s Mass for the re-opening of the Opera House at the Kennedy Center. He has staged concerts for Kelli O’Hara and Jason Danieley with the Boston Pops and for Mario Cantone on ABC’s The View, opening the show’s 14th Season. As an assistant choreographer: The Nutty Professor (directed by Jerry Lewis) and Barry Manilow’s Harmony. He is currently associate choreographer on Andrew Lloyd Webber’s School of Rock, opening on Broadway this fall.

Matt Perri (Music Director) just finished MDing Cagney at The York. Broadway credits include Cinderella, Scandalous, How to Succeed (2011) Promises, Promises (2010) White Christmas, and The Drowsy Chaperone. He has worked as musical director for Bette Midler, Kristin Chenoweth, and Mario Cantone. Matt recently conducted the opera A Distant Love at the Old Stone House in Brooklyn. TV: “The Sound of Music” and “Peter Pan on NBC,” “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon,” “The Late Show with David Letterman,” “The View,” and “Live with Kelly”. BM in jazz piano and composition from NYU.

Melanie J. Lisby (Stage Manager) Broadway: On the Twentieth Century; Off-Broadway: Silence! The Musical; Regional: Red Dog Theatre (Chicago), Crossroads Repertory (Indiana), The Barnstormers (New Hampshire), Mosaic Theatre (Florida), Gulfshore Playhouse (Florida). New York City since 2013: stage managed/coordinated events with Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids, Times Square Alliance, production glue; multiple showcases, readings and galas. Nine years with the Times Square New Year’s Eve Celebration. Proud member, AEA. Indiana State University Alumnus.

Katie Goan (Associate Producer) is a producer, administrator, and writer and has worked in show business for over twenty years. She served as Managing Director of THE PIT in NYC, after working for Roundabout Theatre Company and Ars Nova. Katie has worked for numerous arts festivals nationwide including FringeNYC, and received her theatre degree from St. Edward’s University in Austin, TX. She is currently Director of Programming at Sweetwood Creative.

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Lia Chang is an actor, a performance and fine art botanical photographer, and an award-winning multi-platform journalist. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon and Taxman. She has guest starred on “One Life to Live,” “As the World Turns,” and “New York Undercover.”  She is profiled in Jade Magazine.

Other Articles on Garth Kravits:
Garth Kravits, Michael Keyloun, Klea Blackhurst, Eloise Kropp, Maxine Linehan, and Aaron Ramey set for staged reading of GROUNDED FOR LIFE at York Theatre Company on June 26
Behind the Scenes of the Asian American Film Lab’s 72 Hour Shootout with Lia Chang, Garth Kravits, Evan Daves and Alicia Manns in HIDE AND SEEK
Photos: The 11th Annual 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Launch Party at The Korea Society; TWO FACES is this year’s theme 
Laura Heywood, aka @BroadwayGirlNYC hosts 54 Below’s 2nd Annual Broadway Trivia Night: Tony Awards Edition, with special guest Garth Kravits
Photos: Garth Kravits, Laura Benanti, Brian Nash, Lena Hall, Erin Davie and More in “Broadway Sings Tori” Benefit Concert for RAINN
Photos: Garth Kravits as a Statue of Liberty Street Performer on Showtime’s Nurse Jackie
Garth Kravits Joins “NEW STANDARDS: Songs For The Stage By Jim Territo” Lineup at 42West on March 25
broadwayworld.com:STAGE TUBE: Garth Kravits Releases Oscar Voting Parody
Garth Kravits on NBC’s The Blacklist
Late Night Singing with Garth Kravits at 54 Below with The Skivvies, at Jim Caruso’s Cast Party at Birdland and Michael Raye’s Soul Gathering
broadwayworld.com: TUNE IN TIME, New York’s New Musical Theater Songwriting Challenge Show, Returns to Stage 72, 6/25 and 7/1
Wesley Taylor and Mitchell Jarvis’ ‘it could be worse’ Series Featuring Adam Chanler-Berat, Alison Fraser, Gideon Glick and More Airs on Pivot TV in June; and on Hulu in July
June 4: Garth Kravits, Lena Hall, Lesli Margherita, Wesley Taylor and More Strip Down with The Skivvies at 54 Below
Garth Kravits, Suzzanne Douglas, Erin Dilly, Gavin Lee and More Set for “From Carousel to Kinky Boots”, Bickford Theatre Guild’s annual fundraiser
Dec. 4 – 29: Garth Kravits Returns to Bucks County Playhouse for Meet Me in St. Louis: A Live Radio Play
centraljersey.com: Clang Clang Clang!’Meet Me in St. Louis’ in Bucks County
BWW Interviews: Garth Kravits Talks about Bucks County Playhouse’s MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS: A RADIO PLAY
nj.com: Jersey actor Garth Kravits sings the praises of appearing on Broadway and closer to home

Click here  for the Lia Chang Articles Archive and here for the Lia Chang Photography Website.
All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2015 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at liachangpr@gmail.com

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