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Fairy Tales & Silly Songsters

Photo, left to right: Carolyn CS Renner, Vince Gatton, Erika Diehl, Genevieve Scandone (author/songwriter/producer), Daniel Siford (director), Kathy Connolly, Amos Margulies, Gizem Gokoglu (arranger/composer). Photo by Sharon A. Ayers.

Genevieve Scandone is the author, songwriter, producer, & artistic director of “Fairy Tales & Silly Songs, Volume 2.” She wrote all of the words & most of the music for the three plays on this album. She borrowed some of the music from Beethoven & Corelli. As for the Silly Songs, Jessica Danser made up “I Don’t Smell” & the music for “I Had a Frog,” John Shoemaker wrote “Weather Medley,” & Mozart helped out with the music for “Running, Running” & “Birdie ABCs.” “Hoedown on Old MacDonald’s Farm” is based on the traditional song. Nobody knows who wrote the music for “Swingin’ Frère Jacque,” but Genevieve wrote most of the words. A lifelong musician, writer, & editor, Genevieve lives in Queens, New York, with her husband, John, a professional musician & music teacher.

Gizem Gokoglu, an up-&-coming composer & arranger, has taken Genevieve’s simple melodies & created beautiful suites of music for each play & unique interpretations of the Silly Songs. She is also credited as a composer of “Weather Medley.” Gizem is a singer, composer, & arranger from Turkey & the Turkish Republic of Cyprus, where, at the tender age of four, she started piano lessons &, later on, pursued voice lessons. After graduating from high school & attending the Istanbul State Conservatory, Gizem began her studies in the United States at Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts. In 2009, she received the Quincy Jones Award from Berklee, & in 2010, she was selected for the Maria Schneider Jazz Composition Seminar Class. During the past year, Gizem was chosen to be a member of the BMI Jazz Composers Workshop & was honored to conduct & perform a new piece of hers at their performance in June. She is currently working on a master’s degree in composition at New York University.

Daniel Siford directed this album. He plays the Ogre in “Jack & the Beanstalk,” Prince Ruffino in “Rapunzel’s Braid,” & Maggie in “The Pig Prince.” Danny was most recently seen at the Three Rivers Film Festival, which premiered the pilot of “Greg & Donny,” which was produced by Dakota Films & IFC television network. The director of the pilot was Troy Miller, who has directed episodes of “The Office,” “Parks & Recreation,” & two opening performances of the official Oscar ceremonies (2011 & 2012). Danny also recently completed a benefit performance of “Closer Than Ever” at the newly created Broad Street Playhouse in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. A regular singer for the US Air Force, Iron Gate Chapter, in New York City, Danny works off-Broadway, on tour, & at venues such as Manhattan Theater Club & the Grand Ole Opry. At the 2010 New York City Fringe Festival, the show he was in, called “Viva Los Bastarditos,” won the Audience Favorite Award. With a master’s degree in psychology & over a decade of experience in the New York City foster care system, Danny is also an active child welfare advocate. He is very glad to return for this second “Fairy Tales & Silly Songs” album. Fee Fie Fo Fum!

Kathy Connolly plays Rapunzel in “Rapunzel’s Braid” & the Queen & Coral in “The Pig Prince.” She narrates “Jack & the Beanstalk.” A graduate of New York University’s TISCH School of the Arts, Kathy is an award-winning actor & choreographer. She is also an active voice artist. She recently performed in “A Wind in the Willows Christmas” at Two River Theater in Red Bank, New Jersey. Kathy has been teaching acting, movement, & dance to children in New York & New Jersey for many years.

Erika Diehl plays the Worried Woman & sings the Mandolin in “Jack & the Beanstalk.” She plays two fairies & Portia in “The Pig Prince.” Erika earned a BFA in musical theatre from the University of Central Florida. She studied in Hamburg, Germany, for two consecutive summers through the International Performing Arts Institute. Erika is also a proud member of the 2011-2012 apprentice/intern company at Actors Theatre of Louisville, Kentucky, where she performed in Jon Jory’s “Sense & Sensibility,” “A Christmas Carol,” & “Oh, Gastronomy!” She is part of the singing wait staff at Don't Tell Mama’s Piano Bar & is overjoyed to be surviving in New York City!

Vince Gatton plays Jack in “Jack & the Beanstalk” & Prince Reggie in “The Pig Prince.” He narrates “Rapunzel’s Braid.” Vince is a Drama Desk–nominated actor based in New York City. He played over 35 characters in each of the one-man shows “I Am My Own Wife” & “Fully Committed” at Barrington Stage Company in the Berkshires, & he was named Metroland newspaper’s Critic’s Pick for Best Actor of 2008. He sits on the Board of the New York Shakespeare Exchange, for whom he has appeared in “The Comedy of Errors,” “Mucedorus,” “ShakesBEER: the Original Shakespearian Pub Crawl,” & “The Sonnet Project,” & he has played the title role in their critically acclaimed “Life & Death of King John.” Vince recently lived a trivia nerd’s dream by competing on “Jeopardy!” Also, he knits.

Amos Margulies plays the Funny Little Man in “Jack & the Beanstalk,” the Shopkeeper in “Rapunzel’s Braid,” & the King & the Villager in “The Pig Prince.” He also is credited for many of the sound effects. Amos is a proud New York City public school teacher. He currently teaches 11th-grade English in the South Bronx to international students from Latin America. Amos is also a stage combat teacher & fight choreographer who has choreographed fight scenes throughout the tristate area, from off-Broadway to nonprofit children’s theater groups. Amos very much enjoys lemon meringue pie & cookies, & he sometimes has a beard.

Carolyn CS Renner plays Mother in “Jack & the Beanstalk” & Mother Mae-mae in “Rapunzel’s Braid.” She narrates & plays a fairy in “The Pig Prince.” Carolyn is a graduate of the Boston Conservatory of Music Dance & Theater with concentrations in vocal jazz & opera. Professionally, for eight years Miss Renner was the General Manager/Associate Producer for Big League Theatricals, a New York City company that produced Broadway musicals & variety entertainment for touring internationally & in the United States. Previously, she was the Managing Director for The SITI Company, a Booking Agent for The Booking Group, & a performer in the New York City downtown theatre scene. Carolyn currently does professional voice over & jingle work from her antique home in central New Jersey, where she is a proud wife & a stay-at-home mother of three-year-old son EJ.

All of the actors sing the Silly Songs.

Jessica Danser-Schwarz is a professional choreographer, dancer, & dance teacher, a natural living blogger, an all-round creative person, & Genevieve’s daughter. She made up her songs when she was about eight years old.

John Shoemaker, singer, actor, & lifelong opera lover, wrote “Weather Medley” while studying early childhood education.

Ian Herman is the pianist.

Karl Schwarz recorded the piano music at Ultra Sound Studios & plays Genevieve’s mother’s 1947 Gibson mandolin in “Jack & the Beanstalk.”

Sharon A. Ayers took the cast photo.

Mary Fusco created the cover art.

A.J. Molaee was the engineer for the album, which was recorded at Euphoria & Room 5 Productions in New York City.

If you would like to be on the contact list or if you have comments, please e-mail Genevieve at fairytales_sillysongs@hotmail.com.

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