One Direction step aside, there’s a new kind of boy band on the circuit. The all-male string quartet Well-Strung features classical musicians who sing putting their own spin on the music of Mozart, Vivaldi, Rihanna, Adele Lady Gaga, and more! Their debut show sold-out Joe’s Pub on May 1st, 2012 in New York after being workshopped at Ars Nova NYC in February. Since then they have played venues across the world such as The Art House in Provincetown, the Leicester Square Theatre in London, 54 Below in New York, House of Blues in New Orleans and Feinstein’s in San Francisco.
Well-Strung stars first violinist Edmund Bagnell, second violinist Christopher Marchant, cellist Daniel Shevlin and violist Trevor Wadleigh. Well-Strung’s show is directed and co-written by Donna Drake with arrangements by David Levinson. The quartet was formed by producer/co-writer/manager Mark Cortale and Christopher Marchant. Additional arrangements are by Daniel Shevlin, Yair Evnine and Christopher Marchant.
Edmund Bagnell (first violinist) played Tobias in the first national tour of Sweeney Todd directed by John Doyle. Recent credits include Rich in The Last Cyclist (off-Broadway),Toby in Gian Carlo Menotti's The Medium (off-Broadway), Charlie Brown in You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown (Summer Theater of New Canaan), Charlie in The Big Holiday Broadcast of 1959 written by Joanna Gleason (Fairfield Theater Company), and Oramel Howland in The Great Unknown written by Jim Wann (Pump Boys and Dinettes) and Bill Hauptman (Big River) as a part of NYMF. Other Credits include, Tom Sawyer in Big River (STONC), Enoch Snow Jr. in Carousel (Barrington Stage Company), Stewart Smalls in Band Geeks (Ars Nova NYC), Huck Finn in The Adventures of… (Cotton Hall Theater), and Dennis in Smoke on the Mountain (CHT). A native of South Carolina, Edmund is happy living life in the Big Apple.
Chris Marchant (2nd violinist) grew up in Ohio loving music. It kept him busy with orchestra and choir throughout school and led him to Malone College where he received his BA in Music Ministry. Following that, he moved to NYC to pursue work in musical theatre. Favorite productions include national tours of Sweeney Todd and Spring Awakening, Pump Boys and Dinettes, and Naked Boys Singing. Many thanks to those who support and enjoy Well-Strung. Follow on twitter @chrisjmarchant and @wellstrungnyc.
Daniel Shevlin (cello) has performed all over the map as an actor and a cellist. He has appeared off-broadway in "The Sandbox" written and directed by Edward Albee and has toured nationally and internationally with productions of "Rent" and "Cabaret". Regional credits include "Altar Boyz", "25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee", "Titanic", "Sunset Boulevard", "Ragtime" and others. The only two U.S. States he hasn't been to are Oregon and Tennessee, but he's hoping to change that this year. In his spare time he love cooking, sleeping, and watching trashy reality TV. Follow: @DShevy on Twitter!
Trevor Wadleigh (viola) A native of the Pacific Northwest, violist Trevor Wadleigh began studying the viola at age 17. Henceforth, Mr. Wadleigh earned a BA from the U of Puget Sound with major concentrations in Business, Sociology, and Music Performance while studying concurrently with Burton Kaplan of the Manhattan School of Music. Mr. Wadleigh has served as principal violist of the Lake Union Civic Orchestra, the Brevard Music Center Orchestra, and Nova Philharmonic. Mr. Wadleigh has also served on faculty at the U of Puget Sound as violin and viola instructor. In addition to musical endeavors, Mr. Wadleigh is a cofounder of Puget Sound Rescue, a 501(c)(3) animal welfare organization.
Timothy Babcock (Production Tour and Stage Manager) Usually preferring to keep his Stage Managing abilities quiet, Tim is very pleased to be part of the WELL STRUNG touring team, having served as PSM for the NYC run in 2012. Primarily an actor, Tim’s credits include Father Flynn in DOUBT, THOM PAIN (based on nothing), Nick in WHO’S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF?, several delicious character roles in CANDIDE and I AM MY OWN WIFE. Tim is also involved with Counter Productions, formerly of Provincetown, now in Athens, NY, where they plan to build a theater of their own and continue to produce high-quality, professional work. His Stage Managing skills will no doubt come in handy there as well.
David Levinson (arranger) collaborated with Stacey Weingarten and Donna Drake on Les Enfants de Paris (world premiere NYMF 2011). David is also currently working on music and lyrics for Madame, Boys Lost, The Elliot's, and Who Is Prester John? which are in development. Film scoring: The Waystation in the Stars (Brandon Morrissey dir.), The Missing Piece (Leila Manion dir.). Live theater scoring: The Boy Who Wanted To Be A Robot (written by Edward Einhorn, produced by Evolve co.). Music direction: Aida, Cabaret, Infancy. Concert Performances: Bringing Voices to Light - A Benefit Concert for Global Internet Access (The Laurie Beechman Theatre), Red Hot and New, The Music and Lyrics of David Levinson (Laurie Beechman Theatre), special guest at The After Party (The Laurie Beechman Theatre). Education: The New School, Manhattan School of Music Professional Musical Theater Workshop, New York City Opera Workshop.
Donna Drake (Director and Co-Writer) Broadway: original production of A Chorus Line, Sophisticated Ladies, Woman of the Year, The Wind in the Willows, 5678-Dance, It’s so nice to be Civilized and the original production of The 1940s Radio Hour. She is co-writer and director for the acclaimed singing string quartet, Well-Strung. Having just returned from a debut at London’s West End, Leicester Square. Awards: an Emmy nomination, 4 Drama Desk Nominations, A Mac Award Nomination, A Theatre World Award, and an Off Broadway Alliance Nomination. TV credits: She choreographed Catherine Zeta Jones for the American Film Institute Awards, 2009 and The AFI 2011 honoring Morgan Freeman and starring Betty White. The New Fangled Variety Show, Disney’s Johnny & the Sprites, AFI Awards 09,11, ABC TV’s Dear Alex & Annie, One life to live and The Edge of Night. National credits: John Tartaglia’s Imaginocean, The Wizard of Oz, starring Mickey Rooney & Eartha Kitt; Romance In The Dark, starring Jennifer Holliday; Nothing Like A Dame, BC/EFA 2004-2006, All the world is a Stage at Carnegie Hall. A Chorus Line national tour, AIDA, Chicago, Hairspray, Rent, Tommy, Damn Yankees, NEWSicle, Annie, Love Always, Patsy Cline, Smokey Joes Café, Sweet Charity, Honk!, Lucky Guy,, Beauty & the Beast, Chess. National tour & documentary film for Varla Jean Merman, BOOBS! The musical, Christmas with the Crawfords, Andrew Sisters Stagedoor Canteen, Snail Road, Across the Pond, The Wiz, Little Shop of Horrors, The Buddy Holly Story, Monica’s Mixing Bowl and the New York 2012 production of The Medium, starring Jeff Roberson, aka Varla Jean Merman. She is director for John Tartaglia at 54 Below, NYC and at Fienstein’s NYC. She is currently working on a new musical called REPUBLIC ALGIERS. This musical was premiered at the 2011 NYMF Festival in New York City and is being developed for Broadway. As well as conceiving and directing a new Broadway bound musical called “Up Your Ante”, exploring the world and people of the modern day Burlesque scene. Miss Drake is currently teaching Acting at PACE UNIVERSITY, New York City
Mark Cortale (Producer and Co-Writer) is the Producing Artistic Director at The Art House in Provincetown, Massachusetts. In his inaugural season in 2011, he founded the Broadway @ The Art House series featuring Seth Rudetsky as host and pianist. This past summer the artists he presented on the series included Patti LuPone, Chita Rivera, Sutton Foster, Audra McDonald, Megan Mullally, Megan Hilty and Christine Ebersole. In 2012 Mark produced the feature film Varla Jean and the Mushroomheads. He is currently producing Seth Rudetsky’s new Broadway-themed web network at www.SethTV.com. Last season he produced the Broadway @ series in New Orleans, in Australia (with Megan Mullally) and in London’s West End (with Patti LuPone) at the Leicester Square Theater. The series recently launched in Santa Monica this October @ The Broad Stage. In December the series launched in The Poconos with Audra McDonald @ The Stroudsmoor and in January in Fort Lauderdale @ the Parker Playhouse.