New Jersey's Axelrod Performing Arts Center will present the world premiere of A Monkey and Me: Stories I Never Told My Mother by Jonathan Brielle. The new, semi-autobiographical musical comedy will have performances June 24-30.
Brielle will star in the show as himself alongside Tony nominee Tovah Feldshuh as his mother, and Tony nominee Veanne Cox as his "monkey." They are joined by Bruce Sabath, Jennifer Sanchez, Nancy Ticotin, and Kate Marilley.
A Monkey and Me explores Brielle's adolescence growing up in Deal, New Jersey with a theatrical, Jewish mother, graduating from Asbury Park High School, and wrestling with a monkey as Brielle learns self-acceptance. Kelli Barclay will direct, with music directiion by Nathan Dame. The show will feature an 8-piece band.
“After developing this piece at the O’Neill Cabaret Festival, it’s wonderful and bittersweet to come home and collaborate with the Axelrod to launch the world premiere two blocks from where my Mom and Dad lived for so many years,” said Brielle in a statement.
“I stumbled upon Jonathan when I discovered his wonderful Off-Broadway show Himself and Nora," said Andrew DePrisco, artistic director of Axelrod, in a statement. "I was stunned to discover that he’d grown up right here on the Jersey Shore." Brielle is also known for writing the music and lyrics for Broadway's Foxfire.
For tickets and more information, visit AxelrodArtsCenter.com.