The creative team for COFFEE The Musical consists of writers Robert Galinsky and Greg Kotcher, along with award winning musicians Mike Ruekberg & Willie Wisely – and the great Mary Birdsong sings on our title track “Hot Black Stuff”. We are raising money through KICKSTARTER. Robert conceived the idea for the show and is writing the book and lyrics with Greg, while Willie and Mike are composing the music and the majority of the music. The bios of this four person creative team are below.
Bios Of The Creative Team
Robert Galinsky (creator, story, book and lyrics) has had his plays produced at: Yale University, The Kitchen, La Mama La Galleria, The Red Room, Wings Theater, 13th Street Theater, the University of Aberswyth, and various other venues. He is Co-Creator of the Manhattan Monologue Slam, the country’s only theater slam, with shows monthly in NYC and annually in LA. Robert is the founder and “Principal” of the world’s only school for Reality TV – the New York Reality TV School – and he works with the Oscar nominated IMPACT Repertory Theatre. As an acting coach his clients include Academy Award Nominee Charles Mack (“August Rush”) and Hip Hop artist 50 Cent. He has also worked with actors Quentin Crisp, Willem DeFoe, Roger Guenveur Smith, and with Sapphire, author of the critically acclaimed Sundance winning film “Precious”. Robert is a highly sought-after director/producer who recently directed the acclaimed online web series MySpace Rants (over 1 million views) and he develops promotions for CBS, VH1, NBC, FOX TV, American Express and others. His one man show The Bench: A Homeless Love Story had runs in NYC and was performed by invitation at the University of Aberswyth in Wales UK. He is a member of the Screen Actors Guild, Drama League and Directors Guild.
Greg Kotcher (story, book and lyrics) received his Bachelor of Arts in writing from Columbia College Chicago where his full-length play, The Boy in the Window, was recognized as “Official Selection—Story Week,” a heavily contested competition with upwards of 300 entries. In addition, his fiction was published in the extraordinarily prestigious Hair Trigger series, the nation’s leading student-based literary magazine which has won The Gold Crown Award bestowed by the Columbia University Scholastic Press Association (CSPA) an unprecedented 22 out of 27 years and counting. After a long hiatus from the theatre world in which he penned four screenplays, including the optioned Chasing the Sun, he is thrilled to be back in the graces of his first love—the New York stage scene. A creative junkie, Greg can also be seen at many New York hotspots performing with his band, Poofy and the Busboys, for which he writes original music and lyrics for.
Willie Wisely (music and lyrics) has released over 15 albums internationally and toured the USA and Japan since 1989. Wisely’s latest self-titled album on Oglio/Fontana/Universal, “presents the best possible face of rock/pop music today: smart, beautifully melodic, and rhythmically diverse.” says David Pakman, CEO of emusic.com. The album features guitar work by Rusty Anderson [Paul McCartney’s band]. Notably, Wisely’s hit music video for “Through Any Window” starred his biggest fan Jenna Fischer [Pam Beesley in NBC’s ‘The Office’].As a producer Wisely has scored films [Scooby Doo 2], produced for recording artists [Andy Dick], music supervised films and television [Stacking Chips], and even acted in film, television and stage [Six Feet Under, Gold Member, Autofocus, Lovelace the Musical, Frito-Lay].His company Tekspacular creates custom music for sports teams and venues [Green Bay Packers, Kentucky Derby, Bristol Motor Speedway]; designed music for greeting cards [Recycled Paper Greetings] and is developing a feature film based on Wisely’s music; recording a lullaby tribute album to Bon Jovi; designing an iPhone App [Radio8Ball] and booking tours for Wisely, Roger Joseph Manning Jr [Jellyfish], and other artists.
Mike Ruekberg (music and lyrics) is an LA-based songwriter, producer, and performer. As a recording artist he created the “song score” for the 2003 movie “Dummy” (starring Adrien Brody, Mila Jovovich), earning him much critical praise and a passionate cult of fans. His song “Trail of Stars” was the theme song for the HGTV cable network’s branding campaign for Spring of ’09, playing at least once every single hour for four months, which earned him even more fans, as well as a handful of death threats. Mike has also written songs for and with other artists that have appeared in a variety of other films and albums. In addition to his writing and production skills, Mike is a sought-after session singer whose voice has appeared on recordings by Disney superstars Selena Gomez and Miley Cyrus! Current projects include “COFFEE”, as well as writing/producing/performing in the retro-pop band The Red Button, who will release the follow-up to their wildly popular ’07 release “She’s About To Cross My Mind” this Spring, to be followed by a European tour.
Mary Birdsong (vocalist “Hot Black Stuff”) acts opposite George Clooney in “The Descendants,” which will be directed by Alexander Payne (“About Schmidt,” “Election,” “Sideways”). Mary plays the evil stepmother to Twilight’s Kristen Stewart in Adventureland and is featured in Rob Zombie’s Halloween II. She also starred in the Paramount/Fox feature film “RENO 911: MIAMI” playing the beloved role of Deputy Kimball, who is now gracing the tv screen with her bumbling attempts at law enforcement in the tv series “Reno 911″ on Comedy Central. Mary recently won a Theatre World Award for her Broadway debut with Martin Short in the musical “Martin Short: Fame Becomes Me!” She has also trod the boards as “Vixen Fox” (porn star!) in Elaine May’s off-Broadway comedy “Adult Entertainment” with Danny Aiello and Jeannie Berlin at the Variety Arts Theatre in NYC. Other tv credits include playing the trashy sister of Scott Wolfe the CBS tv pilot “Rubbing Charlie,” a guest starring role as “Lisa Barnes” along with Dave Atell on NBC’s “ED,” and the very difficult role as “herself” with Dennis Leary in Contest Searchlight on Comedy Central. Mary was thrilled to be a part of the workshop for the rock musical “Tales of the City” (music by Scissor Sisters bandmates John Garden and Jason Sellards). This is a Broadway-bound production being shaped by Avenue Q boy-geniuses Jason T. Moore and Jeff Whitty. Recently Mary accepted a Theatre World Award given each season to promising actors who have made their Broadway or Off-B’way debut.
Trager Galinsky (Production Design Kickstarter Video) is a film maker, musician and a fine art student at Frank Sinatra School of the Arts. He is a New York City Board of Education Film Maker Scholarship recipient and his shorts on YouTube have a strong and committed audience.
Jodi Katz (Vocalist live performance at Coffee and Tea Festival) recently returned from touring her second year as a lead vocalist/dancer for The Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s North American Tour. Jodi has entertained thousands onteens and tweens, headlining the US tour of Kidz Bop World Tour! As a backup performer she has shared the stage with artists such as Bianca Ryan, Miley Cyrus, Josh Groban and has performed on “The Martha Stewart Show,” “Good Morning America,” and “LIVE! With Regis and Kelly.”