Michael Riedel at the New York Post recently told his readers to “Keep their eye on GOLDSTEIN. It’s like RAGS mixed with a touch of FIDDLER ON THE ROOF.” Brad Rouse is directing, GOLDSTEIN, a new musical about family with music and lyrics by Michael Roberts and a book by Charlie Schulman. GOLDSTEIN will open Off Broadway on Thursday, April 5th at the Actors Temple Theatre (339 West 47 St -between 8th and 9th Avenues). Previews begin Monday, March 26th. Tickets are $79 and are available by visiting www.GoldsteinMusical.com or by calling (212) 239-6200.
Louis Goldstein has written a tell-all family memoir. While it is a best-seller, his family claims that it isn’t true. This uplifting and heartwarming, multi-generational musical explores the challenges and triumphs of three generations of an immigrant Jewish American family. This original musical reminds us that families are complicated, the truth is never clear, and forgiveness is our best hope.
Director Brad Rouse has directed plays and musicals at the Public Theater (NYC), City Center Encores!, Ahmanson Theater (CTG), Hartford Stage, Juilliard, LaMama, Edinburgh Fringe Festival, New Dramatists, Barrow Group Theatre, and NYU. Last season, he directed HIT THE BODY ALARM at The Performing Garage and JUST ONE Q (by Ellen Fitzhugh and Ted Shen) as part of Inner Voices. Other credits include world premieres by Billy Porter (Drama League and GLAAD award nominee), Laurence O’Keefe-Nell Benjamin-Julia Jordan (Best Director nominations, Los Angeles and Philadelphia), Winsome Brown, and Cusi Cram, plus workshop presentations of plays by Adam Rapp and Daniel Goldfarb. His work has been featured on CBS’s “60 Minutes II” and NPR’s “All Things Considered.” Recently, he directed POP! by Maggie-Kate Coleman and Anna K. Jacobs starring Anthony Rapp and choreographed by Billy Porter.
Brad recently discussed his career, GOLDSTEIN and more via an exclusive interview.
Meagan Meehan (MM) of Entertainment Vine: How did you get into the theater?
Brad Rouse (BR): My first job was working for Sir George Martin on a gala production of, UNDER MILKWOOD in London. We performed for Prince Charles and I got to shake his hand backstage. I was a 20-year old kid from Missouri. Sir Anthony Hopkins directed and the cast included Catherine Zeta-Jones, Tom Jones, Jonathan Pryce, Sian Phillips, Alan Bennett, among other Welsh stars.
MM: How did you break into theater and why did you decide to focus on directing?
BR: When I got back from London, I started directing plays at college. Then I came to NYC and started working, as Hal Prince’s assistant, within a month.
MM: You regard the legendary Hal Prince as your mentor, so how did you meet him and come to work with him?
BR: I sent Hal a letter when I graduated. He is a class act who answers his mail. I thought I was just coming in to get some quick advice, next thing I knew, I was hired!
MM: What did Hal teach you about the theater industry and directing?
BR: Hal was a mentor for me and for dozens of other directors. Hal taught me the value of hard work, big ideas, and great stories. No one works harder or better than Hal Prince, he is a true force of nature. It was an honor to apprentice with him.
MM: What is the most challenging thing about being a director?
BR: Setting the right tone is key. Creating a new musical is a major physical and emotional fear for everyone. I do my best to turn that energy into an offering for the audience. In our new screen age, the human connection is everything.
MM: How do you select the projects that you get involved in?
BR: I love to work. I don’t think I’ve ever turned down a job where I valued the script.
MM: You are currently directing the new musical GOLDSTEIN. Can you tell us a bit about that project and why it so appealed to you?
BR: The authors are brilliant. They are also the producers, so their passion for GOLDSTEIN is inspiring. Also, I’m from a close family and we have struggled through tough moments together. To work on a show about love, survival, truth, and forgiveness means the world to me.
MM: What is the rehearsal process like?
BR: It’s a room full of smart, talented human beings. We all have skin in the game and everybody wants a great show. We do our rough draft in front of each other on a tight schedule. It is a high wire act. It is a thrill.
MM: Is there anything else that you would like to discuss?
BR: Life is beautiful.
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To learn more about Brad and GOLDSTEIN, visit the official website of the show.