UCLA Alumni and West LA resident Michael Berns has created and produced “Broadway Sings Blood Rock: The Musical,” a new EP comprised of six songs from the acclaimed 2018 stage play “Blood Rock: The Musical”. The EP has just been released on a worldwide basis to all streaming music platforms, including iTunes and Apple Music. The new EP features the singing of four top Broadway stars: 2019 Tony Award nominee Damon Daunno (Curly in Broadway’s “Oklahoma!”); 1987 Tony Award nominee Robert Torti(Greaseball from “Starlight Express”); Andy Mientus (Broadway’s “Les Misérables,” and in the role of the Pied Piper on the CW TV series "The Flash"); and Jennifer DiNola (Elphaba in Broadway’s “Wicked”).
“Broadway Sings Blood Rock: The Musical” is currently under consideration for a 2021 Grammy Award in the category of “Best Musical Theatre Album.”
The stage play “Blood Rock: The Musical” enjoyed a limited run in Los Angeles in 2018, earning strong reviews and solid acclaim across Southern California. Among the media coverage:
With original music by the show’s creator Michael Berns, and with lyrics by Michael Berns and Peabody Award winner Ralph Pezzulo (whose books include “Jawbreaker” and “Inside SEAL Team Six,”) “Blood Rock: The Musical” was being retooled during 2019 and early 2020, with plans for an entirely new and larger Los Angeles production to be staged during late 2020 – however, the COVID-19 pandemic has forced the reworked play’s temporary delay. This delay inspired Michael Berns to assemble a new creative production team, and to produce the new EP, which includes four original songs from the “Blood Rock” 2018 theatrical presentation – along with two brand new songs written in 2020.
Participating in the production of the EP along with Show Creator Michael Berns were the play’s new creative team, which includes director/choreographer Kay Cole (an original cast member of “A Chorus Line” on Broadway); production designer Andy Walmsley (“The Buddy Holly Story,” "American Idol"); and producer Conwell Worthington (Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast World Tour).
The recording studio personnel for the album consisted of Michael Berns and James Walsh - the duo jointly produced the majority of the record from the site of Walsh's Threshold Studios located in New York City (with Berns remaining in Los Angeles) along with sound engineers Derek Rusinek and Andrew Yanchyshyn. Additional vocal performances were recorded at Adrenaline Studios in Las Vegas, with Matt Smith as sound engineer and again with Berns stationed in Los Angeles.
To view the studio performance of the new song "Heart For You To Break" featuring Damon Daunno and Jen DiNoia, please click here
To preview all six of the “Blood Rock” songs appearing on the new EP, which, in addition to “Heart For You To Break,” include: “Didn’t Notice Us,” “Thomasina,” “A Thousand Years,” “Paler Than a Ghost,” and “How Can You Blame Us,”
Says Show Creator Michael Berns, “I am thrilled with this new project, which has its roots in our 2018 stage show. I’ve assembled a truly remarkable new team to both rework the original show and to produce this new, six-song EP, which features 2019 Tony Award nominee Damon Daunno. James Walsh, Matt Smith, Kay Cole and Conwell Worthington and I all co-produced these six new songs over Zoom calls, FaceTime conversations, and via direct feeds from the two studios (NYC and Las Vegas) where the actors were physically located while recording. Given the current COVID environment, this virtual recording set-up allowed us to produce something unique – something that we are all very proud of!”
Originally staged at The Odyssey Theater in Los Angeles during September 2018, “Blood Rock: The Musical” tells the story of two rival vampire gangs that have been living secretly in the city of Philadelphia for hundreds of years. Regarding its origin, Show Creator Michael Berns has said, "The show pays homage to the ‘sung-through’ style of Andrew Lloyd Webber productions, and is akin to ‘West Side Story,’ but with vampires. ‘Blood Rock’ is a great deal of fun - and jam packed with humor and irresistible songs. At our initial Los Angeles engagement, the show was enjoyed by audiences of all ages."
Regarding the play, BroadwayWorld.com (9/2018) said: “’Blood Rock’ is an entertaining romp with a transfusion of wonderfulness. In the show, The Blood Rock Gang, human-friendly vampires, have been running a blood bank to obtain donated blood that they can transform into the synthetic solid form of the 'blood rock' that sustains them. However they are threatened when new arrivals, The Carnoli Gang -- more traditional human-killing vampires -- require fresh blood to feed their eternal lives.”
After having attended a special VIP performance of “Blood Rock: The Musical,” Bela Lugosi, Jr., son of legendary movie "Dracula" actor Bela Lugosi, Sr., said: "My father would have loved this show!! ‘Blood Rock’ has drama, action, comedy, dance, romance, and best of all, lots of vampires! I'm sure he would have greatly enjoyed the show as much as my family and I have!"