Oyster Bay Resident Hits Broadway

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(Photos courtesy Brooke DiSpirito)

On Jan. 17 at 54 Below, Broadway’s Supper Club, a concert of a big band musical based on F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel The Beautiful and Damned will bring a beloved story to life.
The musical The Beautiful and Damned, premiered last year at the Jeanne Rimsky Theater in Port Washington. And the transformation from a classic novel to a musical all comes from 22-year-old Brooke Di Spirito, a writer, lyracist, composer and choreographer from Oyster Bay.

Among DiSpirito’s talents is dancing.

“I would just read the novel over and over again,” Dr Spirito said. “And lots of things would jump out at me. And there was a lot of fragments, like ‘oh that would be great for a dance,’ or ‘this moment is screaming for a melody.’”
While attending Northeastern University, Di Spirito, who is also a ballet dancer, began adapting The Beautiful and Damned, receiving awards and grants towards workshopping the production. After moving to New York City, the musical would hit the big stage in Port Washington.
“After that I was surprised and grateful that we received a little bit of media attention,” Di Spirito said. “The F. Scott Fitzgerald Society wrote a very nice review about us.”
The upcoming concert at 54 Below, a Tony Award winning venue, will feature Sarah Anne Fernandez, who played “Elphaba” in the Broadway show Wicked’s national tour. Vocalists also include members of the original workshop cast for The Beautiful and Damned: Mike Jubak Jr., Izzy Ochocki and Beatrix Postley.
The show is accompanied by a seven-piece orchestra, featuring Jivan Ramesh, who at just five years old became the youngest string player to perform at Carnegie Hall.
And many of the people involved with this production are from Long Island, Di Spirito added.
To buy tickets, a $25 to $60 cover charge (there is also a $25 food and beverage minimum), visit 54below.com.

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