The year is 1960. The television empire is on the rise and cinema's only hope for survival is to adapt.


“A Spectacular Night with the Stars” by Brain Melt Consortium, directed by Rachel Kerry.
L-R: Tori Ernst, Annie-Sage Whitehurst. Photo by Ryan LaCasse

September 11 at 9:00 PM, September 13 at 8:00 PM, September 18 at 9:00 PM, September 19 at 8:00 PM, September 20 at 8:00 PM.
Theater for the New City (Johnson Theater), 155 First Ave.
Presented by Theater for the New City (Crystal Field, Artistic Director) as part of the Dream Up Festival 2015.
Tickets $15
Box office: (212) 254-1109,
Runs: 45 mins. Critics are invited to all performances.
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NEW YORK, July 14 -- "A Spectacular Night with the Stars: The golden age of Hollywood in retrograde at the dawn of the empire of television" is a play conceived, created and devised by Brain Melt Consortium and directed by Rachel Kerry. The year is 1960 and Hollywood's most famous film stars are in trouble. The empire of cinema has fallen and a new medium is rising to take its place: television. Judy, a movie star as talented as she is troubled, has decided to take drastic measures in the face of this change and invites America into her home for a televised variety show filled with her most famous friends. But things are not what they seem in this fabulous affair: Satanism, serial killers, madness and mayhem lurk around every corner. It all culminates in a terrifying occult ritual that may or may not end the entertainment industry as we know it. Its world premiere will be presented by Theater for the New City's Dream Up Festival September 11 to 20.

"A Spectacular Night with the Stars!" uses the imagery of classic Hollywood as a lens through which to explore our anxieties regarding technology and its impact on contemporary popular culture. It blends theater, jazzy dance numbers, razor-sharp satire, a sweeping musical score, fabulously dressed Hollywood stars and at least one satanic ritual to deconstruct the aesthetic of 1950's Hollywood. The play recreates, celebrates and subverts the 1950s variety show format while bringing its message into today's world with its look at the impact of technology on trends in popular culture and the way we relate with one another.

"A Spectacular Night with the Stars" was conceived, created and devised by Brain Melt Consortium, a critically acclaimed theater and multimedia production group interested in engaging audiences in new and evocative ways. The group produces high-energy, zany, genre-defying art through a variety of different platforms. Its work explores popular culture, sexuality, feminism and genre cinema, seeking to give content creators, especially theater artists, an opportunity to devise work that has a transmedia mindset. Shows have been produced in The New York International Fringe, FRIGID New York and the Edinburgh International Festival Fringe (where BMC received a four star review from The Scotsman for its burlesque-themed play, "Daughters of Lot"). Most recently, BMC's "The ChristmApocalypse" won Best Sound Design in the 2015 FRIGID New York Festival. Additionally, BMC has produced staged readings, interactive concept parties, web series and the monthly surreal comedy/variety show "Pop Culture Fondue!" (,

The play is directed and designed by Rachel Kerry, a New York City based director, writer and designer interested in innovative, transmedia storytelling. Her work emphasizes devised movement, immersive environments and the exploration of popular culture. In 2014 Kerry launched the horror comedy web series, "The Flowers of Fantastico," which was hailed as "triumphantly weird" by Her career highlights include staging a large-scale Times Square flash mob for Guy Laliberte's "Moving Stars and Earth for Water International Telecast," directing Alexis Roblan's critically acclaimed play"Daughters of Lot" (FRIGID 2012, Edinburgh Fringe 2012) and directing/designing the immersive devised theater piece "The ChristmApocalypse" (winner of Best Sound Design, 2015 FRIGID New York Festival). Kerry graduated Cum Laude from the University of Southern California with a BA in theater and recognition as a Multimedia Literacy Scholar. She was the recipient of the USC Discovery Scholarship Award for her exploration of multimedia performance in her original production, "Seven Fragments: A Experimental Multimedia Play." She also studied at NYU's Playwrights Horizon Theatre School and The National Institute of Dramatic Arts in Sydney, Australia. She is the mastermind behind Brain Melt Consortium, co-host of the monthly variety show "Pop Culture Fondue!" and an associate editor for New York Theater Review.

The cast features Annie-Sage Whitehurst, Tori Ernst, Rory Allan Meditz, Ian Prince, Jon Rentler, Melissa Shaw, Chris Smith and Jessica Winograd. Sound and video design are by Rachel Kerry.

The sixth Dream Up Festival ( will be presented by Theater for the New City (TNC) from August 30 to September 20, 2015, offering a lineup of wide-ranging and original theatrical visions embracing drama, musicals, improv, aerial and more. This year, owing to growing popularity, the festival has expanded beyond its primary venue. Previously, all productions were presented at Theater for the New City, 155 First Ave. This year, 19 productions will be presented at TNC and seven will be presented at an outside venue, The Producers Club Theaters at 358 West 44th Street.

The festival is dedicated to new works. TNC feels this festival is especially needed now in a time of declining donations to the arts, when grants are not being awarded due to market conditions and arts funding is being cut across the country and abroad. The festival aims to push ideas to the forefront through imaginative presentations so as to challenge audience expectations and make us question our understanding of the way art illuminates the world around us.

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