Tony Award-Winner and Grammy Nominee Van Dean to Release “Tara Tremendous the Musical” Original Studio Cast Recording Under Broadway Records Label
LOS ANGELES, DECEMBER 19, 2016 — Monkees lead singer Micky Dolenz and Matilda The Musical’s MiMi Ryder have joined the cast of award-winning writer Stewart St John’s Tara Tremendous The Musical, based on Wonkybot Studios’ #1 iTunes Kids & Family podcast The Secret Diaries of Tara Tremendous. The one-night family friendly show will debut at Feinstein’s/54 Below in New York on March 28th at 7PM.
Tara Tremendous is the story of Tara Callahan, a bubbly, brave and headstrong 11-year-old girl who goes from ordinary to extraordinary overnight when she’s accidentally infused with the powers of every superhero in the world. Now this spunky, imaginative, inquisitive, sweet and adventurous little girl can summon any power she wants, but first she’ll need to learn how to use them!
Dolenz, who will return to perform his critically acclaimed concert show “A Little Bit Broadway, A Little Bit Rock ‘n’ Roll” at Feinstein’s/54 Below in March 2017, will star in the role of MZ. COSMETIX, the sinister super villainess from Yoglandia who speaks in a thick European accent and by day runs a global cosmetics empire, but at night is in the lab creating lethal cosmetic weapons to sell on the underground market.
Ryder will star as the lead character, TARA CALLAHAN, who goes from ordinary to extraordinary overnight when she inherits the powers of every superhero in the world.
Following the performance the cast will record an album of songs produced by Wonkybot Studios, to be released by Broadway Records–recently nominated in the 2016 Grammy Best Musical Theater Album category for The Color Purple (featuring Cynthia Erivo and Jennifer Hudson) and Fiddler on the Roof. Van Dean, President of Broadway Records, has been a driving force behind the Tara Tremendous The Musical New York debut, accompanied by co-producer Mia Moravis. In 2015, Dean released Micky Dolenz’s “A Little Bit Broadway, A Little Bit Rock ‘n’ Roll: Live at 54 Below”; and most recently, executive produced “Broadway Kids Against Bullying: I Have A Voice”, featuring over 70 child actors from Broadway lending their voices to an uplifting new anti-bullying charity single.
“This is a dream come true,” said Tara Tremendous creator Stewart St John, who is adapting the series into the live musical. “It’s been a long-held desire to see one of my projects move from page to stage, and to have Tara be the first one is an absolute thrill.
We are so grateful to Van and Mia for working their magic to pull this together. Mia is an absolute star, and in fact is set to play ‘Epic Mama’ in the live show, a character she originated in the podcast series. And Van has been such a believer in Tara Tremendous, he reached out to both Micky and MiMi to join the show.”
“One of the highlights of my Broadway career is working with children, so I love finding material that is empowering and inspiring for them,” added Van Dean. “Like Matilda before her, I believe Tara Tremendous will inspire young children everywhere to stand up for what is right and to pursue their dreams.”
“I am so excited to be playing Tara Tremendous — I love playing characters that are able to stand up for what they believe in,” said Mimi Ryder. “And I love that she has every super power in the world! She is a fun, strong and super cool character!”
Casting is underway for additional key parts, including grand dame Grandmother Evelyn, and school headmaster Mr. Barrington.
Tara Tremendous The Musical centers around an 11-year-old girl from Big City who dreams of a life far away from her controlling, snobby grandmother where she can help others just the way her parents taught her. Tara gets her chance when she goes from ordinary to extraordinary overnight after accidentally receiving the powers of every superhero in the world, but will Grandmother Evelyn — president of the Anti-Superhero Society — allow her to embrace her destiny, or squash her heroic future?
Meanwhile, Big City’s super villain scientist (and egomaniac) Dr. Epic is plotting, alongside his mistreated creature assistant 1102, to steal Tara’s powers for himself, but first he’ll have to fend off a scheme by his own diabolical Mama and the beguiling super villainess by night — Mz. Cosmetix (Dolenz in the role) — to take over his Epic Empire!
Tara Tremendous The Musical features show-stopping tunes like “Here I Am”, “Believe”, “So Close!”, “Don’t Mess With Mama”, “All I’ve Ever Wanted”, “Mama Runs The Show”, “Hero’s R Us”, “Welcome To Power U”, “Proper Young Lady!” and more, creating a performance that is funny, over-the-top and totally TREMENDOUS!
Humanitas Prize and Young Artist Award-winner St John, together with Todd Fisher and Michael Plahuta, are the co-founders of Wonkybot Studios, an indie production/publishing and music company focusing on kids and family content created by St John. Fisher is the lead executive producer of the podcast series, while St John—whose extensive writing credits include over 50 episodes of Saban’s “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers”, ABC’s “Sabrina: The Animated Series”, Marvel’s “The Hulk”, Sony’s “Heavy Gear”, Hanna-Barbera’s “Tom & Jerry Kids”, and the Showtime Original feature “Seventeen Again”—writes all the scripts, voice directs the actors, stars as the wicked Dr. Epic and, with musical partner Michael Plahuta, composes all the songs and co-scores the series. Together they have composed over 20 original songs for the podcast series, and over 6 hours of orchestrated music. Many of those songs will be heard in the live performance, while additional songs are currently being written and will be added in.
ABOUT WONKYBOT STUDIOS
To learn more about Wonkybot Studios, or hear some of the music from the podcast series, visit https://www.wonkybot.com to check out free episodes of the #1 podcast, or listen to music from “The Secret Diaries of Tara Tremendous: Songs From A Superhero World”, the debut album released by the studio.