Los Angeles, CA., December 21, 2023 – Wonkybot songwriting and producing team Stewart St John & Michael Plahuta – the duo behind the Tara Tremendous musical developed with Marc Platt Productions — have released “Goodbye”, the first song and music video from their work on The Grieving Project, a proof-of-concept musical from singer/playwright Lisa Sniderman, to be directed by Suzanne Richard for a two-week run at The Voxel in Baltimore, Maryland February 26th – March 11th, 2024. The song and video feature actor/singer Josiah Mustaleski who also voices the character of Seth Reynolds (aka the superhero ‘Remix’) in Wonkybot’s award-winning audio series Tara Tremendous. The video can be viewed at the music team’s website StJohnPlahutaMusic.com
The Grieving Project, a collaboration between Sniderman and Open Circle Theater in Washington D.C., is a spoken word musical exploring mental health, transformation, identity, grieving and thriving in fourteen stages with a unique concept at its core: the four lead characters only speak during songs until each finds her/his voice and sings.
St John & Plahuta were approached by Sniderman to work on The Grieving Project in August 2023 and agreed to come on board as the show’s main musical composers where they were tasked with re-writing existing material and composing and producing entirely new songs selected for the “proof of concept” live event.
“Stewart and I were taken with Lisa’s concept for the musical when she pitched it to us,” said Plahuta. “It’s raw, emotional, and real, and we wanted to be part of bringing that message to the audience — but in a way that offered hope through the music we produced.”
The duo also composed, arranged and produced the final demo tracks, hired and directed singers in recording sessions around the country, and prepared the instrumental tracks to be used in the upcoming live performance.
The final mastered song demos are also being repurposed as promotional material to get word out about the project.
“Goodbye” features Mustaleski as one of the main characters — “Brandon” — a young man trying to cope with the sudden and devastating death of his twin brother.
“Michael and I knew we wanted Josiah to record Goodbye from the minute we finished writing the song,” said St John. “He’s an incredibly gifted singer and a joy to work with.”
“We love finding different ways to work with our amazing voice actors on different projects,” said Plahuta about bringing Mustaleski on for the demo recording. “They’re like an extended family to us, and this song provided a wonderful opportunity to work with Josiah in a different capacity.”
St John, also a director/filmmaker, captured behind-the-scenes footage of Mustaleski’s studio recording and cut together the music video. Visit StJohnPlahutaMusic.com to watch the video and for more information about St John & Plahuta and The Grieving Project.