“Bat Boy” Composer, Laurence O'Keefe
To Perform with the Harvard Pops Orchestra

Laurence O'Keefe, acclaimed composer and lyricist of the award-winning "Bat Boy: The Musical," as well as many other musicals, will perform with the Harvard Pops Orchestra in "Love'll Kill Ya," the orchestra's winter concert, on Friday, February 13. Show time is 8 p.m.  The concert will be presented at Harvard University’s Paine Hall, located at 3 Kirkland St. in Cambridge.

O'Keefe, Harvard College Class of '91, is the recipient of ASCAP's 2001 Richard Rodgers New Horizons Award and a 2001 Jonathan Larson Foundation Award

Conducted by Allen Feinstein, the Harvard  Pops Orchestra will feature works by O'Keefe, including the premiere of his new mini-opera, "The Magic Futon, or Die Zaubersofa: An Undergraduate Opera in One Unfortunate Act" along with "The Sensitive Song," "You Drive Me to Drink," "Wake Up," and "Is It Me You Want To Kiss" and more. 

The program will also include Bernstein's "Symphonic Dances from West Side Story," and selections from "Romeo and Juliet" as interpreted by Tchaikovsky, Prokofiev, and Rota.  The concert will feature guest artists Tom Lowe, Sarah Chase and Jeffrey Korn. 

O'Keefe began his theater while an undergraduate at Harvard.  As a social anthropology concentrator specializing in performance theory, Larry studied ethnomusicology with Graeme Boone, composition with Louise Vosgerchian and Shakespeare with Jeremy Geidt.  He also wrote and orchestrated scores for several Hasty Pudding shows, co-writing book and lyrics for "Romancing the Throne, a.k.a. Feudal Attraction." The production’s co-writer was lyricist and librettist Nell Benjamin, Harvard College Class of '93, with whom O'Keefe has collaborated on many projects since.

O'Keefe also wrote for the Harvard Lampoon and sang with the Harvard Krokodiloes, for whom he arranged music, wrote comedy and performed on two world tours.

After graduating Harvard and graduate music studies at Berklee and USC, O’Keefe joined the Actors' Gang, the Los Angeles theater company founded by actor Tim Robbins.  There, he wrote music and lyrics for several award-winning Actors' Gang shows, including "The Imaginary Invalid," "Euphoria," and notably "Bat Boy: The Musical," an epic farce starring the cave-dwelling mutant from the pages of the "Weekly World News." 

"Bat Boy" was named L.A. Weekly's Musical Of The Year, won two Richard Rodgers Awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and ran Off-Broadway at the Union Square Theatre throughout 2001.  "Bat Boy" also received the NY Theatre Critic's Circle Award for Best Off-Broadway Musical and the Lucille Lortel Award for Musical of the Year.  "Bat Boy," which captured Boston audiences through a winning production at SpeakEasy Stage Company, has had over 70 productions nationwide and will open in London’s West End this fall. A return to Broadway in planned for spring 2005.

Larry has also written music for movies and television, including "The Daily Show" on Comedy Central, for which he wrote songs and underscore to the immortal "Mo Rocca's Back To School Special.” He is currently collaborating with "Fool Moon" clown David Shiner on the new clown show, "Drop Everything," which won an NEA grant for a workshop at ACT Theater in Seattle. 

For TheatreWorksUSA, Larry and Nell Benjamin wrote "Sarah, Plain and Tall," a new musical which ran Off-Broadway at the Lucille Lortel and is now touring. In 2003, "Sarah, Plain and Tall" was further developed at the O'Neill Music Theatre Festival and served asa highlight of the annual New York conference of the National Alliance for Musical Theatre.  The new edition of "Sarah, Plain and Tall" will be produced this year at several regional theaters before returning to New York.

The Harvard Pops Orchestra was founded in 1996, and has been under the direction of Allen Feinstein since 1998. For more information about the Harvard Pops Orchestra, visit hcs.harvard.edu/~pops/.  

Concert tickets ($12 per person, $6 for students with a valid Harvard ID) may be purchased at the door, or in advance at the Harvard Box Office, Holyoke Center Arcade, 1350 Massachusetts Ave., Harvard Square.  Tickets are also available by calling 617-496-2222. 

-- OnStage Boston



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