You Want Me to Do WHAT?!?
written and performed by Mary Lou Shriber
directed by Joe Ricci
musical direction by John Baxindine
You Want Me To Do WHAT?!? is a true coming-of-age solo musical show that tells what happens when a stage struck young girl is pushed by her movie biz father into something safe to fall back on – leukemia nursing.
A young drama queen growing up in Detroit aspires to be an actress, but her father, despite working for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, urges her to become a nurse. That and the social unrest of Detroit in the 1960’s make her want to make a difference with her life. She is torn between acting and nursing, when her father passes away, unexpectedly, but not before he makes her promise to become a nurse.
Moving to Boston to begin her nursing career in a major urban teaching hospital, she inadvertently signs up for the leukemia ward. And there, this feisty, sometimes callow drama queen is honed into a compassionate adult, profoundly affected by her patients and the profession of nursing. Along the way the audience meets some of the patients she comes to care deeply care about, and experiences the life and death drama – and dark comedy – that haunt the halls of the leukemia ward. An all original score delivers the exuberant highs and the devastating lows of You Want Me To Do WHAT?!?
The book, music and lyrics of You Want Me To Do WHAT?!? were developed in Gretchen Cryer’s Solo Performance Writing Workshop in New York. A version of the show without original music was presented at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2011 to critical acclaim. This is the New York premiere of the original music version.
“She conveys her emotions with passion and confidence… Shriber’s strong vocals genuinely bring the performance to life.”
Three Weeks, Edinburgh
“Shriber has the distinct advantage when it comes to narrating her story – able to break into song on a whim, or play all the characters in a vignette from her memory bank.”
Fringe Guru, Edinburgh
“Shriber, a trim, clear-voiced blonde, tells it like it is. …Shriber’s a great yarn-spinner.”
The Herald Scotland
Mary Lou Shriber (Performer/Playwright)
Mary Lou Shriber is a New York actress, singer , TV host and writer. She was most recently seen on Fox-TV’s series “Fringe” and as Grace on CBS’s “Guiding Light.” Her solo show, You Want Me To Do WHAT?, was presented at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2011 to critical acclaim. Favorite New York roles include Lula in The Dutchman, at the Expanded Arts Theatre and Paulina in The Winter’s Tale at the Clark Studio Theatre, Lincoln Center. Ms. Shriber hosted “The Good Day Show” for WCVB-TV in Boston. Her favorite singing gig was a televised appearance in “The All Night Strut!” backed by the Boston Pops. She made her Equity debut in The Man of La Mancha with Richard Kiley and Joan Diene, directed by Albert Marre. She has also been in countless commercials and voice-overs.
Ms. Shriber is a graduate of the University of Michigan with a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Early in her career, she worked at several Boston teaching hospitals and at the Visiting Nurse Service as a oncology/leukemia nurse.
Joe Ricci (Director)
Joe Ricci is very excited to be directing You Want Me to Do What? as he continues his love affair with directing the solo form. Most recently, Joe directed The Panic Diaries, written and performed by four-time National Monologue Slam Champion Katie Northlich. This multi-character tour-de-force was presented at the Cherry Lane as part of the NYC Fringe Festival, where it received rave reviews and was named best solo show of the Fringe by Mateo Moreno. Excerpts, called “Pieces of Panic”, were presented at last year’s All for One Festival at Theatre 80 St. Marks. Prior to that, he directed the solo show Hardware Dreams at Theatre for the New City. Filled with music and dance, it follows a young woman from modern day New York to her childhood in Santurce Puerto Rico. His love affair with the solo form started when he directed the solo dance show Dining Alone, performed by Tricia Brouk. It was a collection of solos that she had performed throughout her career. As an actor, he recently made his Broadway debut as Mike in the hit A View from the Bridge starring Live Schreiber and Scarlett Johansson. And he hopes to be returning this fall in Empire. He can also be seen monthly as the writer and Co-host for Vintage Variety at the Triad theatre. www.joericci.net
John Baxindine (Musical Arrangements/Direction)
Credits include: International: Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (New Arrangements and Orchestrations: U.S., U.K. tours), I Love a Piano (Music Director, Japan Tour), Der gelbe Stern (Arrangements and Orchestrations, Australia Tour). Broadway: Chance and Chemistry (Orchestration Supervisor). Other NYC: Yank! (York Theatre), The Mystery of Edwin Drood (20th Anniversary Concert), The Fartiste (FringeNYC 2006). Assistant to orchestrator Jonathan Tunick: Cy Coleman’s The Great Ostrovsky (Prince Music Theater), Meet John Doe (Ford’s Theater), Paradise Found. Other regional: Parade (Philadelphia premiere; Barrymore Award nomination), Kathie Lee Gifford’s Saving Aimee (White Plains PAC), Pal Joey, Casino Paradise, Jamaica (Prince Music Theater). Arranger for Donna McKechnie, Christiane Noll, Hampton String Quartet, etc. Recordings: Rupert Holmes’s Swing.
John graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University, where he received the Thomas Temple Hoopes and LeBaron Russell Briggs prizes for his groundbreaking thesis on Leonard Bernstein’s Candide.
Special thanks to Bill Russell and Mark Hollmann for their very gracious help.
If you would like more information about bringing You Want Me to Do WHAT?!? to your school or venue, please contact Michael Wolk at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (212) 398-7180.