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Local writer’s musical ‘Cassandra’ to premiere at Proctors

Local writer’s musical ‘Cassandra’ to premiere at Proctors

The project that Patrick Longo began 13 years ago will finally hit the stage Saturday afternoon when

The project that Patrick Longo began 13 years ago will finally hit the stage Saturday afternoon when “Cassandra: The Musical,” makes its world premiere at Proctors in downtown Schenectady.

His work, however, is far from done.

“The next thing is taking it to theater festivals, develop the show even more, and then re-tool it for Broadway,” said Longo, a 1987 Shenendehowa graduate and Schenectady resident.

“We also will probably have to have a backer’s audition in New York. But now we finally have a product, and I’d love to see that product on Broadway. That’s my long-term goal.”

A lavish, song-filled production about Cassandra, the mythical princess of ancient Troy, “Cassandra: The Musical” will have a preview at 2 p.m. Saturday at the GE Theater, followed by its official premiere at 8 p.m.

“This is all about defying the powerful forces in your life working against you, and if you want to succeed you really have to put yourself out there,” said Longo. “Cassandra can see the future but no one believes her. They don’t want to believe what’s right in front of them.”

The cast is made up of talented professional performers based in New York City. Longo wrote nearly 70 songs for the musical, but has narrowed the list down to 25.

‘Cassandra: The Musical’

WHERE: GE Theater, Proctors, 432 State St., Schenectady

WHEN: 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday

HOW MUCH: $42-$36

MORE INFO: 346-6204, www.cassandrathemusical.com

There are three leads in the play: Cassandra, Apollo and King Priam, played by Brittney Hamilton, Josh Tolle and Mat Burrow, respectively. Travis Greisler is the director. There will be four musicians accompanying the show and a chorus of six men and six women.

“There’s very little dialogue in the show,” said Longo, who created his own company, Upaya Productions, to produce his work. “Most of it is singing, so there’s very little exposition. The show’s influences are from classic rock, blues, jazz, gospel and obviously Broadway.”

A graduate of SUNY Brockport, Longo majored in poetry. After graduation he moved to San Francisco and wrote, directed, and composed music for another play, “The Curse of Funston Munley.”

From 1997-2000, he was also in a band called Moe Road with childhood friends Geoff Diesel and David and Amy Reilly. He is the author of three self-help books. He and his wife, Loretta, have two young sons.

Longo raised more than $23,000 through a Kickstarter campaign to help him finance his play.

“A week before the end we hadn’t even raised half the money,” he said. “But you have to believe, and a lot of people came on board late to make it happen.”

Rehearsals had been being held in New York City. “I feel like we really put together a great team in New York to present this show,” he said. “I’ve been traveling back and forth quite a bit, so I know we have some very talented people involved.”

The show is set in three different time periods: Ancient Greece, the Great Depression and modern-day San Francisco.

“This is Cassandra’s story, and we’re going to rock right through for an hour and a half,” said Longo, saying the show does not have an intermission. “We have some powerful singers and a great rock sound.”

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