LITTLE PEOPLE, BIG HEARTS: A NEW MUSICAL ABOUT DISABILITY
INTERVIEW: BONNIE GLEICHER
BY RYAN M. LUÉVANO
I’ve only met the talented composer/lyricist Bonnie Gleicher once on a Skype session to discuss her ongoing musical The Little Things, and now months later she’s completed her fourth musical Addy & Uno. In addition to Gleicher (music/lyrics), the new musical is a collaboration with Nava R. Silton, Ph.D. (book), with Emmy-nominated Donna Drake (Netflix’s Julie’s Greenroom and John Tartaglia’s ImaginOcean) inline to direct. Addy & Uno uses puppets to explore the life of Uno, a child with autism, as he faces the challenge of competing in his school’s math competition.
The concept for the show is inspired by a comic book series written by Dr. Nava Silton, now this story that features kids with disabilities is given a musical score by Gleicher. Addy & Uno was originally produced at Marymount Manhattan College in 2016, then in 2017 it was featured in the ReelAbilities NY Disabilities Film Festival; and this fall it makes its full debut at the Theater at the 14th St. Y in New York. In this Tin Pan L.A. exclusive Bonnie Gleicher discusses the process for getting this heartwarming story from page to stage and why this story’s message is important for children and families.
How would you describe Addy & Uno in a nutshell?
What inspired you to write this show? Why tell this story?
Whose idea was it to use puppets as the characters? What’s the reasoning for this creative choice?
When writing this piece where did you start?
Describe your collaboration with Dr. Nava Silton?
At this point, we’re like sisters. Co-producing and co-writing a show together means you’re melding so much of your passions and lives together every day. We love this show.
How has the director Donna Drake helped you shape Addy & Uno?
What is your favorite moment in the musical?
A song called “The Chosen One,” when Uno, who has autism, is praised by the quirky math team for his strengths. It’s a rap and a dance and the kids go wild. It’s so adorable watching the kids laugh and dance in their seats.
What excites you most about Addy & Uno?
New York, NY 10003
Closest trains: L at 1st Ave./3rd Ave., 6 at Astor Pl.
*Ticket price: $20 August special