Friday, February 24, 2017


Main Street Theatre & Dance Alliance
is in cahoots with

“You Can Always Come Home”
A Cabaret & Fundraiser for MSTDA Programs

An evening of stories and songs...
Howe Theatre
Roosevelt Island, NY, NY
February 24th, 2017
8:00 pm

My darlings, I am bursting with joy, lots excitement and even more passion over this program that will be hitting the stage tonight!  We intend to invite everyone in for an evening of elegant, beautiful, awkward, terrifying, explosive, juicy, painful, and tear-inducing moments with the overall message that we are all together in this profoundly confusing and magnificent world.  (I'm allowed to brag about the songs, since I'm nothing but a muse of these brilliant works).

For those of you who are you're in a different state or country or on a different planet or just had a baby or some other sort of valid excuse, I'd love to share the program with you and introduce you to all the Common Men & Women that are a part of this cabaret.

Common Woman: Kaitlyn Abdul, Madison Abdul,  Manda Leigh Blunt, Ruthy Froch & Kimbirdlee Fadner
Mr. Common Man - Jonathan Fadner - Composer & Music Director & Producer
It’s Once a Year (from Mormonish)
Lyrics by Ariel Mitchell, music by Jonathan Fadner
Kimbirdlee Fadner , Jackie Cusick , Joan Cusick  & Russ Cusick

Chapter One (from Northanger Abbey)
Lyrics by John Blaylock, music by Jonathan Fadner
Kaitlyn Abdul  & Madison Abdul      

With You
Written and performed by Madison Abdul
Guitar - Jonathan Fadner

Room at the Inn
Lyrics by Kathleen Wrinn, music by Jonathan Fadner                                   
Kaitlyn Abdul

Shut Up
Lyrics by Kate Chadwick, music by Jonathan Fadner
Joan Cusick

I Want an Orgy (from The First Orgy of New England)
Lyrics by Lise Miller, music by Jonathan Fadner
Kimbirdlee Fadner 

Metal Monkey (from the song cycle Legends)
Lyrics and Music by Jonathan Fadner
Tom Slater

Ride the Sky (from The Unspeakable Act)
Lyrics by Steven Hess, music by Jonathan Fadner
Ruthy Froch

Spiders in a Frame (from Northanger Abbey)
Lyrics by John Blaylock, music by Jonathan Fadner
Ruthy Froch & Tom Slater

I Might Have Known  
Lyrics by Kate Chadwick/Music by Jonathan Fadner
Kimbirdlee Fadner 

Pain (from Northanger Abbey)
Lyrics by John Blaylock, music by Jonathan Fadner
Manda Leigh Blunt & Kimbirdlee Fadner 

Who Helps the Strong 
Written and performed by Manda Leigh Blunt
Piano - Kimbirdlee Fadner     Guitar - Jonathan Fadner

Standing on a Cliff
Lyrics by John Blaylock, music by Jonathan Fadner
Kimbirdlee Fadner 

I Don’t Want
Lyrics by Laura Barati, music by Jonathan Fadner
Ruthy Froch

Sandwich Song
Lyrics by Kathleen Wrinn, music by Jonathan Fadner   
Kimbirdlee Fadner 

Would You Love Me (from Mormonish)
Lyrics by Ariel Mitchell, music by Jonathan Fadner
Kaitlyn Abdul  & Madison Abdul      

You Can Always Come Home
Lyrics & Music by Jonathan Fadner, with music by Edison Hong,  
Kimbirdlee Fadner 

I’m a Dork (from Northanger Abbey)
Lyrics by John Blaylock, music by Jonathan Fadner
Full Company

Piano & Guitar - Jonathan Fadner  Percussion - Manda Leigh Blunt

  Kaitlyn Abdul is a resident of Roosevelt Island and has been part of MST&DA since she was in 3rd grade.  She participates in the Adult Musical Theater workshop as well as Stage Managing for the Teen and Childrens Theater Productions.  She has now branched out to Community Theaters in Queens performing at Royal Star Theater as well as her current production of SOMETHING’S AFOOT with Maggie's Little Theater.  She is extremely grateful to be working with Kim and Jonathan another CMM production.  They are so creative, energetic and bursting with love and support.  She always feels a great sense of growth and fulfilment during her times with CMM!  Shoutout to her amazingly talented, beautiful singing partner in crime and sister Madi Abdul.  There is nothing you could say or do that would make me not love you! 
Madison Abdul is a senior at the NYC Lab School who indulges in theatre whenever possible. She has been in classes at the MSTDA since the age of 2, taking after her sisters. When she isn't studying forensics, or writing poetry and lyrics, her favorite thing to do is perform with Kaitlyn Abdul, her oldest sister. She would like to thank Kimbirdlee and Jonathan Fadner for giving her yet another opportunity to express herself and sing with those she loves.        

Joan Marie Cusick is an actress, singer, dancer, director and choreographer. She is thrilled to be performing in the You Can Always Come Home cabaret for Common Man Musicals! She holds a BFA  in Acting with a minor in dance from State University of New York at Fredonia. Favorite credits include SubUrbia (Sooze), This is Our Youth (Jessica), and A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Hermia). In July 2017 she will appear in the premier of an original play, insomnia by Cody Jones. In addition to her performing she is the co-head of the newly founded Shellscrape Theatre Company, as well as an acting teacher and director for the teen group at MSTDA on Roosevelt Island.

Russ Cusick (AEA,SAG-AFTRA) holds a BFA from Theatre SMU.  Favorite roles include; Jamie in THE ROBBER BRIDEGROOM, Gary in NOISE OFF, and Rodolpho in A VIEW FROM THE BRIDGE.  Although Russ has a side career as an international business executive, he has never stopped performing, and will be seen this April in SONDHEIM ON SONDHEIM at MSTDA. Love to Jackie, Joan, Bill and Bryan.  

Laura Barati has a B.A. in Drama & Gender Studies from Kenyon College and a M.F.A. in Graduate Musical Theatre Writing at the NYU Tisch School of the Arts. Originally from LA, Laura has worked with theatres in Philadelphia, Chicago, and NY. Laura is currently working on the musical How To Create A Young Girl with composer TJ Rubin. Laura thanks the Common Man family for including her on this new adventure!

John Blaylock graduated from the Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program at NYU Tisch and is thrilled to be a part of Common Man Musicals.  He is resident writer at “Broadway On Tour” Children’s Theatre in SoCal, developer of new children’s musicals, and frequently works with McCoy Rigby Conservatory of the Arts and the Orange County School of the Arts.  His holiday musical, A Christmas Show, has played for over 10 years in Southern California.  He has written for and has had works produced by Barrington Stage, Surflight Theatre, Sesame Street Live, & Phoenix Theatre. Love & thanks to Mom, Dad & Danny.

Manda Leigh Blunt is a native of Scottsdale, AZ,  a member of NSAI, BMI, and ASCAP, and a proud NYU alum having received her MFA degree in Musical Theatre Writing (Cycle 25). She works as a lyricist, librettist, composer, playwright, producer, and drummer. Written works include the full length musical The State of Hockey (music by Jeff Wildermuth), the short opera Hummingbirds (music by Edison Hong), the full length play Fangirl, and the short opera monodrama Graveyard (music by TJ Rubin). Her work has been performed at Don't Tell Mama, The Duplex NYC, Two River Theatre, Brelby Theatre Company, AZ Women's Theatre Company's Pandora Festival, and Phx Fringe. Manda Leigh is also Executive/Artistic Director of Artemis Theatrical, a not-for-profit corp, whose mission is to empower women storytellers in musical theatre by producing cabarets of new work in NYC.

Ruthy Froch is a graduate of NYU Tisch School of the Arts, where she studied under the New Studio on Broadway. Recent credits include: peerless (u/s Dirty Girl/ Barrington Stage Company),Dragon Slayer (Lucy/ Hudson Guild Theatre), Welcome to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (59E59 Theaters), Blood Drive (Nurse/ Barrington Stage Company), and A Little Night Music (Charlotte). Ruthy most recently filmed a role in the new feature film "The Life and Death of John Gotti." She loves being involved in the creation of new works and is so honored and excited to a part of this cabaret. Special thanks to Jonathan and Kimbirdlee for always creating new and innovative performances and inspiring the development of new musical theatre.

Thomas Slater is a common man who originally hails from Portland, OR. Previous roles include Franz Liebkind in The Producers National Tour, Underling in the Drowsy Chaperone, and Jacey Squires in The Music Man. He thanks his family for their unwavering support of his crazy dreams.  

Jonathan Fadner (Composer/Producer) would like to personally thank you for supporting Common Man Musicals and MSTDA.  A big thank you to my loving wife Kim, whom without, nothing could get done, along with the support of our two wonderful boys, Jack and Charlie.  Jonathan is a composer, arranger, Music Dir, and rock'n’roller who has a BA from UC Berkeley in Music and a Master's degree in Musical Theatre Writing from NYU. Jonathan’s music has been produced at many places in CA and NY. He promotes acceptance, peace & love.    

Kimbirdlee Fadner (Actor/Producer) is glad to be on this pioneering stage with her fearless Commonfolk!  She serves as Artistic & Marketing Director for Common Man Musicals.   Recent credits include MADE IN CHINA (59E59), ENJOY THE RIDE (NAAP), FOUR ONE ACTS (CMM), THE TEMPEST (Marin Shakes), and appearances at 54-Below, Sardi’s, NYU, Berkeley Playhouse & Alpine Valley.  She’s lead singer in the band DeLaMuse and Vocal Artist-In-Res with PECB, a band that tours the midwest. She also loves teaching PLAYMAKERS Preschool Drama at MSTDA.   Her heart is overflowing with love & gratitude for Jonathan, Jackrabbit, Charliehorse, her parents, MSTDA and her incredible CMM team!

Ariel Mitchell earned her BA in Playwriting (Music minor) in 2013 from BYU and her MFA in Musical Theatre Writing May 2015 from New York University. She has written several plays including "Give Me Moonlight," a play inspired by Scotty's Castle in Death Valley, and "A Second Birth," a play about an afghan girl who was raised as a boy, for which she was awarded the KCACTF Harold and Mimi Steinberg 2013 National Student Playwriting Award, third place for the 2013 David Mark Cohen Award, and the 2011 Vera Hinckley Mayhew Award. Her most recent work, "MORMONish" (book and lyrics) about a half Mormon, half Jewish girl searching for how she fits in a family where everyone believes something different.

Edison Hong (composer) is a New York and São Paulo based composer, who is a proud recipient of the Richie Jackson Fellowship in 2016, and has also been chosen for Prospect Theatre’s Fall 2015 Musical Theatre Lab and the National Asian Artists Project’s 2015 Discover Series. He has participated in residencies at Goodspeed Opera House and Two River Theater in Red Bank, NJ and was recently chosen to join the artists at Catwalk Residency in Catskills, NY. His compositions have been performed at venues such as Joe’s Pub, Sardi’s, Barrington Stage, The Laurie Beechman Theatre, and 54 Below. He received his MFA at the Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program at New York University and had three 29-hour readings for his full-length shows: “Second Place” (music), “The Last Berplonza” (music), and “Nice Meeting You” (music).

Lise Miller earned a BA in creative writing from Bennington College and an MFA in musical writing from NYU. She has lived in cities on both coasts but now makes her home in rural Vermont.

Kathleen Wrinn is a lyricist, bookwriter, performer, and sometimes-composer from Upstate New York.  Kathleen began her theatrical career as an actress, earning a BFA in musical theatre from Syracuse University, and is now a proud alumna of NYU’s Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program.  Her latest musical, "The Forgetting of Snow" (Book and Lyrics; Music by Paulo K Tiról), explores the epidemic of school shootings in America through the eyes of a 9-year-old girl and was featured at NAMT’s 28th Annual Songwriters Cabaret.  Other works include the full-length musical "My Rising" (Book and Lyrics; Co-composer with Brad Kemp and Jessica M. Hunt), the one-act "When You’ve Got a Gift" (Book and Lyrics; Music by Minhui Lee), and the song cycle "Windy City" (Music and Lyrics).  Kathleen was a featured lyricist at NYMF’s 2015 and 2016 Women of Note concert series.  Her work has been performed at Barrington Stage, the Finger Lakes Musical Theatre Festival, the Kraine Theater, NAAP’s “Discover: New Musicals” series, and various cabaret venues around New York City.  She lives in Astoria and, on occasion, Porto Alegre, Brazil.

Jacqueline Lucid is a theatre director, instructor, and professional actor with over 30 years of experience both on and off stage. She has performed at Off-Broadway stages here New York as well as regional theatres in Virginia, Texas and Colorado. She currently teaches and directs Adults, Teens and Children at the Main Street Theatre and Dance Alliance, where she also served as Executive Director for three seasons. She was a founding artistic associate of The Present Company, the producing organization of the NY International Fringe Festival. At the Present Company she performed in several productions including Brian Parks’ Americana Absurdum, winner of The Edinburgh Fringe First 2000 award.  Jacqueline holds a BFA in Theatre from Southern Methodist University where she received the Greer Garson Award for Outstanding Achievement. Proud member of AEA-SAG/AFTRA

The Cusick Family - Russ Cusick, Jacqueline Lucid and Joan Marie Cusick

To find out more about our performing arts programs, please visit these websites:

Tax Deductible Donations are always welcome.  Please visit our page to join our mission of promoting new musical theatre, acceptance and creative arts!

"Main Street Theatre & Dance Alliance is thrilled to host Common Man Musicals at the Howe Theatre in the Roosevelt Island Cultural Center. When our youth music director Jonathan Fadner proposed this collaboration, we were excited at the opportunity to bring in original, new works to be performed in our community. We can't wait to see this talented young group take the stage!"                                          - Kristi Towey, Executive Director at MSTDA

"We are so grateful for the generous partnership of Main Street Theatre & Dance Alliance, who are providing the opportunity to share new musical theatre by and for the Common Man and Woman.  Together we strive to promote the arts through acceptance and community”         
  • Kimbirdlee Fadner, Producer and Actor at CMM


Teresa Bozikis, Emily Park, Gregory Horlacher

Ben Toth, Trent & Amelia Thompson, 
James Miller, Michael & Diana Morgan

Robert & Charlotte Miller, 
Dusty Rhoades, Mary & Jim Martin

Kristi Towey, Isa Claudio-Abdul, 
the MSTDA Board and RIOC

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