Thursday, February 1, 2007

New musical to be created entirely on the Web

Manikins – The Musical

In what is a major new innovation, two men - one lyricist, one composer - are undertaking the challenge of writing a musical. Not so special you might say, but Robert Gray and Christian Calcatelli, in a brilliant idea and a significant challenge, aim to compose this original musical theatre show entirely over the internet. This unique project, entitled Manikins, began on January 11 and has only 80 days to go from scratch to production.

Robert and Christian are utilising the opportunities the web offers for social networking such as Myspace, to offer an amazing glimpse into the composition process behind a musical. As composer Christian and lyricist Robert interact with each other over the project, you will be able to share in the blood, sweat, tears and raw passion behind the creation of such a major artistic product. These two will let it all hang out in cyberspace, as personality clashes, challenges and unexpected events all contrive to add spice to the creative process.

It may sound like some kind of musical theatre Big Brother, but the Italian-American Christian says: "We'll leave the live web cast for another project as we don't have the funds for that right now! Instead, we'll use some of the web's most popular tools to report our progress to various online communities."

Visitors to their dedicated Myspace page will find a regular blog, as well as video and audio updates. MP3 clips will demonstrate how songs develop and improve. The intrepid, Rome-based duo will, as Manikins develops, be joined by musical theatre expert John Kenrick, who will guide and mentor them using his immense knowledge and experience. The idea for the project was first spawned when Christian began promoting his own piano music over the web. So successful was he, that he was awarded a Guinness World Record certificate for the longest solo music internet broadcast, after he improvised for more than 60 hours over the web.

This incredible event convinced Calcatelli of the huge power of the online world to present new content in a new manner. He proposed the Manikins project concept to Robert, a Scotsman, who immediately agreed. The ultimate goal of the musical is a very special one.

As Robert explains: "The world's coolest musical theatre event, The Edinburgh Fringe, takes place in August 2007. If we don't complete the show by March 31 2007, there won't be enough time to audition for and prepare actors, singers, musicians, and all the many other people that will need to be brought on board. Practice is vital for an unforgettable performance. So timing is fundamental."

The challenge is huge, especially when you consider that both men work full time and have families to support. But it promises to be an uplifting project. All fans of musical theatre shouldn't miss this incredible race against time. Manikins - The Musical, enjoys the sponsorship of Beatwire and

For more information visit , and to follow the project visit

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