The New York Musical Theatre will present Mitch Magonet and Joey Miller’s RIO, directed by Scott Faris. RIO, will play from July 10 – 18, St. Clements Church (423 W. 46th Street). RIO, is being produced by Pinny Gniwisch.

Twelve year-old Pipio hunts for his lost mother among the street-kids, gangs and drug-lords that rule Rio’s favelas – the toughest slums in the hottest place on Earth. The boy’s search for identity becomes a struggle for survival in this re-invention of Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist set in modern-day Brazil – a colorful, character-filled Carnaval tale presented by the Escola de Samba Foltando!

Fascinated by the intricate rhythms and music of Rio, Magonet began an eight year journey of discovery about this violent, yet beautiful city. After learning about the tragedy of the 'Candelaria Massacre' where many homeless street-kids were brutally murdered at the church by the police, Magonet and Miller were compelled to tell a story exploring this fragile and powerful world with the sounds, passion and exhilaration of Rio and Carnival. RIO received a workshop at Mirvish Productions in Toronto, and most recently Catholic University in Washington.

The cast of the musical includes: Nicholas Gonzalez (National Tour of A Christmas Story the Musical, Gallery Player’s Oliver ) as Pipio, Gilbert Glenn Brown (The Mountaintop at the Inge Theater Festival, Harriet Jacobs. Film/TV: Dreamgirls, “Rain”), Jose Candelaria (Angel of the Amazon: A New American Opera, Jesus Christ Superstar), Nina Crupiti (Christmas Rappings, National Tour: Junie B. Jones ), Kelechi Ezie (These Seven Sicknesses, Tearing Down The Walls) , Dennis Kenney (Kennedy Center’s Mame, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Mamma Mia!, National Tour: 42nd St.), Tanesha Ross (B’way: Hair Regional: RENT, Aida ), Mercedes Ruiz (Stockholm Brooklyn), J. Manuel Santos (“Smash”), Lelund Durond Thompson (...and L.A. is Burning, Ain’t Supposed to Die ), Zurin Villanueva (Josephine Tonight), Nik Walker (Regional: Into the Woods, Miss Saigon RENT). Creative team includes: Charity Wicks (Music Director), Kate Dunn (Choreography), Colin McGurk (Set Design), Ken Billington (Lighting Consultant), David Kaley (Costume Design), Janie Bullard (Sound Design), Jason Najjoum (Casting), Jack DePalma (Creative Consultant), and Eve Rybnick (General Manager).


Written by Mitch Magonet and Joey Miller; Directed by Scott Faris

Tickets are $25 and can be purchased online at or by calling (212) 352-3101.

The Theater at St. Clements (423 W. 46th Street)

Tuesday, Jul 10th, 2012 at 8:00 pm
Wednesday, Jul 11th, 2012 at 3:00 pm
Friday, Jul 13th, 2012 at 9:00 pm
Saturday, Jul 14th, 2012 at 5:00 pm
Sunday, Jul 15th, 2012 at 8:00 pm
Wednesday, Jul 18th, 2012 at 9:00 pm

Running time 2hrs with intermission

Who’s Who:

Mitch Magonet (Author of book, lyrics & music) is a self-taught musician based in Montreal. With a degree in Industrial Relations from McGill University, Mitch became a composer, producer, lyricist and author whose credits include Disney’s High School Musical – Sing It, Cirque du Soleil, Queer as Folk, Disney's Tarzan – the video game, Ubisoft's Speed Devils and “CBC Curling”. Fascinated by the intricate rhythms, music and characters of Rio, Mitch began an eight year journey of discovery about this violent, yet beautiful city. After learning about the tragedy of the 'Candelaria Massacre' where many homeless street-kids were brutally murdered at the church by the police, Mitch, and his collaborator Joey Miller felt that there was an important story to be told. Within six months, they composed a crop of exhilerating songs that explored this fragile and powerful world. Workshopped at Mirvish Productions in Toronto and Catholic University in Washington, 'RIO' is ready to move from the Sambadrome to the stage.

Joey Miller (Author of book, lyrics & music) has studied Musical Theatre in Toronto and New York as a member of Lehman Engel's B.M.I. Theater Writer's Workshops. The musical "That Scatterbrain Booky" (Y.P.T.) for which he wrote book, music and lyrics won the 1991 Dora Award for Outstanding New Musical. Other musicals he has collaborated on are: "Outrageous" (w/Brad Fraser) - CanStage - 2000 Dora nomination, "The Growing Season" & "….the Mummy's Revenge" (w/James Saar), "Eight To The Bar" and "Flying" (w/Stephen Witkin - Caesar's Palace Atlantic City), "Prince And The Pauper" - (w/Leslie Arden) - Winner of a 1989 Dora Award for Outstanding New Production - National Arts Centre Ottawa, "A Gift To Last - The musical" and "War Brides" (both with Grahame Woods), "Joy" (w/Maja Ardal - Workman Arts) and "Capone" and "The Boys" (w/Frank Peppiatt) and "Never Trouble Trouble" (w/Michael Miller)- Dora Nomination. He has also written for t.v., recordings, industrials and film.

Scott Faris (Director) has directed "Chicago, The Musical", in sixteen countries around the world in over a dozen languages plus tours in the US and the UK. He directed Bette Midler’s latest show, "The Showgirl Must Go On", at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas and "Walking With Dinosaurs", The Arena Spectacular, on tour in the US and the UK. Scott most recently directed William Shatner on Broadway in his one man show "Shatner's World - We Just Live In It". He started his career as an actor performing in musicals, among them "A Chorus Line". He learned his directing skills by working as a production stage manager for some of the top directors on Broadway on several Tony Award winning productions. Also in Las Vegas, he directed “EFX!” starring Michael Crawford and was part of the production team that created the amazing Siegfried & Roy at the Mirage. He directed the national tour of "Sweet Charity" starring Molly Ringwald and later, of "Trading Spaces" fame.

Kate Dunn (Choreographer) has honed her expertise through impressive experience in various mediums including the following. Dance: Royal Ballet Company, Sydney Dance Company, Chunky Move, Bangarra Dance Theatre. Musicals: "Contact", "On Your Toes" and "Chicago". Films: "The Phantom of the Opera", "Beyond the Sea". Associate choreographer: "Dirty Dancing", "Billy Elliot".

Charity Wicks (Musical Director) a frequent music director and pianist for new works, was recently traveling the country with the National Tour with “Billy Elliot” as a conductor/keyboard player, and was the conductor/keyboard player for “Spring Awakening” on Broadway, as well as the Associate Music Director for the First National Tour. She’s played for “Wicked” and “In The Heights”, and frequently music directs final projects for NYU’s Graduate Musical Theatre Writing program. Charity recently was the music director a new opera with the Polish roots band, the Warsaw Village Band in Vancouver, BC, and was the associate conductor of the world premiere of Stephen Schwartz's opera, Séance on a Wet Afternoon. Charity holds B.M. and M.M. Degrees from Temple University and D.M.A from The Manhattan School of Music.

Pinny Gniwisch (Producer) is one of the founders of as well as a guru of Internet marketing. He frequently lectures worldwide at International Internet conferences on a myriad of topics relating to Internet marketing. Additionally, he is the youngest board member at, and an adjunct professor at McGill University, as well as Rutgers Center for Leadership Development. Pinny is now trying his hand in the theatre world through the exciting production of RIO the musical.


Now in its ninth year, the New York Musical Theatre Festival (NYMF) is the largest annual musical theatre event in America and is widely regarded as the essential source for new material and talent discovery. NYMF provides a launching pad for the next generation of musicals and their creators to ensure the continued vitality of one of America's greatest art forms. Hailed as the "Sundance of Musical Theatre," NYMF discovers, nurtures, and promotes promising musical theatre artists and producers at all stages of development, and inspires a diverse audience through vibrant, accessible, powerful new work.

NYMF is the flagship program of National Music Theater Network, Inc., a 501(c) (3) not-for-profit organization. NYMF 2012 is presented in association with, Production Resource Group, and, and is supported by American Eagle Outfitters, Back Stage,,, Clear Channel Spectacolor, Disney Store Times Square, Fox 5/ WNYW-TV, King Displays, NASDAQ OMX, New World Stages, Next Magazine, PMD Promotions, The Port Authority of NY & NJ,, Thomson Reuters,, Times Square Squared, and Yelp. Major supporters include The ASCAP Foundation, BMI Foundation, Inc., The BWF Foundation, Con Edison, The Nathan Cummings Foundation with the support and encouragement of Jamie Mayer Phinney, The New Musical Development Foundation, The Jerome Robbins Foundation, The Rodgers & Hammerstein Foundation, The Shubert Foundation, and The Theater League. NYMF is supported, in part, by funds from the New York City Theater Subdistrict Council, LDC, by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts, and by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council and from the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency.

NYMF Memberships, which combine charitable contributions with valuable, flexible ticket packages and perks like early seating, and tickets to individual events, are currently available for purchase at (212) 352-3101 or