Story By: Ben Rauch


It’s been an exciting time having my new pop/rock comedy musical, SINGLE ROOM OCCUPANCY premiere at the 2015 New York International Fringe Festival this month. I had the idea to write a musical about dating and social media some time ago, and now it’s become a reality. I look at this adventure as a workshop, if you will, and plan to continue to work on the show once the festival has finished.

While I wrote the music and the story idea, I had the tremendously talented Gaby Gold and Rory Scholl write some fantastic and very current lyrics with me. Lane Kwederis and Rory Scholl made contributions to the book as well! The show is directed by the talented Joey Murray who contributed so much to the piece, and has set design by You-Shin Chen, lighting design by Suzanne Immarigeon, sound design by Joshua D. Reid and choreography by Jebbel Arce. We have a live band led by Noriko Sunamoto on piano.

In SINGLE ROOM OCCUPANCY, a single guy's comedic singer/songwriter dream is challenged by the distractions of social media, relationships and his fear of performing beyond the confines of his tiny apartment in Secaucus, New Jersey. It’s a hilarious musical for anyone who is trying to date on Tinder or Grindr and whose biggest obstacle is themselves.

We have a wonderfully talented company of actors and improv performers including Dianne Kaye, Kat Liz Kramer, Lane Kwederis, Cali Elizabeth Moore, Jay Paranada, and Rory Scholl.

We originally opened on August 14 at the Lynn Redgrave Theater at Culture Project on Bleecker Street. As it turned out, our first two shows there were done without air conditioning as the A/C was not working! Our cast and crew valiantly performed three shows there in last week’s heatwave. Our third show was cancelled (as were shows for seven other productions we shared the theatre with). I am most grateful also to the audiences who braved the sweltering heat with us.

While there have been growing pains, I never expected shows would be cancelled. After a week of A/C issues here, Fringe Producing Artistic Director Elena K. Holy decided to move us to another venue. She worked tirelessly to find us another home where we could make-up the performance that was cancelled and play our final show. "We tried our best to remedy the situation. Portable units were rented. Repairmen were dispatched. Parts were ordered, shipped and installed. But the problems are bigger than anyone could have imagined. Thankfully, producer Darren Cole at SoHo Playhouse has come to our rescue,” Holy said in a statement.

Now our final 2 performances this week will be done at our new venue, the SoHo Playhouse, 15 Vandam Street (between Varick Street and Sixth Avenue), where the A/C is working! Our shows are Thursday August 27 at midnight and our last show on Friday, August 28 at 7:00 pm.

We are all looking forward to rockin’ out this week.

To order tickets to SINGLE ROOM OCCUPANCY


Ben Rauch is an actor/singer/composer/musician, and recently appeared in the film Jersey Boys, directed by Clint Eastwood, as the pianist/singer for the Four Seasons. He was seen in The Bronze which was the official opening night selection at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival and will be in theaters in October. His television credits include an upcoming role on HBO’s Girls, recurring role on Gossip Girl, ED, and Strangers with Candy among others. His additional film work includes Tenderness (with Russell Crowe). His work on stage includes: A Few Good Men (with Lou Diamond Phillips), People Are Living There (Signature Theatre), Lost in Yonkers (Theatre Virginia), Miklat (Florida Stage), The Unexpected Guest, The Sunshine Boys, Spring Awakening (Broadway Workshop), Ludlow Ladd (Tada), Starmites, The Gifts of the Magi, Mental: The Musical (Cherry Lane), Snow White and the 7 Dwarfs (Papermill), Jack and the Beanstalk (Symphony Space). Ben partnered with The NJ Hurricane Sandy Relief Fund to release, At The Water’s Edge, a fundraising music video for victims of Hurricane Sandy. The 2013 USA Songwriting Competition honored his song, “I Love Asian Girls” in their top 10 Comedy/Novelty category. Ben has also headlined at the NY Funny Song Festival for the last two years. Visit for more info.

 Photo Courtesy Of: Lia Chang