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Thursday, March 18, 2010


With music by Ray Charles and book by Suzan-Lori Parks
Directed by Sheldon Epps


UNCHAIN MY HEART, The Ray Charles Musical, featuring the music of Ray Charles with a book by Suzan-Lori Parks, directed by Sheldon Epps will open Fall 2011 on Broadway at a Shubert Theatre to be announced.
UNCHAIN MY HEART will be presented on Broadway by Stuart Benjamin. Mr. Benjamin knew and worked with Mr. Charles for 15 years and produced the multi Oscar nominated and award winning film Ray.
The 20-member company and the theatre will be announced at a later date.

UNCHAIN MY HEART will feature Choreography by Kenneth L. Roberson with Associate Edgar Godineaux, Music Supervision and Arrangements by Rahn Coleman and Orchestrations by Harold Wheeler. The design team for UNCHAIN MY HEART includes Riccardo Hernandez (Sets), Paul Tazewell (Costumes), Donald Holder (Lights), Carl Casella (Sound), Charles LaPointe (Hair & Wig Design). Casting is by Telsey & Company, Technical Supervision by Theatersmith, Inc. and the General Manager is Don Frantz & Laurie Brown of Town Square Productions, Inc.

UNCHAIN MY HEART, The Ray Charles Musical explores the strength, humor and musical genius of the legendary Ray Charles. One of the greatest pioneering musical artists of all time, Ray Charles mastered everything from soul and rhythm & blues to gospel, jazz, country and pop. Set in his last live recording session, UNCHAIN MY HEART reveals Charles’ remarkable life story through his music. Pulitzer Prize winner Suzan-Lori Parks (Topdog/Underdog) weaves together true tales that reveal the spirit of the man whose life and music helped to define soul, and inspired people the world over.

UNCHAIN MY HEART features Charles’ best-known hits including: “Georgia on My Mind,” “What’d I Say,” “Mess Around,” “Hit The Road, Jack,” “Unchain My Heart,” “I Got a Woman” and “Hallelujah, I Love Her So.”

An earlier, developmental production was produced at the Pasadena Playhouse (Sheldon Epps, Artistic Director) in 2007 under the title of RAY CHARLES LIVE! The Variety review of that production can be seen at the following link:

Friday, March 12, 2010

NEED choreographer & music director/arranger

EXPERIENCE OF A LIFETIME. The Inner Mongolian Autonomous Region of the PRC is preparing 3 shows to perform for 5 days at the Shanghai Expo. Town Square Productions ( is engaged as the creative producer for the productions. We are seeking a Music Director/Arranger and a Choreographer to work with Don Frantz to create the shows: A Parade, A Wedding Ceremony demonstration, a Musical Revue. There will be Chinese and Mongolian associates and translators. Commencing Thursday April 1 thru Wednesday May 26. $1,500 a week, all travel expenses. Only for the Adventurous. Mostly based in Hohhut, capital of I.M. where we enjoy a 5 star hotel. See photos of Don Frantz's work in China here on our blog, on our YouTube site, and more on Flickr site.

Breakaway Yurt

Don gets a viewing of the designer's first mock up of the breakaway YURT for the musical revue to be performed at the Shanghai World Expo in celebration of Inner Mongolia Week!

More Chinese New Year photos!

One of the many Mongolian couldrons set aflame for Chinese New Year!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Don does more traveling in China!

It’s lunar New Year’s annual TV gala at the Erdos TV station!
Oh…wait wait…back in Hohhut the Hohhut Police Song and Dance Troupe performed their wonderful annual gala… this cop that got the ‘best servant of the people’ award. The photo is a little blurry give the emotion of the moment.

If you think reading Chinese signs are hard…check out reading Chinese music!! Give me 5 lines please!! Just 5 lines! Heck..what about a little dot with a stem and a flag! No wonder the country is good at math, even when playing music they're looking at their math homework.

Theaters are one thing..artists are another…my Mongolian dancers in pose and in motion say it all.

Our Soul of Shaolin superstars Wang Jing Bo and Mr Fang and I posed at the opening night of shanghai’s newest theater !! FAME was the opening attraction!

Now the trick question..what should you have in your soup everyday…please join me in June in NY when I return for a fine delicacy, but I think I’ll save the detail description for after dinner… not herb, not mineral….yes…it is in my hand…and remember, this is inner Mongolia where the livestock roam….until they don’t.

Don meets our newest Intern and his family!

A grand hello to our newest intern at TSP from France! Our fourth. Here Alexandros entertains his friend his MOM, Audrey and I outside their wonderful parisienne restaurant a short walk away from Notre Dame.

China Pavilion at Shanghai Expo!

Don in front of the China Pavilion at the Shanghai Expo, set to open May 1, 2010!