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This profile was last updated on 11/1/14  and contains information from public web pages.

Mr. Michael Jan Friedman

Wrong Michael Jan Friedman?

Composer

Local Address: New York, United States
 
Background

Employment History

  • Founding Associate Artist
    The Civilians
  • Composer and Lyricist
    The Civilians
  • Artistic Associate
    New York Theatre Workshop

Board Memberships and Affiliations

  • Founder
    The Civilians

Education

  • history of literature
    Harvard University
200 Total References
Web References
Composer Michael Friedman ...
www.rollingstone.com, 1 Nov 2014 [cached]
Composer Michael Friedman (Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson) centers the shows sound on the proto-disco Philly soul sound of Barrett Rude Jr. and his fictional group, the Subtle Distinctions.
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The material is virtually all written by Friedman, another hurdle, though he has an ear for pop and a knowing attention to detail.
A.C.T. STAFF
www.act-sf.org, 29 Sept 2014 [cached]
Michael Friedman, Karl Lundeberg, Stephen Sondheim, Shaina Taub
Michael Friedman is a ...
www.page73.org, 21 Sept 2013 [cached]
Michael Friedman is a founding Associate Artist of The Civilians, and has been the Composer/Lyricist for the company's productions [I Am] Nobody's Lunch; Gone Missing; Canard, Canard, Goose? and This Beautiful City.
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Dan O'Brien's play The Cherry Sisters Revisited premiered at the 2010 Humana Festival of New American Plays, with original music by Michael Friedman and directed by Andrew Leynse.
03.14.07 Michael Friedman is ...
bible.gideonse.com [cached]
03.14.07 Michael Friedman is famous
I'm not sure why I feel the need to post this, because Lawd knows that no one reads my blog and not the New York Times, but, hey, he's my pal, so, hey, he's getting a post: My absurdly talented friend, [J.] Michael Friedman, got a profile in the Times Arts section this weekend.If you were at the wedding, Michael was the guy who got stuck at the Long Beach airport and had to, literally, phone in his singalong with Jason and Curtis when they did "I Will Never Leave You."I used to live with Michael, in the late 90s, in our awesome three bedroom on the Upper West Side. (The picture was taken at a party we had in 1998 or 1999.) And when I moved down to the West Village, Michael and I had a standing date on late Wednesday afternoons. (Or was it Tuesdays?) First, we met at Les Deux Gamins, and then at Pastis.We spent a lot of time at the Phoenix together, talking about music and theater and movies and boys and books and our college friends.I really miss Michael.
Anyway, it's a sweet article, and it captures his wit and genius and talent, though it doesn't quite capture how freakin' fast he talks.
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My favorite song is "Etch-a-Sketch"-which is about 1 hour and 40 seconds into the recording I linked to-because it's so, so Michael:
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IT has been said about the composer and lyricist Michael Friedman that he can do a little bit of everything.And judging by his current to-do list, it's true.
A member of the highly regarded downtown theater troupe the Civilians, Mr. Friedman is hanging out these days in Colorado Springs with eight members of the group, writing songs for a theater piece about evangelicals in America.On a recent 24-hour visit to New York he talked over a quick lunch in Greenwich Village about being "terrible at time management" and ending up "overly busy because I get excited by things and can't say no."
Among those things: the music for this summer's Shakespeare in the Park production of "Romeo and Juliet," which begins previews June 5; a musical adaptation, with the director Daniel Aukin, of Jonathan Lethem's celebrated 2003 novel, "The Fortress of Solitude"; the score for an adaptation of the 2004 movie "Saved!," a comedy about teenagers at a Christian high school, being developed at Playwrights Horizons; "Bloody, Bloody Andrew Jackson," a satirical musical Mr. Friedman wrote, which he hopes will be produced in the fall; and the untitled project on evangelicals, which is scheduled for workshops in New York in April.
Mr. Friedman, a lanky, boyish-looking 31, has a reputation for fluency in a variety of musical styles â€" pop, salsa, rock and folk among them â€" while critics have singled out his lyrics for their playful comic images layered atop potent emotional messages.
Although he played the piano and cello while growing up in Philadelphia, it wasn't until he took a class in musical composition at Harvard, where he was a history and literature major, that he considered becoming a full-time musician.That may have happened because he met the composer Elizabeth Swados, who taught the composition course and who has had perhaps the greatest influence on his musical life so far.
"My entire career, almost all the people I know and the work I've done," Mr. Friedman said, "can be traced back to Liz Swados."
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To write the score Mr. Friedman has his iPod loaded with "a mix of things that will be helpful to listen to and live the play as I walk around the city": Mediterranean music, "Romeo and Juliet" classics by Tchaikovsky and Prokofiev, contemporary pop."I find myself listening to a lot of Justin Timberlake right now," he said with a laugh.
It is how he has always composed, he said, often listening to music in the background while he writes other music in his head: "I like writing while distracted, so New York is really good for me.I do some of my best writing on the subway."
It was through Ms. Swados that Mr. Friedman first went to the Williamstown festival in 1999.
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In 2001 Mr. Cosson, with Mr. Friedman and a band of theater performers, founded the Civilians, known for taking real-life dialogue from interviews on contemporary themes and turning it into a lively, often comic cabaret mishmash.
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Mr. Friedman wrote the music and lyrics for the group's first piece, "Canard, Canard, Goose?"Playful yet potent, the songs carry an alternative edge reminiscent of those by Stephin Merritt, who is one of Mr. Friedman's influences, he said, along with Richard Rodgers and Poulenc.
In Colorado Springs, Mr. Friedman is again working with a Civilians team, as well as students from Colorado College, on a theater piece about religion and the social fabric of the city.In addition to the Gill Foundation, which supports lesbian and gay causes, Colorado Springs is home to the conservative Christian organization Focus on the Family and New Life Church, where the Rev. Ted Haggard was senior pastor until he quit last year when a former male prostitute said that the two had had a sexual relationship.
Mr. Friedman has been participating in musical jamborees that sometimes precede services in churches around the city."The music at these places is incredible," he said.
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" ‘Fortress' is a history of soul music on a particular block in Brooklyn," Mr. Friedman said.
O&M Co. » Every Day is Opening Night » Blog » Entry
www.oandmco.com, 25 May 2011 [cached]
MICHAEL FRIEDMAN, JOSH SCHMIDT, KENNY VANCE
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New York, NY - (May 25, 2011) Producers Scott Morfee, Jean Doumanian and Tom Wirtshafter have announced the debut of Sounds of Summer, a musical storytelling celebration by acclaimed composers Todd Almond, Michael Friedman, Josh Schmidt and Kenny Vance.
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Music & Lyrics by Michael Friedman Running time is 75 minutes
Barrow Street Theatre is proud to present a concert performance of The Civilians in Gone Missing, a wry and whimsical musical documentary, crafted from company interviews with real-life New Yorkers about things gone missing, from keys cell phones to dogs and friends...even sanity! BST produced, with The Civilians, the critically acclaimed commercial Off-Broadway production of Gone Missing that ran for 7 months in 2007. Directed and written by Steven Cosson with music by award-winning composer Michael Friedman, The Civilians portray more than thirty characters in their signature storytelling cabaret style.
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Michael Friedman (Music and Lyrics) Composer/lyricist for The Civilians' This Beautiful City, Gone Missing, [I Am] Nobody's Lunch and Canard Canard Goose? and co-author of Paris Commune. Most recently represented by Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson on Broadway and Angels in America at the Signature Theater. Also: Saved, The Brand New Kid, In the Bubble, Hoover Comes Alive! Dramaturg on A Raisin in the Sun on Broadway. He recently performed in Lincoln Center's American Songbook in a concert of his songs. Barron Visiting Professor: Princeton University. Artistic associate: NYTW; founding associate artist: the Civilians; MacDowell Fellow; Hodder Fellow. Obie Award: Sustained Achievement.
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