About This Show
Singer, songwriter and musical theater composer Michelle J. Rodriguez sets a classic folktale in a mythic America with the musical East o', West o'! Told with big rollicking bluegrass numbers, haunting folk melodies, with lullaby, with work song and violin howl, East o', West o'! takes us farther than any woman has ever gone in a quest for home and belonging. We follow Ava as she embarks on an impossible journey to save her Ma's farm from a brutal drought, traveling through lands near and far to discover magic and the power of love.
Michelle J. Rodriguez (Music, Lyrics) With a voice that is “clear and compelling” and a sound that features “flourishes of bolero, bossa nova and even jazz” (Chicago Tribune), Puerto Rican singer, songwriter and musical theater composer Michelle J. Rodriguez has captivated audiences at Joe's Pub (NYC), the Hideout (Chicago), and Steppenwolf (Chicago) with her stunning vulnerability onstage. Beloved by NPR’s All Songs Considered team, Michelle became a finalist for NPR’s 2018 Tiny Desk Contest with her band MICHA’s song “Nena Nena Nena.” Michelle made her Steppenwolf début in La Havana Madrid (lead role u/s, Teatro Vista/Steppenwolf/Goodman Theater) (Vocal Director for Goodman run) and starred in her original bluegrass/folk musical, East o', West o'! at ANTFest at Ars Nova, which earned her a mention in The New Yorker. In 2018, Michelle’s work in theater and music is being supported by residencies at SPACE on Ryder Farm, New York Theater Workshop, and the University of Chicago. Other musicals include Rokera, Bibliophile, Betty White: The Musical!, JIRAN, and So Far Cecile. BA: Williams College.
William Carlos Angulo (Director) Credits include musical staging for Once at The Paramount Theatre, Teatro Vista's La Havana Madrid at Steppenwolf Theatre 1700 and The Goodman Theatre, Bridges of Madison County at The Marriott Theatre, A Disappearing Number at Timeline Theatre Company, Ragtime at The Den Theatre (Jeff Nomination - Outstanding Choreography), The Full Monty at Peninsula Players, West Side Story at The Paramount Theatre (Jeff Award - Outstanding Choreography), Far From Heaven at Porchlight Music Theatre. He holds a BFA in Musical Theatre and Drama from Indiana University and trained on scholarship at Hubbard Street Dance Center and Ballet Chicago.