Riverdale Press: You’re Gonna Hear Them Roar

May 6, 2016 11:08 am In the News

Colette Ambo as Daniel and Yesenia Ortiz as Queen Darius and Queen Nebuchadnezzar. Jon-Paul Ruiz as Avednigo. Photo by David 'Dee' Delgado for The Riverdale Press

By Alice Guilhamon

While most students were unwinding over spring break, members of a new musical called “Daniel in the Lion’s Den” were hard at work at Lehman College. Riverdale resident and music professor Penny Prince composed the score, though the script itself was a collaborative process involving the cast.

“This show is something different, not only from the content and the story but also from the way it was made,” said Lehman freshman Bryan Paredes, who plays the part of King Belshazzar.

To create “Daniel,” Ms. Prince wrote the music and lyrics and then held auditions for Lehman students, alumni and community members. Once cast members were chosen, they themselves wrote the script.

“The script is much more sophisticated and deep,” Ms. Prince noted.

She wrote her first version of “Daniel” 25 years ago, for the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale, but the version debuting later this month has many new songs. Ms. Prince said her cast was so talented, she wanted to give each member a solo or at least a duet.

The music professor also grounded the performers in some stage basics.

“It’s very important to me that we’re communicating so I needed people who when they are singing, they are not just looking down but looking straight at the audience,” Ms. Prince said. “People who are willing to express themselves and write… And they had to make a commitment to coming every single week, which is hard.”

“Daniel in the Lion’s Den” is at Lehman College on Thursday, May 12 at 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. and Friday, May 13 at 11 a.m. The show is at the Bronx Library Center on Saturday, May 14 at 11 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. Tickets are free. Call 718-960-77963 for reservations.

This story appeared in the Thursday, May 5, 2016 issue of the Riverdale Press. For the rest of the story, visit Riverdalepress.com