Recent and Upcoming Events
The Allen Street Yiddish Theatre Palace Presents: Cinderesther
Once upon a time, there was a musical called Cinderesther, written by playwright Brian Vinero and composer Shirley Mier – a Cinderella tale set against the backdrop of New York City’s Lower East Side in the early twentieth century. In June Cinderesther was awarded a Minnesota Regional Arts Council grant, along with two other New Musical Theatre Exchange projects (Water from Snow and A House Divided). Staged readings of these musicals will take place in Spring 2021 (or whenever we can safely gather for such an event). More updates coming soon!
Of Lakes and Legends
Written for the Century Chamber Orchestra (at Century College, White Bear Lake, MN), Shirley’s orchestral suite Of Lakes and Legends was recorded by the Croatian Chamber Orchestra in the fall of 2017 with PARMA Recordings and was released in October 2018 on their Navona label on the album Legends and Light, a compilation of contemporary orchestral works.
The Century Chamber Orchestra premiered Of Lakes and Legends in May 2017 and performed the work again in May 2018 as part of Century College’s 50th Anniversary celebration.
Shirley’s most recent concert band work, Steampunk Overture, was published by Grand Mesa Music Publishers in July 2018. This work was commissioned by the St. Michael-Albertville High School Band (Adam Sroka, Director) and premiered in May 2016. It was also performed at Spring Lake Park High School, under the direction of Brian Lukkasson, in June 2017, and by Mahtomedi High School in November 2018.
The Fall 2020 theatre production at Century College will be a virtual play, She Kills Monsters, for which Shirley is composing incidental music. She Kills Monsters will be performed via Zoom in October 2020 – stay tuned!
In Spring 2019, Shirley wrote and arranged music for Century’s production of The Grapes of Wrath. Her onstage group of musicians, the Hell-Burnin’ Sinners, has evolved into its own band and have taken it on the road! They have performed at venues including Ginkgo Coffeehouse, Eggroll Queen Music Cafe, Driftwood Char Bar, Midtown Global Market, and Broken Clock Brewery. Visit their Facebook page and check out upcoming events.
The Hell-Burnin’ Sinners, from left to right: Shirley Mier, melodica & keyboard; Bob Martin, guitar & mandolin; Aaron Hooker, banjo & lead vocals; Adam Wirtz, percussion; Blake Radke, bass; and Alison Keller, fiddle.
Of Lakes and Legends
Shirley’s orchestral suite Of Lakes and Legends was featured in the January 2018 issue of White Bear Lake Magazine. Many thanks to everyone who contributed to this article!
The CD Legends and Light (featuring Of Lakes and Legends) is reviewed in the online articles linked below:
Shirley Mier’s and Jennifer Kirkeby’s musical adaptation of Madeline’s Christmas has received numerous productions around the country since its publication by Dramatic Publishing in 2005. KOTA’s 2016 production in New York was recognized by TheatreMania in its article “9 Holiday Shows to Make Your Season Merry and Bright,” and this same production was named among the Best 10 Holiday Shows in New York City by newyorkcitytheatre.com. Local group Woodbury Community Theatre will be producing it again in December 2019. Thanks to the many theatres across the country that have made this show a holiday tradition!
New Musical Theatre Exchange
The New Musical Theatre Exchange was featured in a recent article by Laurie Flanagan Hegge in The Dramatist – read all about it here!