THE PASS MUSICAL




London: THE PASS to close out a week long’s event !

Lesflicks celebrates Lesbian Visibility Week with a host of virtual events including 12 activities across 8 rooms providing a multitude of opportunities to get your organisation’s message of support and your brand firmly in front of our global audience. Highlights include: games with    prizes    (scavenger    hunt,    quizzes,    and    bingo), viewings of the films ‘AESOP’ and ‘Forever  Not  Maybe’, and live Q&A’s with Rachel Dax, writer of  the  award winning  film,  ‘Time  and  Again’  and  Jillian  Armenante, acclaimed actress of ‘The Dark Knight’ and ‘Vice’ fame. The 24 Hour Extravaganza punctuates the week long celebration and its culminating event is the viewing of ‘The Pass’ immediately followed by a live Q&A with the playwright/singer/songwriter,  Denise  Marsa,  best  known as the female voice on Dean Friedman’s multi-platinum duet “Lucky Stars”.

Tix to Watch Party THE PASS

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Sample Press

“Denise Marsa is one of a kind. She’s a force of nature, a life-affirming singer, an overwhelmingly positive presence. The songs are the real soul of the show, although tunes are at times reminiscent of Disney movies and the lyrics sound like simplified versions of Rent’s. The storytelling is simple, but effective. Songs simply flow out of Marsa’s life, as much as her life can be traced back and pinned down in songs – they are one and the same thing. One just feels sorry not to know the lyrics, as the temptation to sing along is quite strong.” – A Younger Theatre, London

“The songs featured in the show are all Marsa’s, and they are more evocative than provocative. The evening proved educational as well as inspirational for this reviewer.” London Theatre 1

INTERVIEW: Editor’s Pick: This Week London 

West Village Original Interview

Marsa has a warm and inviting singing voice. The evening proved educational as well as inspirational for this reviewer – there was so much about Denise Marsa beyond ‘Lucky Stars’, the song she duetted with Dean Friedman in the late Seventies. But whatever your level of familiarity with Marsa, her life and her career, it’s good to be reminded of the importance of keeping everything in perspective. A nuanced and fascinating show. “- This Week London

“Her performance is a decidedly soulful journey that begins in the 1970s and follows her through the decades to the present time. There is no shortness of talent here.” – TheaterLife

Interview: Denise Marsa on The Pass at The Playground Theatre

Denise Marsa bio:

Denise Marsa is often called a Renaissance Woman. Along with her career as a singer-songwriter and performer, she runs KeyMedia Public Relations, KeyMedia Music Group and, Denise Marsa Productions all under her holding company Marsa Media, LLC.

Originally born in Trenton, New Jersey, and growing up in Trenton and then later Tucson, Arizona when her family moved there, Denise Marsa is an award-winning singer and songwriter and has been writing, singing and producing her own music for five decades.  She started performing in musical theater as a young girl and studied theater and fine arts at the University of Arizona. After college she moved to New York City and started getting attention from the music industry and fans alike. A self-taught keyboardist, she has been mixing genres (pop, rock, classical, theatrical and Americana) since first moving to NYC in the 70’s. At the start of her career, she performed in many NYC clubs including Max’s Kansas City Easter Festival with The Ramones, Blondie and Talking Heads. In 2015 she was a guest speaker as a featured Entrepreneur at New York University, School of Business during its Career Week Conference. She attended the University of Arizona as a Theater Arts Major and The College of New Jersey studying English Literature.

In the spring of 2016 Denise formed a publishing alliance with BMG US and is currently signed to the new music company.  That same year, Denise started working on her one woman show THE PASS. The piece is a look at her decades in the music business starting in the late 70’s, featuring vignettes and songs. THE PASS had its world premiere in London on September 27 & 29, 2018 at The Playground Theatre. A Younger Theatre wrote: “Denise Marsa is one of a kind. She’s a force of nature, a life-affirming singer, an overwhelmingly positive presence.”

Previously her songs have been published worldwide by Warner Brothers Music, UK and Warner/Chappell Music, LA, and she lived and worked in both London and Los Angeles as she developed her songwriting and sound. Her career notoriety started as the other lead voice on Dean Friedman’s duet LUCKY STARS and the THE FLIRTS (You Took My Love). She also worked on various film projects as a music supervisor and composer for several indie feature films and cable series including: (Can a Guy Say No, The Contract, The Ten Rules, ChromiumBlue.com).

At the start of the indie revolution in 1997, while living in Los Angeles and after years of trying to break into the mainstream music business, with various twists of fate playing their part, she started her own label, initially called Key Records. Later it became KeyMedia Music Group. Her debut solo album SELF was released in 1998 and was applauded by mainstream and indie media outlets. Her first review came from The Album Network, at the time a respected industry magazine, praising the albums uniqueness, her songwriting and musicality.  She produced the album with the world-renowned virtuoso electric guitarist Bruce Bouillet engineering in his studio, which at the time, was run in a large storage unit in Burbank, California. She handled all PR and marketing for its release, which launched her career in public relations.  She also toured with her band to support sales.
 
She released LIVE FOREVER (2012) on her label KeyMedia Music Group, co -produced by Canadian guitarist, artist and producer Andy Gabrys. The album was recorded in Gabry’s studio who was then living in Santa Fe, New Mexico, The Kitchen Sink, also in Santa Fe, owned and operated by Jono Manson and Denise’s studio in Morristown, New Jersey, where she was residing at the time.  The track STEADY from LIVE FOREVER won the 2013 Best Adult Contemporary Recording at the New Mexico Music Awards. STEADY was written in 1995 while Denise was signed to Warner Bros Publishing/London. 

In addition, for the past 15 years Denise has been mentoring, managing, producing and writing for new young talent. Several collections of artists have been released through her record label now called KeyMedia Music Group.

Sample Audience Reviews


“You were absolutely superb!” – Jessica Martin, London

“Authentic and inspiring. Thank you for your courage to share your powerful story.” –Plamena Todorova, London, Audience Club

“It was such a great show, I loved every minute of it! Denise’s story was very inspiring and heartwarming.”Lavia Papp, London

“Her spoken anecdotes of her life in and out of show business are told with wit and honesty. Refreshingly (and rarely!) that honesty has charm and delicacy, whether she’s making you laugh or cry.” – Jessica Sully, Journalist

Very well written and staged. Strong, professional voice. Held your attention for the full performance. Actually, could have been longer – left us hanging on some issues. Maybe a sequel? Janice Palladino, NYC



The Pass, a story about songwriting and the human spirit

THE PASS: The story of Denise Marsa’s development as a musician, artist, and individual is told in this original music project featuring anecdotes and vignettes recounted against a background of her original compositions.

The story of Denise Marsa’s development as a musician, artist, and individual is told in this original music project featuring anecdotes and vignettes recounted against a background of her original compositions.

Travel with Denise as she starts her career towards the end of the 70s through the highly volatile and emotional 80’s continuing on through the start of the tech-driven 90s into the 21st century. From her start in her West Village studio apartment dating from 1810 to London to West Hollywood and back again, Denise shares her stories. Meet Denise the explorer, innovator, a woman drenched in tenacity; unwilling to play the game by anyone else’s rules but her own. Experience some of the key situations that have shaped her as an artist, woman, and entrepreneur and hear the songs that have been created in the process. From pop star, to record label owner, artist manager, and producer, lover, and partner, to publicist and marketer, her life and music are expressed through laughter, joy, disappointment, passion, and power.

In defying the stereotypes of the often sexist, ageist and not to mention ruthless, music industry, Denise has proven that a true voice will triumph. She hopes to inspire the audience to always be true to their own voices and to have the courage to sing out loud. It all started with Denise sneaking into the New York University Department of Music and Music Education practice rooms.

Known originally in the UK as the mystery voice on Dean Friedman’s classic hit record “Lucky Stars,” Denise stands up and tells her engaging story. Presenting her often heart-warming, funny, and poignant stories intertwined with her original songs, this 90 minutes part-concert-part live theater documentary. A Younger Theatre wrote: Denise Marsa is one of a kind. She’s a force of nature, a life-affirming singer, an overwhelmingly positive presence. Fueled by her passion, she walks on stage with total confidence. Completely at ease in the spotlight, she delivers The Pass, her own story put in music.

A must-see if you are looking to be inspired, and feel good, a story about perseverance, staying true to oneself, and riding the merry-go-round of the music business as a young and now a mature woman.

Denise developed the project with theater legend Gretchen Cryer who is well known for writing the book and lyrics and starring in “I’m Getting My Act Together and Taking It On the Road” (with music by Nancy Ford). She is a member of the Dramatists Guild Council and is President Emeritus of the Dramatists Guild Fund. In addition to these accomplishments, she has received various awards and degrees, among them a MAT degree from Harvard.

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