The Pass

A Story About Songwriting & the Human Spirit

THE PASS is an honest and intimate look at the ups and downs of a musician working in the music business through four decades. Unwilling to compromise her ideals and vision of success, singer-songwriter Denise Marsa tells her story through 18 vignettes with her original music intertwined. Travel with Denise as she starts her career towards the end of the 70’s through the highly volatile and emotional 80’s continuing on through the start of the tech driven 90’s 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.

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 Younger Theatre

“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

‘The Pass’ is one woman’s reflection of a life in the music business, told through her wonderful music with humour and wisdom. It makes a bloody good evening. Go see it!” – Jessica Sully, Indie Journalist

Samples audience reviews:

I have known Denise Marsa for a really long time in fact it was our company ( Andrew Miller Promotions) who organized the tour in London many many years ago. From the first day we met, we became friends. Denise has many talents and I really believe that watching the Pass and hearing her sing several of the songs that I already knew, her voice just gets better and better. There were also some new songs too that were very powerful and very beautiful.

I enjoyed the way her story was told, it takes a lot of courage to reveal these private moments in our lives, and Denise definitely has guts, courage and a huge amount of determination. So I really hope that as many people as possible get to hear her songs and enjoy her music. – Rosie Mcgrath Panchini

Truly inspiring! Personal, engaging and completely original. Denise Marsa shares her life and her work with us and it’s an honour to share in her journey. – David Henry Aaron

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

It was great. I loved the music. Very talented. – Rita Soffer

Superb: A frank and wonderfully expressed tale of how to overcome adversity and sudden bends in the road of life, and with some beautiful songs throughout the performance. A lesson for us all. – Jim H, Austin, TX

DENISE MARSA ROCKS THE HOUSE: On Tuesday night, Denise Marsa gave a performance in a small space that was all Broadway and Big Lights. Her storytelling mixed with music was unique, fresh, and full of life. Her songwriting and storytelling ability were matched by her incredible voice that ranged from pop to Gospel to R&B. This was a rare and brilliant performance that wowed the audience for two hours, taking us all on the musical rollercoaster of Marsa’s life journey. Look for out for Marsa’s one of a kind brand of story and music; you don’t want to miss this. – Stephen Preziosi


“Denise Marsa is not afraid to stand up and say ‘this is who I am’. This is not a simple process and can take a lifetime to achieve-to throw off the shackles of our personal and cultural history. Denise stands before us, in her one woman show, and achieves this. She does this through song and storytelling that is of the highest quality. Highly recommended.” – Peter Tate, Artistic Director, The Playground Theatre, London

Press Announcement/KeyMedia Public Relations/Music Industry

By Helen Melville

“The Pass” A Theatrical Event written, produced, and performed by Denise Marsa

(New York, New York, Wednesday, December 16, 2020) – At 9 pm EST, on December 31st, 2020, Denise Marsa Productions in partnership with BMG Rights Management and the streaming platform, Musae, will present a performance of this autobiographical two Act play with a musical intermission, starring Denise Marsa and featuring Tracy Stark on piano and supporting vocals.

These vignettes of storytelling and music premiered in 2018 at the Playground Theater in London, England.  Stateside, they have had one live airing to great reviews at Revelation Gallery, New York City.  This show was pre-recorded at Revelation Gallery on a separate occasion. read full release BroadwayWorld

Synopsis:

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.

Travel with Denise as she starts her career towards the end of the 70’s through the highly volatile and emotional 80’s continuing on through the start of the tech driven 90’s 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.

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 Phi Beta Kappa from DePauw University and a MAT degree from Harvard.

Tix available here

Tickets/Donations: $5-$100

“THE PASS is an honest and intimate look at the ups and downs of a musician working in the music business through four decades.”

Editor’s Pick: This Week London 

“You were absolutely superb!” – Jessica Martin, London
“It was such a great show, I loved every minute of it! Denise’s story was very inspiring and heartwarming.” – Livia Papp, London
(5/5) “Authentic and inspiring. Thank you for your courage to share your powerful story.” – Plamena Todorova, London, Audience Club

“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. ‘The Pass’ is one woman’s reflection of a life in the music business, told through her wonderful music with humour and wisdom. It makes a bloody good evening. Go see it!” – Jessica Sully, Indie Journalist/Author

Press NYC: What drew Marsa to music in the first place? “I was always musical,” she says. “My brother got a drum set for Christmas one year and I just started playing it. Same with the piano. I had both the instinct and the inclination. And my mother really pushed me. I think she had been overshadowed by her siblings growing up, so she put her energy into me. I was singing, taking acting classes and I landed my first professional gig in musical theater at age eight.” – West View News interview, Michael D. Minichiello

“Denise Marsa is one of my all-time favorite singer-songwriters. I first came across her over 20-years ago while living in West Hollywood, shortly before she released “Self”. Her music has stood the test of time well. Her album now resides on my MP3 player, and remains in regular rotation, being amongst the most frequently played. With the event of “The Pass”, I can now say she is also one of my favorite storytellers. Humorous and heartbreaking, the show reveals how she was physically, emotionally, and creatively choked — and how she overcame such suppression on all fronts, to live, love, create and sing in her own way and on her own terms. Like “Self” before it, “The Pass” is truly a trump. Bravo, Ms Marsa!” – Nicole Powers, Freelance Journalist, Suicide Girls

%d bloggers like this: