Anya Turner and Robert Grusecki are performers and songwriters who live in New York City. They write songs for the musical theatre and cabaret. Other artists who have performed their songs include Broadway's Donna McKechnie (A Chorus Line), Karen Akers (Nine) and the widely acclaimed cabaret star, Steve Ross. GREETINGS FROM YORKVILLE was named finalist for the prestigious Richard Rodgers Award by the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
Their latest project is the musical revue"A PARTY WITH TURNER & GRUSECKI" now available on CD.
GREETINGS FROM YORKVILLE is a musical love story about trying again, and again, and again . . . Here's what the CRITICS say: "Show Business Meets Real Life, in Song . . . the autobiographical story of a struggling team of songwriters trying to get a foothold on the big time, performed by the people who wrote and lived it. A SWEET SHOW!" (The New York Times); "WISTFUL . . . COMIC . . . LOVELY!" (The New Yorker); "GRAND! Pleasing, teasingly complex melodies . . . Witty, well-crafted lyrics." (Backstage); "Tuneful . . . Warmhearted . . . A WINNER!" (The Epoch Times); "Musically memorable songs . . . She has the sex appeal and he, the dancing fingers." (Edge New York); "Cleverly written . . . With themes of optimism and living each day for the things you love." (New York Woman).
GREETINGS FROM YORKVILLE was produced Off-Broadway at the SoHo Playhouse. Music & Lyrics by Robert Grusecki, Lyrics & Book by Anya Turner, Directed by Thommie Walsh & Baayork Lee, Lighting Design by Natasha Katz, Scenic Design by Jesse Poleshuck, Costume Design by Dona Granata, Sound Design by David Stollings, Artwork by Robert Risko, Photography by Peter James Zielinski, Press Representative Shirley Herz Associates, General Manager Brent Peek.
Vocals: Anya Turner & Robert Grusecki
Piano: Robert Grusecki
Bass: Tod Hedrick
Percussion: Mark Dodge
Recorded, mixed and mastered by Danny Lawrence
All selections are ASCAP
Copyright 2011 Turner & Grusecki, all rights reserved
For information about sheet music, licensing, performance dates and other news, please visit the AnyaRobertMusic web site.
As the show opens, ANYA is discovered writing a letter to ROBERT. She has just signed the lease on an apartment in a neighborhood of Manhattan called Yorkville and is urging him to join her soon (GREETINGS FROM YORKVILLE). After making a commitment to live together as lovers, collaborators, and partners in all things, the songwriting pair from the Midwest settles into the new apartment and gets to work (SECRET SONG). The songwriting is going well but it isn’t paying the bills. ANYA turns to working temp jobs in order to survive. That’s reality. But of course, as she tells the audience, we don’t live for reality; we live for our dreams (ORDINARY PEOPLE). Meanwhile ROBERT is also trying to balance the demands of earning a living as a pianist and finding the time to write. (ROBERT’S SONG). After a period of time spent writing special material for other performers (SHOWCASES, IT’S CALLED A PIANO, THE FARMER AND HIS WIFE, SHOWCASES Reprise), the two decide to write songs of a more personal nature and perform them in their own cabaret act. Launching a cabaret career, building an audience, and introducing all original material prove to be a tall order (SO YOU’RE NOT FROM NEW YORK). When they find out there are only a few reservations for their cabaret show, a new idea is born: “Why don’t we make a CD?” (WHAT A LOVELY THING). After a rather rocky live television interview on a New Jersey morning show, during which they are forced to defend their idea of a new style of original cabaret act that does not include singing all the old chestnuts, the duo open their engagement at Sammy’s Hideaway on NYC’s Restaurant Row with a CD release party. The opening number of the cabaret act (DESTINY) spins off into a story about the prejudice against being different. The song that follows is a portrait of ANYA’s Native American great-grandmother (CLARA DRUM). End of Act I.
Act II opens with the two songwriters reading their glowing review from the New York Times. Although their cabaret show is a critical success, they fail to attract an audience. But when one door closes, very often another door opens (MUSICAL COMEDY DREAM). When the team commits to writing their first musical, they settle on devising a contemporary version of the classic Shakespearean comedy Much Ado About Nothing. Personally identifying with the two warring lovers at the center of this story (Beatrice & Benedick), they develop a two-act, seven-character extravaganza entitled AFTER ALL, a musical much ado (I KNOW YOU TOO WELL, NOT AS I WAS/ALL OUT OF TUNE, HAPPY). After finishing the script and score, they make a CD demo, contact dozens of potential producers, and wait for the offers to come pouring in (JUST LUCKY I GUESS). Just when it looks like the dream of a fully realized production is going to come true, events outside of their control conspire to derail all of their plans. In the aftermath of the events of 9/11, ANYA is forced to take a job on the road while ROBERT stays home in Yorkville (THE ROAD). The separation is not good for their songwriting. Still, a living has to be made somehow. When ROBERT travels to Peoria to pitch yet another scheme – the idea of writing a two-character musical about a couple of songwriters living in Yorkville – and asks ANYA to come back to NYC with him to get started on it (HOLE-IN-THE-HEAD BLUES), she is not convinced. ROBERT tries to persuade her (HANDLE ME WITH CARE). After a horrendous fight that appears to end the relationship, ROBERT returns alone to NYC and ANYA stays in the Midwest and tries to remember why she ever wanted to do this “songwriting thing” in the first place (IOWA SUMMER). At last ANYA decides to “go home” and that means going back to Yorkville, and songwriting, and trying again. As the show closes the reunited songwriters begin work on their two-character musical entitled GREETINGS FROM YORKVILLE (GREETINGS FROM YORKVILLE Reprise). The journey, despite all the ups and downs, has taught them that LIFE IS GOOD.