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"The Search and Rescue of Genius Backpack" is the debut album from Create-A-Play and its band of professional musicians, called the Dirty Sock Funtime Band.
What happens when kids' imaginations become the inspiration for songs written and performed by some of New York City's top musicians? A wildly imaginative album called "The Search and Rescue of Genius Backpack!"
This kid-inspired music results in songs about galloping cantaloupes, secret laboratories with hypnotizing machines, talking monkeys, cartoon planets where pencils fly and clouds walk, and great characters like Genius Backpack.
The music itself pushes the boundaries of traditional children's songwriting. It has been called "a cross between the Muppets and They Might Be Giants." This album is sophisticated, yet catchy and accessible, and it spans many musical genres that kids and adults will enjoy.
Here is an excerpt from a letter from the parent of six-year-old child Shane:
"What gifts you and your fellow musicians have. Do you know that we used to listen to lullabies on CD at bedtime? Now, as raucous as some of the music is, Shane insists on listening to it while in bed unwinding, before sleep. It whisks us away to the land of giant bugs in a big crater and flying stores that talk like teenage girls. We forget the stresses of the day. Before you know it...Shane has drifted off to one of the places in the CD and is snoring away..." - D. Scofield, Parent, P.S. 41
The Dirty Sock Funtime Band is the in-house band for Create-A-Play, a creative musical theater program in New York City. During the program, teacher/artists work with New York City public school children to create an entirely original musical from scratch. On day one, the kids brainstorm until an idea for a story is born and by day five the storyline is set and each child has created his or her own character. The process continues until the final day of the program when the kids perform a musical which is 100 percent their own!
The Dirty Sock Funtime Band is an integral part of the Create-A-Play program. As soon as the story is laid out, the band leaps into action, composing new music for each story and ultimately recording a CD of the music for every program participant.
After years of rave reviews, the Dirty Sock Funtime Band has finally released one of these CD's to the general public. The result is "The Search and Rescue of Genius Backpack," created in Create-A-Play classes in the spring of 2003. The sale of this CD, and the many more to come, help Create-A-Play continue to bring its high quality brand of education and entertainment to kids.
WHO IS THE DIRTY SOCK FUNTIME BAND?
Stephen Jacobs, Co-Director of CAP, professional guitarist, licensed teacher
Adam Jacobs, Co-Director of CAP, singer, teacher (and secretly Mr. Clown)
Ty Citerman of Gutbucket
Paul Chuffo of Gutbucket
Michael Messer of "Hair", "Hedwig and the Angry Inch", and Adoraborialis
Bill Phillips, Rock guitarist
Eric Rockwin of Gutbucket
Ken Thomson of Gutbucket
Valthino Anastacio, World renowned percussionist
Chris Barron, singer, The Spin Doctors
Jean Cook, Classical violinist
Bradley Dean of Broadway's "Man of La Mancha"
Laura Ponce of The Drakes
Oren Schrijver of Holland's "Mamma Mia"
Matt Stocke of Broadway's "The Full Monty"
QUOTES FROM CAP PARTICIPANTS AND PARENTS:
"You all were able to bring out more from my son in four weeks than his school could in an entire year. I am using the CD and video of my son singing and memorizing his lines to challenge the school system that claims that he cannot learn."
-- Rosaria D., CAP Parent, 2000-03
"Did you know Mel means honey in Portugese? But they're not Honeydars, they're actually just Meldars."
-- 5 year-old Alex, on his characters, the Meldars
"He loves the CD. All we hear at home is '00-Chicken, 00-Duck.' He wakes up he wants to hear it, before dinner, after dinner, before he goes to sleep."
--David F., CAP Parent, 2001
"I decided not to be 'The Evil Soda Machine' anymore, because I want to use my soda for good. Now I'm 'The I Used To Be An Evil Soda Machine."
--9 year-old Anthony while creating his character for The Adventures of 00-Chicken and Dampy Duck
PAST CAP PRODUCTIONS (Partial listing):
The Search and Rescue of Genius Backpack (The music from this play is included): A group of college students loves watching the Looby cartoon world on television. But one of their friends, Genius Backpack, is tragically sucked into the television and is transformed into Evil Backpack, who tries to destroy the cartoon world by stuffing it into her backpack! Her friends go searching for her as they work together to save their old friend and the Looby world they created.
The Journey to Find the Person Who Fell Off the Person Who Fell Off: The Vice President of Foodville is perched on the town Mayor's shoulders, giving a speech, when the pair suddenly falls into the nearby river! The Mayor makes it back to shore, but the Vice President is nowhere to be found. Loyal citizens take off to find their lost leader in an undiscovered part of earth, meeting such characters as the Meldars and the Ice Marines and even ending a war along the way!
00-Chicken and Dampy Duck in the Tuna Revolution: A double disaster strikes New York as the city becomes flooded and a very hungry baby begins stealing the city's diminishing food supply. Friends and superheroes 00-Chicken and Dampy Duck team up with their companions and use their brilliant tactics to rid the city of its flood and the baby of its hunger.
OTHER PRODUCTIONS INCLUDE:
Blah, Blah Houston Rollerface Planet and the Case of the Falling Food
Dandelions in the Springtime
One Day on Hot Dog Mountain
The Gormals and the Czorkans meet the Evil Wizards and the Land of