Music / Theater
“Martin’s technically complex and intensely melodic music, which at times recalls the work of William Finn or even Stephen Sondheim, is matched by thoughtful lyrics from Biello. Martin has forged a sophisticated score that’s not a pastiche of pop stylings but a unified and quite beautiful composition. A very likable and moving show.” —Chicago Tribune
“Breathe is a bold and deeply emotional piece that’s something like a combination of Stephen Sondheim and Jason Robert Brown. Split into seven distinct sections, the show focuses on the power, courage, wisdom, beauty and magic of gay life.” —Philadelphia Weekly
“Breathe is the must-see theatrical event of the season. It doesn’t matter if you’re gay, straight, bi-, male, female, young or old — Breathe goes beyond sexual orientation to reach into our humanity. One of the best musicals I’ve seen in years.” —Omaha Weekly Reader
The Cousins Grimm
“The Cousins Grimm is warm-hearted, sweet, and amusing … offers up some very likable tunes by Off-Broadway songwriters I have long admired.” —Chicago Tribune
“This delightful new musical unfolds as an ambitious rework of backstage Broadway musicals and a fresh–gay oriented take on the timeless Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm. Originality together with empathetic characters singing fun tunes makes for a light evening of musical comedy. I enjoyed this smart riff on fairy tales.” —Chicago Critic.com
“The Cousins Grimm begins with the song “Why Not A Fairytale?” and by the end the audience feels like singing along. A musical about playwrights creating a gay, musical version of the Grimm’s fairytales may sound ridiculous — and it is — but it is also fabulous. Amusing and poignant — even the most biting and edgy moments have a lot of heart. A lovely combination of satire and romance.” —NewCity Stage
Q — The Songs of Martin & Biello
“Q is a terrific little musical.” —Theatermania.com
“Q is a summer-friendly mix of poignant ballads and satirical sketches. Q has a big heart and some fine songs. Clearly, these talented fellows are capable of penning a major Broadway show.” —Chicago Tribune
“Q – Martin and Biello’s songbook — is a dazzling one to be sure. What remains constant throughout is Martin’s remarkable gift of crafting intricate and constantly surprising melodies, to which Biello tunes his sharp ear and fits them with perceptive lyrics that both examine and touch the soul.” —Gay Chicago Magazine
Biello & Martin
Michael Biello (Lyricist) and Dan Martin (Composer) are longtime collaborators and life partners who have created a unique body of critically acclaimed work in musical theater.
Current projects include their musical comedy Marry Harry which will be produced at NYMF in July 2013 at The Alice Griffin Theatre/Signature Center (directed by Kent Nicholson). Marry Harry was workshopped in April 2012 by AMAS Musicals at Foxwoods Studio. A staged reading of Marry Harry was presented at New York Stage and Film’s Powerhouse Season at Vassar College in July 2011. They are also working on In My Body – a concept musical about body image.
Martin & Biello’s The Cousins Grimm was presented in Chicago in 2009 following a 2008 workshop at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre Center in Waterford, CT. and a 2007 developmental reading at NYMF (directed by Michael Bush). An animated short film Papa’s Prince – based on their musical version of the Frog Prince tale in The Cousins Grimm – is currently in production (directed by Blake McCarty).
Biello & Martin’s work has enjoyed success in Chicago, where Breathe won the 1999 After Dark Award for Outstanding New Work. Additional productions of Breathe include Omaha in 2003 (nominated for 8 TAG Awards), Philadelphia (2004), Richmond (2005), and Dallas (2009). In November 2012 they revisited Breathe at The York Theatre’s Developmental Reading Series (directed by Bill Castellino). Their revue Q – the Songs of Martin & Biello – premiered in Chicago in 2000 and was produced at the 2002 Philadelphia Fringe Festival where it was cited by Philadelphia Weekly for the Best Original Music of the 2002 Theater Season.
Martin & Biello’s musical theater work has also been presented in New York at American Opera Projects, New Dramatists, Musical Theater Works, The Century Center, HERE, and PS 122, among others; in Philadelphia at Annenberg’s Harold Prince Theatre, The Painted Bride, and the Walnut Street Theatre 5, among others; in Miami at City Theatre, in Washington DC at DCAC, in Provincetown MA at the UU Church, and in San Francisco at the People’s Theater Coalition.
Biello and Martin’s songs have been performed from LaMama to Lincoln Center, on ABC, PBS, and on a variety of recordings and have garnered various honors and awards including: Table 3 – performed by Tony Award winner Karen Ziemba at Lincoln Center as part of the 2001 Bound for Broadway concert; You Do Not Know Me – nominated for a 2000 GLAMA Award for Best Theatre Song; Clones in Love – winner of 1985’s Best Short at the San Francisco Gay and Lesbian Film Festival; and The Dance – a film of which has been screened worldwide and is in the permanent collection of MoMA. A recording of Table 3 by Tony nominee Erin Dilly is featured as part of the 2008 BMI Workshop Podcast/Songbook.
Additional career highlights include their dance/theater/music pieces of the late 1970s and early 1980s including Two Men Dancing and How I Spent My Summer Vacation; 1984′s musical X-posed; and a series of innovative performance-art musicals in the early and mid 1990′s including Homo Love Song and Human Being. Their avant-garde musical Claire (1996) enjoyed a sold out revival at the 2007 Philadelphia Fringe Festival. In 2010 Martin & Biello were commissioned by Philadelphia Dance Projects to re-envision and re-stage several of their pieces from the early 1980′s.
Biello and Martin live and work in Philadelphia and in New York, where they are members of The Dramatists Guild and the BMI/Lehman Engel Advanced Musical Theater Workshop. In 2004 they were inducted into the GLBT Hall of Fame.
Martin and Biello’s theater work is represented by
Sarah L. Douglas
Abrams Artists Agency
275 Seventh Avenue, 26th Floor
New York, NY 10001