Thursday, August 20, 2009

Fringe Q&A With Kristyn Pomranz and Katherine Steinberg of I Can Has Cheezburger: The MusicLOL!

By Byrne Harrison

Name: Kristyn Pomranz & Katherine Steinberg
Show: I Can Has Cheezburger: The MusicLOL!

How did you first get involved in theatre?
Pomranz: My first performance was in The Three Forgotten Words, which taught my elementary school peers how to use the card catalog and Dewey Decimal system. I played "The." Ahh, pre-internets.

Steinberg: My first shot at the page for the stage is in this festival. I saw a lot of theater with my mom and grandmother, who are avid fans.

Who are your biggest influences?
P: Creatively, Kate Steinberg and The Internets. Theatrically, I wouldn't say he's an influence, but I do love Jason Robert Brown.

S: Creatively, Kristyn (obvs!) because every time we speak we come up with a million new ideas. Literally. I also admire and aspire to be more like "Robot Chicken," "Aqua Teen Hunger Force," "Arrested Development" and "30 Rock." If I can ever write something as witty as "City of Angels" I will die happy.

What is your show about?
P: Well, the obvious answer is "a cat who wants a cheezburger." But really, our show is about making people laugh. This is not high art. It is 78 minutes of silly song and dance, coupled with the Lolcats meme. All it requires is a suspension of disbelief and a willingness to not take it seriously.

S: A cat pursuing his cheezburger! It's really about having good time, getting in a few LOLs and chasing a dream. We billed it as a fun, musical romp through the site and I think that's what it is.

What inspired you to write it?
P: I sang a song about a Lolcat and Kate was all, "Genius, let's make this a musical." Honestly, it was a lark, so it's truly amazing that it's come this far.

S: I knew that Kristyn and I wanted to write something together and when I heard this idea, my heart leaped for joy.

Who are your collaborators and how long have you been working with them?
P: We've known Mike Gillespie (our arranger and musical collaborator) since the beginning of the year, and we found our director, Karina Bennett (co-founder of Magic Bullet Media), through Mandy a few months ago. Magically, we all just gelled. While it hasn't been long, we've grown into a very solid, collaborative, and
fun-loving team and we want nothing more than to work with them in the future.

S: Mike Gillespie has very closely collaborated with us on music. He's arranged and composed for us and is now an indispensable member of our team. Our director, Karina Bennett we met through an ad on Mandy (like Kristyn says above) and even though she was the first person we met, we clicked immediately. She's brought so much to this musical and has made it so much stronger than I could have imagined. Our Choreographer, Erin Stutland, I met in a class at the PIT and she's quite multi-talented -- a dancer, writer and actress with great comic timing. Lastly, Caroline O'Connor, our stage manager and assistant director has been an organization pillar. I would work with them all again in a heartbeat. It's been a great, supportive group.

Fringe shows are notorious for their short rehearsal schedule. How has the rehearsal process been?
P: Surprisingly painless. The show is short and we don't really have a set, so it was all song, dance, and scene work. Our cast was extremely dedicated and really delved into the minds of their macros -- everyone involved takes the show very seriously, which, honestly, makes it funnier.

S: Fun, hectic, hilarious. I think we picked an amazing cast who made the process really easy and smooth.

What's next for you after Fringe?
P: Grad school (in a program that involves neither musicals nor Lolcats), but I plan to also work on a new show with Kate and Mike. We can't disclose what it's about, but we can reveal this much: it won't be based on an Internet meme. Our next show won't have such a hard expiration date (although it is yet again about food).

S: Working with Mike and Kristyn on our new musical, writing an original TV pilot with my friend Heidi and also keeping up with the blog that Heidi, Kristyn and I run: Rob Pattinson Loves Me. We like to keep busy :)

And finally, if a genie were to grant you one wish, what would you wish for?
Pomranz: A cheeseburger lunch with Ben Huh.

Steinberg: I would say dinner -- Ben Huh, Burgers, Pomz and cloth napkins. (oooh, keeping it classy).

I Can Has Cheezburger: The MusicLOL!
Sauce and Co.
Written by Kristyn Pomranz and Katherine Steinberg
Additional Music by Mike Gillespie
Director: Karina Bennett

The Cherry Lane Theatre
Fri 14 - 9:30 PM
Sat 15 - 12 PM
Tue 18 - 6:15 PM
Wed 26 - 9:15 PM
Fri 28 - 4:45 PM

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