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OPA!

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MARI CARRAS (Book/Lyrics) grew up in LA immersed in music and dance with her twin sister, a flutist, and their composer father and tap dancing mother.  She diligently trained in classical piano and ballet, before obtaining her business degree at Loyola Marymount University and her CPA in CA, which led her to business pursuits within the entertainment industry. In 1998 she purchased and ran the popular restaurant “Sofi” in LA for five years before moving to Athens, Greece where she executive-produced a well-received documentary about the making of Ancient Greek Tragedies with the National Theater of Northern Greece.  Now living in NYC, she has been developing the musical Opa! which she co-conceived with her late father, Hollywood film and TV composer Nicholas Carras, for the past several years.  Opa! was awarded 2 New Play Development Grants from Loyola Marymount University in 2005 and 2006, was winner of the TRU New Voices reading series in 2007, garnered 14 nominations in the Midtown International Theater Festival in 2008, where it won 5 (Best Music & Lyrics), and is proud to be back in Queens after a critically-acclaimed, sold-out run at Queens Theatre in the Park in 2009.  Mari is a 2005 graduate of the Commercial Theatre Institute, a 2009 participant in the  Stonybrook Southampton Playwriting Conference with Marsha Norman, a board member of Theater Resources Unlimited, and a member of the Dramatist Guild. 

 

All of this is dedicated to you Pop!


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NICHOLAS CARRAS (Music) was born in Pittsburgh, PA.  He began serious violin studies at age 7 in Europe before he moved with his family to LA, where he embarked on a period of intensive study of music composition and orchestration at the LA Conservatory of Music. David Rose made him his protégé for many years before he was engaged to score Jayne Mansfield’s first film, which led to the “Third Eye” starring James Mason and Jeff Bridges, and directed by Burgess Meredith.  He was then tapped by Loretta Young to be the musical director on her new television show.  Through his La Ronde Music production company, he settled into a long and fruitful stint writing, arranging and conducting special projects for the major companies in Hollywood.  Nicholas passed away on Thanksgiving Day, 2006.