By Melissa Griegel . . .

Musical theater and pop songwriter Joey Contreras showcased songs from three of his musical works at Feinstein’s/54 Below on April 19th. He was joined by a bevy of special guests who performed from In Pieces: A New Musical, Forget Me Not, and Heartbreakers in Hell.

The cast of singers included Senzel Ahmady, Jacob Dickey (Company, Aladdin), Sean Doherty (The Lightning Thief), Ben Fankhauser (NewsiesSpring Awakening), Cailen Fu (Mean Girls), Keri René Fuller (CatsWaitressJagged Little Pill), Mia Gerachis (Jekyll & Hyde, Creator of “Bored Belting”), Deon’te Goodman (Hamilton), Brad Greer (AnastasiaThe Bridges of Madison County), Max Heitmann, Diana Huey (The Little Mermaid), Leslie Hiatt (The Evolution of Mann), Oyoyo Joi, Nick Martinez (Bat Out of Hell), Denise Neumerkel, Henry Platt (“Sing On!”), Noah Virgile (The Royal Family of Broadway).

Cast – Heartbreakers In Hell
Joey Contreras

His musical In Pieces was originally performed at Lincoln Center and has been made available for worldwide licensing. Set in NYC, it follows eight individuals as they contemplate their lives and loves. The group sang several songs as a group such as “Fork in the Road,” “Singin’ the Same Line” and “In Pieces/You Never Know (Interlude)”  which featured Ben Fankhauser. Henry Platt sang a rousing solo of “Me and Mr. Popularity.”

Henry Platt
Ben Fankhauser
Keri Rene Fuller

Forget Me Not weaves a tale of murder, relationships, and media frenzy when a whale washes ashore in a remote coastal town, bringing press into their village. Book and lyrics are by Kate Thomas, with music by Contreras. A new ensemble of singers joined Contreras on stage to sing “Ruthless,” “Don’t Pay Attention to Me,” and “Coming Up for Air.” Contreras accompanied all songs during the Feinstein’s show on piano, occasionally singing along, and narrating the storyline of each show. The additional musicians on stage included Josh Roberts on drums, and Debbie Tjong on 5-string bass guitar. The show was co-produced by Contreras and Zachary Hausman.

Jacob Dickey
Leslie Hiatt
Deonte Goodman
Senzel Ahmady
Nick Martinez

The final featured show was Heartbreakers in Hell, with book and lyrics by Benjamin Halstead, and music by Contreras. This modern pop adaption of Dante’s Inferno intertwines Dante Aligherieri’s medieval mythic Hellscape with the realties of modern day dating. Nick Martinez played the role of Dante singing “Doomsday” while the cast sang a few other songs from the show. Keri René Fuller was a real standout as she took on the character of Lucy Lucifer, belting out a powerful rendition of “I Can’t Be the Bad Guy.”

A highlight of the evening came at the end when Contreras shared a brand-new song with us that he just finished last week. The highly personal song focused on his experience in therapy. Contreras is a very talented musician and songwriter with a great future ahead of him. Check out his albums, including “Love Me, Love Me Not,” which features an all-star line-up of Broadway talent, and look out for his shows.

Photos by Melissa Griegel

Lead Photo: Cast of In Pieces