For Immediate Release, March 29, 2001

The Legend of ZORRO is Born Again! - in "Z"! A Latin musical that will make your feet dance and your spirits soar. "We are embracing the passion and dark sensuality of the Flamenco dance theater in "Z" explains Mr. Cilento. "An earthy, acoustical sound in the music." "It is always exciting heading up a creative team developing a new musical. The 'Gypsy Kings' have the sound that we are bringing to the show. In fact Flamenco both in dance and music originated from the Gypsies. In our version Zorro is the grandson of a Gypsy Princess and a Spanish Count. That - 'heritage' - explains a great deal of what makes Zorro tick. And that. . . is passion! A man who cannot dance - cannot love. A man who cannot love - cannot fight! Zorro is a thief-in-the-night, who steals back the freedom of his people, a piece at a time. And it is a very good time that we intend to provide our audience."

Mr. Cilento is the choreographer of the Elton John-Tim Rice Broadway musical, Disney's Aida. Winner of the 1993 Tony Award, Drama Desk Award, and Fred Astaire Award for Best Choreography for Tommy, Mr. Cilento was also nominated the Tony for the hit revival How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying and Dream:The Johnny Mercer Musical, which he also directed. An original cast member of A Chorus Line, Mr. Cilento's long list of credits as a performer include The Act, Seasaw, Perfectly Frank, Irene, Big Deal, and his Tony-nominated performance in Bob Fosse's Dancin'. He created the choreography for Jerry's Girls, Baby (Tony nominee), and Off-Broadway's A Hot Minute and Angry Housewives. In addition, he choreographed over 100 national commercials, including those for Dr. Pepper, Burger King and McDonald's. Internationally, he has staged shows for such diverse artists as Liza Minnelli, Billy Joel, Chita Rivera, Barry Manilow, Donna Summer and Pete Townsend. Mr. Cilento directed and choreographed Spirit, which currently is on national tour.

Z, The Masked Musical is inspired by the character of "Zorro" in The Curse of
Capistrano, by Johnston McCulley. With a new book and lyrics by Robert W. Cabell (Off-Broadway's Pretty Faces, Two Hearts Over Easy), a celebrity CD of the full theatrical score was released in 2000. Featuring Broadway talents Deborah Gibson, Ruben Gomez, Phyllis Newman, Kaye Ballard, Marc Kudisch, Roberto Blades, Sean McDermott, Jeff McCarthy, Christiane Noll, Robert Evan, and Michael DeVries, the CD is now available via Amazon.com.

Produced by Rickie Roberts, Michael Parker, and Z Entertainment, Z, The
Masked Musical is being represented by the William Morris Agency. Sound
bytes and CD cast bios are available at ZMusical.com.

Contacts for Z, The Masked Musical:
(856) 546-2778
Rickie Roberts, Z Entertainment

(212) 903-1170
Susan Weaving, William Morris Agency


NEXT MAGAZINE - June 4, 1999 Vol. 6 issue 47-CD REVIEW

The spirit of the legend of Zorro is stronger than ever! This recording stays true to the Spanish theme and distills the essence of the story musically with a symphonic score for the noble-born characters and a more folksy, mariachi-inspired sound for the townspeople. Seasoned pros such as Deborah Gibson, Kaye Ballard, Broadways' Sean McDermott and Menudo-veteran Ruben Gomez interpret songs from the musical. And if that weren't enough, look for two bonus tracks produced by none other than Tony Moran! - Richard Tressan


SHOWMusic Spring 1999 Volume

Z - THE MASKED MUSICAL (Getzeed Productions 89762; 67:58) is the concept recording for Robert W. Cabell's adaptation of the legend of early California's Robin Hood, Zorro. Lavishly produced, the album features ex-Menudo heartthrob Ruben Gomez as the lead character, Robert Blades as Diego, Zorro's less adventuresome alter ego, Deborah (nee Debbie) Gibson as his (their?) love interest and Kaye Ballard Phyllis Newman, Christian Noll, Sean McDermott, Marc Kudisch, Jeff McCarthy, Michael DeVries, and Lynn Halverson singing cameo roles. Cabell's idea to give songs for the Spanish nobles and peasants contrasting sounds - symphonic for the former, mariachi for the latter - is a good one, although I'm no sure his straightforward approach to this story is quite so successful, because it doesn't allow for variety in the score. As Antonio Banderas illustrated in the recent Zorro film, a little tongue tucked firmly in cheek doesn't hurt the effectiveness of the legend. But Cabell has some effective and attractive melodies (his lyrics have a number of predictable rhymes) that make this well produced album quite listenable.


England's Musical Mag MASQUERADE (April) issue # 33 1999 Volume

In the light of the recent Zorro movie it seems an opportune time to release a musical based on the daring exploits of the hero of the oppressed Californian peasants. And that is just what Robert W. Cabell has done with Z - The Masked Musical. Cabell has adopted quite an unusual approach to the project, marrying two diverse musical styles with pop flavored show tunes sitting side by side with music with a strong traditional Spanish feel. A sort of Frank Wildhorn meets the Gypsy Kings. But on the whole the experiment is surprisingly successful.

Personally, I found that the Spanish influenced songs worked better but that may be because I am not a major fan of the more poppy side of musical theatre material. Consequently I felt that songs like the swaying "Sweet Siesta", the sultry "Dance of Love" and the vivacious "Fiesta Amor" had much more to offer than the ballads. Oh there are a couple of worthwhile offerings ("Ivory Tower" and "Just Close Your Eyes") but generally they lack invention and some become bogged down in schmaltz.

Z-The Masked Musical is a concept album but one of the highest quality, beautifully recorded with a fine cast and nicely packaged. The lead roles are performed by Robert Blades (a relation of Ruben Blades of The Capeman fame perhaps?), Deborah Gibson and Ruben Gomez in a first class manner well supported by a large and impressive chorus and some talented musicians.

Mind you not all is sweetness and light. There is one ghastly song late in the proceedings ("Twists and Turns") where a group sing a dire lyric (in best "Carry On" tradition "the story moves on, and one thing we predict, if Zorro captures the Captain, he will cut of his...ay ay, ay, ay") to a dire if very familiar tune in crass Spanish Accents. Some of the lyrics are also a bit dodgy, the singers struggling the rhyme words like "more" and "poor" while the recording concludes with the dreaded "Bonus tracks", a poppy version of earlier songs; mind you that is not a major problem - after all isn't that what CD remote controls were invented for?

But these are relatively minor complaints and Z-The Masked Musical is a classy, enjoyable and entertaining album. It is released on GZD-89762; for more information on the project why not visit web site www.z-musical.com

The world premiere of a Broadway-bound musical about Zorro, Alfred Uhry's "The Last Night of Ballyhoo", Steve Martin's "Picasso at the Lapin Agile", and Paula Vogel's "How I learned to Drive" will highlight the 1999-2000 season at Actors Cabaret of Eugene. "It's one of the most exciting seasons we've done," says ACE producer Jim Roberts who books the plays. "I've been trying to get a number of these shows since I first heard about them. They just fell into place this year." Roberts is especially keen on "Z: The Masked Musical," a new work by former Eugene actor-playwright Robert Cabell.
"To have that caliber of a show, and to have the world premiere of it, is really something," he said. "It's definitely a large-scale musical. To have it scheduled to open in New York the next year is just great." ACE got the show through its long association with Cabell, who attended Churchill High School and performed at the Very Little Theatre, Carnival Theatre and in Ed Ragozzino' productions among others. Since then, Cabell has been in touring companies of "Fiddler on the Roof," "Once Upon a Mattress" and "Annie Get Your Gun," and has directed and choreographed productions in major professional theaters. His writing credits include the off-Broadway musicals "Pretty Faces" and "Two Hearts Over Easy," and several concert and "Saccharine." The Eugene production of "Z: The Masked Musical" will be from February 25 to March 4th in the South Eugene auditorium. It could be considered an out-of-town tryout to work out the show's bugs. The musical will be recast and restaged in New York City. "Writers don't go to really small places like Eugene to do shows," Roberts says. "They go to the larger regional theaters like Seattle or Los Angeles, especially musicals. But Bob had worked with us before and was really pleased with the work he had seen here.
Roberts describes the Latin-influenced musical as "the story of a sexy young hero who joins forces with a courageous beauty to unite their people in a battle of wit and blade against a greedy tyrant." Mounting the musical will be an enormous task, but Roberts is actually looking forward to an easier season. For one thing, the Theater Company will be doing fewer shows next year - 11, compared with 18 this season. "Doing fewer shows will give us more time to concentrate on different aspects of the shows and not burn out," says Robbers, who notes that tow of the offerings, the comedy revue Parallel Lives" and the male vocal group sendup "Forever Plaid," are ACE revivals.
Plays getting their Oregon premieres will be the interactive "Grandma Sylvia's Funeral" "The Last Night of Ballyhoo," "Picasso at the Lapin Agile," "The Santaland Diaries" and "Season's Greetings." The Eugene premiers are "How I learned to Drive," the Stephen Sondheim greatest hits musical "Putting It Together" and Steven Dietz's "Lonely Planet."

© and all rights reserved by Robert W. Cabell 1996-2010 site maintained by Get Z'd Productions email rwcabell@aol.com for questions or comments.

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