More Zap Productions

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Posted Jan 01 2000

Millennium 2000

As we leap into a new century, we look back with pride, joy (and awe) at the accomplishments we’ve made and the relationships we’ve forged.

More Zap Productions ventured into new territory and found new opportunities for growth.

While producing special events, shooting videos, choreographing ballets, location scouting, brainstorming with colleagues, teaching workshops and exploring the value and mystery of the world wide web, we have enjoyed ourselves tremendously. We feel privileged to have worked with so many talented and inspiring people on challenging, rewarding projects. We are excited about the possibilities opening up in the new millennium....even more MORE ZAP!

In 1998-99 we joined the TEA (Themed Entertainment Association), invited by Pres. John Wright. Right now More Zap is considering several theme park projects, including concept design, live show production and operations.

More Zap welcomes our new partner Nancy Gregory on board! Nancy brings years of experience and top notch credits with her. She is an award winning (Grammy, Clio) director-producer-choreographer-writer. She has consulted for such companies as Universal Studios, Disneyland, Walt Disney World, Radio City Productions, and the MGM Grand. Nancy wrote the creative concept for the FOX Backlot, Australia, and represented Landmark Entertainment in Europe on several projects. She worked in TV, film, commercials and special events for clients such as Lorimar, Disney and Warner Brothers. Michelle Zeitlin, founder of More Zap Productions, and Nancy are combining their strengths and boundless energy to create a unique synergy and a dynamic partnership.

Michelle and assistants Jeff Amsden and Fred Talaksen, worked with BRC Imagination Arts, brainstorming for a theme park project in Taiwan. “Discovery World” is scheduled to open in the Year of the Dragon. Alongside BRC’s Tony Cruz and Max Miller we collaborated on the creative for teen shows and attractions. We came up with ideas for an “un-parade” with characters from the Chinese zodiac, and a rad x-treme skate show. Michelle wrote and co-created a rock repertory show utilizing trends in fashion, video and music. A new company is now working to develop the schematic portions of production. We are excited to watch and “discover” where this theme park is going, and how our input may go along with it....

Michelle and Doug Johnson worked with Universal Studios Hollywood and V.P. of Entertainment Patrick Moloney, on a pitch for a projected special event for Universal CityWalk. The carnival attraction budget and creative proposal included confetti makers, float builders, costume builders and a cast of dancers, singers, circus specialty acts and mardi gras style entertainment.

Sometimes our shows are site specific, and sometimes the only show atmosphere is that generated by the enthusiasm and energy of our performers. Such was the case for the SAP international conference, LA Convention Center. All wings were taken over by over 12,000 computer company attendees. On the main stage, our Zappers performed for over four continuous hours. “Broadway on Tap” included the outstanding Melissa Fahn, Eric Underwood, JT Hornstein, Robin Ray, Janice Cronkhite, Matt Zarley, Tamara Squires. Cate Caplin and her amazing team of international ballroom couples took over the south wing in breathtaking, sweeping motions and chiffon galore. Thanks to OPTS Events and Harvey Louie for putting it all together and to Sheila Groves for booking us.

Sal Kuenzler’s City Connection hired us Zappers to entertain for Chef America’s annual awards party. We led a salsa and conga line with ruffled dancers, hosted by our Latina dynamo, Cindy Ricalde. Melissa Fahn sang, Regan Patno and Julia Snyder performed a “cirque” type act with new-age music, Chad Azadon danced, and was featured in the 50’s twist with our rubberheaded Elvis.

For TAB (Transit Authority Bureau) we created a customized “stomp” number with expert tap dancers Jamie Torcellini, Charmain Renata, Jenny Seeger, and Danial Brown. The closing number, “Around the World” was tied in with the out-of-home advertising promotions around the globe. Thanks to Ron Rubin for recommending us to Corporate Rock.

Another high-energy dance number in the same vein, “Dangerous Feet” was developed to close the Computer Curriculum sales meeting at Paramount Park’s Great America. It featured percussionist Jason ”Berko” Berkowitz, Kathy Magee, Mark Meismer, Michelle Kopacz, Janice Cronkhite and Danial Brown. Creative producer Mindy Zuckerman invited Michelle to train the company CEO, and create a reveal that was unique and fun. Tearing off a mylar jumpsuit and brandishing a Star Wars -like laser gun, this company president rocked! Mindy was kind enough to write a glowing testimonial for More Zap, which can be viewed on our website home page.

Jeanie Love recommended Michelle to choreograph Nike shows for the “Alpha Project” in Paris, France and the "Orlando Project" show in the U.S. Staging 30 European models, and interfacing with the set designers, producers and audio/visual team, Michelle coordinated all the fashion passes and the all-star guest athletes at Euro Disney, Disneyland Paris. For Universal Studios, Orlando, Michelle staged the breakout room/product demos with Nike’s PLM’s, directed by Pat Van Orman-Price. Thanks again to Bob Talmage and his associates for bringing Michelle on board.

We launched the new Millennium bottle for Remy Martin cognac at the Moon Festival Gala, Paramount Theatre. Ellen Lee of L3 Advertising, and Susan Collane of Paramount Studios Special Events collaborated to create “C’est Magnifique”, a French themed evening complete with corsetted Can-Can girls and elegant dinner music. A theatrical product reveal was staged at the “Louvre”, featuring Gregg Engle, Robbi Morgan and Susan Edwards. Dancers were Emalee Rogers, Carolyn Tomaka, Kathy Magee and Eboni Nichols. Audio support by Electro-Vox.

An insiders WB TV season kickoff party splashed onto the Warner Brothers studio backlot with Las Vegas flavor! Prexy Peter Roth was the guest of honor for this industry event. Sexy dancers in appropriate kitsch costumes and a ten piece band led by Marty Jabara were a hit. A Joan Rivers look-alike hosted the event, and our Liberace sound-alike, Will Collins pounded the keys with flair. A hot number choreographed by Michelle, featured Katie Jensen singing and Leslie Stevens, Kelly Crandall and Hillary Lacy Morris as the “chicks born with Fever”! Nancy staged “What’s New Pussycat” with Tony Galla, a Tom Jones sound-alike. The girls wore feathered tails and pussycat ears and created quite a purr! Hillary Ann Harris, Director of Special Events for Warner Brothers and Lynne Gordon Entertainment all put this together. (Variety ran a little blurb about the event, scouting Brooke Shields, Martin Sheen and many other celebrities among the 1000 who attended.)

American Express hired More Zap to stage a customized show to top off their awards gala on the Soul Train sound stage at Paramount Studios, Hollywood. An extraordinary cast included Calvin Remsberg as “Mr. Big”. Christa Jackson was the ingenue with big heart and voice. Ken Shepski was the matinee idol who sang a dreamy “You Stepped Out of a Dream” for a water ballet in shades of aquamarine and purple. This Follies type show also featured Raymond del Barrio, Leslie Stevens, Greg Poland, Kathy Magee (who also assisted) Kelly Crandall, Kevin “Kye” Brackett, Eboni Nichols, Susan Edwards, Gregg Engle. Show highlights included a foggy stage for “Singing in the Rain” and a high-energy “Sing, Sing, Sing”. All the music was arranged for this event by Jerry Sternbach, Randall Tobin and Michelle, and Theta Sound produced the tracks. Kudos to Diane Duncan, who ran a tight ship backstage and Suzi Zuppardo, wardrobe. Signe Helmen was the awards event producer and so efficient. Ted “Curly” Whitaker of Staging Techniques called the technical cues. Thanks especially to Karen Smiley and Roger Gragg of PRA Destination Management who voted More Zap in to pitch the Amex clients.

Leonard Neil invited our dancers once again to entertain for Litton Industries at the Beverly Hills Hotel. Interactive couples in swing, Latin and disco styles taught dance moves to an eager partying crowd. Larry Swartz coordinated. Thanks to our tango expert, Cynthia Wraspir, Lee Ann Gelvin, Mark Sellars, Eboni Nichols, Kathy Magee, Ken Shepski, Carolyn Tomaka and leader, Doug Johnson.

More Zap’s dynamite dance instructors will lead dance styles of the last century for a corporate party on the dawn of the Millennium’s New Year’s Eve! Cha-cha, rhumba, salsa, cowboy line dances and fox trot will be demonstrated and taught for a big bash...We are still booking special events for the new year and holiday dates.

Congrats to Jeff Amsden for his successful Broadway premiere of “A Few Good Men Dancin”, in conjunction with Dancers Responding to AIDS. The show featured all styles of dance, choreographed entirely by Jeff, and top dancers from the leading ballet and modern companies including American Ballet Theatre and Alvin Ailey. Kudos to Jeff and co-producer Ariadne Villareal, for their good work and good hearts! The producers are currently considering a spin-off world tour.

We had a successful and rewarding first theatrical show tour...“Lights, Camera, Hollywood!” was co-created by Calvin Remsberg and Michelle Zeitlin. Starring Calvin, Michelle and Gregg Engle, with Robbi Morgan and Garen Michaels rotating principal roles. Saif Eddin accompanied us on piano. Jerry Sternbach was our musical director/arranger. The kickoff show was in the summer of ‘98, and featured Matt Zarley as well. (We wish Matt continued success in his newest endeavor, recording his own pop album.) The esteemed Alex Reybeck joined us for our premiere presentation for the three hundred subscribers of this performance series, at Merkin Hall, New York City. Landmark style theatres and community centers were included in this Pacific Northwest tour booked through Community Concerts LLC/Trawick Artists. More info on this project can be seen on our website at www.morezap.com.

Check out our website often for “hotlinks” to theme park news, reviews, reports and interviews, including the current one with Michelle and Nate Naversen, Imagineering Enterprises/ITEC. We also offer quarterly online newsletters on entertainment topics with visiting experts from destination management firms, corporate communications and production companies, and entertainment brokers. Now our “ezine” is about planning events, and the 7 tips on how to do it right.

Finally, More Zap joined forces with Michael J. Striar of Band Investments, Boston, to put together a rocking group of dancer/singers for a new “hip-pop” teen recording/performing group, the Yin Yang Gang. National auditions took place at SIR studios, Hollywood. Hundreds of talented young people were screened and an outstanding cast of 8 has now been cast! Stay tuned for more news and previews.

 

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