James Valcq and Fred Alley
JAMES VALCQ (Book and Music) is a composer, conductor, lyricist, librettist, director, actor, and the co-artistic director of Third Avenue Playhouse (TAP) in his native Wisconsin. In addition to composing the music and co-writing the book for The Spitfire Grill, he had another Off-Broadway hit with the critically acclaimed Zombies from the Beyond, for which he wrote the music, book, and lyrics. He has composed scores for Love’s Labour’s Lost at Idaho Shakespeare Festival and Great Lakes Theater Festival; The Rivals, The Merchant of Venice, and Much Ado About Nothing for Door Shakespeare; Tomás and the Library Lady for Idaho Theater for Youth; an adaptation of the classic children’s book The Pancake King, commissioned by Milwaukee’s Next Act Theatre; The Passage (another collaboration with Fred Alley) and Victory Farm for Northern Sky Theater, and Anatole for First Stage. For TAP, James created the Irving Berlin cavalcade I Love a Piano, adapted the opera La Serva Padrona as Maid to Marry, and created a new adaptation of the 1910 musical Madame Sherry. James holds an MFA from New York University Tisch School of the Arts and is a proud member of the American Federation of Musicians and Actors’ Equity Association.
FRED ALLEY (Book and Lyrics) was a lyricist, librettist, actor, singer, and co-founder and artist-in-residence at American Folklore Theatre (AFT), a summer theatre in his home state of Wisconsin (now known as Northern Sky Theater). He collaborated with AFT resident composer James Kaplan on more than 20 shows, including Guys on Ice, Lumberjacks in Love, and The Bachelors, all of which went on to Milwaukee Repertory Theater and were tremendously successful. A graduate of the University of Wisconsin – Madison, Alley died of a heart attack at age 38 on May 1, 2001 while jogging near his home. He had been scheduled to leave for New York a few days later, where he and James Valcq were to receive the Academy of Arts and Letters 2001 Richard Rodgers Production Award for The Spitfire Grill. The show, which had its world premiere in 2000 at the George Street Playhouse in New Jersey, would open later in 2001 Off-Broadway at Playwrights Horizons.