Gary Kupper is a Manhattan born composer/lyricist/musician/actor/director who has been writing shows since he was a student at Bronx High School of Science where he co-wrote his senior show with original songs and parodies. He went on to major in theater and acting at Boston University and as an actor, worked in many theaters doing everything from Shakespeare, Shaw and Brecht to the classic musicals like The Fantastics, and Boys From Syracuse and many others working with the likes of Al Pacino, Vincent Gardenia, and Mr. Kotter himself, Gabe Kaplan in a show about Groucho Marx. He also collaborated on an original theater piece called How Prometheus Got Bound, performed with Cambridge based Caravan Theater at the first Avant Garde Theater Festival at Brandeis University.
Along the way, he kept writing songs, a habit he started when he was a mere lad. He was signed to Polydor Records in the seventies and recorded an album of his songs in Woodstock N.Y., backed by Van Morrison’s band, entitled Shoot For The Moon.
He has subsequently had songs recorded in movies and t.v. As a musician he backed up some major rock and roll acts including the iconic Chuck Berry, with whom he toured for many years all over the world and in the U.S., playing piano everywhere from the Kremlin and St. Petersburg in Russia to Switzerland, London, Mexico and Rome. He also backed up or shared stages with Elton John, Jay Leno, James Brown, Gary U.S. Bonds, The Drifters, Ben E. King, Martha and the Vandellas, Percy Sledge and many other notable entertainers.
All this experience in music and theater has culminated in Mr. Kupper focusing his songwriting and playwriting skills to create theatrical musicals. His most recent musical is called, “Freckleface Strawberry,” an adaptation of the best selling children’s book written by the actress Julianne Moore. Mr. Kupper wrote the lyrics and music and co-wrote the script with Rose Caiola for this delightful and meaningful family musical which opened in NYC on September 2010 at the prestigious New World Stages. This is Mr. Kupper’s first full fledged Off-Broadway production. It has since been licensed by Musical Theatre International (MTI) and has received productions all over the United States, Europe, and Asia. It has been translated into Japanese, Chinese, and Norwegian. It was nominated for an Outer Critics Circle award for Best Musical and was named one of the "seven best family shows for Children in NYC" by WCBS. It garnered many rave reviews including one in the NY Times that referred to Mr. Kupper as a "man of many talents."
In addition to this show, he is writing and developing many other shows, some of which have already received workshop and festival productions including:
Consumer Behavior, for which he wrote the songs and co-wrote the book with playwright Lynda Crawford, was produced at the International Fringe Festival to great audience and critical acclaim. He has also written another musical with Ms. Crawford, Long Ago Song, which has had several readings and great audience response.
Timmy The Great now re-named Kingdom Of Hearts for which Mr. Kupper co-wrote the book and lyrics with Pulitzer nominated poet and novelist Sandra Hochman and wrote the music, was done as a reading at the York Theater in NYC, directed by 2010 Tony nominee, Marcia Milgrom Dodge. It received a production directed by Jay Binder in 2014 at Theatre For A New City which received a rave review in the NY Times.
It was also produced at the Tribeca Theater Festival by Robert DiNiro and Jane Rosenthal and directed by tap dance legend and Tony Award winning choreographer Savion Glover.
Rubirosa, World’s Greatest Lover also written with Ms. Hochman, was produced at Playwright’s Horizons directed by Moni Yakim, the famed creator of the original Jacques Brel, and choreographed by Julie Arenal, the original choreographer of Hair on Broadway.
Mr. Kupper released an album of children’s songs in 2009 entitled Songman and the Songland Travelling Band.
He is currently working to develop a musical about Legendary rock Deejay Alan Freed and the birth of Rock and Roll entitled FREED for Broadway, for which he co-wrote the book and wrote the original songs. It is being produced by Caiola Productions which has won several prominent Tony Awards. It has is scheduled to go up in Spring 2018.