Performers and songwriters Anya Turner (singer, lyricist, librettist) and Robert Grusecki (singer/pianist, composer, lyricist) write works for the musical theatre as well as modern cabaret songs. Their writing has been recognized by the American Academy of Arts and Letters (two-time finalists: Richard Rodgers Award) and the Manhattan Association of Cabarets (nominees: Song of the Year). They have also been awarded a grants from Meet The Composer and ASCAP (2011-2012) for their work.
Turner and Grusecki have created two full-length musicals. Greetings From Yorkville, a musical love story, is about a couple of songwriters from the Midwest trying to make it in the Big City. This two-character show was produced Off-Broadway in the fall of 2007 at the SoHo Playhouse and directed by two-time Tony Award-winner Thommie Walsh. After All, a musical much ado, is a contemporary take on the story of Beatrice and Benedick, as originally told in Shakespeare’s romantic comedy, Much Ado About Nothing. In 2003, an Off-Broadway concert reading of this seven-character musical, directed by Thommie Walsh, was presented by The York Theatre Company.
Anya and Robert have written dozens of modern cabaret songs and performed them at many popular Manhattan nightclubs. They have also recorded four collections of these songs. The title tune from their debut CD, Anya & Robert: Ordinary People, has been performed by internationally celebrated cabaret artist Karen Akers. Their second CD, Anya & Robert: You Loved Me, includes one of their most well known songs, Life Is Good, featured in Tony Award-winner Donna McKechnie’s one-woman show. Next was the original cast recording of Greetings From Yorkville, followed by A Party With Turner & Grusecki, collection of their newest work featuring the popular Cell Phone song. Their music has been heard in New York at such venues as: Avery Fisher Hall, Town Hall, Symphony Space, the 92nd Street Y, and Rainbow & Stars, as well as the Cinegrill in Los Angeles, London’s Pizza on the Park, and the Festival Theatre Stage in Adelaide, Australia.
In addition to their songwriting collaboration, both Anya and Robert have worked extensively in the theatre. Anya appeared Off-Broadway in the three-woman musical Cut The Ribbons and the musical revue One Damn Thing After Another. On the West Coast she starred in a revival of Annie Get Your Gun and had featured roles in productions of The Threepenny Opera (Lucy Brown), Lanford Wilson’s The Rimers of Eldritch (Cora), and Shakespeare’s Hamlet (Gertrude). She studied acting with the acclaimed teacher/writer Michael Shurtleff and, as a writer, has participated in the BMI Musical Theatre Workshop. Robert served as pianist for Broadway’s Grand Hotel directed by Thommie Tune and The Madwoman of Central Park West directed by Arthur Laurents. He has conducted new musicals Off-Broadway for Manhattan Theatre Club and SoHo Rep and regionally at The Goodspeed Opera House, The John Drew Theatre, Huntington Stage and Portland Stage. In addition to Ms. Turner, Robert has accompanied such notable performers as Cab Callaway, Carol Channing, Phyllis Newman, Donna Murphy, Christine Ebersole, Tom Wopat, David Carroll, and Christine Andreas. He studied composition with Dominick Argento and songwriting with Lehman Engel.
Anya (the girl from Iowa) and Robert (the guy from Chicago) met fresh out of college while working in a bohemian-style nightspot in Minneapolis. Their musical acquaintance began while performing the songs of Noel Coward (Mad About The Boy) and Cole Porter (I Get A Kick Out Of You) and blossomed into a personal relationship when they took to the road and expanded their repertoire to include the songs of Kern, Berlin, Gershwin, Rodgers & Hart, Arlen, Waller, Ellington, Styne, Bernstein, and Sondheim. Their musical travels ignited a desire to write new songs together which led them to New York. Today, Anya and Robert live and write in a fifth-floor walkup in a neighborhood of Manhattan called Yorkville.
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