New Solo Musical to Empower Women

My name is Cheryl Stern and I’m an under-earner and an over-spender. I wrote a one-woman musical with original music by Emmy Award-winner Tom Kochan called  Shoes and Baggage about shopping, family, friendship, and addiction.

This is not just a cute show about retail therapy. This is serious stuff. It’s imbedded in my DNA.  When I was 12 years old, I developed scoliosis, which terrified me and my parents. The need to cover, hide and heal the deformity through clothes was a natural progression and set me on a life long path of self-soothing.

In a world filled with chaos and stress, shopping has always been a way for me to bond and connect with other women...including famous people! And it also sent this working actor on a slippery and risky downward spiral of spending. This goes deep for so many of us for a variety of reasons. We share the passion and the debt!!!

I am shedding light and telling my story in an effort to find a way out!!  I wanted to take a look at a life in denial and panic with lots of humor and love for what we all know is a delicious (yet dangerous) addiction.

I was searching for a way to heal and I found it within. Sometimes you have to hit rock bottom to come back up. And you know what, I a department store changing room with my mother and my sister.

Shoes and Baggage is about change! It’s about accepting aging and learning to live in your own skin. It’s about female empowerment and taking control. It’s learning to live with less, owning who you are and embracing it with joy!!

In the spring of 2016, Shoes and Baggage was given a beautiful production at  Nancy Manocherian’s The Cell Theatre in NYC.  And we received unanimous  raves.

There was an overwhelming consensus that this show has serious legs, that it speaks to a wide audience, and that it must tour.

On September 12th and 13th, 2017, we will be presenting a brand new, leaner/meaner touring version of the show. This time we will also include fun post show fashion events where an audience member can bring an item she purchased up onstage to be assessed. Audience members can vote whether the item should be returned, kept, swapped or donated!

One girl’s trash is another girl’s treasure!!  We will give everyone an opportunity to repurpose, rejoice and release the guilt! We know this will be perfect for group sales and women’s events everywhere. It’s such a relatable and meaningful bonding experience for all.

We are working toward presentations at APAP (Association of Performing Arts Professionals) in January 2018 where presenters from across the country come and see what’s out there in the industry. Our brilliant director Joe Barros (Gigi, Cagney, Bastard Jones) and the whole design team are stepping up to make this happen for us. But we are on our own in terms of budget and financing at this point.

AND ALL OF THIS COSTS MONEY. APAP alone is $10,000, and we need an additional $5,000 for the presentations at The Cell in September. So we need your help to meet our goals! We so deeply appreciate any and all donations - and the bonus is: DONATIONS ARE TAX DEDUCTIBLE. Our campaign is fiscally sponsored by New York Theatre Barn, a Manhattan based 501 (c)(3)charitable non-profit organization dedicated to incubating and producing new musicals that tell untold stories.

Thank you for helping us make this dream a reality!

Cheryl Stern
 is a Broadway veteran actress and Jonathan Larson Award-winning writer.  She most recently starred in Bastard Jones Off-Broadway.

Cheryl's Broadway credits include the 2010 Tony Award Winning revival of La Cage Aux Folles starring Kelsey Grammer, The Women with Cynthia Nixon, Jennifer Tilly and Kristen Johnston (Roundabout; filmed for PBS), and Laughing Room Only. Cheryl was also featured in Fiorello at Encores/NY City Center.

National Tours: La Cage, Grand Night For Singing, Les Miserables, Evita. Off-Broadway: Being Audrey, Requiem for William, First Lady Suite (Transport  Group), City Of, Game Show, I Love You…Now Change, The Immigrant.  Regional: Bells Are Ringing (Berkshire Theatre Group), Fiddler (Goodspeed), Candide (IRNE Award, Huntington Theatre), Into The Woods (Westport Playhouse), Falsettos (Barrington Stage), Light Up The Sky (Seattle Rep), Sisters Rosensweig (Geva) TV: Unforgettable, Law& Order: Criminal Intent, All My Children, As The World Turns, Sondheim at Carnegie Hall.  Film: Brooklyn Lobster, This Is Where I Leave You. Cheryl is a  a Graduate of Northwestern University.


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Organizer and beneficiary

Cheryl Stern 
New York, NY
Joe Barros 
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