You are viewing this article in the archives. For the latest breaking news and updates in Ann Arbor and the surrounding area, see
Posted on Wed, Nov 10, 2010 : 11:43 a.m.

New musical 'Placebo' premieres via U-M's Basement Arts this weekend

By Staff

"Placebo," a new musical written by current U-M students Danny Abosch and Joshua Borths, will premiere November 11-13 at the U-M's Walgreen Drama Center, in Studio 1, at 1226 Murfin. Tickets are free.

"Placebo" is a story about dreams, and questions the idea of reality in a world where what isn’t ‘real’ often appears more promising.

Robert Wilson and his brother Blake persuade their town to purchase what they claim to be a miracle pill, invented by their late father, the scientist Dr. Wilson. The pill is actually a placebo made of nothing but sugar, but the town, believing it to be real, becomes carried away with the ‘miracles’ that the pill is reportedly responsible for. Robert and Blake's plan is wildly successful - but at what cost?

Abosch (music, lyrics, orchestrations) is the composer/lyricist of "Unwritten Rules," an original musical that had its world premiere in 2007, and took third place in the Academy for New Musical Theatre’s 2008 Search for New Voices in American Musical Theatre. Originally from Deerfield, Illinois, Abosch is now majoring in Music Education at the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre, and Dance. Abosch studied musical theatre writing as one of twelve participants in the Johnny Mercer Songwriter’s Project at Northwestern University in June 2009, where he worked closely with Broadway composers Lin-Manuel Miranda and Craig Carnelia. Abosch also studied songwriting at Berklee College of Music. In addition to composition, Abosch’s vocal arrangements of popular music are often performed by college and high school vocal ensembles. Danny is also the founder of the website . Music direction and conducting credits include "Kiss of the Spider Woman" and "Man of La Mancha" at the U-M.

Borths (book) is currently pursuing a double major at U-M in musicology and vocal performance, with an emphasis in opera direction. Recently, Borths assistant directed Mozart’s “Zaide,” Rossini’s “Il Turco in Italia,” and Britten’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” at Wolf Trap Opera under directors James Marvel, Gregory Keller, and Patrick Diamond, respectively. Other past projects include directing Gilbert and Sullivan’s “The Gondoliers,” and portraying roles in Mozart’s “Die Zauberflote,” and Bernstein’s “Trouble in Tahiti.”

The show will be presented through Basement Arts on Thursday, November 11 at 7 p.m.; Friday, November 12 at 7 and 11 p.m.; and Saturday, November 13th at 7 p.m., at the Walgreen Drama Center, 1226 Murfin. Admission is free and first come, first served. More information can be found at