Credits & Quotes

Danny Ashkenasi-Headshot 1

Danny Ashkenasi – Composer/Writer credits

– including ( )Directing / *Music Directing credits –

and critic quotes



Current Projects / Projects in development:

The Pit and the Pendulum – a musicabre – short film musical Poe adaptation

  • film shoot June 29 – July 9, 2021 – completed November, 2021
  • composer / director / lead actor / producer
  • currently showing in festivals; over 50 awards received so far.

Danny Ashkenasi has remained fairly faithful to Poe’s story but put it into a narrative context via his framing story, as well as setting everything to music, so much so that some of Poe’s words are actually sung on screen.   And this works remarkably well, as not only does Ashkenasi hit the right note when it comes to the film’s mood, he also enriches the story with nightmarish and often surreal imagery, often goes for associative rather than linear storytelling, and ultimately delivering an enjoyably disturbing piece of cinema.  – Mike Haberfelner – re(Search) My Trash 

Just the balance of the music, the dialog and some very interesting artistic chances that [are taken] within the film…  As an artistic piece it is very impressive.  – Joe Mauceri – Winter Film Awards

It was a true experience, not just a film. The directional sound was amazing, the look of the film, the voices, the whole composition just breathtaking. Bravo to the whole team on this. – Josh Mabe – Horror Movie Freaks Film festival

The Tell-Tale Heart – a musicabre – short film of musical Poe adaptation (see below)

“Riveting and remarkable … an artistic delight. [Ashkenasi’s] avant-garde approach to both direction and music provides the audience with an electrifying and enchanting macabre motion picture.” – Michael Haberfelner – Art is Alive Magazine

“The Tell Tale Heart feels like a gorgeous celebration of musical theatre and film, with the two elements complementing each other throughout.  The songs themselves are beautifully arranged, I loved the use of cellos to really heighten the tension when it was most needed. In addition, the use of silence is also impressive, as it creates further suspense when needed.” – Lucy Buglass – Lucy Goes To Hollywood

SpeakeasyJohn and Jane’s Adventures in the Wonderland – musical

— showcase/workshop performances Feb 19- Mar 13, 2016, Theater for the New City

“One of the most wildly ambitious, inspired theatrical endeavors I’ve seen on an Off Off Broadway stage.  Bursting with an excess of ideas and passion.  The score is an appealing mix of period jazz, swing, cabaret, Tin Pan Alley, and operetta. The lyrics, melodies, and orchestrations are surprisingly rich and sophisticated.” – David Kennerley – Gay City News

“The music is what has me most excited about this new work of theater art. The songs are tuneful and catchy. The lyrics push the story forward without trying (as is the case is so much current musical theater repertoire) to explain the plot or explicitly lay out every dreary emotion the characters are feeling. Danny’s songs feel like tomorrow’s classics.” – Michael Hanko – Master Voice Teacher

Feedstore Quartet – musical; Book/Lyrics: Jack Hilton Cunningham; Lyrics: Danny Ashkenasi

Queereuphonia – a musical history of Gay Sex in America 1945 – 2015

The Treasure – Jewish folk musical; book: Marsha Lee Scheiness; Lyrics: Steve Liebman


Music Theater Works (a selection):

I Too Sing America – The Blues According to Langston Hughes

– musical adaptation of over 60 Langston Hughes poems – Premiered at the Metropolitan Playhouse Harlem Renaissance Festival Jan 17-30, 2011*

“It seems like Danny Ashkenasi’s ambition is to compose the Great American Literary Songbook, and he is up to the task.” – Mark Savitt – Hi Drama! (MNN TV)


a musical play adapted from Herman Melville’s short story – Premiered at the Metropolitan Playhouse Melvillepalooza Jan 12-25, 2009* – Subsequent performances at the FringeNYC Festival August 14-30, 2009*

“Ashkenasi’s music is accomplished and attractive, his esthetics beautiful, his collaborators top notch.” – Avner Kam, The Fringe Report

beTwixt, beTween & beTWAIN – a Mark Twain Musical Comedy

– Showcase production at The Producer’s Club Crown Theater May 16 – June 8* – Special Performance at the Westport Library in CN May 19* – staged reading at the Twainathon Festival at The Metropolitan Playhouse, Jan 25-28, 2007 (*)

“Transcendent, lovely and moving.  Evocative and exciting.  A musical voice that commands attention” – Martin Denton,

The Tell-Tale Heart – a musicabre

musical adaptation of Edgar Allan Poe’s short story – theatrically produced Jan 12-29, 2006 at Metropolitan Playhouse* and Aug 11-29, 2006 at The Studio at Cherry Lane Theatre*, NYFringe Festival; and October, 2007 TrypTych Concert and Opera, Toronto

            Recipient of Award for Outstanding Music and Lyrics at 2006 NYFringe festival

“A well-honed and deliciously creepy chamber piece” – Amy Krivohlavek,


Chamber Opera, libretto by Helga Krauss, music and English translation by Danny Ashkenasi theatrically produced Aug 12-21, 2005 Connelly Theatre, NYFringe Festival (*) – March 21, 04 concert reading of English version at Village Temple – August 28, 03 concert reading Biesalski Salon, Berlin Germany (*)

“Mr. Ashkenasi’s music has dimensionality and touches of poignancy.” – Jeremy Eichler, New York Times

The Song of Job 9:11

Oratorio –  theatrical production Aug 13-29, 2004, Michael Schimmel Center for the Arts at Pace University, part of the NYFringe Festival (*) – concert readings: April 8 & Sep 23, 02, La MaMa Etc., Village Temple Sep.11, 02, Riverside Church Jan.26, 03, 15th St. Meeting House Dec 14, 03 (*) – Five 10th Anniversary concerts 9/9 – 9/16 2011 in 15th Street, PS 372, Village Temple, Theater for the New City (*)

            “A stark and compelling work.  Haunting melodies.” – Elias Stimac, Backstage

Boroughed Tales: Brooklyn

Commissioned score for one musical one-act (Lucky Hans – book & lyrics: Margorie Duffield), incidental music for five other plays, plus the music and lyrics for the Theme Song – March 8-23, 2002 at the Blue Heron Arts Center (White Bird Productions); excerpt “Lucky Hans” revived Apr. 04 at the Calhoun School.

Hexen (Witches)

two women musical –  Book & lyrics: Peter Lund; music and English adaptation: Danny Ashkenasi – premiered 1991 in Berlin, Germany – Produced to date in at least 20 different theatres throughout Germany, Austria and Finland including the Deutsche Oper Berlin 1998 (and two other Berlin theatres). – Showcased in New York at the Tribeca Lab February 1993 (*) and ArtsNY 2012 (*)

“Ashkenasi’s music delivers an imaginative and remarkably original balancing act between old madrigals and modern day chansons and never stumbles.” – Hellmut Kotschenreuter, Der Tagesspiegel

Les Artistes

play by Greg Steinbruner featuring 6 songs with music by Danny Ashkenasi; premiered October 17 – 28, 2002 at the Intar Theatre*, NYC

Wir Pfeifen auf den Gurkenkoenig 

musical – Book & lyrics: Peter Lund; music: Danny Ashkenasi – premiered 1990 in Berlin, Germany * playing at Hebbel Theater, Schalotte Theater and Deutsche Ope Berlin

When Thou, My Music, Music Play’st (the Shakespeare Sonnet Musical)

Book and lyrics adapted from Shakespeare’s Sonnets; music: Danny Ashkenasi – NYU, 1989 (*)

Once Upon a Frog / Es war einmal ein Frosch

musical – translation into German also by Danny Ashkenasi – Berlin 1985 (*) – German language premiere July 25, 2009 at the Wetzlarer Festspiele


Previously produced one-act musicals (a selection):

Lemmings: a Real Cliffhanger – Inter. Schools Theatre Assoc.; York, England, 1991 *

Book: Devon Allen; music & lyrics: Danny Ashkenasi

All the World’s a Stage – NYU 1988 (*)

Book and music: Danny Ashkenasi developed with the ensemble.

Dancing On a Landslide – Berkshire Ensemble for Theatre Arts, 1987 *; NYU, 1988 (*)

Book & lyrics: Steve Bennett; music & lyrics: Danny Ashkenasi;

Dying to Live – Berkshire Ensemble for Theater Arts, 1986 *

Book: Regina Kelly; music & lyrics: Danny Ashkenasi


Chamber works (a selection – all performed in various concerts):

Spreewaldlieder – 12 song suite for Flute and Harp – recorded on cd 2009 by the Duo Elysee

Evocation 1- 24 – duets for viola and piano

Remembrances – Klezmer Rhapsody for clarinet, guitar, and cello – commissioned by the Trio Emanuel

8 Aphorisms for Mezzo Soprano and Trumpet

Cry of the Owl – duet for clarinet and piano; also excerpted as the score for short film of the same name

Awards: Awarded “ASCAP foundation Composer-in-Residence at the Met. Opera Guild Award” 1998

New York Fringe Festival 2006 Overall Excellence Award for “Outstanding Music and Lyrics” for “The Tell-Tale Heart – a musicabre”

Multiple awards for directing and acting and composing for the film adaptation of “The Tell-Tale Heart – a musicabre”.

Multiple awards for directing and acting and composing for the film adaptation of “The Pit and the Pendulum – a musicabre”.

Music Director for all productions marked *    

Stage director as well for all productions marked (*)

Go here for Notes on Myself, a short post on Danny Ashkenasi’s thoughts on being a composer.

Danny Ashkenasi Headshot 2a crop

Danny Ashkenasi – Acting credits (a selection)

Member of Actors’ Equity Association

* denotes productions for which Danny also composed music

and critic quotes

Film and Television

THE PIT AND THE PENDULUM – a musicabre —–Protagonist/Judges —-Independent Short Film

multiple best actor awards from various film festivals

THE TELL-TALE HEART – a musicabre —– Narrator —– Independent short film

multiple best actor awards from various film festivals

MY LIFE IN NEW YORK—–Charles McLain—-RTL (Norddeich Prod.) German TV Series

NORMANDY (The Great Crusade)—–Gurowski/Pock–Warner Bros. (Discovery Channel)

ROTE ERDE———————Max Kruska————-Bavaria Film Germany (Mini Series)

KRAFTPROBE——————-Fatsy—————————– Telefilm Saar (Feature Film)


New York Theatre

THE ACCIDENTAL HAMLET—-John—————————————–Connelly Theater

“The energy these two actors brought to the piece was astounding.” – Nathalie Allen, Usher Madness

ONLY LOVE WILL DO————William—————————–Theater for the New City

“Danny Ashkenasi brings not merely loving, but tangibly human and humorous qualities to Billy, as well as more-than impressive few turns at the piano.” – Andrew Martin

COCK-A-DOODLE-DOO!*——–Herman————Flamboyan Theater at the CSV Center

“I am fond of Danny Ashkenasi’s amazing ability to mesmerize an audience.” – Hi Drama!

“A passionate authentic performer” – Avner Kam Fringe Report

BETWIXT, BETWEEN & BETWAIN*—-Narrator———–Producer’s Club Crown Theater

“Ashkenasi is an ingratiating presence on stage.” –

A ROPE IN THE ABYSS———–Hugh———–Rabbit Hole Ensemble/Blackbird Theatre

“Danny Ashkenasi [is] excellent”–

THE NIGHT OF NOSFERATU—-Renfield——Rabbit Hole Ensemble/Workshop Theatre

“Danny Ashkenasi [is] spectacular. [He] offers the only believable Renfield I have ever seen.”  –

“Of particular note [is] Danny Ashkenasi, whose Renfield is both grotesque and tragic.”
– offoffbroadwayreview

THE TELL-TALE HEART* —–Protagonist————-The Studio at Cherry Lane Theatres

“Ashkenasi often thrillingly evokes everyday lunacy, finding a creepy (yet intriguing) sexual satisfaction from the murder that most performers might miss; the drained, contented look on his face after smothering the old man is really something to see…[his singing is] precisely pitched musically and emotionally” – Talkin’

THE WITCH (Yiddish musical) —Hotzmach———————–Jewish Repertory Theatre

LES ARTISTES*——–Rothko Von Candy———FifthStreet Production/Interart Theatre

9/11 THE BOOK OF JOB*———-Job——————————————La MaMa E.T.C.

RICHARD THE SECOND*———Richard II—————————————Tribeca Lab

SALEM——————————–Eliphalet————————–Metropolitan Playhouse

BOHEMIA ON WRY—————–Allen Ginsburg——————Theater for the New City

MACBETH—————————-Malcolm————————————-Studio Theatre

JULIUS CAESAR———————-Casca—————————————Expanded Arts

THE MERCHANT OF VENICE——Launcelot Gobbo——————————Tribeca Lab

DOCTOR FAUSTUS*——————Good/Evil Angel a.o.—————NADA Faust festival

A (THE SCARLET LETTER)———-Chillingworth————– Ohio Theatre (Tiny Mythic)

NIGHTS OF ANNABEL LEE———-David Poe———————-Golden Fleece Opera Co.

WOYZECK*——————————Georg Buechner’s Ghost—————-Studio Theatre

SELFTORTURE & STREN. EXERCISE——Alvin——————————-The Trocadero

Regional Theatre/Tours

BETWIXT, BETWEEN & BETWAIN*—-Narrator————————Westport Library

THE NIGHT OF NOSFERATU————Renfield———-Wellfleet Harbor Actor’s Theatre

GRIMM’S FAIRY TALES——–Prince, Devil, a.o.——Nat. Theater ot the Perf. Arts (tour)

UNCLE ARTHUR—-One Man & Four Puppet Play—–Geary Street Theatre San Francisco

JACQUES BREL IS ALIVE & WELL….. —-Tenor——Berkshire Ensemble for Theatre Arts

Theatre International

UNCLE ARTHUR—– One Man & Four Puppet Play————-Malaysian/Australian Tour

KURT WEILL REVUE————2 Person Revue————————German Opera Berlin

BEI KROLL————————-6 Person Operatic Revue———–Academy of Arts Berlin

2 Responses to Credits & Quotes

  1. K. Baberg says:

    Hallo, für das Musicallexikon des Deutschen Musicalarchivs bin ich auf der Suche nach einem Scan des Programmheftes (Besetzung und Inszenierungscrew) der Uraufführung in Berlin und den Daten der Erstaufführungen in Österreich, der Schweiz und den USA. Kann mir da der Komponist helfen? Das Musicallexikon ist online unter Gruß aus Deutschland. Klaus Baberg


  2. Bitte emailen sie mich (


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