Ryan Hayes  (Sunshine Brady and The Moonlight Lady)
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Ryan Hayes (Sunshine Brady and The Moonlight Lady)

Salt Lake City, Utah, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2015

Salt Lake City, Utah, United States
Established on Jan, 2015
Solo Folk Indie




"Jon Peter Lewis Branches Out To Broadway - Video Clip Ryan Hayes on guitar"

Video Clips Ryan Hayes on Guitar: http://www.msn.com/en-us/video/watch/jon-peter-lewis-branches-out-to-broadway/vi-AAcXMFu - MSN

"Rock Opera 'Deep Love' Take the Long Road to NYC"

NEW YORK — There's not much to do in eastern Idaho in the winter. It's freezing, windy and depressing. Why not create a musical?

Stay-inside weather — plus a healthy dose of heartache — helped spark the creation in 2009 of "Deep Love: A Ghostly Rock Opera." Six years later it arrives in steamy on 42nd Street in New York City, a snowball's throw from Broadway.

The show is the creation of Garrett Sherwood, Ryan J. Hayes and Jon Peter Lewis, three artistic guys with little musical theater experience who shaped and grew it into one of the highlights of the New York Musical Theatre Festival.

The show's first real production was in Lewis' living room in 2010 for a handful of friends. He used Christmas lights to mark off the stage and filled bowls with dry ice to make fog.

"I remember the dry ice was hissing and popping during the performance," he said. "It's been a kind of learn-as-you-go type of thing."

The show will be among 52 live events at the festival, including 22 full musicals. It runs from Tuesday to July 27 at six venues in the city and all tickets are below $30.

Since launching in 2004, the festival has premiered more than 300 new musicals, some of which have gone on to a further life on or off Broadway, such as "Altar Boyz," ''title of show" and the Pulitzer Prize-winning "Next to Normal."

The festival — known by its initials NYMF — provides shows with theater space, lights, sound equipment, front-of-house staffing and marketing — all key to emerging artists trying to mount resource-heavy musicals in one of the most expensive cities in the world.

The offerings this year are typically eclectic. There's one about a pope, a second that deals with illegal immigration and one about the Tonya Harding-Nancy Kerrigan ice skating fiasco.

Dan Markey, executive director of NYMF, said the number of submissions has gone up every year and this year attracted some 245 hopefuls from composers as far away as Utah and Atlanta.

"The net is wider the pipeline is expanding," he said. "More and more people want to do it either at the beginning of their career or at the end of their career."

The festival is the perfect place for the four-person cast of "Deep Love" to find some love, said Lewis, a finalist on "American Idol" who also got to the knockout round on "The Voice" with Hayes as the folk duo Midas Whale.

He hopes some of his TV fans will check out his new project: "I stayed long enough on both shows for people to kind of know me — to remain a Z-list celebrity," he said, laughing.

The show, featuring some crispy rock and soulful folk, is about love and loss set in a 1880s graveyard. The audience is encouraged to attend in funeral attire. It stars Amy Whitcomb who was on "The Voice," too.

Hayes and Sherwood, who both endured difficult breakups in the winter of 2009, wrote the songs. "Rather than going out and getting wasted, they wrote a rock opera about it," said Lewis.

Lewis helped write the story, co-directs and stars in the show. He even worked as a lighting technician for four months just to learn all the names of the theater lights.

The creative team has spent years working on the show, helping it grow from that first living room performance to one in a sold-out 1,100-seat abandoned church, to a multi-city tour.

Five dancers have been added to help tell the story, while the band has been reduced from 30 to seven. Getting it shown in New York took a lot of work but now it can shine.

"We wanted to get on the radar of people who are in the business," Lewis said. "We have something that's working elsewhere but no one really knows about us outside our little region."

___ - The New York Times


New York: Deep Love: A Ghostly Rock Opera gets its NY premiere at this year's New York Musical Theatre Festival (NYMF) in July. Deep Love: A Ghostly Rock Opera has music and lyrics by Ryan Hayes & Garrett Sherwood, book by Jon Peter Lewis, Ryan Hayes & Garrett Sherwood and will be co-directed by Jon Peter Lewis and Michael Rader, with musical direction by Ben Mathews and choreography by Ray Mercer. Deep Love: A Ghostly Rock Opera will play July 17 - July 24, 2015 at The Griffin Theatre at The Pershing Square Signature Center (480 West 42nd Street).

Deep Love: A Ghostly Rock Opera is a story of love, loss and indecision where sweethearts become adversaries in pursuit of what they cannot live without. Told entirely through haunting rock and roll music, Deep Love features Jon Peter Lewis (American Idol, Midas Whale on The Voice), Ryan Hayes (Midas Whale on The Voice) and Amy Whitcomb ("The Voice," "The Sing-Off"), Garrett Sherwood and actress Melanie Stone. Heartwarming and heartbreaking, it promises to delight all ages. Audience members are encouraged to arrive dressed in their best funeral attire.

Deep Love: A Ghostly Rock Opera is the brainchild of songwriters Ryan Hayes and Garrett Sherwood. Jon Peter Lewis, who was an American Idol finalist before he competed on The Voice with Hayes as the folk duo Midas Whale, stars in the lead role. The three musicians met in 2009 while they lived in Rexburg, Idaho. Over the last four years, the audience for Deep Love has grown from the two dozen people who attended a reading in Lewis' living room, to thousands of devoted fans across the northern Utah and eastern Idaho regions. "Deep Love has been a labor of love from the beginning, the selection to NYMF is an opportunity to bring this Utah-based production to a national audience" says Ryan Hayes.

"The creative team of Deep Love is exceptionally talented," adds Jon Peter Lewis, "and performing the show in New York will be an incredible experience for everyone who has worked so hard on this project."

Deep Love: A Ghostly Rock Opera has been called "[A] unique blend of musical styles, engaging story, and a captivating, immersive production." SLC Weekly.

Creative team includes: David Goldstein (Set Designer), Bree Perry (Costume Designer), Braden Howard (Lighting Designer), Matt Searle (Sound Designer), Ariel Lafontaine (Makeup Designer), CJ LaRoche (Production Stage Manager), Corey Gosselin Jacob Harvey & Sammy Lopez | Your Theatrics, Inc. (General Manager). - Broadway World

"New Musical By "American Idol" Finalist Among This Year's New York Musical Theatre Festival Selections"

By Michael Gioia
24 Feb 2015

The 2015 New York Musical Theatre Festival (NYMF) announced the selections for the 2015 Next Link Project, including a piece written by "American Idol" finalist Jon Peter Lewis and his band mate, Ryan Hayes of "The Voice."

The 10 musicals, and three initial invited productions, were announced as part of the 12th edition of the festival, which will take place in July at locations around midtown Manhattan in New York City.

The Next Link Project is open to any writer, produced or unproduced, with or without agency representation. The program receives hundreds of submissions from all over the world each fall, and every script and demo recording is reviewed by numerous members of NYMF's Reading Committee and then by a Grand Jury of musical theatre artists and producers.

This year's Grand Jury included Tony Award-winning actor Michael Cerveris, Drama Desk Award-winning actress Donna Lynne Champlin, Tony Award-winning producer Jane Dubin, Tony Award and Drama Desk Award-nominated actor Hunter Foster, Isaac Robert Hurwitz (creative director, Fox Stage Productions), Joe Machota (CAA agent), Jonathan McCrory (director of theatre arts program at The National Black Theatre), Tony Award-winning actor Billy Porter, director and choreographer Josh Prince, Tony Award and Drama Desk Award-nominated actor and writer Tony Sheldon and Motown director Charles Randolph-Wright.

Dan Markley is NYMF's executive director and producer, and Jen Bender is the director of programming and artist services.

The selected Next Link Project show teams will gather for the first time Feb. 28-March 1 to begin preparing. Industry professionals who are interested in working on NYMF 2015 shows are encouraged to attend the NYMF 2015 Networking Party Feb. 28 from 6:30-8:30 PM at Hurley's Saloon (232 West 48 St.). For more information and to RSVP, visit the Facebook invite.

The Next Link Project selections follow:

210 Amlent Avenue
Book by Becky Goldberg
Music and lyrics by Karl Hinze

"Some family secrets shouldn't come out. Welcome to the Hamptons. Guests are gathering in the summer sun at 210 Amlent Avenue, a regal beachfront property, to visit retired actress Mrs. Jordan, and to pay their respects to her recently-deceased husband, the famous Broadway director. Everything changes when Judah, a young friend of the family, shows up seeking answers about his own dead parents. Attractions form, schemes intersect, secrets are revealed, and no one will get away unchanged."

Deep Love: A Ghostly Rock Opera
Music and lyrics by Ryan Hayes and Garrett Sherwood
Book by Jon Peter Lewis, Ryan Hayes and Garrett Sherwood

"How lovers become adversaries. Funeral attire recommended. Deep Love: A Ghostly Rock Opera is a story of love, loss and indecision where sweethearts become adversaries in pursuit of what they cannot live without. Told entirely through continuous, haunting rock and roll, Deep Love features Jon Peter Lewis from American Idol, his bandmate from The Voice Ryan Hayes (of the group Midas Whale) and Amy Whitcomb from The Voice and The Sing-Off. Heartwarming and heartbreaking, it promises to delight all ages. Audience members are encouraged to come dressed in their best funeral attire." - Playbill

"NO FLUKE Midas Whale Seeking SCERA Splash With Two Shows"

November 05, 2015 2:00 pm • Casey Adams Daily Herald

A local music project got rolling on national television but was first cultivated rolling around in the back of a food truck.

Western folk music duo Midas Whale will perform two shows at the SCERA Center for the Arts on Saturday. But before appearing on NBC's "The Voice" in 2013 and later touring the country, Jon Peter Lewis and Ryan Hayes were working to help Hayes' sister get her local food truck off the ground.

Hayes began singing a tune called "Howling at the Moon" driving home after a workday and Lewis chimed in riding passenger with an impromptu harmony. The chemistry of the two friends then led Lewis to cajole Hayes to join him to audition for NBC's televised talent program to which Hayes replied, "Might as well," and Midas Whale was born.

"A lot of people think we're a comedy act just because a lot of interesting and funny scenarios end up happening, inevitably -- that's just a result of our chemistry," Hayes said. "Jon and I love music so much and we take the opportunity to jab at each other any chance we can get."

Standing in front of large audiences seems to draw the natural spontaneity out even more.

"There was one time when I challenged Jon to a leg wrestle on stage," Hayes said, and then paused. "because I knew that I would win. I knew it was the one thing I could beat him at."

In another stage show, Hayes challenged an audience member to come up on stage for a leg wrestling match.

"We have very few boundaries, but there's also this very real element of 'the show must go on,' " Hayes said.

The SCERA show will certainly be laced with the folk duo's charming banter, but also features guest musicians Dylan Schorer on pedal steel and electric guitars with Fictionist's Aaron Anderson on percussion and drums.

Fictionist frontman Stuart Maxfield produced Midas Whale's debut album, "Sugar House" (2014), that includes the "Howling at the Moon" record, but sources an eclectic sound dialed in to preserve the tradition of a fading true genre.

"We're enamored with old country music, you know, when country used to be country and Western. Where, nowadays it seems like there's all country and no Western," Lewis said. "A lot of our music reflects that sort of energy that we have, that love to Western music. But our tastes go beyond that."

Lewis appeared on Season 3 of "American Idol" back in 2004 and cut a couple solo albums before engaging with his latest music project with Hayes.

The "American Idol" alum knew what to expect doing the cattle-call auditions for "The Voice" and the duo, who originally formed just for the audition, received an unexpected response after making it to the blind auditions with the celebrity coaches.

Silence. Not one chair turned around.

By some mistake, Lewis' mic was not turned on so the audience and judges only heard Hayes' backup harmony and their two instruments. They left the stage, but moments later the show producer brought them back out for another shot, this time with everything functioning properly.

Lewis and Hayes performed Johnny Cash's "Folsom Prison Blues" and soon won the attention of all four coaches.

"We are probably the only people in the entire 'Voice' history to have ever turned both, four chairs and no chairs," Hayes said with a laugh. "The only people to get a second chance at least."

The national exposure helped Midas Whale fund its "Sugar House" album on Kickstarter, a popular online crowdfunding platform. Using the tune they first sang together in the back of a food truck as a sample, fans and supporters kicked in $35,000 to record the album.

The title nods to what Lewis described "an enchanting time" he and Hayes experienced in the Salt Lake City-area where the album was recorded.

The first Saturday show at 7 p.m. is already soldout and a second show at 9 p.m. was added to meet the demand. A live performance by Midas Whale will invariably be different every time. At times the folk musicians will adapt their own performances based on audience reaction.

"We learn more about ourselves and about our songs every time we play for an audience that is very interactive," Hayes said.

Casey Adams is the Fine Arts and Entertainment reporter for the Daily Herald. Contact him at cadams@heraldextra.com or (801) 344-2544 or on Twitter @casey907. - Daily Herald


Still working on that hot first release.



Ryan Hayes is a singer-songwriter, who gained national recognition in 2013 while competing on The Voice with pal Jon Peter Lewis as the folk duo Midas Whale. The duo received the coveted 4-chair turn by all of the coaches and went on to compete through the 3rd seaon of The Voice. Following the duo's run on The Voice, in 2014 Midas Whale released it's debut album, Sugar House.

As a side project under the name of Sunshine Brady and The Moonlight Lady, Hayes released his debut solo album,  My Lucky Day,Released in 2015, the record was written by Hayes and produced by Stuart Maxfield of the band Ficitionist. Maxfield also produced Midas Whale's record, Sugar House.

Defining his first solo EP, Hayes says "My Lucky Day is the music I've always wanted to create. At its core, it's a true representation of who I am and what I believe. I can finally show my audience what it sounds like to be trapped in my brain - even if they don't care to know".

Prior to his appearance on The Voice, in 2010 Hayes co-wrote a contemporary rock opera, Deep Love, with pal Garrett Sherwood. Set in a 19th century graveyard, the rock opera is presented entirely through haunting rock and roll music. The audience for Deep Love has grown from dozens of friends in a living room to thousands of devoted fans filling theaters across the country.

In 2015 the rock opera was selected from hundreds of candidates by a grand jury of Tony Award-winning directors and producers to be one of ten featured musicals produced for the 2015 News Link Project of the New York Musical Theatre Festival. The festival has been an incubator for hit Broadway shows. The rock opera had it's New York debut on July 27, 2015 and will open it's sixth season in 2016.