If you’re familiar with ICE.com, it’s likely due to the marketing brilliance of Pinny Gniwisch. A brilliant entrepreneur & marketer, Pinny is a founder of ICE.com & helped it to see the success that it has today.
Pinny, like many entrepreneurs, dreams often & dreams big. For 8 years, Pinny has been dreaming about producing a show on Broadway. This fall, Pinny left ICE to pursue his dream and is on the verge of realizing it with RIO, an original Musical that was chosen from over 400 entries to be part of the New York Musical Theater Festival in July!
I had the opportunity to interview Pinny and asked him a few questions about what it feels like to be pursuing this dream.
Q: What propelled you to make the move from a stellar career at ICE.com to the more ‘risky’ one of pursuing your dream?
A: Once ICE grew into a more formal corporation, some great people were hired and the “entrepreneurial buzz” of creating something new and of moving quickly had somewhat died down for me. It was time to start something fresh & exciting again.
A: It’s very exciting to put your energy into a project that will bring joy to people while at the same time using play and music as the vehicle to highlight a group in need of help, in this case the children of Rio who are being used as drug mules.
Q: Can you tell us a bit about what your play is about?
A: It’s more or less a version of Oliver Twist, set in Rio. RIO uses Broadway as a conduit to shine the light on these kids while at the same time raising money for them as well.
Q: Why did you choose RIO?
A: We felt that Broadway had never before heard this sound. We’re using the culture & music of a place to transport the audience to a new reality. As we say: “RIO…where your heartbeat is all that you hear”. Nobody in musical theater has attempted to bring the sound of RIO to Broadway, and that’s what make this all so exciting!
Q: Can you tell us a bit about your team?
A: The play & music were written by fellow Canadians Mitch Magonet & Joey Miller. We’ve managed to secure excellent NY Talent, including Scott Faris as Director, Choreographer Kate Dunn and the legendary Jack DePalma has been guiding us as Creative Consultant from the moment the show was selected. We’ve also just announced that J. Manuel Santos of Smash will be joining our cast!
Q: How does it feel to be Montrealers trying to achieve a dream in NYC?
A: AMAZING! When we speak to people, they’re very surprised, often skeptical that we’ll get anywhere, coming from Montreal. The fact that we persevered, are moving forward and that we have producers that are interested is all very exciting.
Q: How can we help you to achieve this dream?
A: By spreading the word for the Kickstarter campaign to bring this all to fruition, by spreading the word about these children and by coming to the show in July!
To learn about how you can help to support this fabulous initiative, visit the Kickstarter website (and make at least the minimum donation of $1)
Let’s help Pinny, Mitch & Joey make it from Montreal to NYC,via Rio… while benefiting a whole lot of children in the process.