The Very Strange Story of


A New Musical


Curricula Vitarum

Dennis Tracy Quinn

(Book & Lyrics)

After a checkered academic history, and a stint in the mailroom at NBC in his native New York City, Mr. Quinn launched his theatrical career gathering props for an off-Broadway musical. This led to a season of summer stock as an apprentice at the Lakewood Theatre in Skhowegan, Maine. After that, a brief foray into co-producing an off-Broadway play convinced him that his talent (and fortune) lay elsewhere.

Following his 'bliss' to the west coast, he found employment by day in the display department of Sears and by night running sound and slide-projections for The Mad Show.

An offer to stage-manage You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown helped him escape the suffocating drudgery of retail and earned him his Equity card. He began writing film scripts on spec, industrial shows for Monsanto and Boise-Cascade and, with director Michael Shawn, a nightclub act for The Cycle Sluts.

After co-creating an enormously successful nightclub act for performer Marcia Lewis, he was offered a position as a staff writer on her new NBC-TV series—produced by Garry Marshall—Who's Watching The Kids? (unfortunately, the answer turned out to be nobody).

There followed a most satisfying ten-year stint at CBS Television as writer/producer of the Network's nightly public service campaigns: Stop The Madness, AIDS/Facts For Life and Choose a Designated Driver.

One dark and stormy night while on tour with Marcia Lewis—at the Firehouse Dinner Theatre in Omaha, Nebraska, to be precise—Mr. Quinn heard someone at a party relate the story of "The Fifty-Dollar Porsche." Of course, this is an urban legend, but it was told with such conviction that everyone at the party believed it. This sparked his imagination, and The Very Strange Story of THE VANISHING HITCHHIKER was born. A reading of the script-in-progress led to his meeting with composer Bill Parsley, and the most joyous collaboration followed.


Bill Parsley

[with sister, Melissa]


A native Californian, Bill Parsley was born in Concord and grew up in Anaheim, where he attended Clara Barton Grammar School and Loara High School. He graduated from Cal State Fullerton in 1978 with a BA in Composition.

After college, he began writing music for—and acting in—experimental films, one of which, Horror Brunch has become a cult-classic on YouTube. A second film, Night Ripper, a slasher movie set in a mannequin factory, is a much sought-after rarity garnering a 1,000 word-plus review on IMDb.

Mr. Parsley wrote the scores for several musicals including The Dance Factory and Charlie C. His musical, Hollywoodland—written with Alex Wexler—won the Maxim Mazumdar Award given by the Alleyway Theatre in Buffalo, New York. Hollywoodland also received recognition from Wagner College where the show was a finalist for the Stanley Dramatist Award, as well as at the Global Search for New Musicals in Cardiff, Wales.

Mr. Parsley also composed for films and television as well as providing incidental music for several West Coast stage productions.

An accomplished and popular pianist, Parsley entertained regularly at the Peninsula Hotel in Beverly Hills. His encyclopedic knowledge of popular songs also made him a great favorite at the Magic Castle in Hollywood, where he 'channeled' “Irma”—the piano-playing ghost—to the delight of countless visitors.

Parsley had just completed the score for The Very Strange Story of THE VANISHING HITCHIHIKER when he died suddenly from kidney failure. He had just celebrated his 49th birthday.  He is survived by his sister Melissa and his life partner, Kenton Faust.

Like the Cheshire Cat—who some said he resembled—his smile remains in the hearts of all who loved him.

Grant Geissman


Guitarist/composer Grant Geissman was born in Berkeley, California and grew up in San Jose. A popular Contemporary Jazz recording artistwith fourteen highly regarded solo albums–Grant has recorded with such artists as Quincy Jones, Burt Bacharach, Elvis Costello, Van Dyke Parks, and Chuck Mangione (playing the now-legendary guitar solo on Mangione's 1978 hit "Feels So Good").

Grant released his first jazz album as a leader, Good Stuff (Concord Jazz) in 1978. Two of his albums (Flying Colors and Time Will Tell) rose to the number one position in the Gavin and Radio and Records Contemporary Jazz airplay charts, and most of his recent recordings have cracked the top ten.

His latest album, Cool Man Cool (2009), features "cool music I like to play, cool people I like to play with," including special guests Chick Corea, Chuck Mangione, Tom Scott, Jerry Hahn, Russell Ferrante, Patrice Rushen, Mike Finnigan, and Van Dyke Parks. Cool Man Cool was selected by Down Beat magazine as "One of the best CDs of the 2000s."

An Emmy-nominated composer for the hit CBS-TV sitcom Two and a Half Men, Grant can also be heard playing acoustic guitar on the theme for the TV series Monk. He also co-writes the underscore for the hit CBS-TV sitcom Mike & Molly. In 2003, he was nominated for an Annie award for producing Van Dyke Parks' songs for HBO's Harold and the Purple Crayon.

Grant is also an authority on Mad magazine and EC Comics and has written three books on the subject: Collectibly Mad, Tales of Terror! The EC Comics Companion (co-authored with Fred von Bernewitz) and Foul Play! The Art and Artists of the Notorious 1950s E.C. Comics!


Jeff Rizzo

(Musical Director/Conductor)

Jeff Rizzo survived the March 11, 2011 earthquake in Japan. At the time, he was in Tokyo, conducting Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.

As musical director of Madison Square Garden's The Wizard of Oz starring Roseanne, Jeff also conducted the subsequent national tour and the Grammy-nominated cast recording starring Mickey Rooney and Eartha Kitt.

Jeff has conducted countless shows, working at most of the major regional musical theater companies throughout the U.S. His many credits include:

  •  Associate conductor of the US premiere of Sunset Boulevard starring Glenn Close at the Shubert Theatre in Los Angeles
  • Three years touring with Annie as associate conductor of the 2nd and 4th National Tours
  • A two-year run conducting the National Tour of 42nd Street, after which he toured China with the show.

Much in demand as an audition accompanist, Jeff served in that capacity for the film of Dreamgirls. As a composer, his work includes the scores for Jailbirds on Broadway, Wanna Play?! and a new musical version of A Christmas Carol.

With partner Eric Andrist, Jeff co-founded the Musical Theatre Guild. He also enjoys being on staff at the Los Angeles campus of the American Music and Dramatic Academy.

Born in Utica, New York and raised in Sacramento, California, Jeff graduated from the University of Southern California and currently makes the San Fernando Valley his home.


Harry Hall

(Producer/Director Music Video "The Story Of Maria Goretti")

A native of Philadelphia, Mr. Hall earned his B.F.A. in TV and Film from Emerson College in Boston. He then attended The American Film Institute in Los Angeles, where his studies led to a directing internship on the film Resurrection starring Ellen Burstyn.

After working as a Production Assistant on several feature films—including Paul Schrader's Cat People and True Confessions starring Robert DeNiro—Harry became a Writer/Producer for the CBS Television Network's On-Air Promotion Department.

During his time at CBS, he was nominated for two Daytime Emmy Awards: Graphic & Title Design for The Young & The Restless and Special Class Directing for CBS Soap Break. He also produced and directed the “Yo-Yo Man” sequence—and subsequent home video—for the second incarnation of The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour.

Harry is currently at work producing and directing his own independent films and videos featuring a repertory company of vintage marionettes made in the 1940’s and 50’s.