Queen of the Zeedijk

In 1927 Amsterdam, Bet van Beeren opened the first gay bar in the city. Van Beeren was a flamboyant, Harley-riding, leather-wearing, 40-beer-a-day drinking dyke. Queen of the Zeedijk will focus on events in van Beeren’s life between 1944 and 1946. The story examines the intersection between the diverse LGBTQ community during the Nazi occupation, the Red-Light district, and the Jewish community struggling to stay alive.

Mark Hartman, Composer

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Mark Hartman is a New York-based pianist, coach, conductor, arranger and composer working in theater, cabaret, and concerts around the world. Mark was the Associate Conductor of Sondheim On Sondheim and Avenue Q on Broadway.

queen of the zeedijk  The Proposal

Alzenira Quezada, Librettist

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Alzenira Quezada ( Lady Zen) is an internationally known lyric fusion poet, who is performing, composing, teaching, and producing around the world. At age 18, Alzenira was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship in Opera Performance training with Mezzo-Soprano and Metropolitan Opera Judge, Elaine Cencel.

Curator discussion

with Michael Morgan, Mark Streshinsky

and Leigh Rondon-Davis

Artist Interviews: Queen of the Zeedijk

InFocus Issue 19

Queen of the Zeedijk

Get to know them: First Opera Stories

previous work samples

Alzenira Quezada introduces

"Old Man River"

Alzenira Quezada introduces

"Birdsong", from I Never Saw Another Butterfly

Mark Hartman introduces Excerpts from

"The Visit", "Mess" and "When Santa Fell to Earth"

"Old Man River"

Audio  of

"Birdsong"

Audio Excerpts From

"The Visit", "Mess" and "When Santa Fell to Earth"

mark hartman bio:

Mark Hartman (Music Supervisor) is a New York-based pianist, coach, conductor, arranger and composer working in theater, cabaret, and concerts around the world. Mark was the Associate Conductor of Sondheim On Sondheim and Avenue Q on Broadway. Off-Broadway, he was the Music Director for Pageant, Silence! The Musical, Ernest In Love, After The Ball (cast recording), Finian’s Rainbow (w/ Melissa Errico, Malcolm Gets, Jonathan Freeman, also cast recording), and The Irish...and How They Got That Way (also Nat’l Tour), Avenue Q (Vineyard) and The Fantasticks (Sullivan St. and Orbach Theater productions).

 

Also in New York, Mark was the Music Director for The Baker’s Wife, Bajour, Greenwillow and NEO I (cast recording) at the York Theatre Company. Regional credits include West Side Story with Mia Pinero and Sunday In The Park With George with Randy Harrison at the Guthrie Theater, Evita with Constantine Maroulis and Funny Girl with Shoshana Bean at North Shore Music Theater, Sweeney Todd with Annie Golden and Cabaret with Taylor Mac at Playmakers Repertory Company, the new production of Working with new material by Lin-Manuel Miranda in its original productions at the Asolo Rep, Old Globe, and Broadway in Chicago, Chita Rivera: The Dancer’s Life at the Old Globe, The Baker’s Wife (dir. Gordon Greenberg) and Pippin (dir. Gabriel Barre, also Nat’l Tour) for Goodspeed Musicals. Concert conducting includes Oliver! (w/ Brian Stokes Mitchell), Camelot (w/ Jeremy Irons), Brigadoon (w/ Jason Danieley and Christine Ebersole), B’way on B’way 2007 (Times Square), Rags (20th Anniversary, dir. Stafford Arima), Pippin (dir. Gabriel Barre, w/ Rosie O’Donnell and Ben Vereen), Children of Eden (NYC premiere), Finian’s Rainbow (w/ John Cullum) and twelve staged concerts for Musicals Tonight!, including Look Ma I’m Dancing, That’s The Ticket, and Watch Your Step (all with cast recordings). Mark is the arranger and music supervisor of the new Stephen Schwartz revue Magic To Do, developed with Gabriel Barre and Jennifer Paulson Lee in 2015 for Princess Entertainment.

 

In cabaret, Mark has enjoyed a long-time partnership with 10-time MAC Award winner Natalie Douglas. He can be heard on her three albums Not That Different, To Nina: Live at Birdland, and Human Heart, winner of both the 2017 MAC and Back Stage Bistro Awards for Best Recording. Mark is honored to be a music director for the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center's Cabaret Conference (John McDaniel, Artistic Director). Other cabaret appearances include Feinstein’s/54 Below, Café Carlyle, Birdland, Iridium, the Oak Room at the Algonquin, Feinstein’s at the Regency, Town Hall, Rose Hall at Jazz at Lincoln Center, and with Michael Feinstein and Natalie Douglas at Carnegie Hall. He is the recipient of three MAC Awards and the Backstage Bistro Award for Music Direction. Proud member of Actors’ Equity and the American Federation of Musicians.

Alzenira Quezada Bio:

Alzenira Quezada ( Lady Zen) is an internationally known lyric fusion poet, who is performing, composing, teaching, and producing around the world. At age 18, she was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship in Opera Performance training with Mezzo-Soprano and Metropolitan Opera Judge, Elaine Cencel through the University of Arkansas; Bruce Lumpkin; University of Austin and Gary Durham; Emerson College. They also won a Community Service/Social Justice award through the University of Southern Maine.

 

In 2014, she received an MFA in creative writing working with Jennifer Clement; PEN International President. Kevin Young; Poetry Editor for the the New Yorker; Poet Annie Finch and Poet Laurete Carol Anne Duffy. Alzenira teaches courses in vocal performance, creative writing, and poetry--recently published in About Place Journal and Measure for Measure: An Anthology of Poetic Meters, Feckless Cunt: A New Feminist Anthology. Lady Zen travels extensively and currently lives between Portland, Maine; San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, and Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, Mexico. Performing at The Palm Cabaret as a featured artist. Quezada is the creative force behind Plata Performance Nightclub.

 

Featured on nationally known platforms such as 2014/2016 TEDx series, The Corner, and listed third on the 100 Most Stylish Butches by DapperQ Magazine. She appeared alongside actress Glen Close for the Maine Center for Creativity Industries Awards. Their work as a creative director in photography was featured at the Bi-Annual Butch Voices Conference. Her original compositions have been commissioned by The Holocaust Museum, Art Not Hate, The Institute for Civic Leadership, Creative Portland, and the NAACP. In 2019, They released a radio drama podcast, Flies in the Jar, and star in the short Mexican/American/ European film Deep Drag. In their spare time, they volunteer for Trans Youth camps and other Health organizations that provide training to understand the needs of trans-identified individuals. Currently, they are producing a one-person show for Theater First with director Jon Tracy; What's in a Name for virtual release in April 2021. And will be a featured performer for The San Miguel Writer's Conference and are poetry reader for The Maine Review Literary Journal.

Lady Zen's Broadway

Piano, Mark Hartman and Violin, Claudia Shiuh

 

Selections from the score of MESS (for HereTV), bucket drums performed by Mike Lunoe.

 “Starfire” (from “When Santa Fell To Earth”),  co-lyricists Laura Crook and John Kielty. Arrangment and orchestration, Alzenira Quezada. John Kielty, Co-composer.

Birdsong, from I Never Saw Another Butterfly, a Childrens’ Opera

Children's Drawings and Poems from Terezin Concentration Camp, 1942–1944   

Libretto from the book of the same title, by Hana Volavkava 

Ed Laningham. Composer, Alzenira Quezada, Vocalist 

 

Birdsong, written by Unknown Poet, age 12

Mess

Electric piano, Mark Hartman, bucket drums performed by Mike Lunoe.


Starfire, from When Santa fell to Earth
co-lyricists Laura Crook and John Kielty, co-composer John Kielty

Kevin Patrick Martin, Baritone; Stephanie D’Abruzzo, Soprano; Alex Dreier (Child role)