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Denise Marsa brings The Pass to The Playground Theatre

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

WRITTEN and performed by Denise Marsa, The Pass runs at The Playground Theatre from September 27 to September 29, 2018.

In late 1978, American singer-songwriter Dean Friedman reached #3 in the UK charts with Lucky Stars, a duet with a young and up-and-coming female singer.

Denise Marsa had moved to New York a year before and was performing with her own band when Friedman heard her singing at a club in the city. He then wrote Lucky Stars with her in mind to sing. However, Friedman and his record label did not publicise her name on the single and consequently she became known initially as “the sexy mystery voice”.

The Pass is Marsa’s story; from the beginning of her career in the mid-70s, through the highly volatile, emotional 80s, on to the tech-driven 90s into the present day.

From her start in her West Village studio apartment dating from 1810, to London to West Hollywood and back again, Marsa is the explorer, the innovator, and the woman drenched in tenacity – a woman unwilling to play the game by anyone else’s rules, a woman determined to do things her own way in an industry dominated by men.

The Pass is a one-woman show that mingles vignettes with Marsa’s original songs written over the past four decades. With true tales of hit records, publishing deals with Warner Bros. Music and Warner/Chappell, a record deal with a label run by a 21 year-old French billionaire’s son, and Marsa’s own personal highly guarded secrets, the show focuses on Marsa’s development as a musician, artist, and individual struggling with relationships and solitude.

Filled with humour and honesty, it centres on the concept of being true to your own definition of success, no matter what the consequences. Marsa is currently signed as a songwriter to BMG, the new music company.

Denise Marsa said: “As I was developing The Pass, it was always my hope to premier the show in London. After all it was the UK fans and all their letters to the label demanding to know who I was, that propelled me from obscurity. This is my way of saying thank you for being a pivotal part of my career.”

In addition to being the other voice on Dean Freidman’s Lucky Stars, Marsa has performed throughout the UK as well as hundreds of venues across the US, including Los Angeles’s historic venues, The Troubadour and The Roxy as well as the United Nations General Assembly. She is also the lead voice on THE FLIRTS song Helpless (You Took My Love), the Billboard Top Ten International dance hit.

Most notably, Marsa was one of the first artists to embrace and push forward the indie revolution, a movement in the mid-90’s, when musicians started to take a different level of control of their careers. Currently she owns and operates KeyMedia Public Relations as well as KeyMedia Music Group, the label she started in 1997 to release her solo albums Self and Live Forever (2012). Marsa is also known for her work mentoring/producing new talent and for working with various human and civil rights organizations over the years.

Tickets: £20 (advanced), £15 (concessions), £25 (at the door day of performance). To book, call the box ofice on 020 8960 0110 or visit

Time: 7:30pm.

Also at The Playground Theatre: the world premiere of Fanatical, a musical by Matt Board and Reina Hardy (November 7 to December 8, 2018).