Dead Outlaw | Audible Theater Dead Outlaw | Audible Theater 6 Lucille Lortel Award Nominations Including Outstanding Musical A New York Times Critics' Pick

  • ★★★★
  • “An instant classic that’s
    very much alive and kicking.”

How did the preserved body of an Old West train robber from Oklahoma wind up hanging in a Southern California amusement park ride in 1976? DEAD OUTLAW tells the unbelievable true story of Elmer McCurdy, a man who had twice as many adventures in death as in life, and whose long, strange odyssey spanned a continent and a century. Alongside fellow composer Erik Della Penna, David Yazbek has reunited with playwright Itamar Moses and director David Cromer to create Audible Theater’s first-ever musical. Don’t miss your chance to see this strictly limited world premiere about The Bandit Who Wouldn’t Give Up. Because just like McCurdy himself, some legends are dying to be told.

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Cast & Creative Team

Music & Lyrics


Tony, Emmy and Grammy winning composer/writer David Yazbek is also a performer and recording artist with 5 solo albums released. His path from his first gig as a TV gag writer to his current position as one of Broadway’s preeminent composers has been full of twists and turns but always has centered on music, humor, and an attempt at a deep connection with audiences and collaborators. He has been haunted by the story of Elmer McCurdy, the Dead Outlaw, since hearing it for the first time 30 years ago. He’s very pleased to be telling it with this great team of artists. Some Credits: Broadway: music and lyrics for The Band’s Visit (Tony Award Best Score), Tootsie, Women On The Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, The Full Monty. Music for Larry David’s Fish In The Dark. Yazbek is a Producer/Creative Consultant on the recent hit musical Buena Vista Social Club currently running at the Atlantic Theater. Albums: Solo albums include The Laughing Man, Tock, Damascus!, Tape Recorder, Evil Monkey Man. He is currently completing a new album and continues to perform with his band. The New York Times called him “a daredevil juggler catching spiked pins in the traveling carnival of his imagination.” He has co-produced all of his cast albums including The Band’s Visit (Grammy Award). TV and Film: “Boardwalk Empire,” “Late Night with David Letterman” (Emmy Award Best Writing), hundreds of songs, including the infamous Carmen Sandiego Theme. Dozens of scripts for episodic TV. In the works are a new musical with Jeffrey Lane, a Dead Outlaw documentary film, an animated feature film for 2024 and eventually a new solo album.

Music & Lyrics


Erik Della Penna is a composer, lyricist, and guitarist who has appeared on over 60 rock, pop, and Americana albums. He has toured and recorded extensively with Joan Osborne, Natalie Merchant, and Joan Baez and has worked with legendary music producer T-Bone Burnett. He has recorded seven albums of original songs with Kill Henry Sugar, his “metropolitan folk duo” with Dead Outlaw music supervisor Dean Sharenow. Erik is one of the primary songwriters and provides vocals, guitar, and banjo for Hazmat Modine, a band that The New York Times called a “category-defying blues-rooted group that can swerve into New Orleans brass-band, jazz, and ska.” Erik has written two children’s musicals—Toby and the Big Top, produced by Walden Media, and Kitty Hawk, which is regularly produced at the Adrienne Arsht Center. He also wrote the score for the documentary, Tree Man on Netflixand contributed songs for many other documentaries and television shows. It was during a recording session for David Yazbek that David first told Erik the strange story of Elmer McCurdy, and Erik found himself morbidly engaged by it. The songs of Dead Outlaw are the result of their long reflection on death, fame, and the aberrations of America. 

Book by


Itamar Moses is the Tony Award-winning author of the full-length plays Outrage, Bach At Leipzig, The Four of Us, Celebrity Row, Back Back Back, Yellowjackets, Completeness, The Whistleblower, and The Ally, the short play collection Love/Stories and the musicals Nobody Loves You (with Gaby Alter), Fortress Of Solitude (with Michael Friedman), The Band’s Visit (with David Yazbek), and An American Tail (with Michael Mahler and Alan Schmuckler). Other awards for his work include Lucille Lortel, New York Drama Critics Circle, Outer Critics Circle, and Obie awards in New York, as well as awards from the Portland, San Diego, Dallas, and Bay Area Theatre Critics Circles. Television work includes “Men of a Certain Age,” “Boardwalk Empire,” and “The Affair.” He is a proud member of the Dramatists’ Guild and the Writer’s Guild of America East. Born in Berkeley, CA, he now lives in Brooklyn, NY.

Conceived by



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Jeb Brown

Recently appeared in City Center’s revival of Pal Joey. Broadway and Off-Broadway favorites: Beautiful; Ring of Fire; Scotland PA; The Undeniable Sound of Right Now. Favorites onscreen: Little America; The Namesake; The Path; Neon Joe: Werewolf Hunter. Founded LA’s Evidence Room Theatre Project; sang with Yale Whiffenpoofs.

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Eddie Cooper

Broadway: PARADE. Encores! Off Center: PARADE, Promenade, AssassinsGod Bless You Mr. Rosewater, Little Shop of Horrors. Classic Stage Company: I Can Get It For Your Wholesale, Assassins, The Cradle Will Rock and The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui. Atlantic Theater Company: This Ain't No Disco. Carnegie Hall: Anyone Can Whistle. A familiar face on screen, Eddie is a proud grad of LAG Arts and Ithaca College. @MrEddieCooper

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Andrew Durand

Broadway: Shucked (Grammy, Drama Desk nominations), Ink, Head Over Heels, War Horse, Spring Awakening. West End: The Umbrellas of Cherbourg. Select Off-Broadway: The Robber Bridegroom (Roundabout). Television: CBS' “Madam Secretary” (Guest Star), “NCIS New Orleans” (Guest Star), NBC’s “Law and Order: Organized Crime” (Guest Star). Apple TV: “Servant” (Recurring Guest). Film: One December Night, Here Today.

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Dashiell Eaves

Broadway: A Christmas Carol; A Time To Kill; A Behanding In Spokane; Coram Boy; The Lieutenant of Inishmore; James Joyce’s The Dead; 1776; The Sound of Music. Off-Broadway: Signature, LCT3, Atlantic, Playwrights Horizons, 2nd Stage, Rattlestick, etc. STOMP (original US cast). TV: “The Blacklist,” “Dr. Death,” “Mindhunter,” “Gotham,” “Limitless,” “Blue Bloods,” “Law & Order: SVU,” “The Good Wife,” “Law & Order: Criminal Intent.” Instagram @dashielleaves.

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Julia Knitel

Broadway: Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, Bye Bye Birdie. 1st National: Beautiful (Carole King), Come From Away (Janice). Off Broadway: A Letter to Harvey Milk (Lortel nom), The Panic of ‘29. Select Regional: Gypsy (The Muny - St Louis Theatre Circle nom), The Constant Wife (Denver Center), The Producers (Casa Mañana). TV/Film: “The Other Two”, Miles

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Ken Marks

Broadway: Take Me Out (Skipper), Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark (Uncle Ben), Airline Highway, Spring Awakening, Rock N’Roll, Hairspray (Wilbur Turnblad), After the Fall, Mamma Mia (OBC), Present Laughter and Dancing at Lughnasa. Off-Broadway: The Colonel in Father Comes Home from the Wars (Public Theater), Bethany (Women’s Project), Editor Webb in Our Town (Barrow Street), Stage Kiss (Playwrights Horizons), Orson’s Shadow (Barrow Street) and Stuff Happens (Public Theater). His TV credits include recurring roles on Elementary, The Exorcist, Life on Mars, and The Tick, and guest stars on Billions, Blue Bloods, The Good Wife, Madam Secretary and various Law & Order episodes. Ken’s film credits include The Confession, The Wackness, Step-Up 3D, Kelly & Cal, Henry’s Crime and Blood Stripe.

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Trent Saunders

 Broadway: Hadestown, Aladdin OBC). London: Evita (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre). National Tour: American Idiot. Selected Regional: Joy (World Premiere at George Street Playhouse), Godspell, The Rocky Horror Show. Check out Spectra Theater for more on what he’s working on. @trensaun

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Thom Sesma

Recent credits: Oliver! (Encores), Double Helix (Bay Street Theatre), Sister Act (The MUNY). Other credits include A Man of No Importance (Classic Stage Company), Letters of Suresh (Second Stage - Lortel Award nomination), Unknown Soldier (Playwrights Horizons), Ghosts (Williamstown/Seattle Rep) and numerous television appearances. For complete details, visit Instagram: @thsesma.

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Emily Fink

Off-Broadway Debut! Regional: Maria in The Sound of Music, Julia in Bandstand, Joanna in Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?. BFA CCM. Playwright of Falling Forward (O’Neill semi-finalist). @emilycelestefink

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Austin Ku

Austin Ku is a Grammy-nominated new works enthusiast. Notable credits include Soft Power at the Public Theater, Pacific Overtures with George Takei at Classic Stage Company, the Broadway Tour of Chinglish, the streaming Take Me to the World: A Sondheim 90th Birthday Celebration and Netflix’s Inventing Anna.  / @secretaustinman.

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George Merrick

Broadway: Honeymoon in Vegas, South Pacific, High Fidelity. Off Bway: The Bedwetter (Atlantic), Judgment Day (Park Ave Armory) Clever Little Lies (West Side Theatre). TV: Fosse/Verdon, Blue Bloods, The Blacklist, Rise, Madame Secretary. George is a Composer/Lyricist in the BMI Musical Theater Workshop (Harrington Award recipient).

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Max Sangerman

Broadway: A Beautiful Noise. Off Broadway: Smokey Joe’s Cafe, Blue Man Group (Blue Man).

Scenic Design

Arnulfo Maldonado


Costume Design

Sarah Laux


Lighting Design

heather Gilbert


Sound Design

Kai Harada & Joshua Millican


Soundscape Composition

Isabella Curry



Erik Della Penna
Dean Sharenow
David Yazbek


Music Director

Rebekah Bruce



Faye Armon-Troncoso


Production Stage Manager

Cynthia Cahill



Tara Rubin Casting
Peter Van Dam, CSA


Press Representation

Boneau/Bryan Brown





Production Supervision

Hudson Theatrical
Sean Gorski


General Management

Baseline Theatrical
Jonathan Whitton



Audible Theater


Music Supervisor


Dean Sharenow is a Grammy-winning record producer/engineer. Broadway: Girl From the North CountryThe Band’s VisitTootsieThe Cher ShowThe Last ShipWomen on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown. Off-Broadway: Buena Vista Social ClubThe BedwetterThe Total Bent, Fortress of Solitude. Album producer/engineer: Stephen Ulrich, Mamie Minch, Girl From the North Country, Oklahoma! (2019), Tootsie, The Band’s Visit, The Great Comet…, Women on the Verge…, and Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson.

Movement Direction

Ani Taj

Ani Taj is a choreographer working from the premise that dance can actually be liberatory and FUN. Recent thrills include an apocalyptic movie musical starring Tilda Swinton (co-choreographed with Sam Pinkleton), dance club experiences for Virgin Voyages, Hedwig (Olney Theatre), Runaways (Delacorte), and 10 years with The Dance Cartel. TDC highlights include PS1/MoMA, Storm King, Brooklyn Museum, the High Line, Ace Hotel NY, Oberon (ART); CONAN; The Late Late Show; music videos for Yoko Ono, Reggie Watts, Vic Mensa; VR experience Runnin (Sundance, SXSW). @anitaj

Directed by

David Cromer

David Cromer most recently directed Prayer for the French Republic. New York credits include Camp Siegfried, A Case for the Existence of God, The Sound Inside, The Band’s Visit, The Treasurer, The House of Blue Leaves, Brighton Beach Memoirs, Nikolai and the Others, The Effect, When the Rain Stops Falling, Tribes, Adding Machine, Our Town, and Orson’s Shadow. For his work he has received a Tony Award, a Drama Desk, three Obies, three Lortels, and in 2010 he was named a MacArthur Foundation fellow.

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