(1968 - living) U.S.A.
Writer-composer of musicals
Acito was raised in central New Jersey and toured internationally as a modern dancer and still teaches dance part-time, and occasionally performs. He earned an MFA in playwriting from Yale. Acito is the composer-lyricist-librettist who wrote the musical, Zanna, Don't!, a gay-and-straight-themed musical comedy, which portrays a high school where all the coolest kids are gay.
"My immediate plans are to keep working on Zanna, Don't!," Acito said. "Anytime you transfer a show from Off-Broadway to Broadway you have to consider how the show is going to expand to fill the space literally and artistically. For example we might be able to expand the ensemble or the band. There are aspects to the story we might be able to deepen and clarify. This is the focus of my life until further notice."
Melvin and the Sock Monster is a family-friendly story created by Acito, and he's exploring three versions of the tale - an animated movie musical, a musical stage show and an illustrated book. It is the story of a sixth grade boy who falls in love with a heavy-metal, head-banging sixth grade girl. To woo her, he learns how to play an instrument, and they form a band. The story has themes of being an outsider, what we do for love and the relationship between creativity and the marketplace, Acito said, who likens the style to a mix of "The Little Mermaid" and an episode of "The Simpsons."
Another project is The Sungatherers, a chamber musical inspired by the work of Anton Chekhov. Acito said The Sungatherers is his "love letter to Chekhov, but in a very playful, whimsical, musical form." It was first written as a play with "some surreal elements," then it evolved into a play with music. "Now," the writer said, "it's somewhere in between."
"They reflect both sides of my artistic personality: One is more reflective and lyrical and 'adult' and the other one is more the goofy pop cultural explosion, in the Zanna, Don't! vein."