Check out HarMaxi’s own Diane Uniman and Kevin M. Cotter in the Press!

Curtain Up!

Excerpt from article by Kristin Boyd, Staff Writer, The Princeton Packet

     One day, maybe when they are walking down the red carpet or accepting the Tony Award for best new musical, writer Diane Uniman and pianist Kevin Cotter will tell the story of how they met, which in a nutshell goes like this:

     Woman revisits lifelong passion.  Woman has chance meeting at café with man at a quaint Princeton café.  Woman and man form a creative partnership that later produces two “babes”—an award-winning musical parody and a independent movie. “We call it serendipitiy…”

     After visiting Israel four years ago, Ms. Uniman began working on her first script-or pipe dream, as she jokingly calls it.  The screenplay “Pyramid Scheme,” which uses humor to bring together Arabs and Jews, is part screwball comedy, part conflict resolution.  The tagline: “Peace Through Comedy.  It’s no joke.”

     One morning, as she sat in Small World Café on Witherspoon Street, pouring over her in-the-works script, she felt compelled to move to another table.  She scooped up her jumble of items, including her laptop computer, and plopped down at a table across the room that seemed, she says, to have a bright light shining on it.

     “I swear, you’ll think it’s crazy, but I felt an energy pulling me there,” she says.

     Mr. Cotter was sitting at the next table, talking with a friend about architecture.  Ms. Uniman then introduced herself.  She had a friend in Israel, she told Mr. Cotter, who worked in theater architecture and was looking for American contacts.

     The pair began talking, and just like a razzle-dazzle movie scene, became instant friends.  She told him about the independent movie she was writing, he told her about his musical background.  They immediately decided to work together… Ms. Uniman and Mr. Cotter are determined to become the next great songwriting-playwriting duo….
Ms. Uniman and Mr. Cotter are no strangers to receiving accolades.  He is a two-time Olympian and World Champion rower, and she previously won first place in the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers’ national legal writing contest.

     Still, they were unprepared, Ms. Uniman says, for the number of awards…. 

     Mr. Cotter mixes an eclectic sampling of classical music, jazz standards and Broadway show-tunes.  His style, or musical thumbprint, as he calls it, complements Ms. Uniman’s characters and storylines.  “We don’t emulate.  We have our own flair, our own twist, our own collaboration,” he say, adding “TINK!” bridges the gap between Broadway musicals and modern pop music.  “Our voices are just different from what’s out there now.”…

Music & Lyrics-Songwriting team is hoping to be the next Rogers and Hammerstein

Excerpt from article by David Stegon, Staff Writer, The Home News Tribune

     Duo Kevin Cotter and Diane Uniman.  Combined, their plays “Pyramid Scheme” and “TINK!” have won five awards and 15 nominations at national and international festivals, including best music in a feature at the New Jersey Film Festival in March. (many more wins since this article!)

     After a serendipitous meeting five years ago, Cotter and Uniman hope to become the next Rogers and Hammerstein of musical theater, combining Uniman’s sense of humor and warp-speed enthusiasm with Cotter’s classical grace to form a Regis and Kelly-like chemistry.

       “The great thing about Kev is that I can tell him an emotion I want to come across and he can play me that emotion, Uniman Said.  “Every time I come and hear what he has played it’s like a gift to me.”

     Cotter said in each song they want their characters to grow. “We like them to enter the song at one emotional place or at level of knowledge and by the end of the song they are somewhere different,” Cotter said.

     “It’s been amazing,” Cotter said. “As a songwriting team we are basically newborns, but so much has happened so fast it is hard not to get excited. We understand it’s along process and nothing may ever come off, but that is the risk you take when you do something like this-but so far things have been great!”…