Michael Bitterman was writing musicals and Twilight Zone scripts when he was 11-that was back in '61. Although Rod Serling sent him letters of encouragement nothing materialized on TV but they lived in his dreams. Starting one of the first bands in Great Neck-The Long Island Sounds-in '65 as a rhythm guitarist, the band was one of the premier bands on Long Island. Being an outcast for being the first kid in school to have long hair, he found solace in Greenwich Village in the mid 60s eventually writing songs and performing at the Gaslight Cafe on MacDougal St in '68.

Signing an exclusive songwriting contract with Albert Grossman in '69 (manager for Bob Dylan, Peter, Paul & Mary, Janis Joplin, The Band) he had many almosts as a songwriter-Karen Carpenter (The Carpenters), Mary Travers (Peter, Paul & Mary), Mary Hopkin, Procol Harum, were all set to record his songs when one day Michael went into Albert's office with a copy of the Great White Wonder...

Starting the band MIDNIGHT in 1970 and playing concerts with David Peel & the Lower East Side, MIDNIGHT was very close to being signed by John Hammond at Columbia. MIDNIGHT has a CD recorded in 1970 avail on CD BABY.

As one of the first Arp 2600 Synthesizer musicians/programmers in NYC, he has played on records of Barry Manilow, Janis Ian, and many others. In 1971 he worked as a rehearsal pianist for Alan Klein at Apple Records.

His love for musicals turned to writing when he produced and wrote the music and lyrics for FIVE AFTER EIGHT which played at the Cubiculo Theatre in New York in 1979 breaking all existing house records for that theater. Original Cast Records released the cast LP & CD. Then, in '84, he wrote the autobiographical album, WHOSE FANTASY IS THIS?-released on LP & CD.

Since 1971 he has been the owner and chief engineer for MIDNIGHT MOD recording. One of the first studios in the Woodstock/Saugerties area in 1973. He has produced many albums for singer/songwriters as well as the legendary Woodstock Moods & Moments album recorded in his living room in ’75 which ESP-DISK re-released in the 90s. Among the artists who have recorded at Midnight Mod are The Band, Graham Parker, The Dave Matthews Band, John Sebastian, NRBQ, The Fugs, Jules Shear, Tom Pacheco, Jean Redpath and Priscilla Herdman.

Other musicals include: We're Not Who We Think We Are 1977 (book, music & lyrics) Kleinert Gallery (Woodstock, NY, SUNY New Paltz); Demigod of E.78th St 1983 (music) book & lyrics-Dennis Drogseth Woodstock Playhouse;
DISCOVERING MAGENTA, 1998 (music) with book & lyrics by James Corey Kaufman was selected for Oklahoma City University's New Musical series in 2007
The Cellar 1997 (book,music/lyrics) and his most recent FORLORN HOPE: The Donner Party Musical (music & lyrics) book TG Harpster. His current CD-The Theatre's Never Dark -released by Original Cast Records features songs from all his musicals

CDs for all my musicals can be found here at CDBABY


Listen to complete songs here:

of Michael Bitterman
Music - Michael Bitterman
Lyrics: Michael Bitterman, Dennis Drogseth, James Corey Kaufman

Selections from the Musicals of Michael Bitterman featuring songs from FORLORN HOPE - the Donner Party Musical; The Demigod of E 78th St; Discovering Magenta, Rasputin, and Whose Fantasy Is This

Listen to the CD HERE

The Donner Party Musical
Music & Lyrics- Michael Bitterman; Book-Teri Harpster

In 1846,  87 men, women, and children left their homes in Springfield, Illinois, to search for their  Eden of the West, in California.Six months later, only 42 pioneers  had survived   without food or proper shelter, the brutal winter of the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range.  This is their story of Love and  Survival.  This is FORLORN HOPE, the saga of the Donner Party..

Listen to the CD HERE

Music- Michael Bitterman; Book & Lyrics- James Corey Kaufman

Selected for this years 2015 Thespis Festival in NYC Sept 1, 5th & 6th, Discovering Magenta is a new psychological musical that explores how to find happiness amidst tragedy. Henry, a mental health worker, struggles to help Katrina cope with a past that is threatening to destroy her present. But he must also wrestle with his own emotional issues. Henry and Katrina both are searching for the specks of goodness hidden in life -- as they try to discover magenta  Discovering Magenta was selected with 4 other new musicals and was presented at Oklahoma City University-Bass School of Music - OCU Stripped's New Musical Theatre Project on April 15, 2007

Listen to the CD HERE

Music & Lyrics: Michael Bitterman; Book: Richard Morton

was a drastic rewrite of "WE'RE NOT WHO WE THINK WE ARE". I had my friend / playwright Richard Morton do a new book, I wrote some new songs, and produced it Off-Broadway at the Cubiculo Theatre in 1979. Original Cast Records released the cast CD.

Listen to the CD HERE

Music- Michael Bitterman; book & lyrics- Dennis Drogseth

A 2000 year-old Roman Demigod comes to the Upper East Side of Manhattan as an Italian fashion designer to denounce hypocrisy. A Victorian fantasy in a contemporary setting "filled to the brim" with honest human concern and laughter.This musical was scheduled to open at the Woodstock Playhouse in 1985. Janet Hayes Walker (York Theater) loved the score and was going to direct. Harris Gordon, the producer, who had already advertised the show in the NY Times, removed the show a month before opening as he got cold feet about putting on a new musical. He stuck with Agatha Christie instead - something safer.

Listen to the CD HERE

Music- Michael Bitterman; book & lyrics- Dennis Drogseth

As if it were anticipating the cynical, post-Enron era, "Rasputin" tells a fable of hope and defeat, comedy and corruption in a world in which "cheating souls" unwind in "double-time."  Beneath this cynicism is a story about both loss of innocence and the power of innocence. Was Rasputin an evil villain, a hero trying to save Russia, or something in between?  Who can really tell the story?

Listen to the CD HERE

Book, Music & Lyrics by Michael Bitterman

What happens to a man after his wife walks out on him after 6 years? Can he find happiness again on the trail of broken hearts, lost dreams, and nights that go on forever? This album tells the true story of what happened to one man in a pop musical. Michael Bitterman's cathartic autobiographical output regarding the breakup of his marriage and the subsequent crazy life that happened afterwards.

Listen to the CD HERE


available on Original Cast Records, features songs from all of his musicals.

Listen to the CD HERE

Book, Music & Lyrics by Michael Bitterman

was an all sung musical I wrote in 1980. There really was no such thing as all sung musicals at that time and most producers turned it down because they couldn't figure out if it was opera or broadway. It was definitely (and still is) Broadway all the way. It's one setting is the Club Car of a commuter train to New York. The people fantasize their day dreams on it - wishing for better things - it has a twilight zoney ending to it.

Book, Music & Lyrics by Michael Bitterman

a very dark subject. We all have hidden fantasies / obsessions / fetishes - we're afraid to reveal them to the outside world. We keep them to ourselves in our cellar. This will not be a family musical.