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Book by Jen Cohen
Music & Lyrics by Nicky Phillips

About The Show

Curious George, the beloved monkey is famous for his narrow escape from danger in his well-known stories. What is not known is how he symbolically safeguarded his own creators in times of danger. Margret and H.A. Rey, the writers of Curious George, were Jews who became refugees when they had to flee Paris in 1940.


They had to leave all of their belongings behind but managed to escape with the Curious George manuscript moments before the Nazi’s occupied the city. They brought Curious George safely to America narrowly escaping danger themselves.
This is the story of how two immigrants came to America and contributed to the fabric of American culture. Against all odds, a husband and wife find joy in a time of despair creating their artwork and stories, determined to get to safety while protecting their life’s work and ultimately bringing a little monkey to millions of children for years to come.

Development History

The Curious Journey has already been through several stages of development. Jen and Nicky began their research by traveling to the DeGrummond Collection at the University of Southern Mississippi where all of the original works of Margret and H.A. Rey are housed. Then they traveled to Paris where they researched the Nazi occupation and visited the Rey’s original home.


Nicky and Jen were honored to be awarded the Margret and H.A. Rey Residency from the Curious George Foundation. This was a two-week writing residency that took place in the actual cottage where Margret and H.A. Rey lived in Waterville Valley New Hampshire. Since then, the show has been developed at the Johnny Mercer Foundation Writers Colony at Goodspeed Musicals and the Canadian Music Theatre Project at Sheridan College.


The show was also selected for the ASCAP/Stephen Schwartz Workshop with Broadway panelists Stephen Schwartz, Joe DiPietro and Bob Martin. And most recently, the show had a successful residency at the Interlochen Center For The Arts.




The Writers

Nicky Phillips, Music & Lyrics

The Writers
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Nicky is an award-winning composer and lyricist. She is currently a member of the BMI Lehman Engel Advanced Musical Theatre Workshop where she was awarded the Jean Banks Award for outstanding achievement in Musical Theatre. An alumna of the Johnny Mercer Songwriters Project, Nicky was mentored by Lin-Manuel Miranda and Craig Carnelia. Her work has been showcased at 54 Below, Don’t Tell Mama, The Laurie Beechman Theatre and The New York Theatre Barn. She has had writing residencies at CAP 21, the Human Race Theatre Company and was awarded the artist in residence at the Margret and H.A. Rey Center. She was honored to have written an original song for Colm Wilkinson that was featured in Music of the Night - a tribute to Colm Wilkinson. Musicals include: The Curious Journey (ASCAP/Stephen Schwartz Workshop, Johnny Mercer Foundation Writers Colony at Goodspeed Musicals); In Between (available for licensing); The Last Party (Toronto Fringe Festival); Stagefright (Prospect Theater’s Musical Theatre Lab); Tussaud (In Development); Bus Trip (BMI); In Flanders Fields (Smile Theatre, Lunchbox Theatre, Betty Mitchell nomination). Original Music for plays include: The Snow Queen (Theatre New Brunswick); Buyer and Cellar (Alberta Theatre Projects); Old Man and The River (Theatre Direct, Dora nomination for Outstanding Production); Jane Eyre, The Penelopiad and The 39 Steps (Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre). Nicky is a proud member of ASCAP and was awarded an ASCAP Plus Award. Visit

Jen Cohen, Book


Jen is a graduate of NYU’s Tisch School of The Arts, London's Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts (summer program) and the Lyric and Book Labs at NMI in L.A. She is an alumnus of The Johnny Mercer Foundation Writers Colony at Goodspeed Musicals and of Interlochen Centre for the Arts in Michigan. She is currently on the Board of Directors of Canadian Friends of Interlochen.  She has worked for the Stratford Festival, Soulpepper, Young People’s Theatre, Theatre Passe Muraille, Harold Green Jewish Theatre, Tarragon, Buddies in Bad Times, Theatre by the Bay and many more. Jen has also served as dramaturg and/or director on new musicals for Sheridan College’s Capstone Project, Louise Pitre’s one woman show “On The Rocks” and projects by Jim Betts, Jed McKay, Colleen Dauncey and Akiva Romer-Segal, Britta and Anika Johnson, Amy Sky and Marc Jordan, Andrew Sabiston and Leslie Arden to name a few. She also served as program director of Theatre 20’s “Composium”, a composer and lyricist writing unit in Toronto.  In 2013 Jen was nominated for the Siminovitch Prize in Directing. In 2009 and 2010 respectively she was nominated by Susan Stroman and then Susan H. Schulman for the Mike Ockrent Theatre Directing Fellowship SSDC, NY. She has won a Dora for Best Production of a Musical for A Year with Frog and Toad at the Young People’s Theatre and is a 2014 Dora nominee for Best Musical Production of Pasek and Paul’s James and The Giant Peach. Visit



Rachel Ellicott

Paradigm Talent Agency


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