Craig Bierko and Kate Jennings Grant Join GUYS & DOLLS Cast
Producer Howard Panter for Ambassador Theatre Group and co-producers Tulchin/Bartner/Jenkins, Bill Kenwright, Darren Bagert, and Tom Gregory announced today that Craig Bierko (Tony Award nominee for The Music Man; Scary Movie 4) will star as "Sky Masterson" and Kate Jennings Grant (Proof) will also star as "Sarah Brown" in the new Broadway production of the greatest musical comedy GUYS AND DOLLS. They join previously announced stars Oliver Platt as "Nathan Detroit" and Lauren Graham appear as "Miss Adelaide". Directed by Tony Award winner Des McAnuff (Jersey Boys) and choreographed by Sergio Trujillo (Jersey Boys), GUYS AND DOLLS will begin previews on February 3, 2009 at Broadway's newly refurbished Nederlander Theatre (208 West 41st Street). Opening Night is set for March 1, 2009.
Packed with such classic hits as "Fugue for Tinhorns," "A Bushel and a Peck," "Adelaide's Lament," "I'll Know," "Guys and Dolls," "More I Cannot Wish You," "Luck Be A Lady," and "Sit Down, You're Rockin' the Boat," GUYS AND DOLLS features music and lyrics by Frank Loesser and book by Jo Swerling and Abe Burrows. Based on "The Idyll of Miss Sarah Brown" and "Blood Pressure," two short stories by Damon Runyon, it also borrows characters and plot elements from other Runyon stories, most notably "Pick the Winner".
The musical comedy was first produced on Broadway at the 46th Street Theatre, opening on November 24, 1950. It was directed by George S. Kaufman and starred Robert Alda, Sam Levene, Isabel Bigley and Vivian Blaine. The musical enjoyed an initial run of 1,201 performances, winning five 1951 Tony Awards including Best Musical.
Craig Bierko returns to the Broadway stage after his critically acclaimed role in Thou Shalt Not and his Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle and Drama League Award nominated performance in the title role of Meredith Willson's The Music Man. He also performed in Daniel Goldfarb's hit off Broadway play Modern Orthodox. A beloved actor known for both his dramatic and comedic talent, Bierko recently launched a web series "Bathing with Bierko," in which he serves as star and producer. The first episode features Bierko interviewing John Malkovich while giving him a sponge bath and has been viewed well over 100,000 times. This past year Bierko starred in the Farrelly Brother's Fox series "Unhitched," alongside Rashida Jones. He was also featured in FX's "Nip/Tuck," as well as "Boston Legal". His other notable film & TV credits include Cinderella Man, Scary Movie 4, The Long Kiss Goodnight, Larry David's Sour Grapes, The 13th Floor, Bill, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, The Suburbans, Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star, "Ally McBeal", "Mad About You" and "Sex and the City".
Kate Jennings Grant graduated with a B.A. in English and Music Composition from the University of Pennsylvania, and the Juilliard School of Drama. Since graduating, she has appeared regularly in film, television and theater. Broadway credits include Proof and An American Daughter. Her numerous off-Broadway credits include The Beard of Avon, Radiant Baby, and a starring role in the musical Summer of '42. She has appeared on television in "Damages", "Sex and The City", "Law and Order", "Jag", "Commander-In-Chief", and "Cold Case". Kate has also appeared in United 93, When A Stranger Calls, and Kinsey. Next she will be seen as Diane Sawyer in Ron Howard's Frost/Nixon and alongside Catherine Zeta Jones in Bart Freundlich's The Rebound. Kate recently starred as Bette Brennan in Christopher Durang's The Marriage of Bette and Boo for The Roundabout Theatre Company.
Oliver Platt (Nathan Detroit) returns to Broadway where he received a Tony nomination for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in Conor McPherson's Shining City. He can be seen in the following upcoming films: Ron Howard's Frost/Nixon as Bob Zelnick; the Harold Ramis comedy The Year One opposite Jack Black and Michael Cera; Nicole Holofcener's untitled film opposite Catherine Keener; and Roland Emmerich's epic 2012 opposite John Cusack, Thandie Newton and Amanda Peet. Additional theatre credits include the Lincoln Center production of Ubu; Jules Feiffer's Elliot Loves, directed by Mike Nichols; and his acclaimed performance as Sir Toby Belch in Brian Kulick's Twelfth Night. He received Golden Globe and back-to-back Emmy nominations for his portrayal of Russell Tupper in Showtime's Huff as well as an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series for his portrayal as White House Counsel Oliver Babish on The West Wing. This year he was nominated again for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series for his recurring role on Nip/Tuck playing the flamboyant TV producer Freddy Prune.
Lauren Graham is well known for her critically acclaimed performance as Lorelai Gilmore on "Gilmore Girls," for which she was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for "Best Actress in a Drama Series," two Screen Actors Guild Awards for "Outstanding Female Actor in a Drama Series" and two Television Critics Association Awards for "Individual Achievement in Drama and Comedy." Additionally, she has earned two Teen Choice Awards for "Choice Parental Unit" and a "Best Actress" nod from Viewers for Quality Television. Her many feature film roles include the current Flash of Genius opposite Greg Kinnear for Universal and Spyglass Entertainment, as well as Universal's blockbuster comedy Evan Almighty, alongside Steve Carell, Because I Said So, oppositeDiane Keaton and Mandy Moore, Bad Santa, opposite Billy Bob Thornton, The Pacifier, The Amateurs with Jeff Bridges, Nightwatch, and One True Thing, with Renee Zellweger and Meryl Streep. She recently starred alongside Matthew Perry and Hillary Swank in Birds of America, which premiered this January at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival, and completed production on The Dream of the Romans, starring Jeff Daniels. She last appeared onstage in 2002 in the Williamstown Theatre Festival production of Once in a Lifetime.
Des McAnuff (Director) is a two-time Tony Award-winning director and was recently named Artistic Director of the Stratford Shakespeare Festival, where he is currently directing Romeo and Juliet and Caesar and Cleopatra (starring Christopher Plummer). His 2006 Broadway production of Jersey Boys garnered four Tony awards, including Best Musical, and now has additional companies in London, Chicago, Las Vegas, on tour, and upcoming in Melbourne. He is Director Emeritus of La Jolla Playhouse, which he headed for much of the past 25 years. Broadway credits (developed at the Playhouse): Aaron Sorkin's The Farnsworth Invention (2007); Billy Crystal's 700 Sundays (2004, Tony Award, Best Special Theatrical Event); Dracula: The Musical (2004); How to Succeed... (1995); The Who's Tommy (director/co-author with Pete Townshend, 1993 Tony Award Best Director of a Musical; 1997 London Olivier Awards Best Director/Best Musical); A Walk in the Woods (1988); and Big River (1985, seven Tonys including Best Director of a Musical and Best Musical). Additional productions directed at the Playhouse: The Wiz (2006); Zhivago (2005); Palm Beach (2005); Private Fittings (2005); Tom Donaghy's Eden Lane (2003); Tartuffe (2002); Michael Ondaatje's The Collected Works of Billy the Kid (2001). Film credits: Cousin Bette and The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle (director), Iron Giant (producer), Quills (executive producer). Upcoming: a commission with the Metropolitan Opera for a new piece with Michael Korie and Michael Torke; adapting Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots for stage with Wayne Coyne of the Flaming Lips and Aaron Sorkin.
Sergio Trujillo (Choreographer) choreographed the 2006 Tony Award Best Musical, Jersey Boys, for which he received both Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Award nominations, and the Broadway musical All Shook Up. His most recent theatre credits include: Memphis (La Jolla Playhouse), Saved (Playwrights Horizons), Next to Normal (Second Stage), The Wiz (La Jolla Playhouse) and Zhivago (La Jolla Playhouse). In addition Sergio received critical acclaim for his dances in Mambo Kings (Golden Theatre, San Francisco). Other theatre credits; Disney's European smash-hit Tarzan, the national tour of All Shook Up, Kismet and A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (both for Encores!),the Off-Broadway Musicals Bare and The Great American Trailer Park Musical, Peggy Sue Got Married at London's West End and the revival of the Broadway musical Kiss Me, Kate in Tokyo, Japan. In Canada, Sergio choreographed the revival of the Sound of Music and the critically acclaimed production of West Side Story at the Stratford Festival. Other favorite theatre credits include; Kiss of the Spiderwoman at North Shore Music Theatre, The Wedding Banquet at The Village Theatre, a musical adaptation of Twelfth Night in Tokyo, Japan and segments of Chita Rivera's: Chita and All That Jazz. Sergio's Film and Television credits include: Broadway: The American Musical for PBS, The 14th Annual Comedy Awards starring Nathan Lane, Martin Short and Jane Krakowski, NBC's Presentation at Radio City starring the casts of "Will and Grace", "West Wing", "Scrubs" and "Law And Order". He is currently a judge on BBC Canada's Triple Sensation, which is completing its second season. He has staged musical numbers for salsa legend Celia Cruz, Los Rabanes, David Bisbal and Pilar Montenegro on Telemundo. His film credits include New Line Cinema's Woo starring Jada Pinkett. Sergio choreographed Salome (NYC Opera, Opera pacific and Baltimore Opera), The Marriage of Figaro (LA Opera) and was commissioned to choreograph a piece for Ballet Hispanico Hoy Como Ayer. In 2000 he had the honor of choreographing The 54th Presidential
Inauguration at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. Mr. Trujillo is the recipient of a 2003 Ovation Award for outstanding choreography in Empire: A New American Musical and three Dora Mavor Moore Award* nominations for outstanding choreography in Swingstep at the Elgin In 2000 he had the honor of choreographing The 54th Presidential Inauguration at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. His upcoming projects include both The Adams Family and Memphis, both for Broadway.
Frank Loesser (Music and Lyrics) has been called the most versatile of all Broadway composers. His five Broadway musicals, each a unique contribution to the art of the American musical theatre, were as different from each other as they were from the theatre of their day: Where's Charley?, Guys And Dolls, The Most Happy Fella, Greenwillow and How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying. Long before he wrote Where's Charley?, he was already known to America from the dozens of songs that had become enormous popular hits from his Hollywood career. He had supplied lyrics to the music of such greats as Jule Styne, Hoagy Carmichael, Burton Lane and Arthur Schwartz, among others, penning such standards as "On a Slow Boat to China," "Two Sleepy People," "Heart and Soul," "I Don't Want to Walk Without You," "Spring Will Be a Little Late this Year," "(See What) The Boys in the Backroom (Will Have)," "They're Either Too Young or Too Old" and his 1948 Academy Award winner, "Baby, It's Cold Outside." In a few short years, Frank Loesser forged only five Broadway musicals, but the Loesser impact continues to be seismic. In recent years, there have been major revivals of The Most Happy Fella, both on Broadway and at the New York City Opera (added to their permanent repertory); Guys and Dolls won the 1992 Tony Award for Best Revival and was a smash hit on Broadway all over again, running three years and becoming the longest running revival ever on Broadway; and How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying opened on Broadway in 1995, with Matthew Broderick starring, and became another long running hit.
Jo Swerling (Book) Born in Bardichov, Russia, Swerling was a refugee of the Czarist regime who grew up on New York City's lower East Side, where he sold newspapers to help support his family. He worked as a newspaper and magazine writer in the early 1920s, then launched a playwriting career, including Street Cinderella, an early comedy for the Marx Brothers. He also wrote their first movie, the unreleased silent comedy Humor Risk in 1921. He scored a major success with the book and lyrics for the 1927 musical revue The New Yorkers and the 1929 play The Kibitzer, which he co-wrote with actor Edward G. Robinson. Swerling was brought to Hollywood by Columbia Pictures chief Harry Cohn to work on the screenplay for the Frank Capra picture, Ladies of Leisure, the first of several collaborations with the director. His dozens of screenplays in the 1930s and 40s include Platinum Blonde, Behind the Mask, Once to Every Woman, The Pride of the Yankees (for which he received an Academy Award nomination), Lifeboat, Leave Her to Heaven, and It's a Wonderful Life. He also provided some uncredited writing for the Gone with the Wind screenplay.
Abe Burrows (Book) Born Abram Solman Borowitz in New York City, Burrows graduated New Utrecht High School in Brooklyn and later attended both City College and New York University. He began working as a runner on Wall Street while at NYU, and he also worked in an accounting firm. After he met Frank Galen in 1938, the two wrote and sold jokes to an impressionist who appeared on the Rudy Vallée radio program. Eventually, Burrows wrote, doctored, or directed such shows as Make a Wish, Two on the Aisle, Three Wishes for Jamie, Say, Darling, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, Cactus Flower, Can-Can, Silk Stockings, Breakfast at Tiffany's, Good News (1974 revival), and many others. With his collaborator Frank Loesser, Burrows won a Pulitzer Prize for How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.