Full Cast Announced for Tharp's COME FLY AWAY; Tickets on Sale January 18
Casting has been announced for the new Broadway musical COME FLY AWAY, conceived, choreographed, and directed by Tony Award-winner Twyla Tharp and featuring vocals by Frank Sinatra. COME FLY AWAY will star Matthew Dibble, Holley Farmer, Laura Mead, Charlie Neshyba-Hodges, Rika Okamoto, Karine Plantadit, Keith Roberts and John Selya, all of whom were in last fall's acclaimed world premiere production at Atlanta's ALLIANCE THEATRE.
COME FLY AWAY reunites Ms. Tharp with several original cast members from her Tony Award-winning musical Movin' Out, including Alexander Brady, Rika Okamoto and Karine Plantadit, as well as Tony nominees Keith Roberts, John Selya and Ashley Tuttle.
The company also includes: Kristine Bendul, Colin Bradbury, Alexander Brady, Todd Burnsed, Jeremy Cox, Carolyn Doherty, Amanda Edge, Cody Green, Heather Hamilton, Laurie Kanyok, Meredith Miles, Marielys Molina, Eric Otto, Justin Peck, Joel Prouty, Ron Todorowski and Ashley Tuttle.
Tickets for COME FLY AWAY go on sale to the general public this Monday, January 18. The musical will open this spring at the Marquis Theatre (1535 Broadway), beginning previews on Monday, March 1, with an opening night slated for Thursday, March 25.
COME FLY AWAY follows four couples as they fall in and out of love during one song and dance filled evening at a crowded nightclub. Blending the legendary vocals of Frank Sinatra with a live on stage 19-piece big band and 15 of the world's finest dancers, COME FLY AWAY weaves an unparalleled hit parade of classics, including "Fly Me To The Moon," "My Way," and "That's Life" into a soaring musical fantasy of romance and seduction.
The show's score combines classic and newly discovered vocal performances from the Sinatra archives along with signature arrangements (Nelson Riddle, Billy May, Quincy Jones) as well as brand new charts for this fresh innovative musical.
COME FLY AWAY is the next and most elaborate chapter in one of the most fruitful collaborations in contemporary dance. Twyla Tharp's creative relationship with the music of Frank Sinatra began in 1976 with the premiere of Once More Frank, a duet created for the American Ballet Theatre, performed by Ms. Tharp and Mikhail Baryshnikov. The collaboration continued with Nine Sinatra Songs, Ms. Tharp's acclaimed piece for fourteen dancers which had its world premiere with Twyla Tharp Dance in 1982, and was followed by Sinatra Suite, a duet featuring Mr. Baryshnikov and Elaine Kudo, which had its world premiere in 1984 with American Ballet Theatre at the Kennedy Center.
Citing it as one of the purest expressions of his body of work, Mr. Sinatra requested that Sinatra Suite be performed when he received his Kennedy Center Honors Award.
COME FLY AWAY features scenic design by James Youmans, costume design by Katherine Roth, lighting design by Donald Holder, and sound design by Peter McBoyle. Music supervision is by the late Sam Lutfiyya and Patrick Vaccariello. Additional arrangements and orchestrations are by Dave Pierce and Don Sebesky.
Matthew Dibble was born in Yorkshire, England. He trained at the Royal Ballet School and joined the Royal Ballet in 1994 and in 1999 became a founder member of K Ballet in Japan. 2002 started work with Twyla Tharp Dance in the US. He has also worked with William Forsyth, Roland Petit, Ashley Page, William Tuckett, Michael Clark, Cathy Marston, Adam Coope, David Bintley, Matthew Bourne, and Christopher Wheeldon.
Holley Farmer was a leading dancer with the Merce Cunningham Dance Company from 1997 until 2009, creating twelve original roles including the acclaimed LooseTime. Other career highlights include multiple seasons each at Lincoln Center, London's Barbican, and Paris Opera, and performing on unconventional stages such as the beaches of Perth, and the ancient Roman ruins in Balbec. She holds degrees in dance from Cornish College of the Arts (BFA) and the University of Washington (MFA). In 2004 she was awarded the Bessie for Sustained Achievement. Dancing with Twyla Tharp has been a dream of hers since seeing The catherine Wheel as a young girl in Fresno, CA.
Laura Mead, from Berkeley, CA, received her training from Berkeley Ballet Theater and The Juilliard School (BFA 2006). Upon graduating from Juilliard, she joined American Repertory Ballet. During the 2007-2008 season she performed in Troika Entertainment's National Tour of Movin' Out (Dance Captain, Swing, Judy). In addition to performing, Laura has worked as a volunteer for Artists Striving to End Poverty, teaching at camps for children in Florida and South Africa.
Charlie Neshyba-Hodges. Charlie graduated valedictorian from Walnut Hill School of the Arts. He has danced with the Sacramento Ballet, Twyla Tharp Dance, in two Broadway productions, and has been a guest with Complexions, Lar Lubovitch and Pacific Northwest Ballet. Charlie has notated Tharp's choreography and has set her work on companies in Australia, California, Washington and New York. He recently graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Washington with degrees in Dance and Architecture. Charlie received the Arnold C. Taylor Award for Artistic and Academic Excellence, the European Critic's Choice Award for Best Male Dancer of 2003, is a Mary Gates Research Scholar, and a member of Sigma Alpha Lambda and Phi Beta Kappa.
Rika Okamoto. Dance: Martha Graham (1992-99), Twyla Tharp, Robert Wilson, Buglisi/Foreman, Kazuko Hirabayashi, Mark Morris, Jessica Lang, Pearl Lang, Yuriko. Broadway: Movin' Out (original cast), Tarzan (original cast, choreographed by Maryl Tankard, aerial design by Pichon Baldinu). Film: Across the Universe (directed by Julie Taymor, choreographed by Daniel Ezralow). Rika teaches Twyla Tharp Technique, Yoga Alliance Vinyasa Yoga certificate.
Karine Plantadit. Raised in Cameroon, Karine received her ballet training in West Africa. She then studied at Rosolla Hightower Dance Center in France. At age 16, she saw the Alvin Ailey Dance Theatre perform in Paris. She received a scholarship to study at the Alvin Ailey American Center in New York. Karine danced as a soloist with Ailey for seven years. Theatre: Movin' Out (Brenda/Jessica), The Lion King (The Cheetah and lioness), Saturday Night Fever (Shirley Charles). Commercials: E-bay, American Express, Visa, Subway, Lenscrafters, and McDonald's. Television: "Sex and the City." Film: Frida (Josephine Baker), Stay, Chicago, and Across the Universe. Most recent work: one woman show of J. Cocteau's La Voix Humaine and a cabaret act portraying La Baker in the museum of NYC.
Keith Roberts. Born in Denver, Colorado, Mr. Roberts trained at the North Carolina School of the Arts and School of American Ballet. He joined American Ballet Theatre in 1987. He was made a Soloist in 1992 and a Principal Dancer in 1997. At ABT, he performed in Sir Kenneth McMillan's Romeo and Juliet, Manon, Brahms Symphony, Twyla Tharp's In the Upper Room, Brief Fling, How Near Heaven, Sinfonietta, Anthony Tudor's Leaves are Fading and Undertow, George Balanchine's Apollo, Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux and Theme and Variations, Nacho Duato's Remanso and Without Words. He has toured with Twyla Tharp Dance creating the works Surfer on the River Styx, Mozart Clarinet Concerto K581 and Beethoven's Hammerklavier as well as performing Known By Heart Junk Duet and Sinatra Suite. He also danced in the PBS specials In The Upper Room and ABT: Variety and Viruosity. In 1998, Mr. Roberts made his Broadway debut in Matthew Bourne's production of Swan Lake as "The Swan." He then took over the role of "Perc 4" in the Broadway production of Fosse. In 2002, working with Twyla Tharp on a new Broadway production, he created the role of "Tony" in Movin' Out, receiving a Tony and Astaire Award nomination. Most recently, he has staged Twyla Tharp's In the Upper Room at Birmingham Royal Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, The Bolshoi Theatre, Boston Ballet, Corella Ballet, and Orlando Ballet Theatre, Nine Sinatra Songs at Birmingham Royal Ballet, Ballet West, and Nevada Ballet Theatre, Brief Fling at American Ballet Theatre, and The Golden Section at Ballet Arizona. Mr. Roberts just finished assisting Twyla Tharp with her new work, Rabbit and Rouge at American Ballet Theatre.
John Selya. Born in New York City and trained at the School of American Ballet. Upon completion of this training, Mr. Selya received the Mae L. Wien award for outstanding promise. Mr. Selya then joined American Ballet Theatre, where he performed in works by Balanchine, Robbins, Tharp, and Mark Morris, among others. He also choreographed three works for the company while there: Moondance, Disposition and Don't Panic. Following his departure from A.B.T., Mr. Selya joined Twyla Tharp Dance, where he performed in New York and toured extensively. Mr. Selya was then invited to create and perform the role of Eddie in Tharp's award winning Movin' Out. His performance as Eddie earned him a Tony nomination for Best Actor in a Musical, an Astaire Award for Outstanding Dancing on a Broadway Stage and a Theatre World Award for Outstanding Broadway Debut. Mr. Selya was recently seen in the Encores! production of Damn Yankees dancing as the "Mambo Dancer" alongside Jane Krakowski, and in the Broadway revival of Guys and Dolls. Along with his work on stage, Mr. Selya can also be seen in the feature films Everybody Says I Love You, Across the Universe, Stay and Romance and Cigarettes. Mr. Selya's recent choreographic ambitions earned him a residency at the Joyce Soho, where he presented La Voix Humaine starring Karine Plantadit.
Twyla Tharp. Since graduating from college in 1963, Twyla Tharp has choreographed more than one hundred thirty-five dances, five Hollywood movies, directed and/or choreographed four Broadway shows, written three books and received one Tony Award, two Emmy Awards, nineteen honorary doctorates, the Vietnam Veterans of America President's Award, the 2004 National Medal of the Arts and many grants including the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Fellowship. She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and an Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. In 1965 Ms. Tharp founded her dance company, Twyla Tharp Dance. In addition to choreographing for her own company, she has choreographed for many other companies including: American Ballet Theatre, The Paris Opera Ballet, The Royal Ballet, New York City Ballet, The Boston Ballet, Hubbard Street Dance and The Martha Graham Dance Company. Ms. Tharp's work first appeared on Broadway in 1980 with When We Were Very Young, followed in 1981 by her collaboration with David Byrne on The catherine Wheel at the Winter Garden. Her 1985 production of Singin' In The Rain played at the Gershwin and was followed by an extensive national tour. In 2002, Ms. Tharp's award-winning dance musical Movin' Out, set to the music and lyrics of Billy Joel, premiered at the Richard Rodgers and ran for three years. A national tour opened in 2004 and also ran for three years. For Movin' Out Ms. Tharp received the 2003 Tony Award, the 2003 Astaire Award, the Drama League Award for Sustained Achievement in Musical Theater; and both the Drama Desk Award and the Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Choreography. For the London production Ms. Tharp won Best Choreography (Musical Theatre) Award of the UK's Critics' Circle National Dance Awards 2006. In 2006 Ms. Tharp worked with Bob Dylan's music and lyrics to create The Times They Are A-Changin' which played at the Brooks Atkinson. In film Ms. Tharp has collaborated with director Milos Forman on Hair in 1978, Ragtime in 1980, and Amadeus in 1984, with Taylor Hackford on White Nights in 1985 and with James Brooks on I'll Do Anything in 1994. Her television credits include choreographing "Sue's Leg" for the inaugural episode of PBS' "Dance In America;" co-producing and directing "Making Television Dance," which won the Chicago International Film Festival Award; and directing "The catherine Wheel" for BBC Television. Ms. Tharp co-directed the television special "Baryshnikov By Tharp," which won two Emmy Awards as well as the Director's Guild of America Award for Outstanding Director Achievement. In 1992 Ms. Tharp wrote her autobiography Push Comes To Shove. Her second book, The Creative Habit: Learn it and Use it for Life, was published in October, 2003, and she recently released The Collaborative Habit: Life Lessons for Working Together. Today Ms. Tharp continues to create and to lecture around the world.
Frank Sinatra. Sinatra is an American icon and one of the most recognizable and admired artists of the 20th and 21st Centuries, with a catalogue of music that is a soundtrack for our lives. Long acclaimed as the world's greatest performer of popular music, he is the artist who set the standard for all others to follow. More than a singer-he was an actor, recording artist, cabaret and concert star, radio and television personality, and, on occasion, producer, director, and conductor. A beloved entertainer for six decades, Sinatra earned three Oscars, three Golden Globes, including the Cecil B. DeMille Award, ten personal Grammys (and a total of 20 for his albums), an Emmy, a Peabody, and the Kennedy Center Honors Award. A generous charitable contributor, he was honored with the prestigious Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. In addition, Sinatra was awarded the Presidential Medal Of Honor and the CongressionAl Gold Medal, Congress' highest civilian award. Besides recording nearly 1,500 songs released on scores of records, he has starred in some 60 motion pictures. Frank Sinatra has been called the most popular entertainer of the 20th century.
COME FLY AWAY will be performed at the Marquis Theatre (1535 Broadway) on the following schedule from March 1 - March 27: Monday - Saturday at 8pm, Wednesday and Saturday at 2pm.
Beginning March 30, 2010, the performance schedule will be: Tuesday - Saturday at 8pm, Wednesday and Saturday at 2pm, and Sunday at 3pm.
Tickets, ranging in price from $66.50 - $126.50, can be purchased via www.TicketMaster.com or by calling 212-307-4100.
For groups of 20 or more, please contact Nederlander Group Sales at 212.840.3890 or 800.714.8452 www.nederlandergroupsales.com.