'GREAT COMET' Star Phillipa Soo Completes Cast of GHOSTLIGHT Reading, 1/13
Drama League Award nominee and Julliard graduate Phillipa Soo, who currently stars as Natasha in the critically-acclaimed Off-Broadway hit Natasha, Pierre, and The Great Comet of 1812, and who also appeared as Lexi on Season Two of NBC's "Smash", will star as Olive Thomas in the upcoming industry reading of the highly buzzed about new musical Ghostlight.
As previously reported, the musical Ghostlight, by Tim Realbuto and Matthew Martin, which had two highly attended backer's auditions on December 2nd at the The New 42nd Street Studios in NYC, have added a 29-hour industry reading on January 13th, 2014. This is one of the first times a new musical has added another presentation nearly a month after its first one.
The December 2nd evening was directed by Martin and Realbuto and featured an all-star cast which included "That's So Raven's" Anneliese Van Der Pol as Olive Thomas, Three-time Tony nominee Carolee Carmello as Billie Burke, Tony nominee Robert Cuccioli as Ziegfeld, "Pippin" star Rachel Bay Jones as Molly Cook, Kimberly Faye Greenberg as Fanny Brice, Trevor McQueen as Jack Pickford, and Jennifer Hope Wills as Doris/Cora/Lois Long. The ensemble featured Caleb Collins, Angelia Golden, Nathan Jentink, Elliot Lane, Abigail Ludrof, Jessie MacBeth, Brad Rakushin, Ryan Rhue, Taryn Tonelli, Tim Wessel, and Emily Witte.
The entire New 42 cast is scheduled to appear again in the January reading, with the exception of van der Pol, who is back in Los Angeles pursuing other projects and Jones, who left the production due to scheduling issues. As previously reported, New 42 ensemble member Abigail Ludrof is taking over as Molly Cook. Soo takes over from van der Pol as Olive Thomas. Rounding out the newcomers is Stephanie Weatherly (The Pajama Game at The Gallery Players), who will take over Ludrof's ensemble track.
Kevin Lambert (Broadway's Godspell) will produce the January reading, which tells the true story of Ziegfeld Follies girl and silent film star Olive Thomas, her meteoric rise to fame in the Follies alongside Fanny Brice, her secret affair with Zeigfeld (who was famously married to actress Billie Burke), her falsely idealized relationship with Follies comedienne Molly Cook, her whirlwind Hollywood marriage to movie star Jack Pickford, and her ultimate tragic downfall into drugs and alcohol, which led to her mysterious death at age 25 in Paris at the height of her fame. The evening will again feature direction by Martin and Realbuto and musical direction by Alison Holman (Freedom's Song). However, a new song has been added for the main character of Olive Thomas and a new opening and finale have already been written. The January reading will feature these changes for the very first time.
Ghostlight made its world premiere at The Signature Theatre Off-Broadway as part of The New York Musical Theatre Festival in 2011 with a sold-out and extended run, also directed by Realbuto and Martin.
If you are a producer or investor who missed the December 2nd reading or care to see the newest version, please e-mail Ghostlightthemusical@gmail.com for a reservation. Time and exact location of the January 13th performance will be sent to you after your RSVP has been confirmed.
For more information, visit www.ghostlight-themusical.com.