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Hunter Foster, Malcolm Gets, Dick Latessa et al. Lead Starry Cast of LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE at La Jolla


La Jolla Playhouse announced today the cast and creative team of its upcoming world-premiere musical Little Miss Sunshine, by the Tony Award-winning creative team of composer/lyricist William Finn and playwright/director James Lapine. Mr. Lapine has enjoyed a long association with The Playhouse, having previously directed Merrily We Roll Along (1985) and Luck, Pluck and Virtue (1993). The production runs February 15 - March 27, 2011 in the Mandell Weiss Theatre.

The cast features Hunter Foster (Urinetown, Little Shop of Horrors) as "Richard Hoover," Malcolm Gets ("Caroline in the City," A New Brain, Amour) as "Frank Ginsberg," Georgi James (Billy Elliot) as "Olive Hoover," Dick Latessa (Hairspray) as "Grandpa," Jennifer Laura Thompson (Urinetown, Wicked) as "Sheryl Hoover" and Taylor Trensch (Spring Awakening) as "Dwayne Hoover." The ensemble includes Bradley Dean, Carmen Ruby Floyd, Eliseo Roman, Andrew Samonsky, Sally Wilfert and Zakiya Young; and the Pageant Girls include local actresses Felicity Bryant, Sophia Delange, Kishka Grantz and Madi Rae DiPietro.

The creative team includes: James Lapine, book writer/director; William Finn, composer/lyricist; David Korins, scenic designer; Jennifer Caprio, costume designer; Ken Billington, lighting designer; Dan Moses Schreier, sound designer; Christopher Gatelli, musical staging; Vadim Feichtner, music director/conductor; Michael Starobin, orchestrator; and William Aronson: music arranger.

"What a thrill it is to bring such an enormously talented cast and creative team to The Playhouse to mount the world premiere of this truly unique new musical," said La Jolla Playhouse Artistic Director Christopher Ashley. "The Playhouse is deeply committed to being a home for great artists, providing a nurturing environment for the creation of new work, and we are delighted and honored to embark on the exciting journey of Little Miss Sunshine with this extraordinary company."

The Tony Award-winning team of composer/lyricist William Finn and writer/director James Lapine, who previously collaborated on the Tony Award-winning musicals Falsettos and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, bring their latest project, Little Miss Sunshine, to La Jolla Playhouse. The Hoover family has seen better days. Richard, the father, is a floundering motivational speaker, Grandpa's been kicked out of his retirement home, and Uncle Frank's been dumped by his boyfriend. Moody teenager Dwayne has taken a vow of silence and overextended mom Sheryl can do little more than slap on a smile. But when the youngest Hoover - umm, energetic, Olive - enters a regional pre-teen beauty pageant, the family thinks their luck could change and embarks on a cross-country trek chasing the coveted title of "Little Miss Sunshine." Based on the Academy Award-winning film, Little Miss Sunshine is an outrageously funny and surprisingly touching new musical.

Hunter Foster's ("Richard Hoover") Broadway credits include Million Dollar Quartet, The Producers, Little Shop of Horrors (Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critic Circle Award nominations), Urinetown (Outer Critics Circle nomination), Les Miserables, Grease, Footloose and King David. Off-Broadway: Happiness (Drama Desk Award nomination), Ordinary Days, Frankenstein, Dust, Modern Orthodox, Urinetown (Lucille Lortel Award nomination). Regional: Kiss of the Spider Woman (Signature Theatre-Helen Hayes Award nomination), The Government Inspector, Martin Guerre (Guthrie) Mister Roberts (Kennedy Center), Children of Eden (Papermill), Lend Me a Tenor, Moon Over Buffalo, Boeing Boeing (Cape Playhouse). National Tours: Cats, Martin Guerre, The Producers. As a writer, Mr. Foster wrote the books for the musicals Summer of '42, which opened Off-Broadway in 2001; Bonnie and Clyde: a Folktale at the 2008 NY Musical Theatre Festival, and The Hollow, which premiered this summer at the Signature Theatre in Arlington, Virginia. Hunter is a graduate of the University of Michigan.

Malcolm Gets ("Frank Ginsberg") is well known to television audiences as "Richard" on "Caroline in the City." His Broadway credits include The Moliere Comedies, Passion, The Story of My Life, A New Brain (Lincoln Center) and Amour, for which he received a Tony Award nomination. Off-Broadway, he earned an Obie Award for his performance in Sondheim's Merrily We Roll Along. He has also performed at Williamstown Theatre Festival, American Conservatory Theater, Westport Country Playhouse, the Hollywood Bowl, among others. His film credits include Grey Gardens with Drew Barrymore and Jessica Lange, Sex and the City, Adam and Steve and Thirteen Conversations about One Thing.

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