Leads Announced for 'Pirate Queen'; Plays Chicago in Oct.

Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg's THE PIRATE QUEEN, the spectacular new musical from the authors of Les Misérables and Miss Saigon, will play a pre-Broadway, World Premiere engagement in Chicago from October 3rd through November 26th, 2006.

Tickets will go on sale for THE PIRATE QUEEN at the Chicago Cadillac Palace Theatre (151 West Randolph Street) on May 19th at 8:00AM.

THE PIRATE QUEEN is based on the real-life story of the legendary Irish pirate chieftain, Grace O'Malley, who led an extraordinary life as a pirate, chieftain, lover and mother in 16th Century Ireland. Produced by Moya Doherty and John McColgan, the producers of Riverdance, this new musical combines classic storytelling and a sweeping score, with the powerful, vibrant traditions of Irish dance and song, to create a modern musical event that is both an historic romance and a timeless epic.

THE PIRATE QUEEN features a new score from the Tony Award-winning team of Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg, one of the most successful teams of author/composers in musical theatre. The new musical will be directed by Tony Award-winner Frank Galati. The creative team for THE PIRATE QUEEN also includes choreographer Mark Dendy, who recently worked at the Metropolitan Opera in New York on Julie Taymor's The Magic Flute; three-time Tony® Award-winner Eugene Lee, who sets the scene from the deck of the ship which Grace captains, to the court of Queen Elizabeth I where the two remarkable women once met; two-time Tony® Award-winner Martin Pakledinaz designing the costumes; four-time Tony® nominee Kenneth Posner creating the lighting; Jonathan Deans (Ragtime) creating the sound design; John Dempsey (Witches of Eastwick) who has co-written the lyrics; and Julian Kelly, principal orchestrator and musical director. Edgar Dobie is the Executive Producer.

Stephanie J. Block, Linda Balgord, Hadley Fraser* and Jeff McCarthy will lead the cast of 40 in THE PIRATE QUEEN. Further casting will be announced shortly.

*Hadley Fraser is appearing with the permission of Actors' Equity Association. The Producers gratefully acknowledge Actors' Equity Association for its assistance of this production.

Stephanie J. Block (Grania). Broadway: The Boy From Oz with Hugh Jackman (Liza Minnelli). First national tour: Wicked (Elphaba). Regional: Funny Girl (2000 L.A. Robby Award-Best Actress), Oliver! (2001 Critics' Table Award-Best Actress), Triumph of Love (2002 L.A Robby Award-Best Supporting Actress), Crazy For You (2002 L.A. Ovation Award Nomination, Best Actress), Fiddler On The Roof (Pittsburgh CLO), James Joyce's The Dead (Ahmanson Theatre and Kennedy Center), Let Me Sing (The George Street Playhouse & Charlotte Rep.), The Grass Harp (Pasadena Playhouse), Bells Are Ringing (Reprise!), I Love a Piano (Denver Center), Damn Yankees & Bye Bye Birdie (Sacramento Music Circus).

Linda Balgord (Elizabeth 1st). Broadway: La Cage aux Folles (Mme. Dindon), Passion (Fosca's Mother), Cats (Grizabella). First national tour: Sunset Boulevard (Norma Desmond), Aspects of Love (Rose Vibert). Regional: The Fix (Violet), Funny Girl (Fanny), Evita (Eva) and Man of La Mancha (Aldonza).

HADLEY FRASER (Tiernan) West End/UK: Pacific Overtures (Kayama Yesaemon), Assassins (John Wilkes Booth), Longitude (William), The Far Pavilions (Ash), Putting it Together (Various), One Day More (Various), The Shaughraun (Captain Molineux), The Pirates Of Penzance, (Frederic), Peter Pan (Curly), Les Misérables (Marius), Little Shop of Horrors (Seymour), Blues Brothers…Live! (Jake Blues), Assassins (Zangara), Far Far Away (Leonard)

JEFF McCARTHY (Dubhdara). Broadway: Urinetown (Officer Lockstock), Side Show (Terry Connor), Beauty and the Beast (Beast), Smile (Big Bob Freelander), Zorba (Nikos). Los Angeles theatre: Les Misérables, Three Sisters, City of Angels. Off-B'way: Dream True (Vineyard), Sympathetic Magic (Second Stage). Regional: Arms and the Man (Huntington), The Misanthrope (Guthrie), Henry IV (Indiana Rep), Sunday in the Park (Seattle Rep), A Lie of the Mind (Denver Center).

THE PIRATE QUEEN will open on Broadway in the 2006-2007 season.

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