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

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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.

At the heart of THE PIRATE QUEEN is the story of a compelling, inspirational woman, a heroine for her time and for all time. This is an Irish story with a universal appeal.

Chicago will be the first to experience the world premiere of THE PIRATE QUEEN at Broadway In Chicago's Cadillac Palace Theatre (151 West Randolph Street). Priority seating for THE PIRATE QUEEN is available for groups of 20 or more by calling (312)977-1710, or by subscribing to the 2006-2007 Neumann Homes Broadway In Chicago Season Series by calling (877)890-0174.

Single tickets range in price from $28 - $85 and go on sale Friday, May 19 at 8:00AM at the Cadillac Palace Theatre box office. Ticket will then go on sale at 10:00AM through the Broadway In Chicago box office at 24 W. Randolph St., the Broadway In Chicago Ticket Line at (312)902-1400, at all Ticketmaster ticket centers (including all Carson Pirie Scott stores, Tower Records, Hot Tix, select Coconuts and fye stores) or online at ticketmaster.com.

THE PIRATE QUEEN Biographies

ALAIN BOUBLIL's (Book and Lyrics) first musical, La Révolution Française (written in collaboration with Claude-Michel Schönberg, Jean-Max Rivière and Raymond Jeannot), was first staged in Paris in 1973, attracted 300,000 spectators and won numerous awards. The collaboration between Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg continued, producing the most performed musical in the world: Les Misérables (over 51 million spectators to date in 32 countries and two Tony® Awards on Broadway). They went on to create Miss Saigon (over 30 million spectators worldwide, and Evening Standard Award for Best London Musical in 1990), and Martin Guerre (Olivier Award for Best Musical in 1997). Alain is also the author of a play, Le Journal d'Adam et Eve, based on two short stories by Mark Twain, and performed in Paris in 1994. His first novel, Les Dessous de Soi, recently published, won the French Prince Maurice Award. Alain wrote the stage adaptation and the new songs for Jacques Demy's and Michel Legrand's "Les Demoiselles de Rochefort".

CLAUDE-MICHEL SCHÖNBERG (Book and Music). Born in 1944 of Hungarian parents, Claude-Michel Schönberg began his career as a singer, writer and producer of popular songs. He wrote the musical score of La Révolution Française, Les Misérables, Miss Saigon and Martin Guerre. He has also supervised overseas productions of Les Misérables and Miss Saigon and co-produced several international cast albums of his shows. In 2001 he composed his first ballet score, Wuthering Heights, which was created by the Northern Ballet Theatre in September 2002. Now The Pirate Queen is his sixth complete score. In 2003 Claude-Michel Schönberg married the English ballerina Charlotte Talbot. He is the father of one son and two daughters.

FRANK GALATI (Director) won two Tony® Awards in 1990 for his highly praised adaptation and direction of Steppenwolf's production of The Grapes of Wrath on Broadway. He was nominated for a Tony® Award in 1998 for directing the musical Ragtime. Other Steppenwolf productions include after the quake, Homebody/Kabul, The Royal Family, Morning Star, Valparaiso, You Can't Take It with You, Aunt Dan and Lemon, Born Yesterday, Earthly Possessions, As I Lay Dying and Everyman. His productions at the Goodman Theatre, where he has been an associate director since 1986, include She Always Said Pablo, The Winter's Tale, The Good Person of Setzuan and Cry the Beloved Country. He has staged operas for Chicago Opera Theatre and for the Lyric Opera including The Voyage of Edgar Allen Poe and William Balcom's View from the Bridge seen at the Metropolitan Opera in 2000. In 1989 Mr. Galati was nominated for an Academy Award for his screenplay (with Lawrence Kasdan) of The Accidental Tourist. Mr. Galati is a professor in the department of performance studies at Northwestern University.

MARK DENDY (Choreographer). Artistic director of Mark Dendy Dance and Theater from 1983 to 2000, touring the world and performing in NYC at The Joyce Theatre, Lincoln Center, Dance Theater Workshop and Performance Space 122. Recipient of the 2000 Alpert Award in the Arts, numerous National Endowment, NYSCA and foundation fellowships, and the 1997 New York Dance and Performance Award, "The Bessie" for sustained achievement with his company. Broadway: Taboo 2003, The Pirate Queen, upcoming. Off Broadway: The Wild Party (Lippa, Manhattan Theatre Club), 2000 Obie Award, Joseph Calloway Award, Drama Desk Nomination, best choreography. Regional: Baptiste, The Dybbuk (Hartford Stage), Camille (Goodspeed Musicals) Carnivale (Radio City Music Hall, Graciella Danielle), The Magic Flute (The Metropolitan Opera, Julie Taymor).

Eugene Lee (Set Design) has been Resident Designer at Trinity Repertory since 1967. He has a BFA from Carnegie Mellon University, a MFA from Yale Drama School, and honorary Ph.D's from DePaul University, Rhode Island College, and Rhode Island School of Design. Mr. Lee has won three Tony® Awards for his work on Broadway, for Bernstein's Candide, Sondheim's Sweeney Todd, and Schwartz's Wicked. Other New York work includes Slaveship, Alice in Wonderland, The Normal Heart, Agnes of God, Grandchild of Kings, Uncle Vanya, Showboat, Ragtime (Tony® nomination), and A Number. He is the production designer for NBC's "Saturday Night Live". Filmwork includes Easy Money, Coppola's Hammett, Huston's Mr. North, and Malle's Vanya on 42nd Street. Other awards include the Drama Desk Award, the American Theatre Wing's Design Award, the Outer Critics' Circle Award, and the Pell Award. He has been nominated three times for the Emmy® Award. He is an adjunct professor at Brown University, and lives with his wife Brooke in Providence, where they raised their two sons.

MARTIN PAKLEDINAZ (Costume Designer) received the Tony Award for Thoroughly Modern Millie, directed by Michael Mayer, and Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle nominations for this show. In 2001, he received the Tony and Drama Desk Awards for Michael Blakemore's award-winning production of Kiss Me, Kate. The same year, he received the Lucille Lortel Award for his work on Andrew Lippa's The Wild Party, and Waste directed by Bartlett Sher. Recent New York productions include Wonderful Town at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre directed by Kathleen Marshall, Two Gentlemen Of Verona for New York Shakespeare Festival, Juvenilia at Playwrights Horizons, the musicals The Look Of Love (for the Roundabout at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre, directed by Scott Ellis) and A Year With Frog And Toad (at the Cort, directed by David Petrarca), Kimberly Akimbo for Manhattan Theatre Club and The Boys From Syracuse for the Roundabout. Other New York work includes The Life (Tony and Drama Desk nominations), directed by Michael Blakemore; James Lapine's productions of The Diary Of Anne Frank, Twelve Dreams and Golden Child (Tony nomination); The Misanthrope, starring Roger Rees and Uma Thurman (Obie Award); A Thousand Clowns; Taller Than A Dwarf; Give Me Your Answer Do; Anna Christie, directed by David Leveaux; Kevin Kline's Hamlet; and Troilus And Cressida, directed by Sir Peter Hall. Recent regional productions include Three Sisters at Intiman Theatre, directed by Bartlett Sher.

KENNETH POSNER (Lighting Design). Broadway: Wicked, Hairspray, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (TONY, Drama Desk, and Outer Critics Circle Nominations), The Odd Couple, Glen Garry Glenross, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (TONY Nomination), Little Women, the Frogs, The Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All, The Goat, Imaginary Friends, The Smell of the Kill, Swing, The Man Who Had All The Luck, Uncle Vanya, Side Man (Lortel Award), You're a Good Man Charlie Brown, The Lion in Winter, Little Me, A View from the Bridge (Drama Desk Nomination), The Last Night of Ballyhoo, Getting Away With Murder, The Little Foxes, The Rose Tattoo, The Father and The Rehearsal. Off-Broadway: Valhalla, The Wild Party (Lortel Award, Drama Desk, and Outer Circle Critics Nominations), The Play About The Baby, Tick-Tick-Boom, The Waverly Gallery, That Chapionship Season, Pride's Crossing (Lortel Award), As Bee's in Honey Drown, Cowgirls, The Food Chain, Suburbia and numerous productions for Playwrights Horizons, The Public, Manhattan Theatre Club, Second Stage, The Vineyard, and Classic Stage Company. Opera credits include designs for the New York City Opera and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. OBIE for Sustained excellence in lighting design.

JONATHAN DEANS (Sound Designer) theatrical credits on Broadway include Lestat, Brooklyn, Taboo, Follies, Seussical, Music Man, Fosse, Parade, Ragtime, Candide, Disney's King David. Las Vegas venues include EFX, Seigfried and Roy, Masquerade Parade and Cirque du Soleil's Love, Ka, Zumanity, "O", Mystere and La Nouba in Orlando and a tour of Corteo. He is known for his advance audio applications and designs for theater and likes to bring something new to every production to further the audience's enjoyment of sound. He currently holds a position at UCLA teaching a MFA in Theater Sound Design.

JOHN DEMPSEY (Co-lyricist) wrote book and lyrics for The Witches of Eastwick (London, Melbourne, Tokyo, Moscow), The Fix (Donmar Warehouse, directed by Sam Mendes), Zombie Prom (New York), Circles and Dick Whittington. He wrote lyrics for the musicals A Country Christmas Carol and The Reluctant Dragon as well as for the Ringling Bros. Barnum and Bailey Circus. Plays include One Miracle in a Lifetime and The Greater Goode. He has received two Olivier Award nominations for The Witches Of Eastwick and The Fix, and is the recipient of an Ohio Arts Council Fellowship for Playwriting.

JULIAN KELLY (Music Director/Orchestrator) has developed an international reputation as a conductor, musical director and arranger in the concert hall, recording studio and theatre. Recent theatre credits in London and the provinces include Stephen Sondheim's Company, Sweeney Todd, Merrily We Roll Along, Pacific Overtures, Follies, Into The Woods, Sunday In The Park With George and A Little Night Music, the Kander and Ebb musicals Chicago, 70, Girls, 70! and The Rink, Jerry Herman's Mack And Mabel and The Best Of Times, West Side Story, Oliver!, The King And I, Carousel, The Sound Of Music, Guys And Dolls, Calamity Jane, Piaf, Damn Yankees, Singin' In The Rain and On Your Toes starring Adam Cooper. Following conducting engagements at Sydney Opera House, London's Royal Festival Hall and Sadler's Wells Theatre, Julian is delighted to return to both Chicago and New York having been Musical Director of Riverdance on previous occasions in both cities.

FRANK P. SCARDINO (General Management) formed Theatre Production Group LLC as a production and management company. He has served as executive producer or general manager for Follies (Broadway), Ragtime (Broadway, Los Angeles, Toronto and Tour), The Phantom of the Opera (Toronto and International Tour), Sunset Blvd. (Toronto), To Grandmother's House We Go (Broadway), Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, starring Donny Osmond (Chicago, Toronto and North American Tour), Aspects of Love (Tour), Kiss of the Spider Woman (Broadway and Tour), Showboat (Broadway, Toronto, Chicago and Tour) Barrymore, starring Christopher Plummer (Broadway), Candide (Broadway) and Music of the Night, starring Colm Wilkinson (Tour). Mr. Scardino has been responsible for over 50 productions —Broadway, Off-Broadway, national and regional; and was formerly General Manager for Jujamcyn Theatres and Productions. His other Broadway credits include The 1940'S Radio Hour, On The Twentieth Century, Pippin, The Mikado, and the original company of Chicago, among others. Theatre Production Group has managed Laughing Room Only starring Jackie Mason, the Will Rogers Follies tour starring Larry Gatlin, Immigrant the Musical and Jackie Mason: Freshly Squeezed. www.theatreproductiongroup.com

TARA RUBIN CASTING (Casting). Broadway: Spamalot; …Spelling Bee; The Producers; Mamma Mia!; Phantom…; Good Vibrations; Bombay Dreams; Oklahoma!; Flower Drum Song; Imaginary Friends; Metamorphoses. Nat'l tour: Disney's On the Record; Les Miserables. Lincoln Center: The Frogs; Contact; Thou Shalt Not; A Man of No Importance; Anything Goes (concert). Off-Broadway: Second Stage. Regional: Williamstown Theatre Festival; Kennedy Center; La Jolla Playhouse; Yale Rep. Film: The Producers The Musical. Ms. Rubin is a member of the Casting Society of America. MOYA DOHERTY's (Producer, Riverdream) career includes theatre, radio and a distinguished and award-winning track record in television production, both in Ireland and the UK. Moya is the Producer of Riverdance, the worldwide acclaimed theatrical phenomenon, which premiered in Dublin's Point Theatre in February 1995. She is a Director of Tyrone Productions, Ireland's leading independent television production company, whose output includes drama, documentary and entertainment programming. She was a founding Director of Today FM – Ireland's national commercial radio station and as a member of the Board of the Dublin Theatre Festival Moya is heavily involved in promoting new and challenging theatrical work in Ireland. Moya has won many awards and accolades over the years. She has been named Veuve Clicquot Business Woman of the Year; she has received the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award and has been bestowed with honorary doctorates from the University of Ulster and from the National University of Ireland in recognition of her success and her ongoing commitment to the world of the arts in Ireland.

JOHN McCOLGAN's (Producer, Riverdream) career as a highly successful television director began in the mid seventies in RTÉ Television (Ireland's national broadcasting station) where he went on to become Head of Entertainment. He is a founding Director of Tyrone Productions, Ireland's premier independent television production company and is Chairman of Today FM, Ireland's national commercial radio station. He played a key role in the evolution of Riverdance from the original seven-minute dance number and went on to direct the full stage-show spectacular. John has been closely involved with the Abbey Theatre, Ireland's National Theatre – he was on the Board of the Theatre for five years, served as Chairman of the Abbey Centenary Committee and directed a critically-acclaimed production of the 19th century melodrama, The Shaughraun for the theatre. Currently John is also involved in developing Magick Macabre, a theatrical show of magic, horror and illusion planned for Las Vegas in the spring of 2008. John has received many awards during his career, including an Honorary Doctorate of Law from the National University of Ireland in recognition of his services to the arts and entertainment industry.

EDGAR DOBIE (Executive Producer) is currently the North American Executive Producer for Riverdream and the Executive Director of Trinity Rep, a regional theatre company based in Providence, RI. Mr Dobie joined Trinity Rep as Executive Director on September 10th 2001. With roots in non-profit theatre management, he is a successful commerical theatre producer. His Broadway credits include Sunset Boulevard (Tony Award for Best Musical), Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat, Paul Simon's The Capeman and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. He also served as the managing producer for the 1999 and 2000 Tony Awards. Mr Dobie has worked in nonprofit theatre, notably as founding managing director of Toronto's Canadian Stage Company. His commercial theatre career began producing the Toronto and touring productions of The Phantom of the Opera. For six years he was president of Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Really Useful Company, overseeing all North American operations. He continues as a board member of Rhode Island Citizens for the Arts, and member of the National Corporate Theatre Fund and the Advisory Board of the Actor's Fund.

www.thepiratequeen.com

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