McArdle, Moriber & More Star in NYMF's Behind the Limelight

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The New York Musical Theatre Festival and the Chaplin Corporation present BEHIND THE LIMELIGHT, a new musical about the life and art of Charlie Chaplin by Christopher Curtis. Directed by Michael Unger, BEHIND THE LIMELIGHT features a distinguished cast that includes Luther Creek (Rent, Urinetown) as Chaplin, as well as Andrea McArdle (Tony Award nominee for Annie, Beauty and the Beast), Janet Metz (Falsettoland, Bingo:The Musical) and Garrett Long (The Spitfire Grill), among others. BEHIND THE LIMELIGHT will play a strictly limited, six-performance engagement as part of the third annual New York Musical Theatre Festival. Performances begin on Tuesday, September 19th at The Theatre at St. Clements (423 West 46th Street).

BEHIND THE LIMELIGHT explores the life and art of Charlie Chaplin, one of the world's most beloved performers, who had one of Hollywood's most turbulent careers. The musical examines Chaplin's upbringing and the effect it had on his groundbreaking work behind and in front of the camera; and follows his rise from humble beginnings to one of the richest and most famous artists of his time. Also following his forced exile due to Hollywood's gossip mill and the House Un-American Activities Committee, BEHIND THE LIMELIGHT shows how Chaplin, through the love of his dear Oona O'Neill, is able, in the end, to realize the gifts in the hardship of his past which have allowed him to leave a better story to his children than the story that was left to him.

BEHIND THE LIMELIGHT had its world premiere last summer, presented as part of the Vassar and New York Stage and Film Powerhouse Season.

The cast of BEHIND THE LIMELIGHT features Luther Creek (Rent, Urinetown, Shockheaded Peter) as Charlie; Andrea McArdle (Annie, State Fair, Beauty and the Beast) as gossip columnist, Hedda Hopper; Janet Metz (Marie Christine, Joseph…, Falsettoland) as Charlie's mother, Hannah and Garrett Long (Spitfire Grill, Seussical) as Oona O'Neill. Also included in the cast are Brooke Sunny Moriber (Threepenny Opera, The Wild Party, Caligula) as Edna Purviance; Michael Farina (Seussical, In My Life, My Fair Lady) as Fred Karno and Attorney General, James McGranery; Joel Hurt Jones as Mack Sennett; (Robert Langdon-Lloyd (RSC, Amadeus) as Older Charlie and Sean Palmer (The Boyfriend, Fosse, Saturday Night Fever) as Charlie's brother, Sydney. Scott Barnhardt, Randy Blair, Molly Curry, Sarah Darling, Danny Hallowell, Tommy Hallowell, Kristin Knudsen and Robert Rokicki complete the cast.

BEHIND THE LIMELIGHT has music direction by Bryan Perri and Brian Cimmet. The musical features scenic design by Dan Meeker, costume design by Chloe Chapin and lighting design by Joel Silver.

BEHIND THE LIMELIGHT will be performed at The Theatre at St. Clements (423 W. 46th Street). The performance schedule is as follows:

Tuesday, Sept. 19 at 8:00 PM
Wednesday, Sept. 20 at 1:00 PM
Saturday, Sept. 23 at 9:00 PM
Wednesday, Sept. 27 at 9:00 PM
Thursday, Sept. 28 at 1:00 PM
Saturday, Sept. 30 at 1:00 PM

Individual tickets for BEHIND THE LIMELIGHT are $20.00 and are available online at www.NYMF.org or by calling TheaterMania.com at 212-352-3101 beginning September 1, 2006. NYMF Memberships – securing tickets to multiple NYMF productions and events - are currently available (Silver Membership - $60, including a $20 tax-deductible donation; Gold Membership - $100, including a $30 tax-deductible donation; and Platinum Membership -$250, including a $45 tax-deductible donation). For more information, visit www.NYMF.org.

Biographies

Christopher Curtis (Book, Music and Lyrics) is a singer and composer who has performed in Los Angeles, New York, Japan, London and Ireland with Stevie Wonder, Rita Coolidge and others. He is also a house pianist at the legendary restaurant, Chez Josephine. As a composer he wrote and sang the theme song for the popular Learning Channel TV series "A Wedding Story," as well as the songs for the Discovery Channel's "Travelers" and "On the Inside." He wrote and sang the theme song to the Trimark Pictures film, The Break, starring Martin Sheen.

Michael Unger (Director) directed the rock musical, Caligula, at the inaugural New York Musical Theatre Festival in 2004; which won the Audience Favorite Award. He just completed directing a new version of Kander and Ebb's The Rink starring Leslie Uggams and Janet Metz at the Cape Playhouse, as well as Die Fledermaus at Sarasota Opera. Other directing credits include the world premiere of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee at Barrington Stage, Retribution, Off-Broadway at the Lambs Theatre, as well as McCarter Theatre's annual production of A Christmas Carol.

Luther Creek (Charlie). Broadway: Rent, Urinetown, Footloose, Jesus Christ Superstar. Off Broadway: Shockheaded Peter, LCT's A Man Of No Importance, City Center Encores! Hair. Tours: Rent, Hair, Footloose. International: Tommy (Germany), Rent (Canada). TV/Film: "Strangers with Candy," "One Life To Live", "As The World Turns", "Law & Order: SVU", "Law & Order: Criminal Intent", "The Education of Max Bickford", Across The Universe, Zoolander, and more. Backing vocals in concert for dozens of multi-platinum recording artists. Studied with Marcel Marceau.

Andrea McArdle (Hedda Hopper). Broadway: Annie (Tony nomination, Theatre World and Outer Critics Circle Awards), Starlight Express, Les Misérables, State Fair and Beauty and The Beast. Her other stage appearances across the country include starring roles in Oliver!, Annie Get Your Gun, Joseph . . . Dreamcoat, and Jerry's Girls, among others. Television: Judy Garland in "Rainbow" (NBC) and "Annie" (ABC), "Andrea McArdle on Broadway" (PBS).

Janet Metz (Hanna Chaplin). Broadway: Marie Christine, Fiddler on the Roof, On The Town, Once Upon A Mattress. Off-Broadway: Bingo-The Musical (Drama League nomination), I Love You, You're Perfect . . ., Falsettoland, Lucky Stiff. Tours: Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, The Music of ALW, Stop the World…. Regional: Premieres include: The Spitfire Grill, Barry Manilow's Harmony (Drama-Logue Award). Other regional: The Rink, Fame, Casino Paradise, Noises Off, Funny Girl, Mack and Mabel, Sunday In The Park With George, A Christmas Carol.

Garrett Long (Oona). Recent credits include Sarah in Guys and Dolls at the Cape Playhouse and Ann in Shenandoah at the Fords Theatre. She originated the role of Percy in The Spitfire Grill at Playwrights Horizons which earned her a Drama Desk nomination and Drama League Award. Other favorites include Gertrude McFuzz in Suessical (First National Tour), Mary in Of Thee I Sing (Papermill Playhouse), Amalia in She Loves Me (The Guthrie) and Nellie in Floyd Collins (Signature Theatre).

Brooke Sunny Moriber (Edna Purviance). Broadway: Threepenny Opera (Dolly, Jimmy), The Wild Party (Nadine), Parade (Iola), The Dead (Lily), Follies (Heidi), Les Misérables, Aspects of Love. Off-Broadway: Aunt Dan & Lemon (Mindy), My Life With Albertine, Hazelwood Jr. High, The Education of Randy Newman (Randy's Wife), Lulu (Lulu), Caligula (Drusilla). TV/film: "Law & Order: CI," "As the World Turns," "Swift Justice," Descent. Brooke's original pop/rock music: myspace.com/wellifitaintbrooke.

Sean Palmer (Sydney). Broadway: Saturday Night Fever (Tony Manero), Fosse (original company) and Dream. Other NY credits A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (Encores), Paula Vogel's The Long Christmas Ride Home (Vineyard). Regionally he's been seen at Papermill Playhouse in Of Thee I Sing (Sam Jenkins), Northshore Music Theatre in Kiss Me Kate (Bill Calhoun), at both Goodspeed Opera and Bay Street Theatre in Sandy Wilson's The Boyfriend (Tony). Nat'l tours: The Boyfriend, Fosse. TV: "Grey's Anatomy," "Sex and the City." Films: The Reagans, Chicago. Sean was recently seen as Almanzo Wilder in the world premiere of Prairie, directed by Francesca Zambello.

Michael Farina (Karno and McGranery). Broadway: In My Life (Al/God), Seussical the Musical (Grandpa Who - U/S Horton), A Christmas Carol (Fezziwig) at Madison Sq. Garden, My Fair Lady (Jamie) and Fiddler on the Roof (Nachum the Beggar). Off-Broadway: Fanny Hill at the York Theatre, Philemon at the 28th St. Theatre and Gifts of the Magi at the Lamb's Theatre.

Robert Langdon Lloyd (Older Charlie) has been a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company and Peter Brook's Centre International de Creations Theatrales. Theatre in USA includes: Marat/Sade, dir Peter Brook (Broadway); Vienna Lusthaus, dir Martha Clark (Public Theater); Midsummer Night's Dream, dir Peter Brook (World Tour); Zastrozzi, dir Andrei Serban (Public Theater); Conference of the Birds, dir Peter Brook (La Mama); Ghost on Fire, dir Les Waters (Goodman, Chicago); Beckett's All Strange Away (Beckett Theatre, NYC).

The New York Musical Theatre Festival (Producer), now in its third year, is a three-week event in NYC that has premiered over 70 musicals in its first two years, becoming the largest musical theatre event in American history. Hailed as "the Sundance of Musical Theatre," it is now widely regarded among the entertainment industry as the key source for new material and talent discovery. NYMF is a flagship program of the National Music Theater Network, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization and is produced in association with New World Stages, Playbill and Virgin Megastores, and proudly supported by amNewYork, Frank & Camille's Fine Pianos, King Displays, Manhattan Living, Niaterra Arts and Entertainment, Points.com, the Production Resource Group, O­ne Dream Sound, Receptasign, Rosco, Tekserve, Verizon Wireless, the Village Voice and WNYC in partnership with Ars Nova, Big City Graph-X, Broadway.com, Broadwayworld.com, Brooklyn Brewery, HX Magazine, TheMENevent.com, Metphoto, Panasonic Astrovision and TheaterMania.com. NYMF is made possible with public funds from the New York State Council o­n the Arts, a state agency.

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