Photo Flash: Alice Ripley, Jinkx Monsoon & More Perform and Final Show Announced at Balagan Season Preview Party
Balagan Theatre made three major announcements during a packed Season Preview Party at the Moore Theatre on Monday, June 10: "Nirvanov" as the fifth show in the 2013-2014 mainstage season, a star-studded trio of leading ladies in Carrie: The Musical, and a newly created New Works Program, whose Summer Series debuts July 6.
"Nirvanov" is a glam-grunge rock musical that combines Anton Chekhov's "Ivanov" with the tortured last days of Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain, who like Ivanov committed suicide in the midst of a debilitating battle with depression. With book and lyrics by David Lee and music by Nandi Johannes and David Lee, "Nirvanov" examines Cobain's final days in 1990s Seattle, as well as his fascination with 1940s Hollywood legend Frances Farmer. Balagan will produce "Nirvanov" in spring 2014; location is still to be determined.
Balagan also announced a trio of Broadway powerhouse artists for "Carrie: The Musical": Alice Ripley, Kendra Kassebaum, and Keaton Whittaker as Carrie. Ripley is best known for her Tony Award-winning turn as Diana Goodman in "Next to Normal"; Kassebaum was the first to replace Kristin Chenoweth as Glinda in "Wicked"; and young local actor Keaton Whittaker starred alongside Angela Lansbury and Catherine Zeta-Jones in "A Little Night Music".
"Carrie" is a co-production with Seattle Theatre Group, performed at the Moore Theatre and directed by Balagan Artistic Director and Broadway actor Louis Hobson. "Carrie" features a book by Lawrence D. Cohen (screenwriter of the classic film), music by Academy Award winner Michael Gore ("Fame", "Terms of Endearment"), and lyrics by Academy Award winner Dean Pitchford ("Fame", "Footloose").
Hobson and Balagan Executive Director Jake Groshong, along with co-producer Katie Tomlinson Diamond, also introduced a new initiative, the Balagan New Works Program, which will debut this July with a New Works Summer Series. Workshops include "Thankskilling", a musical about a killer turkey from the creators of "TRAILS" (Saturday, July 6); "The Roaring 21st", a Prohibition-era musical created by Balagan artists (Monday, July 15); and "Island Song", a musical anthology about five New Yorkers' twisted love affair... with their city (Monday, August 19).
The New Works Program will continue through the 2013-2014 season with New York and Seattle workshops of "Pump Up the Volume", a new rock musical based on the cult film classic; and a spring 2014 production of "Ernest Shackleton Loves Me", a time-bending, two-person show about a contemporary single working mother and the famed historic Antarctic explorer.
Subscriptions for the 2013-2014 mainstage season are available now at www.balagantheatre.org. Ticket information for the New Works Summer Series will be posted next week.
Photo Credit: Jeff Carpenter
The ensemble, led by Danielle Barnum, Ryan McCabe, and Kate Jaeger
Beth DeVries and RJ Tancioco
Art Anderson and the ensemble
Jinkx Monsoon and Major Scales
Jake Groshong and Louis Hobson
Katie Tomlinson Diamond
Eric Hagreen and Evan Woltz
Jinkx Monsoon (aka Jerick Hoffer)