THE RISE AND FALL OF LITTLE VOICE, Starring Christina Bianco, Eyeing 2016-17 Broadway Bow
BroadwayWorld has just received the news that the 1992 Olivier Award winning play THE RISE AND FALL OF LITTLE VOICE is eyeing a 2016-17 Broadway run, starring two-time Drama Desk nominated actress, singer and impressionist Christina Bianco in the pivotal role of LV.
"We are very excited to announce that we have optioned English playwright Jim Cartwright's brilliant 1992 Olivier Award winning play THE RISE AND FALL OF LITTLE VOICE and plan on producing it on Broadway during the 2016-17 season," said lead producer Robert R. Blume, who was executive producer of the Drama Desk Awards from 1999 through 2011. "The key to the success of this play has always been in trying to find the right performer to play the pivotal role of LV, a painfully shy working class English girl with the extraordinary ability to mimic the voices of singers she has heard listening to her late father's records. We are confident we have found the right performer for this role by casting the extraordinarily talented, two-time Drama Desk nominated actress, singer and impressionist Christina Bianco."
The play tells the story of a shy, reclusive girl named Little Voice and her larger than life, out of control mother Mari. Desperately missing her dead father, Little Voice spends her time locked in her bedroom listening to his old record collection and perfecting astonishing impersonations of famous divas including Shirley Bassey, Marilyn Monroe, Judy Garland and Dusty Springfield. When Mari starts dating small time club agent Ray Say, she thinks he's her last chance for a better life. When Ray Say hears Little Voice sing, he thinks she's his ticket to the big time. Little Voice just wants a normal life and to be loved. Not everyone is going to get what they want.
THE RISE AND FALL OF LITTLE VOICE was originally directed by Sam Mendes and starred Jane Horrocks and Alison Steadman. The play opened in 1992 at the Royal National Theatre before transferring to the Aldwych Theatre in London's West End.
In 1993, the Steppenwolf Theatre Company presented a Chicago production starring Hynden Walch and Rondi Reed, which transferred to Broadway in April produced by James and Charlene Nederlander, Dennis Grimaldi and Leonard Soloway.
In June 2012, Sue Devaney, Max Beesley, Sally Bankes, Katie Elin-Salt and Matt Healey, among others performed THE RISE AND FALL OF LITTLE VOICE to standing ovations each night at the Octagon Theatre in Bolton, in the UK's North West's most versatile professional producing theatre. The production, directed by Elizabeth Newman and designed by Ciaran Bagnall, received five star reviews and a place in the theatre's record books as an extra week of the run had to be scheduled due to its popularity
A UK touring production opened September 3, 2012 at The Yvonne Amaud Theatre in Guilford, starring Beverley Callard as Mari, Joe McGann as Ray, Ray Quinn as Billy, Duggie Brown as Mr. Boo and Jess Robinson as Little Voice. The production was directed by it's playwright, Jim Cartwright. The production was due to end at The Lyceum Theatre, Sheffield, in December 2012. After a short interval, this production resumed at the end of January in Newcastle and ran until the end of June 2013 visiting Torquay, Portsmouth, Tunbridge Wells, Brighton, and Buxton amongst numerous venues.
Bianco has become a YouTube sensation with her diva impression videos. Gaining over 21 million views worldwide led to performances on major television programs such as The Ellen DeGeneres Show and The Today Show. Christina made her West End debut starring in the Menier Chocolate Factory's hailed production of FORBIDDEN BROADWAY at the Vaudeville Theatre in London. In New York, she recently starred Off-Broadway in the one-woman, multi- character comedy, APPLICATION PENDING (Drama Desk Award Nomination). Other New York credits include NEWSICAL THE MUSICAL, FORBIDDEN BROADWAY: GOES TO REHAB (Drama Desk Award Nomination), RAFFI ON BROADWAY at the Gershwin Theatre, TONY AND TINA'S WEDDING (Tina) and IT MUST BE HIM. Christina originated the role of Dora in the long-running National Tour of DORA THE EXPLORER LIVE, including an SRO run at Radio City Music Hall.
Christina currently plays the recurring role of Bianca on the POP TV sitcom IMPRESS ME, produced by SoulPancake. This fall, she'll appear as Mindy in the Hallmark original movie series, SIGNED, SEALED, DELIVERED.
As a cabaret artist, Christina performed weekly in an unprecedented eight-month run of 11 O'Clock Numbers at Feinstein's at Loew's Regency in NYC. She has performed her critically acclaimed solo shows, DIVA MOMENTS and PARTY OF ONE, to sold out crowds at NYC's Birdland and regionally across the United States.
Abroad, Christina has sold out extended runs headlining at London's Hippodrome and Royal Albert Hall's prestigious Elgar Room and at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Christina frequently performs as a soloist with various U.S. and Canadian symphony orchestras.
Jim Cartwright's plays are consistently performed around the world and have won numerous awards. They have been translated into over 35 languages. His plays are published in England by Methuen and have been constantly in print since 1986. Many of his works are set texts for 'A' level and University courses. His current projects include: a commission with the Young Vic Theatre, London due for production 2016; a commission from The Royal Exchange Manchester; a new project with the National Theatre; the opening of Raz, his one man play, in Edinburgh later this year; a television series in development, co-written with award winning screenwriter Louis Mellis (Sexy Beast), for production company The Forge; a feature film CORNERED, the present cast officially attached being Sean Bean, Jim Broadbent, Maxine Peake and Tim Spall; and an adaptation of his play, TWO, for film, with film company Springing Dog.
Producer, Robert R. Blume has been a theatrical/entertainment Producer for over 25 years and this year marks his 17th year as an Executive Producer of the annual Drama Desk Awards, now under the leadership of TheaterMania.com since 2012. Mr. Blume has been a 20-year Tony voter and is a current Drama Desk voter. In addition to Little Voice, Mr. Blume, and his company Step Forward Entertainment, are producing On Kentucky Avenue -The Atlantic City Club Harlem Revue in New York and out of town; and Tehorah at Weill/Carnegie Hall in October 2015.
Co-Producer, JR Knauf is a businessman from Lakeland, Florida, who will be making his Broadway producing debut with this show. He previously partnered with Mr. Blume in the development of the musical, ON KENTUCKY AVENUE - THE ATLANTIC CITY CLUB HARLEM REVUE.
Michael Katz is making his debut as an Associate Producer. He continues his successful career as a talent representative having been an agent and, now, as a personal manager. He is currently partnered with Mr. Blume in Katz-Blume Management, where they have managed the career of Christina Bianco since 2011.
Casting Director for the production will be Stephen DeAngelis. He is one of the industry's most respected Casting Directors having cast over 300 theatrical productions in New York and across the United States in addition to over 3600 network television and radio commercials for Manhattan's leading advertising agencies.