Taylor Louderman, Bobby Conte Thornton, Robin De Jesus, Telly Leung & More to Star in Paper Mill Playhouse's GREASE
Paper Mill Playhouse concludes its 75th Anniversary Season with America's favorite musical, Grease. With book, music and lyrics by Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey, Grease will be directed by Daniel Goldstein with original choreography by JoAnn M. Hunter. Additional songs are by John Farrar, Barry Gibb, Scott Simon and Louis St. Louis. Grease will play the Millburn, New Jersey, theater from May 28 through June 29, 2014. The official press opening night is Sunday, June 1, at 7:00pm.
The world's #1 musical bursts on to the Paper Mill stage in an all-new production. Grease is a rock-n-roll celebration of growing up and falling in love set in the fabulous fifties. Grease strikes a universal chord with an irresistible mix of fast cars and first loves. It's Danny and Sandy, Frenchy and Kenickie, and don't forget about Rizzo. Grease is a thrilling injection of pure fun with astounding dancing and amazing songs. On Broadway, Grease won seven Tony Awards, a Drama Desk Award and a Theatre World Award.
"Paper Mill Playhouse is thrilled to breathe new life into America's most popular musical," commented Mark S. Hoebee, Paper Mill's Producing Artistic Director. "Our production will feature the iconic songs from the feature film along with your favorite tunes from the stage version. What excites us most about Grease is fulfilling Paper Mill's mission of nurturing young talent. Five members of the Grease company will receive their Actors' Equity card during the run."
Grease is proudly sponsored by Bank of America. "Paper Mill Playhouse brings the magic of Broadway even closer to home for New Jersey residents," said Bob Doherty, Bank of America New Jersey president. "Arts and cultural organizations are an essential part of a thriving community, and Grease will be a great opportunity to share an entertaining day of theater with friends and families."
Grease will be performed at Paper Mill Playhouse eight times a week, Wednesday through Sunday. Performance schedule: Wednesday at 7:00pm, Thursday at 1:30pm and 7:00pm, Friday at 7:00pm, Saturday at 1:30pm and 7:00pm and Sunday at 1:30pm and 7:00pm. Tickets are on sale now and range from $27 to $98. Tickets may be purchased by calling 973.376.4343, at the Paper Mill Playhouse Box Office at 22 Brookside Drive in Millburn, or online at www.PaperMill.org. Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express accepted. Groups of 10 or more can receive up to a 40% discount on tickets and should call 973.315.1680. College students can order $20 rush tickets over the phone or in person at the Paper Mill Playhouse Box Office on the day of the performance.
Paper Mill Playhouse, a leader in accessibility, will offer audio-described performances for Grease on Saturday, June 21, and Sunday, June 22, at 1:30 pm. Prior to these performances, the theater will offer free sensory seminars. Sensory seminars offer an opportunity for patrons with vision loss to hear a live, in-depth description of the production elements of the show and hands-on interaction with key sets, props, and costumes. There will be a sign-interpreted and open-captioned performance on Sunday, June 22, at 7 pm.
Sunday evening performances of Grease will be "1950's dress up nights." Show up in your best 1950's outfit and receive a 20% discount at the Paper Mill Playhouse Gift Shop.
Grease brings a young, experienced cast to the Paper Mill Playhouse stage. Taylor Louderman (Sandy Dumbrowski) recently starred on Broadway as Campbell Davis in Bring It On: The Musical. Louderman made her feature film debut in 2007's Alice Upside Down opposite Luke Perry. Bobby Conte Thornton (Danny Zuko) appeared in regional productions of LES MISERABLES, The Light in the Piazza, 8 the Play with Dustin Lance Black and Equus. Thornton appeared at the Venetian Room in San Francisco, opening for Laura Benanti and performing in their birthday tribute to Marvin Hamlisch, as well as debuting his solo concert at the Metropolitan Room in New York City. Paper Mill Playhouse alumnus and two-time Tony Award nominee Robin De Jesús (Doody) appeared on Broadway in La Cage aux Folles, In the Heights and Rent. Telly Leung (Teen Angel) was seen on Broadway in Pacific Overtures, Godspell and Rent and on Fox's Glee. Both Leung and De Jesús appeared in Paper Mill's highly lauded revival of Godspell in 2006. Paper Mill Playhouse Rising Star Award winner Morgan Weed (Betty Rizzo) performed in productions of The Last Five Years, Rent and Next to Normal. Shane Donovan (Kenickie) was featured in the national tours of South Pacific and Cinderella Rock. Dana Steingold (Frenchy) appeared in the Encores production of Anyone Can Whistle and the national tour of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. Tommy Bracco (Sonny) originated the role of Spot Conlon in Newsies at Paper Mill Playhouse and on Broadway.
Joey Sorge (Vince Fontaine) returns to Paper Mill Playhouse, where he last appeared as The Fonz in Happy Days: The Musical. Sorge has several Broadway credits including Nice Work If You Can Get It, The Drowsy Chaperone and Thoroughly Modern Millie. Paper Mill Playhouse favorite Donna English (Miss Lynch) of Montclair, NJ, returns to the Millburn stage following her critically acclaimed performances in Lend Me a Tenor, Hairspray and The Sound of Music. On Broadway, English was featured in Lend Me a Tenor and Nice Work If You Can Get It. Tess Soltau (Marty) appeared on Broadway in The Addams Family and in The Public Theater's production of Into the Woods. The role of Roger will be played by Matt Wood, who performed regionally in productions of South Pacific, Sweeney Todd, The Who's Tommy and Hamlet. Leela Rothenberg (Jan) was seen in productions of Hair, Fame! and Footloose. Eloise Kropp (Patty Simcox) was recently seen in Encores productions of Little Me and The Most Happy Fella. Tyler Jones (Eugene) appeared off-Broadway in America and on the hit HBO series Boardwalk Empire. Kat Nejat (Cha-Cha) was featured in Paper Mill Playhouse's production of Miss Saigon in 2002. On Broadway, Nejat appeared in Lysistrata Jones and West Side Story.
Kevin Santos (Ensemble) was seen on Broadway in In The Heights and performed in regional productions of West Side Story and A Chorus Line. Gillian Munsayac (Ensemble) was seen in regional productions of A Chorus Line and The Music Man. Mike Longo (Swing) appeared in the world premiere of Tamar of the River and in the international tour of Hair. Kate Bailey (Swing) recently appeared at Paper Mill Playhouse in Oliver!
Daniel Goldstein (Director) returns to Paper Mill Playhouse after directing the critically acclaimed revival of Godspell in 2006, a production concept that eventually moved to Broadway under his direction. Goldstein served as associate director for All Shook Up! and Fully Committed, and as the resident director for the first national tour of Mamma Mia! His regional credits include Venus in Fur, Falsettos, Les Liaisons Dangereuses, God of Carnage, Hello, Dolly!, Damn Yankees, Anna Christie, Artificial Fellow Traveler by Ethan Sandler, True West and Miss Margarida's Way.
JoAnn M. Hunter (Choreographer) returns to Paper Mill after previously choreographing Oliver! and Curtains. Hunter recently choreographed Harmony with Barry Manilow in L.A. and the world premiere of The Nutty Professor directed by Jerry Lewis (BroadwayWorld Award, Best Choreography). On Broadway, Ms. Hunter choreographed On a Clear Day You Can See Forever and Roundabout's She Loves Me. Hunter served as associate choreographer on Curtains, The Wedding Singer and All Shook Up. As a performer, her credits include 12 Broadway shows including Thoroughly Modern Millie, Thou Shalt Not, Kiss Me, Kate, Chicago and Jerome Robbins' Broadway.
Brad Simmons (Music Director) served as Music Director for Lysistrata Jones on and off-Broadway. Other notable credits include Mr. & Mrs. Fitch with John Lithgow, Clear, the films Camp, The Last Five Years, and Whiskey Neat, and the late-night show Backstage at 54 Below. Simmons has worked with Donna McKechnie, Leslie Uggams, Tonya Pinkins, Alice Ripley, Carolee Carmello, and The B-52s' Kate Pierson. He has composed A Kiss from Alexander, A Dickens of a Carol, and A Woman Onstage. Recordings include New Music for the End of the World, Dreamworld, Mundane Existence, Silent Night, and Covers.
The Grease design team includes:
Derek McLane (Scenic Design) is a Tony Award-winning scenic designer with an extensive list of Broadway credits including Beautiful, Nice Work If You Can Get It, Follies, 33 Variations (Tony Award), Anything Goes (Tony nomination), Ragtime (Tony nomination) and The Pajama Game (Tony nomination).
Martin Pakledinaz (Costume Design) won Tony Awards for Thoroughly Modern Millie and Kiss Me, Kate and was nominated for Nice Work If You Can Get It, Chaplin, Anything Goes, Lend Me a Tenor, Blithe Spirit, and The Pajama Game. On Broadway he also designed costumes for Master Class, The Normal Heart and The Wild Party. Mr. Pakledinaz is the winner of The Drama Desk, Hewes, Lortel, and Obie Awards as well as an Olivier nomination.
Charlie Morrison (Lighting Design) returns to Paper Mill Playhouse after lighting The Little Mermaid, Curtains, Smokey Joe's Cafe, The Full Monty, Meet Me in St. Louis and Hello, Dolly! Mr. Morrison worked on national and international tours of Hello, Dolly!, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Miss Saigon, Aida, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and The Who's Tommy. Mr. Morrison received two Helen Hayes Awards for Outstanding Lighting Design and has been nominated seven times.
Randy Hansen (Sound Design) is Paper Mill Playhouse's resident sound designer. He is audio consultant and sound designer for the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and the Indianapolis Symphony, and he completed the sound installation at the Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine. Numerous television broadcasts include Broadway on Broadway, Victoria's Secret Christmas specials and the annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.
Thomas Charles LeGalley (Costume Coordination & Additional Design) designed costumes for Lysistrata Jones and Kinky Boots (Associate Design) on Broadway. Some of his regional work includes Nerds (Philadelphia Theatre Co.), The Most Happy Fella (Goodspeed), The 39 Steps, Boeing-Boeing (Hartford Stage), Freud's Last Session, Tryst (TheaterWorks, Hartford), Next Fall, God of Carnage (Dallas Theater Center) and Frida Libre (La Jolla).
Leah J. Loukas (Hair & Wig Design) designed wigs for the Broadway productions of Irena's Vow, American Idiot, and Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, as well as hair and makeup design for A Night with Janis Joplin. At Paper Mill Playhouse Loukas designed South Pacific, Oliver!, The Sound of Music and Disney's The Little Mermaid.
Telsey + Company (Casting) is an award-winning organization of casting professionals in New York City with local, regional, national and international clientele including Broadway and touring companies of If/Then, The Bridges of Madison County, Motown, Kinky Boots, Newsies, Rock of Ages and Wicked. The lead casting director on this project is Craig Burns, CSA.