William Atherton, Matt Cavenaugh, Lisa O'Hare, Millicent Martin and Jason Graae are the acclaimed film, Broadway and West End stars who will lead the cast of Reprise Theatre Company's second production of the 2010-2011 season, "Gigi", playing February 15 to February 27, 2011 (press opening February 16, 2011) at UCLA's Freud Playhouse. The musical – with book and lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner and music by Frederick Loewe -- will be directed by veteran musical theatre director David Lee, with choreography by Peggy Hickey and musical direction by Steve Orich. Check out the first production shots from the musical below!
While known for his films – "The Day of the Locust," "The Sugarland Express," "Die Hard I and II," and "Ghostbusters" - and television appearances in "Centennial," NBC's "Life," and ABC's "Lost" – William Atherton has originated roles on and off Broadway including David Rabe's "The Basic Training of Pavlo Hummel," Ronnie in John Guare's "The House of Blue Leaves" and Ring Bing Ling in "Rich and Famous," and Arthur Miller's "The American Clock."
Matt Cavenaugh was most recently seen on Broadway as Tony in the 2009 revival of "West Side Story."
Lisa O'Hare starred as Mary Poppins in the West End production of the musical, and was most recently seen by Los Angeles audiences as Eliza Doolittle in the national tour of the Trevor Nunn production of "My Fair Lady" at the Ahmanson Theatre.
Millicent Martin is celebrating her 62nd year in all mediums of show business, and in addition to her many other Broadway and West End credits, starred alongside Julie Andrews in the original Broadway production of "The Boy Friend" and starred in the original Broadway cast of "Side By Side By Sondheim."
Jason Graee, A Reprise Theatre Company favorite, starred on Broadway in "A Grand Night For Singing" and "Falsettos", among others. West End, film and television actress Susan Denaker is playing Aunt Alicia, replacing the previously announced Carol Lawrence.
Jason Alexander, Artistic Director of Reprise Theatre Company, says " 'Gigi' explores the values and mores of love for a couple who socially do not belong together. They come from two different classes, and their behavior should subscribe to a strict code of conduct but is challenged by their true passion for each other."
"Gigi" had its world premiere in the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion of the Music Center in 1973 as part of the Civic Light Opera series and was the first stage musical to be adapted from a film musical. The film version of "Gigi" had garnered a then record-breaking nine Academy Awards, including Best Picture, for its original author Alan Jay Lerner and composer Frederick Loewe. The team used the film music as the basis for the stage score, adding five new songs. The Broadway production produced by Edwin Lester, won the Tony Award for Best Score in 1973. Since then, shows such as "Beauty And the Beast" and "The Lion King" have used the idea of moving from the screen to the stage to great advantage.
The original stage production of "Gigi" starred AlfrEd Drake, the original Fred in "Kiss Me, Kate", as well as the original Curly in "Oklahoma!" (Drake was also Yul Brynner's replacement in "The King And I" when Brynner went on the road to play the show for the Los Angeles Civic Light Opera.) "Gigi" also starred Agnes Moorhead, who was very well known to audiences for having played Endora on the TV series "Bewitched."
Tickets are available for "Gigi" at www.reprise.org or through the UCLA Central Ticket Office at 310/825-2101. Christine Bernardi Weil is Managing Director and Gilles Chiasson is Producing Director of Reprise Theatre Company.