Nancy Opel-Led CURVY WIDOW Rounds Out Cast at George Street Playhouse

Nancy Opel-Led CURVY WIDOW Rounds Out Cast at George Street Playhouse

George Street Playhouse has announced full casting for Curvy Widow, starring Broadway's Nancy Opel (GSP's The Toxic Avenger, Broadway's Honeymoon in Vegas). The sassy musical comedy will not only close out GSP's 2016-17 season, but also mark the final show performed in The Playhouse's current building. Curvy Widow runs May 2-21, 2017, with opening night scheduled for May 5th, 2017.

The musical features an autobiographical book by Bobby Goldman with music and lyrics by Drew Brody. The show will be directed by Peter Flynn and choreographed by Marcos Santana.

Rounding out the creative team are set designer Rob Bissinger, costume designer Brian Hemesath, lighting designer Matthew Richards, and sound designers Ryan Rumery and M. Florian Staab, music supervisor Wayne Barker, and musical director Andrew Sotomayor. Casting is by Stewart/Whitley. The production stage manager is Thomas Clewell.

Joining Opel in the cast are Andrea Bianchi (TV's As The World Turns), Aisha de Haas (Broadway's Rent; Bring In Da Noise, Bring In Da Funk), Elizabeth Ward Land (Broadway's The Scarlet Pimpernel, Memphis), Ken Land (Broadway's The Scarlet Pimpernel, Promises, Promises), Alan Muraoka (TV's Sesame Street, Broadway's Miss Saigon) and Chris Shyer (Broadway's Mamma Mia, National Tour of Book of Mormon). Bianchi and Shyer appeared alongside Opel in a production of Curvy Widow at NC Stage last fall.

Opel returns to GSP after her hilarious, show-stealing performance as Ma/The Mayor in The Toxic Avenger to star in this sassy, frank and witty musical comedy about the exploits of a fifty-something widow whose adventures in the least expected places reveal unexpected truths about life, love, survival and sex.

Opel's extensive Broadway credits also include Beautiful - The Carole King Musical, Memphis, Evita and Urinetown (Tony nomination). She will lead a cast of seven in Curvy Widow.

"Our patrons still rave about Nancy Opel's show-stealing performance as Ma Ferd and the Mayor in our 2008 world premiere of The Toxic Avenger, and she's going to be even more outrageous in Curvy Widow," said Artistic Director David Saint. "What better way to bring down the house than with a force of nature like Nancy in a hilarious, bawdy musical comedy."

George Street Playhouse is located at 9 Livingston Avenue, in the heart of New Brunswick's dining and entertainment district. For tickets and information, patrons may contact the Box Office directly at 732-246-7717 or may purchase online at GSPonline.org.

ABOUT THE ARTISTS:

Andrea Bianchi (Caroline and others) has appeared in many regional theatre productions, including the American premiere of Blood Brothers at Premiere Stages. Her New York credits include Being Audrey (Transport Group), Italian-American Reconciliation (Manhattan Theatre Club), Lusting After Pipino's Wife (Primary Stages), and Cocoanuts (American Place Theatre). Television appearances include Law & Order: SVU, Here & Now (NBC), and shows for TruTV, Disney, Nickelodeon Channel and As The World Turns (recurring).

Aisha de Haas (Joan and others) has most recently been seen in Road Show at The Public Theater. Broadway appearances include Martin Short: Fame Becomes Me; Caroline Or Change; Rent; Bring In Da Noise, Bring In Da Funk. Television credits include Law & Order; Law & Order: SVU; Third Watch; Ed; and The Today Show. She can be seen in the movies Across The Universe; Rent; The Secret Lives Of Dentists and Marci X. She has toured the U.S. and Europe in Dreamgirls; Ain't Misbehavin'; Little Shop Of Horrors and as a backing vocalist for Oleta Adams.

Elizabeth Ward Land's (Heidi and others) varied show business career encompasses musicals, plays, concerts, voice-overs, commercials, film and television. On Broadway, she appeared in the original casts of Amazing Grace, Scandalous and The Scarlet Pimpernel. Other Broadway credits include Memphis, Passion and City of Angels. She has also appeared in many off-Broadway, regional and touring productions. Film and television credits include Young Adult, Elementary, Madam Secretary, Boardwalk Empire, The Blacklist, Law & Order: SVU, One Life to Live and All My Children.

Ken Land (Jim and others) is a veteran of Broadway, having appeared in the 2010 revival of Promises, Promises; The Scarlet Pimpernel (1997-99); and Victor/Victoria (1998). He has also appeared in the 2008 national tour of Legally Blonde. TV credits include The Good Wife, Six Feet Under, Law & Order, and Law & Order: SVU.

Alan Muraoka (The Shrink and others) is an actor and director who is most recognizable for his role in the Emmy Award winning series, Sesame Street, where he has played "Alan," the proprietor of Hooper's Store for the past 18 seasons. With Sesame Street, he has performed concerts at Carnegie Hall, the Hollywood Bowl, and with the Boston Pops. He has appeared in seven Broadway shows; Aladdin, the revival of Pacific Overtures; Mail; Shogun, the Musical; My Favorite Year; the Tony-winning revival of The King and I (with Lou Diamond Phillips and Donna Murphy), and most notably Miss Saigon, where he played the lead role of the Engineer. He is featured in the films It Could Happen to You, and Day of Independence, a film by Academy Award-winning director Chris Tashima. Television credits include Curb Your Enthusiasm, Louie, 30 Rock, The Late Show With David Letterman, Brotherhood, and The Tonight Show.

Nancy Opel (Bobby Goldman) has appeared in Broadway productions of Beautiful, Honeymoon in Vegas, Memphis, Gypsy, Fiddler, Urinetown, Triumph of Love, Anything Goes, Sunday in the Park with George, Evita, and others. Recent regional performances include Follies (St. Louis Rep), Fiddler on the Roof (St. Louis Muny), Prince of Broadway (Japan), Holiday Inn (St. Louis Muny). Off-Broadway, she has appeared in Toxic Avenger, My Deah, Polish Joke, Mere Mortals, All In The Timing, and others. She also appeared in the national tour of The Drowsy Chaperone. Television credits include The Big C and various Law & Order episodes.

Chris Shyer (Per Se and others) is a Canadian-born actor and dual citizen making his GSP debut. Broadway: Mamma Mia (Winter Garden Theatre). His off-Broadway/regional credits include Going Down Swingin' (NYMF), Lend Me a Tenor (Hangar Theatre), The Good Life (NoHo Arts Center). He has appeared in the national tours of The Book of Mormon, Les Miserables. Selected Canadian Theatre: Night of the Iguana (Playwright's Theatre Centre), El Salvador (The Cultch), Sunset Boulevard (The Ford Centre for the Performing Arts). Film and television credits include The Hermit (soon to be released), J.Edgar, Fierce People, Awkward (Short), Those Damn Canadians (Award Winning Web Series), Good God, The Good Wife, ABC's V, and Lights Out.

Bobby Goldman (Book) is the widow of playwright, screenwriter and author James Goldman (The Lion in Winter, book for Follies). The book for Curvy Widow is an autobiographical account of her re-entry into the dating scene.

Drew Brody (Music and Lyrics) is a New York City-based songwriter who brings his experience in the rock, pop, and folk music world to his musical theater sensibility. His unique background allows him to work comfortably across many genres, and his songs have been sung by Broadway stars including Alan Cumming, Beth Malone, Robert Cuccioli, Sally Mayes, Lilli Cooper, Justin Sargent, Adrienne Warren, and many more. Brody wrote music for the comedy Oh, Hello, starring Nick Kroll and John Mulaney and directed by Alex Timbers, which opened on Broadway in October 2016; music and lyrics for Cutman, produced by Goodspeed Theaters in the spring of 2011; Derma, which ran at the Piccolo Spoleto festival in 2013; Wilshire, book by Bobby Goldman; Mudge Boy, an adaptation of the Showtime movie, adapted by Brett Smock; and two other new musicals currently in development. Brody wrote and recorded two albums with Richard Rodgers award-winning composer Derek Gregor as the rock band M-LAB, with which Brody performed as lead singer and toured during the 2000s. Brody also released two solo albums on Baskethouse Records and co-produced two albums for songwriter Jay Brannan. Recently, Brody composed the score for the acclaimed film, Stephen Winter's Jason and Shirley, and released an EP, A Little Single, in collaboration with fellow singer-songwriter Lance Horne.

Peter Flynn (Director) has recent credits including the off-Broadway premiere of Marcy Heisler's and Zina Goldrich's Junie B's Essential Survival Guide to School; the world premiere of Willy Holtzman's new play, Smart Blonde at Pittsburgh's City Theatre starring Andréa Burns; and the upcoming production of Ragtime at Ford's Theatre in Washington, D.C. where he is an Associate Artist. New York credits include On the 20th Century with Douglas Sills and Marin Mazzie; Chess with Josh Groban, Adam Pascal, Sutton Foster and Julia Murney; Funny Girl with Whoopi Goldberg and Andrea Martin; Skippyjon Jones and Junie B. Jones (nominated for two Lucille Lortel Awards, including Best Musical), Rhapsody in Seth - Actors' Playhouse starring Seth Rudetsky. Regional credits include Katori Hall's The Mountaintop; Gypsy at the St. Louis MUNY; Kiss Me, Kate for the Maltz-Jupiter Theatre, where he has directed productions of Man of LaMancha (Carbonell Award, Best Director & Best Musical) and Other Desert Cities; and 1776 and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee for Ford's Theatre. Flynn is the director of Musical Theatre for the Stella Adler Studio for Acting and is on the faculty of Adler's NYU Tisch Division. He is also a graduate of Northwestern University.

Marcos Santana (Choreographer) is a New York-based choreographer, director, performer and educator. Broadway credits include On Your Feet (Associate Choreographer/Tony nomination), Rocky (Associate Choreographer/Tony nomination), Guys & Dolls (Associate Choreographer). Off-Broadway: Brazil Brazil (New Victory Theater), Randy Newman's Faust (City Center Encores), Mr. Magoo's A Christmas Carol (BCEFA), Fortress Of Solitude (Public Theater, Associate Choreographer), Paul Simon's Capeman (Delacorte Theater, Assoc. Choreographer). Other: Pirates Of Penzance (Stratford Shakespeare Festival), Much Ado About Nothing, My Fair Lady, Guys & Dolls, In The Heights (2009 Gypsy of the Year), A Christmas Carol (Arkansas Rep), Rock Of Ages (National Tour/West End/Vegas-Associate Choreographer) and Man Of La Mancha (STC).

In the 42 years since its founding, George Street Playhouse has become a nationally recognized theatre, presenting an acclaimed mainstage season while providing an artistic home for established and emerging theatre artists. The Playhouse is expected to take residence in a new performing arts center in downtown New Brunswick, N.J., for the 2019-20 season. Its leadership consists of Artistic Director David Saint and Managing Director Kelly Ryman. Founded in 1974, The Playhouse has been well represented by numerous productions both on and off-Broadway, including the Outer Critics' Circle Best Musical Award-winner The Toxic Avenger; the Outer Critics Circle, Drama Desk and Drama League nominated production of The Spitfire Grill; and the Broadway hit and Tony and Pulitzer Prize winning play Proof by David Auburn, which was developed at GSP during the 1999 Next Stage Series of new plays. In 2015, George Street Playhouse was represented by two productions in New York: the recent Broadway production of It Shoulda Been You, and Joe DiPietro's Clever Little Lies, which opened off-Broadway in October. Both shows received their premieres at The Playhouse. In addition to its mainstage season, GSP's Touring Educational Theatre features three issue-oriented productions that are seen by more than 40,000 students annually. George Street Playhouse programming is made possible in part by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts.


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