Review: THE STING at Paper Mill Playhouse-An Exhilarating World Premiere Musical

By: Apr. 09, 2018
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Review: THE STING at Paper Mill Playhouse-An Exhilarating World Premiere Musical

Paper Mill Playhouse is now presenting The Sting, an exhilarating world premiere musical. Directed by John Rando with choreography by Warren Carlyle, and musical direction by Fred Lassen, the show is Broadway bound and it's easy to see why. This wonderfully staged production has a great plot along with a fabulous variety of musical numbers. And what could be better than a stellar cast led by Harry Connick, Jr. Get your tickets now and enjoy this sure fire hit.

The Sting is based on the Academy Award-winning 1973 film by the same name that starred Paul Newman and Robert Redford. The movie's fans will be delighted with the musical version that retains all the charm and intrigue of the film while adding some exciting touches. It has a book by Bob Martin and features music and lyrics by Mark Hollmann, and Greg Kotis with Harry Connick, Jr. The score also has music by Scott Joplin including the classic ragtime favorites, "The Entertainer," and "The Easy Winners."

The Sting is set in Chicago, in the 1930's. The sudden murder of a beloved friend, Luther causes professional con artist, Henry Gondorff and a small town grifter, Johnny Hooker to take revenge on the powerful crime boss, Doyle Lonnegan. Gondorff, Hooker, and their associates create an elaborate gambling scheme to con Lonnegan into betting away half million dollars but the caper has its difficulties. As the plot unfolds, the outcome could be anyone's game. The story's unique alliances, deceptive plans, and romantic moments are made even better set to music and dance.

Review: THE STING at Paper Mill Playhouse-An Exhilarating World Premiere Musical

The cast is led by Harry Connick, Jr. in the role of Henry Gondorff and J. Harrison Ghee as Johnny Hooker. They are joined by Peter Benson as The Erie Kid; Janet Dacal as Loretta; Christopher Gurr as J.J. Singleton; Tom Hewitt as Doyle Lonnegan; Richard Kline as Kid Twist; Kevyn Morrow as Luther; Kate Shindle as Billie; and Robert Wuhl as Snyder. These outstanding performers bring their colorful characters to life as they capture the show's fast-paced dialogue, action packed scenes, funny situations, and dazzling musical numbers.

Review: THE STING at Paper Mill Playhouse-An Exhilarating World Premiere Musical

The talented ensemble includes Lucien Barbarin, Darius Barnes, Keely Beirne, Michael Fatica, Luke Hawkins, Tyler Huckstep, Matt Loehr, Erica Mansfield, Drew McVety, Ramone Owens, Tyler Roberts, Angie Schworer, Christine Shepard, Britton Smith, Sherisse Springer, Diana Vaden, Kevin Worley and Lara Seibert Young.

The rich score is a memorable one with both vibrant and heartfelt songs. Some of our favorites include "You Can't Trust Nobody" by Luther, Hooker, The Erie Kid and Ensemble; "Lonnegan's Revenge" by Lonnegan; "Ragtime Rip" by Gondorff and Hooker; "Some Say" by Hooker and Loretta; "This Ain't No Song and Dance" by Gondorff and Ensemble; "Sometimes" by Billy; "Ain't Nothin' " by Gondorff; "The Second Race" by Company; and "The Thrill of the Con" by Hooker and Gondorff.

Review: THE STING at Paper Mill Playhouse-An Exhilarating World Premiere Musical

The production team has done an excellent job of bringing the style of the 1930's to the Millburn stage. The team includes set design by Beowulf Boritt, costume design by Paul Tazewell, lighting design by Japhy Weideman, sound design by Randy Hansen, hair and wig design by Charles G. LaPointe, make up design by Cookie Jordan, vocal arrangements by Fred Lassen, dance arrangements by David Chase, orchestrations by Doug Besterman, and fight coordinator Robert Westley. The production stage manager is Bonnie L. Becker. Casting is by Tara Rubin Casting, Tara Rubin, CSA.

We applaud Producing Artistic Director, Mark S. Hoebee and Managing Director, Todd Schmidt for making The Sting available for Paper Mill Playhouse audiences. It is a gem that is sure to please musical theatre enthusiasts and many more.

The Broadway-bound engagement of The Sting will play a limited engagement through Sunday, April 29, 2018 at Paper Mill Playhouse located at 22 Brookside Drive in Millburn, NJ. Tickets are on sale now starting at $34. Tickets may be purchased by calling 973.376.4343, at the Paper Mill Playhouse Box Office or online at

Photo Credit: Jerry Dalia and Evan Zimmerman for MurphyMade


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