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Carmen Cusack and Laura Bell Bundy Announced for REPRISE 2.0's Summer Season

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Carmen Cusack and Laura Bell Bundy Announced for REPRISE 2.0's Summer Season

Casting is announced for two REPRISE 2.0 productions with two Tony Award leading actress nominees: Laura Bell Bundy (Legally Blonde - Tony Nomination, Hairspray, Anger Management) is to play Charity in Sweet Charity, directed and choreographed by three time Tony Award-winner Kathleen Marshall from June 20 to July 1, and Carmen Cusack (Bright Star - Tony Nomination, Wicked) is to play Victoria Grant in Victor/Victoria directed by Richard Israel and choreographed by John Todd from September 5 to 16 at UCLA's Freud Playhouse.

The season also includes Grand Hotel - The Musical directed by Arthur Allan Seidelman and choreographed by Kay Cole from October 24 to November 4. Subscriptions are now available by visiting Reprise2.org or by calling 1-866-811-4111.

Seligson said, "We are thrilled to announce two of our lead performers - both incredibly talented Broadway stars whose characters have carried the story of their shows: Laura Bell Bundy, who originated the roles of Elle Woods in the musical of Legally Blonde,Amber Von Tussel in Hairspray, and Dr. Jordan Denby on TV's Anger Management; and Carmen Cusack, who originated Alice Murphy in Steve Martin and Edie Brickell's Bright Star on Broadway and on tour including at the Ahmanson Theatre. Both have been stars of Wicked - Cusack in the national tour and Chicago companies as Elphaba and Bundy as Glinda on Broadway. I am thrilled to have them perform in our inaugural season."

Seligson was the founder of Reprise! Broadway's Best, which presented nearly 50 productions of classic musicals between 1997 and 2012. These included Promises, Promises; Finian's Rainbow; Wonderful Town; The Pajama Game; Sweeney Todd; Bells are Ringing; Call Me Madam; Hair; 1776; The Most Happy Fella; Follies; Anything Goes; Kismet; Company; Brigadoon; Pippin, On the Town, Carousel, How to Succeed, and the final show Cabaret.

Seligson continued, "Since we made our announcement about REPRISE 2.0 we have received a very, very encouraging response. The new REPRISE 2.0 will be faithful to the original concept, combining simple sets and costumes with outstanding directors and choreographers, the band on stage, and stellar performances that lets the material shine, allowing audiences to experience musicals they have never seen before, or have not been performed in the area for many years. People are so happy that the series is returning - and that they have missed it so much. Contrary to current theatrical trends, people are subscribing - and I want to advise all who want to attend that they should act quickly to secure seats."

Sweet Charity is a collaboration between some of Broadway's most spectacular talents. The hilarious, razor-sharp dialogue is by Neil Simon (Barefoot in the Park and The Odd Couple); the pop-influenced, jazzy music by Cy Coleman (Barnum and City of Angels) and lyrics by the legendary Dorothy Fields ("On the Sunny Side of the Street" and "I Can't Give you Anything But Love"). The score includes songs that have becomes standards: "Big Spender," "If My Friends Could See Me Now," "There's Gotta Be Something Better Than This," "Where Am I Going?" and "I'm a Brass Band."

Based on Federico Fellini's The Nights of Cabiria, Sweet Charity was director Bob Fosse's riotously colorful valentine to his then-wife, Broadway dancing phenomenon Gwen Verdon. Premiering in 1966, it was nominated for nine Tony Awards and ran for 608 performances. The REPRISE 2.0 production is directed and choreographed by one of Broadway's most celebrated artists, Kathleen Marshall. A winner of three Tony awards (with six more nominations), she directed and choreographed such Broadway hits as Anything Goes (2011 revival with Sutton Foster) and The Pajama Game (2006 revival with Harry Connick, Jr.). She was Artistic Director of New York's "Encores" series from 1996-2000.

Victor/Victoria (1995), a musical version of Blake Edwards' cinematic 1982 masterwork, Victor/Victoria, served to bring Edwards's wife, Julie Andrews, back to Broadway. Premiering in 1995, the musical played 734 performances and won Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards for the show, Andrews and co-star Rachel York. The lyrics are by Leslie Bricusse; legendary composer Henry Mancini passed away before completing his score for the show, and additional musical and lyrics were created by Jekyll & Hyde'scomposer Frank Wildhorn. Edwards himself wrote the book.

Based on the 1929 Vicki Baum novel and the 1932 MGM feature, Grand Hotel - The Musical premiered in 1989 and garnered 12 Tony Award nominations, winning 5, including best direction and choreography for Tommy Tune. This hit ran for 1,017 performances; a 2005 London revival won the Laurence Olivier Award for "Best Musical Revival." Grand Hotel was initially musicalized by Robert Wright and George Forrest (Kismet) and librettist Luther Davis for the Los Angeles Civic Light Opera at the Philharmonic Auditorium in 1958. It took 30 years to reach Broadway, with their songs revised and supplemented by Maury Yeston (Nine). Grand Hotel - The Musical features orchestrations by legendary conductor, and the original Reprise! musical director, Peter Matz.
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Laura Bell Bundy (Charity) Debuting at age 9 in Radio City Music Hall's Christmas Spectacular, she went on to originate the roles of "Tina Denmark" in Off Broadway's Ruthless (Drama Desk & Outer Critics Circle Nominations). Broadway: "Amber Von Tussle" in Hairspray, "Elle Woods" in Legally Blonde (Tony, Drama Desk & Outer Crics Circle Nominations), and took a turn as "Glinda" in Wicked. Bundy has appeared as recurring or leading characters on Television show's such as: Good Behavior, Hart of Dixie, Anger Management, How I Met Your Mother, Angie Tribeca, Idiot Sitter, Scream Queens, Documentary Now, Royal Pains, Cold Case, Veronica Mars, Home Improvement, Malibu Country, Guiding Light,. Laura Bell's film work includes Dream Girls, Jumanji, Life with Mikey, The Adventures of Huck Finn, Beauty Mark and many more. Bundy is a songwriter and recording artist. Her Universal Records album, "Achin' and Shakin'" debuted as Top #5 albums on The Billboard country music charts. She was nominated for CMT Breakout Video of the Year with "Giddy On Up." Bundy was featured in Rolling Stone for being the first female country artist to incorporate hip hop and dance beats into her music for her 2015 Big Machine album " Another Piece Of Me." Her Production Company, LBBTV has launched successful web series such as Cooter County and Skits-O-Frenic garnering millions of views on YouTube.

Carmen Cusack (Victoria Grant) is best known for her critically acclaimed and Tony-nominated star turn Steve Martin and Edie Brickell's Broadway musical Bright Star. It was her first Broadway role. She also appeared in Bright Star at the Ahmanson Theatre. She was featured in the 2016 City Center production of Sunday in the Park with George, and she stars this summer in the new musical, Lempicka, at the Williamstown Theatre Festival. She starred as 'Lynn Gardner' in Carrie at MCC, 'Nellie Forbush' in Lincoln Center's national tour of South Pacific (for which she received a Helen Hayes nomination), and as 'Elphaba' in the first US tour and Australia productions of Wicked. Her West End credits include 'Eva Cassidy' in Over the Rainbow, 'Fantine' in Les Miserables, 'Rose' in The Secret Garden, 'Kim' in Personals, and 'Christine' in The Phantom of the Opera. She studied opera at the University of North Texas, which just presented her with its first honorary baccalaureate degree this March. www.carmencusack.com.


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