Cast And Creatives Announced For MOBY DICK Premiere At American Repertory Theatre
American Repertory Theater has announced the creative team and cast of Moby-Dick, with music, lyrics, book, and orchestrations by Dave Malloy, developed with and directed by Tony Award-winner Rachel Chavkin.
"We are all in the belly of the whale..." From the creative team behind A.R.T.'s 2015 production of Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812 comes an epic musical adaptation of Herman Melville's iconic American novel. As the egomaniacal Captain Ahab drives his crew across the seas in pursuit of the great white whale, Melville's nineteenth-century vision of America collides head-on with the present.
The Moby-Dick cast includes Manik Choksi (Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812) as Ishmael. Tom Nelis (Indecent) as Ahab, Starr Busby (Octet) as Starbuck. Kalyn West (The Prom) as Stubb. Anna Ishida as Flask, Andrew Cristi (A Christmas Story, Miss You Like Hell) as Queequeg, Matt Kizer as Tashtego, J.D. Mollison (Octet) as Daggoo, Eric Berryman as Fedallah, Morgan Siobhan Green (Be More Chill) as Pip, Ashkon Davaran (Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812) as Pip-not-Pip/Blacksmith/Sailor 1, Kim Blanck (Octet, Alice by Heart) as Shanty Singer/Carpenter/Sailor 2, Dawn L. Troupe as Father Mapple/Captain of the Albatross/Captain Boomer of the Bachelor/Captain Gardiner of the Rachel.
The Moby-Dick creative team includes Tony Award-nominee Dave Malloy (Writer, Composer, Lyricist, Orchestrator), Tony Award-winner Rachel Chavkin (Director / Developer), Chanel DaSilva (Choreography), Or Matias (Music Direction and Supervision), Tony Award-winner Mimi Lien (Scenic Design), Brenda Abbandandolo, (Costume Design), Tony Award-winner Bradley King (Lighting Design), Hidenori Nakajo (Sound Design). Eric F. Avery (Puppet Director), J. Oconer Navarro (Associate Music Director/Conductor), and Stewart/Whitley (Casting). Geoff Boronda is the Production Stage Manager. Erin McCoy is the Assistant Stage Manager.
Performances of the new adaptation of Herman Melville's classic novel begin Tuesday, December 3 at the Loeb Drama Center in Cambridge, MA. The production opens officially on Wednesday, December 11, 2019 and closes Sunday, January 12, 2020.
"I've always been fascinated with the surprising ways classic literature can resonate with contemporary times, and Moby-Dick is no exception," says Malloy. "Melville was writing about America in 1851, as the country was struggling to define itself and reconcile all the conflicts that led inevitably to the Civil War; 170 years later, we're still talking about the same issues-capitalism, democracy, environmentalism, race. Melville can be uncannily strange and prescient; the chapter "The Whiteness of the Whale" poetically explores the terror of the color white, a potent metaphor for a country founded on racism and slavery. With this adaptation we're looking at that same metaphor today, and how white supremacy has put us all on this boat, led by an insane and haunted old patriarch, a false utopia that is doomed to sink."
"Along with our design team, which includes Mimi Lien and Bradley King from Comet, Dave and I have been slowly evolving the world of this piece for years," says Chavkin. "For the A.R.T. premiere, we're particularly excited to be working with a number of new collaborators, including Chanel DaSilva (The Black Clown). Together, we've embraced Melville's vaudevillian sensibility and the way he radically shifts form from chapter to chapter, so this production will blossom from an exuberant, immersive puppet show featuring puppets designed by Eric Avery (Taylor Mac's 24-Hour...), to a quiet sermon, to heart-wrecking full-company numbers charting the slow moral decay of the false utopia that is the Pequod."
Malloy (Octet at Signature Theatre; Ghost Quartet, the Obie Award-winning Three Pianos, and Beowulf-A Thousand Years of Baggage at A.R.T.) and Chavkin (2019 Tony Award for Best Direction of a Musical for Hadestown on Broadway; Three Pianos and The TEAM's RoosevElvis and Particularly in the Heartland at A.R.T.) reunite at the A.R.T. following their previous collaboration, Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812, which was nominated for twelve Tony Awards.
The pair was honored with a 2017 American Ingenuity Award for the production, cited by Smithsonian Editor-in-Chief Michael Caruso as "an explosion of relentless creativity."
Tickets start at $25 online at AmericanRepertoryTheater.org, by phone at 617.547.8300, and in person at the Loeb Drama Center Ticket Services Offices (64 Brattle Street, Cambridge). Discounts are available to A.R.T. Subscribers and Members, groups, students, seniors, Blue Star families, EBT card holders, and others.
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