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Christian Borle, Annaleigh Ashford, Derek Klena, Beth Leavel & Heidi Blickenstaff to Lead The Old Globe's Reading of New Musical DOG AND PONY, 11/1; Roger Rees to Direct

The Old Globe today announced it will present a developmental reading of the new musical comedy romance Dog and Pony. With book by Rick Elice (Jersey Boys, Peter and the Starcatcher), music and lyrics by Michael Patrick Walker (Altar Boyz) and directed by Tony Award winner Roger Rees (Peter and the Starcatcher, The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby), the showbiz comedy follows a hit screenwriting team that begins to venture into the rocky territory of love. The by-invitation, industry-only developmental reading of Dog and Pony, hosted by Old Globe Artistic Director Barry Edelstein and Managing Director Michael G. Murphy, will take place in New York City on Nov. 1, 2013.

Tony Award-winning actors Christian Borle (Peter and the Starcatcher, Spamalot) and Beth Leavel (The Drowsy Chaperone, Elf), Tony nominee Annaleigh Ashford (Kinky Boots, Legally Blonde), and Broadway stars Heidi Blickenstaff ([title of show], The Little Mermaid) and Derek Klena (Wicked, Dogfight) are all scheduled to take part in the developmental reading. Dog and Pony will receive its World Premiere at The Old Globe next spring, running May 28 - June 29, 2014; casting for that production will be announced at a later time.

Mags and Andy are a screenwriting team with a track record of hits and a professional relationship that's firing on all cylinders. But when Andy's marriage hits the rocks, forever single Mags finds she wants something more. Will romance ruin their perfect relationship? Dog and Pony is a world premiere musical comedy romance that takes a witty and irreverent look at what women want and whether men fit the bill...or don't.

Dog and Pony is a recipient of an Edgerton Foundation New American Plays Award.

Rick Elice (Book) co-wrote Jersey Boys (winner of the 2006 Tony Award, 2007 Grammy Award and 2009 Olivier Award for Best Musical) with Marshall Brickman. His newest Broadway play, Peter and the Starcatcher, received nine 2012 Tony Award nominations (including two for Elice) and won five, more than any play of the season. Peter and the Starcatcher begins a national tour in July 2013 and will soon be a motion picture produced by Walt Disney Studios. Also on Broadway, Elice wrote The Addams Family with Marshall Brickman and music and lyrics by Andrew Lippa, which is currently touring North America with productions in Brazil, Sweden and Australia. He is currently working on several new musicals: one for Disney Theatricals based on the film Make Believe; Super Fly, co-written with Seth Zvi Rosenfeld and directed and choreographed by modern dance legend Bill T. Jones; and another musical based on the life of renowned couturier Valentino.

Michael Patrick Walker (Music and Lyrics) is an award-winning composer/lyricist whom The New York Times hailed as "a skilled songwriter" and The Huffington Post dubbed one of today's "must-know songwriters." His songs have been performed and recorded by a diverse group of artists including Chita Rivera, Kelli O'Hara, Cheyenne Jackson, Ana Gasteyer and many more. Walker is perhaps best known as one of the creators of the smash hit musical Altar Boyz (Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Off-Broadway Musical), for which he received multiple Drama Desk Award nominations including Outstanding Music and Outstanding Lyrics. His other musicals include the upcoming Being Theo, The Distant Bells (Eugene O'Neill Festival finalist) and a song cycle based on his debut album Out of Context: The Songs of Michael Patrick Walker (Yellow Sound Label). Beyond the world of theater, his songs can be heard on Disney Channel's Emmy Award-nominated "Johnny and the Sprites" and Nick Jr.'s "Olivia," and he composed the Rockette dance number "Humbugged!" for the Radio City Christmas Spectacular. His recordings include Out of Context (co-producer), the Altar Boyz cast album, the "Johnny and the Sprites" album (co-producer) and several editions of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS' Carols for a Cure.

Roger Rees (Director) previously directed the Globe productions of The Merry Wives of Windsor and Love's Labour's Lost. He recently directed the Broadway production of Rick Elice's Peter and the Starcatcher with Alex Timbers (also at New World Stages). He has directed the Off Broadway productions of Lynn Nottage's Mud, River, Stone (Playwrights Horizons), Arms and the Man (Roundabout Theatre Company) and Here Lies Jenny (The Zipper Factory, Post Street Theatre). From 1984 to 1985, he served as Associate Artistic Director of Bristol Old Vic, where his credits included Julius Caesar, Turkey Time and John Bull. He also served as Artistic Director of Williamstown Theatre Festival from 2005 to 2007 where his credits includeFilm Society, The Rivals, The Taming of the Shrew (playing Petruchio opposite Bebe Neuwirth), Double Double, The Late Middle Classes, Anything Goesand Herringbone (also at McCarter Theatre Center and La Jolla Playhouse). His additional regional credits include Red Memories (New York Stage and Film), The Primrose Path (Guthrie Theater) and Treemonisha, The Juniper Tree, A White House Cantata and The Firebrand of Florence (The Collegiate Chorale). He also directed the episode "Variety" of the HBO series "Oz."

Annaleigh Ashford has appeared on Broadway as Lauren in Kinky Boots, Jeanie in Hair, Glinda in Wicked, and Margot in the original cast of Legally Blonde. Her Off Broadway credits include Marcy in Dogfight and Maureen in Rent. Her Chicago credits include Lauren in Kinky Boots and Glinda inWicked, her National Tour credits include Wicked, and her other New York credits include Feeling Electric (New York Musical Theatre Festival, 2005). Ashford has appeared on film and television in Sex and the City, Rachel Getting Married, "Masters of Sex" (recurring), "Made in Jersey," "Smash," "The Big C," "Nurse Jackie," "Law & Order," and Legally Blonde: The Musical on MTV. Ashford was nominated for a Tony Award for Featured Actress in a Musical for Kinky Boots. She was also nominated for Drama League and Clive Barnes Awards for her performance as Maureen in Rent and won the 2013 Clarence Derwent Award.

Heidi Blickenstaff was part of the original collaborative team of the Tony Award-nominated Broadway musical [title of show]. Her other Broadway credits include Alice Beineke in The Addams Family, Ursula in The Little Mermaid, and The Full Monty. Her Off Broadway credits include Now. Here. This. and[title of show] (Vineyard Theatre) and Ruth in Mosiac (Primary Stages). Some of Blickenstaff's regional productions include Diana in Next to Normal(Weston Playhouse), First You Dream: The Music of Kander and Ebb (The Kennedy Center and Signature Theatre Company), Ann Mitchell in Meet John Doe (Ford's Theatre, Helen Hayes Award), and MerEdith Parker in Bat Boy (TheatreWorks Silicon Valley).

Christian Borle most recently starred onstage as Black Stache in the Broadway production of Peter and the Starcatcher, a role that garnered him the 2012 Tony Award for Featured Actor in a Play. He previously appeared in both the La Jolla Playhouse and New York Theatre Workshop productions of the play, earning a Lucille Lortel Award, as well as Drama Desk and Drama League Award nominations. Borle is slated to star in the Cy Coleman/Carolyn Leigh musical, Little Me, as part of the 2014 City Center Encores! season. In addition, Borle will soon be seen in NBC's live telecast of the beloved Rodgers and Hammerstein musical The Sound of Music alongside Carrie Underwood, Stephen Moyer, Audra McDonald, and Laura Benanti. On the big screen, he will next be seen in the new Michael Mann thriller, Cyber. His Broadway credits include Mary Poppins, Legally Blonde (Tony, Drama Desk, and Drama League Award nominations), Spamalot (Clarence Derwent Award, Drama Desk Award nomination), Thoroughly Modern Millie, Amour, Jesus Christ Superstar, and Footloose. His Off Broadway credits include Angels in America (Signature Theatre Company), On the Town (Encores!), andElegies: A Song Cycle (Lincoln Center Theater). Borle has appeared regionally in Just So (North Shore Music Theatre), The Three Musketeers (American Musical Theatre of San Jose), West Side Story (National Tour), and The Who's Tommy (Offenbach, Germany). His television credits include "Smash," "Legally Blonde: The Musical" on MTV, "Johnny and the Sprites," "Law & Order," and "Ghost Stories," and his film credits include The Bounty Hunter.

Derek Klena has appeared on Broadway as Fiyero in Wicked and Off Broadway as Eddie Birdlace in Dogfight (Clive Barnes Award nomination) and Tommy Ross in Carrie. His regional theatre credits include Link in Hairspray, Will in Glory Days, Richie in Happy Days, The Prince in Cinderella, Joseph in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (IVTL Award), and Huck in Big River (IVTL Award). He has also appeared on television on "The Tomorrow People."

Beth Leavel received Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, and Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Awards for her performance as the title character inThe Drowsy Chaperone. She also received Tony, Drama Desk, and Outer Critics Circle nominations for her role as Florence Greenberg in Baby It's You! She recently performed the roles of Dolly in Hello, Dolly! (Cape Playhouse), Sally Adams in Call Me Madam (Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma), M'Lynn in Steel Magnolias (North Carolina Theatre) and the much put-upon maid Berthe in Boeing-Boeing (Paper Mill Playhouse). Leavel's other Broadway roles Emily inElf, Donna in Mamma Mia!, Frau Blucher in Young Frankenstein, Dorothy Brock in the revival of 42nd Street, Tess in the original company of Crazy for You, Mrs. Bixby in The Civil War, Ellie in Hal Prince's Show Boat, and Anytime Annie (her Broadway debut) in the original 42nd Street. She was also seen as Lucille in the New York City Center Encores! production of No, No, Nanette. Leavel also has numerous Off Broadway, regional theater, commercial, and television credits, including the final episode of "ER."

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