Judy Kuhn and Melissa Errico Set to Lead PASSION at Classic Stage Company in 2013


Classic Stage Company, under the leadership of Artistic Director Brian Kulick and Executive Director Greg Reiner announced today that acclaimed/awarding winning actresses Judy Kuhn and Melissa Errico will star as Fosca and Clara in the company's new production of Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine's Tony Award-winning musical PASSION, to be directed by John Doyle (the Tony Award-winning revivals of Sondheim's Sweeney Todd and Company). PASSION is slated to begin performances in February, 2013. Additional casting will be announced in the coming weeks and months, as well as full creative team. PASSION opened on Broadway in May of 1994 and received the Tony Award that year for Best Musical.

Judy Kuhn played Fosca previously in Passion, directed by Eric Schaeffer, as part of the Kennedy Center's 2002 Sondheim Celebration. She has been nominated for three Tony Awards and three Drama Desk Awards for her work on Broadway in The Roundabout's hit revival of She Loves Me, the American premiers of Chess and Les Miserables and Rags. Also on Broadway she appeared in Richard Nelson's play Two Shakespearean Actors, Alan Menken & Tim Rice's King David, and The Mystery of Edwin Drood. Judy played Olga in a new adaptation of Chekhov's Three Sisters by Craig Lucas (Intiman Theatre) and created the role of Betty Schaefer in the U.S. premiere of Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles. In London's West End she starred in Metropolis for which she received a Laurence Olivier Award Nomination. Other theatre includes Ricky Ian Gordon's Sycamore Trees (Helen Hayes Award), Michael John LaChiusa's The Highest Yellow, Eli's Comin' at The Vineyard Theatre (Obie Award), title role in The Ballad of Little Jo at the Steppenwolf Theatre Co. (Jeff Award Nomination), As Thousand's Cheer (Drama Dept.), Tina Landau and Ricky Ian Gordon's Dream True (Vineyard Theatre), Strike Up the Band (Encores!), The Glass Menagerie (McCarter Theatre/Emily Mann, dir.), Martin Guerre (Hartford Stage/Mark Lamos, dir.), and Martha Clarke's Endangered Species (BAM).

Judy sang the title role in Disney's Pocahontas as well as the in the sequel Pocahontas II: Journey To A New World. Other film and television appearances include: "Enchanted," "Hope & Faith," "Law & Order," "All My Children," "The Secret Life of Mary Margaret" on HBO), "My Favorite Broadway: The Leading Ladies" on PBS, "The Kennedy Center Honors," "The Les Miserables 10th Anniversary Concert" on PBS, "In Performance At The White House" on PBS, and the independent feature Day on Fire in which she costarred and performed the soundtrack with John Medeski. Judy has performed on concert stages around the world including appearances at Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, The Hollywood Bowl, The Royal Albert Hall in London and with Peter Nero and the Philly Pops Orchestra. She can be heard on numerous original cast recordings as well as her solo album Just In Time: Judy Kuhn Sings Jule Styne. In October of 2007 Judy released a new CD Serious Playground:The Songs of Laura Nyro and has performed selections from the recording in concert at Lincoln Center, Joe's Pub and the Kennedy Center.

Melissa Errico has starred in numerous Broadway musicals and released two major solo CDs: Blue Like That (EMI) and Lullabies and Wildflowers (VMG/Universal). In 2003, Melissa won a Tony-nomination for Best Leading Actress in the Broadway musical Amour, composed by multi-Oscar-winning composer Michel Legrand. During the summer of 2011, Melissa co-starred with Alec Baldwin in Gift of the Gorgon by Peter Shaffer, and reprised Camelot with Jeremy Irons for one-night only on Broadway at The Shubert Theater. Errico's other Broadway credits include Irving Berlin's White Christmas, Children and Art, Dracula, Finian's Rainbow, Short Talks on the Universe, High Society, My Fair Lady and Anna Karenina. Other theater credits include The Threepenny Opera (Wiliamstown Theatre Festival), Sunday in the Park with George (Sondheim Festival) and the off-Broadway productions of One Touch of Venus and Call Me Madam.

Stephen Sondheim wrote the music and lyrics for Saturday Night, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Anyone Can Whistle, Company, Follies, A Little Night Music, The Frogs, Pacific Overtures, Sweeney Todd, Merrily We Roll Along, Sunday in the Park With George, Into the Woods, Assassins, Passion and Road Show as well as lyrics for West Side Story, Gypsy and Do I Hear a Waltz? and additional lyrics for Candide. Anthologies of his work include Side by Side by Sondheim, Marry Me a Little, You're Gonna Love Tomorrow and Putting It Together. For films and television, he composed the scores of Stavisky and Reds and wrote songs for Dick Tracyand "Evening Primrose." He co-authored the film The Last of Sheila and the play Getting Away With Murder. Mr. Sondheim is on the Council of the Dramatists Guild, having served as its president from 1973 to 1981

James Lapine has worked with Stephen Sondheim on Sunday in the Park With George, Into the Woods and Passion. He also directed the first revival of Merrily We Roll Along at La Jolla Playhouse. He also created and directed Sondheim on Sondheim for the Roundabout. With William Finn he has worked on Falsettos, A New Brain, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee and the upcoming Little Miss Sunshine. Other Broadway credits: The Diary of Anne Frank, Golden Child and Amour. He has written the plays Table Settings; Twelve Dreams; Luck, Pluck & Virtue; The Moment When; Fran's Bed; and Mrs. Miller Does Her Thing.

John Doyle received Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards as Outstanding Director of a Musical for his Broadway debut, Sweeney Todd. His production of Sondheim's Company won the Tony for Best Musical Revival and earned him a Tony Award nomination as Best Director of A Musical. For The Metropolitan Opera he directed Peter Grimes. Other recent opera includes Mahagonny (L.A. Opera) and Lucia (Scottish Opera). He won UK Best Musical Awards for The Gondoliers (West End), Fiddler on the Roof and Moll Flanders with nominations for four other productions including Mack and Mabel (also West End). John has been artistic director of four prestigious UK regional theatres and has directed numerous new and classic plays, most recently Amadeus (Wilton's Music Hall).

Now in its 45th year Classic Stage Company is the award winning theatre committed to re-imagining the classical repertory for a contemporary American audience. This season CSC has presented the critically-acclaimed production of The Cherry Orchard with John Turturro and Dianne Wiest; Academy Award winner F. Murray Abraham in Bertolt Brecht's Galileo, and Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream with Tony Award-winning actress Bebe Neuwirth and acclaimed actress Christina Ricci. Past seasons have included critically acclaimed productions of Chekhov's Three Sisters with Maggie Gyllenhaal, Jessica Hecht, Juliet Rylance and Peter Sarsgaard, directed by Austin Pendleton (Obie Award); David Ives' The School for Lies with Hamish Linklater (Obie Award), directed by Walter Bobbie; Unnatural Acts, conceived and directed by Tony Speciale; Ostrovsky's The Forest with Dianne Wiest and John Douglas Thompson, directed by Brian Kulick; David Ives' Venus In Fur with Nina Arianda and Wes Bentley, directed by Walter Bobbie; Shakespeare's The Tempest with Mandy Patinkin, directed by Brian Kulick; Chekhov's Uncle Vanya with Denis O'Hare, Maggie Gyllenhaal and Peter Sarsgaard, directed by Austin Pendleton; Anne Carson's An Oresteia (International PENN Award for Poetry); Chekhov's The Seagull with Dianne Wiest and Alan Cumming; David Ives' New Jerusalem with Richard Easton, directed by Walter Bobbie; Hamlet, Richard II, Richard III with Michael Cumpsty (Obie Award as Hamlet), directed by Brian Kulick; and Yasmina Reza's A Spanish Play with Zoe Caldwell, directed by John Turturro.

CSC presents plays from the past that speak directly to the issues of today. As we return to works of the past, we endeavor to keep a clear eye on the future, particularly in terms of the next generation of artists and audiences. Founded in 1967, CSC has received wide recognition for its significant contributions to theatre as an art form through productions of classic plays, translations and adaptations and a long-standing commitment to the identification and nurturing of leading and emerging artists. Classic Stage's artists are the finest established and emerging theater practitioners working in this country. Highly respected and widely regarded as a major force in New York and American theatre, Classic Stage has been cited repeatedly by all the major Off-Broadway theater awards: Obies, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, Drama League and the 1999 Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Body of Work. For more information on Classic Stage Company visit the theatre's website at www.classicstage.org.

Photo Credit: Walter McBride/WM Photos

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