Leach, Crumb and Green to Star in the Florida Production of Nefertiti: A Musical Romance

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Written by Maya Cantu

Casting has been announced for the Broadway-bound production of
Nefertiti: A Musical Romance. Nicole Leach will play the title role of the beautiful Egyptian queen, while Ann Crumb and Alan H. Green will play, respectively, Queen Tiye and the soldier Hap.

The musical will begin previews at Fort Lauderdale's Parker Playhouse on May 4th, officially opening on May 7th and running through May 15th. A Broadway transfer is planned after the Florida run.

Nefertiti: A Musical Romance
is hardly a new show, however. The production, which will be directed and choreographed by Robert Johanson, is the heavily revised version of a show that has been around for more than two decades. Cabaret star Andrea Marcovicci and Michael Nouri headlined the original short-lived production at Chicago's Blackstone Theatre in the seventies.

It was a successful 2004 Chicago production that lifted the show out of its theatrical sarcophagus. Rick Gore, the brother of late composer Christopher Gore, produced two readings and two productions of the show with lyricist/bookwriter David Spangler before it was deemed ready to move to Florida.

A press release describes the history-based plot of the show: "a timeless love story set in the most turbulent and dramatic era of Ancient Egypt, when Nefertiti and her mystical husband the Pharaoh Akhenaten ignited a 17-year artistic and spiritual revolution. The radical royal couple introduced the concept of one god, threw out all the old gods of Egypt. They abandoned the ancient Egyptian capital of Thebes for a stunning new city they built on the shores of the Nile. They created the most magnificent art Egypt has ever known, including most of the treasures discovered in King Tut's tomb. In this musical, Nefertiti, torn between the two men who love her, is the driving force behind the revolution."

In addition to Leach, Crumb and Green, Nefertiti: A Musical Romance will feature Nicholas Rodriguez as Pharaoh Akhenaten (Nefertiti's husband), Avery Sommers as Penmut, George Merner as Aye, Daniel Boothe as Smenkhare, Larry Robinson as Shabak, Michael Finke as Tut, Jonathan Tilkin and Brandon Marder as young Tut and Laura Sky Herman and Haley Margo as Meret (Nefertiti's daughter). Mark Harmon, Ezequiel Hernandez, Jessica Lovinelli, Jamie McDaniel, Arbender J. Robinson, Ben Bagby, Diana D'Ambrosia, Desmon N. Walker and Lawrence Candelario are ensemble members.

The show's creative team comprises Michael Anania (set design), Estela Vranovich (costume design) and Jeff Quin (lighting design).

Tickets for Nefertiti: A Musical Romance are $45, and can be purchased by calling (954) 763-2444 or (800) 233-3123. The Parker Playhouse is located at 707 NE 8th Street in Fort Lauderdale, and more information on the musical can be accessed at http://www.nefertitithemusical.com

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