Lenny Wolpe and Matt Gibson to Star in Goodspeed's New Musical A CONNECTICUT CHRISTMAS CAROL
A family classic has been given a fresh twist in Connecticut's own A Connecticut Christmas Carol by LJ Fecho and Michael O'Flaherty. Goodspeed Musicals continues its commitment to fresh, innovative works with this new musical infused with Connecticut flavor. A Connecticut Christmas Carol will run November 17 - December 24, 2017 at The Terris Theatre in Chester, Conn.
Some of the most beloved storytellers in Connecticut history come alive for a yuletide gathering you won't forget. Famed actor and local legend William Gillette leaves his castle on the Connecticut River to adapt Dickens' holiday classic in the 1920s. Local heroes Mark Twain, Harriet Beecher Stowe and P.T. Barnum make spirited appearances opposite Gillette's Scrooge in a highly theatrical twist on a family favorite. Custom-made for Goodspeed with all-original music, here's a tuneful, heartfelt confection spiced with enough Nutmeg State flavor to sweeten your season. A Connecticut Christmas Carol is supported in part by The Burry Fredrik Foundation.
Scrooge/William Gillette will be played by Lenny Wolpe, who performed in Broadway's Bullets over Broadway, Wicked, The Drowsy Chaperone and The Sound of Music. Wolpe returns to Goodspeed, where he previously appeared in Show Boat and The Baker's Wife. In addition, Wolpe has appeared in National Tours of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum and South Pacific. Off-Broadway, Wolpe has appeared in Mayor (Mayor Koch), Brownstone and Company.
Bob Cratchit will be played by Matt Gibson, who performed Off-Broadway in Gypsy and Finian's Rainbow. His regional credits include Ragtime and West Side Story at Barrington Stage.
The Ghosts will be played by Michael Thomas Holmes, who Goodspeed audiences may remember from his performance in the reimagined Amour. Holmes also appeared in Broadway's Oklahoma! and the National Tours of Phantom of The Opera and Irving Berlin's White Christmas.
Making his Goodspeed debut as Tiny Tim will be Connecticut native Robert Berson.
The ensemble includes Samantha Bruce, who played Laurey in Goodspeed's summer hit Oklahoma!, as well as Luisa in the closing company of the Off-Broadway's record-breaking The Fantasticks, Johanna in Sweeney Todd at the Denver Center and Roxanne in Cyrano at Sierra Rep. Joining her will be Mark DiConzo, who performed in the National Tour of The Producers, The Lerner and Loewe Concert at Carnegie Hall, and in Benjamin Button: The Musical, at the York Theatre; and Patrick Graver, who appeared in Goodspeed's Thoroughly Modern Millie and the first National Tour of Bullets over Broadway. Also joining the cast is Lee Harrington, who performed in Into the Woods at Roundabout Theatre and is familiar to Connecticut audiences from Sharon Playhouse's I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change; Celeste Rose, who appeared in Sister Act at Ogunquit Playhouse and in Titanic at Westchester Broadway Theatre; Jeff Sears, who appeared in Goodspeed's City of Angels and was in the National Tours of The Book of Mormon and Avenue Q; and Daisy Wright, who recently performed in The Wizard of Oz at The MUNY.
A Connecticut Christmas Carol features a book by LJ Fecho, who serves as Artistic Director of Genesius Theatre in Reading, PA. Fecho has worked for Broadway Producer Alexander H. Cohen, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Goodspeed Musicals, Hudson Guild, Manhattan Theatre Club and Fulton Theatre. His play Just Another Illegitimate Child of John Lennon was presented at the Philadelphia Fringe. He wrote the book for Genesius - The Musical, which was presented at the 2006 Goodspeed Festival of New Musicals.
Music and lyrics are by Goodspeed's own Michael O'Flaherty. O'Flaherty has been Goodspeed's Resident Music Director for twenty-six seasons. His Broadway credits include By Jeeves, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and A Streetcar Named Desire. His regional credits include Paper Mill Playhouse, North Shore Music Theatre, Playwrights Horizons, Ford's Theatre, The Brooklyn Academy Of Music, The Kennedy Center, Pittsburgh Public Theatre and the Smithsonian Institution. Michael served as Musical Supervisor and Cabaret Director of the Williamstown Theatre Festival for 11 years.
A Connecticut Christmas Carol will be directed by Hunter Foster, who co-wrote Goodspeed's Circus in Winter at The Terris Theatre in 2014. Mr. Foster was nominated for an Outer Critic Award for Best New Off-Broadway musical for Summer of '42, which had a developmental production at The Terris Theatre in 2000. Hunter won a Suzie Bass Award for Best World Premiere for Clyde and Bonnie. He has directed Million Dollar Quartet (Westchester Broadway, Ogunquit Playhouse, Casa Manana, St. Louis Rep, Paper Mill Playhouse and Geva Theatre) and The Bridges of Madison County, Clue and The Buddy Holly Story, among many others, for Bucks County Playhouse.
Choreography will be by Lisa Shriver. Ms. Shriver has choreographed Goodspeed's The 60's Project and Where's Charlie?. Most recently, she served as choreographer for Broadway's Jesus Christ Superstar, North Shore Music Theatre's Beauty and the Beast and the National Tour of Into the Woods.
Scenic design will be by two-time Helen Hayes Award nominee Adam Koch. His designs for theater, opera and nightlife have been seen in New York City and across the country. Koch has designed productions for The Goodman Theatre, The Apollo Theater, New World Stages and Theatre Row NYC, as well as Signature Theatre, Ford's Theatre, Ogunquit Playhouse, Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma, Syracuse Stage, Portland Stage, Geva Theatre Center, Paper Mill Playhouse, Casa Manana, The Human Race Theatre Company and The Engeman Theater, among many others. Adam was the recipient of the USITT Oren Parker Award for Excellence in Scene Design and the 2007 Kennedy Center Design Fellowship.
Costume design will be by Nicole V. Moody, whose regional credits include productions for Bucks County Playhouse, Media Theatre and Cape Fear Regional Theatre. She has also been the Assistant Costume Designer for many Broadway shows, including Born Yesterday, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying and The Royal Family.
Lighting design will be by Jennifer Schriever whose work can currently be seen on Broadway in The Book of Mormon. Schriever designs for Goodspeed Musicals include The Theory of Relativity, Emmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas, and 13. Her other Broadway credits include A Raisin in the Sun, Death of a Salesman, The Color Purple, and Fiddler on the Roof.
Sound design will be by Jay Hilton, whose long association with Goodspeed Musicals includes designing countless productions at both The Goodspeed and The Terris Theatre. His work has also been heard on Broadway, National Tours and Regional Theatres from coast to coast. In addition to his design work, Jay also serves as Goodspeed's Audio Supervisor.
Wig and Hair design will be by Mark Adam Rampmeyer, whose work has been seen at The Goodspeed in the current production of Rags, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Oklahoma!, Anything Goes, Bye Bye Birdie and Chasing Rainbows, as well as La Cage aux Folles, Good News!, 42nd Street and Big River, to name a few. On Broadway, he designed West Side Story, Lysistrata Jones and The Farnsworth Invention. Off-Broadway, he designed The Toxic Avenger, Horton Foote's Orphans' Home Cycle, The Milk Train Doesn't Stop Here Anymore with Olympia Dukakis and, most recently, Talley's Folly at Roundabout Theatre Company.
The Music Director will be Dan Pardo, who was the music director for Goodspeed's The Fabulous Lipitones. He served as Goodspeed's Assistant Music Director for The Great American Mousical, Hello! My Baby, The Bikini's, LMNOP, Cutman a boxing musical and Amazing Grace, for which he was also the Assistant Conductor on Broadway.
Orchestrations will be provided by Dan DeLange, who has created the orchestrations for over 40 Goodspeed productions. Dan's work was recently heard in the West End's production of Show Boat that was nominated for Best Musical Revival at the 2017 Olivier Awards in London. He has orchestrated for The Jim Henson Company, Julie Andrews, Rosie O'Donnell, Live Theatricals at Universal Studios, and composers Paul Williams, Jerry Herman, Harvey Schmitt, Charles Strouse, Peter Link and Mark Hollman. His scores have been heard on Broadway, London's West End, National and European tours, film, television and at Regional Theaters around the world.
Casting for A Connecticut Christmas Carol is by Paul Hardt of Stewart/Whitley Casting.
A Connecticut Christmas Carol will run November 17 - December 24, 2017. Curtain times are Wednesdays at 2:00 pm and 7:30 pm, Thursdays at 7:30 pm (select dates at 2:00 pm), Fridays at 8:00 pm, Saturdays at 3:00 pm and 8:00 pm, and Sundays at 2:00 pm (select dates at 6:30 pm).
Tickets are available through the Box Office (860.873.8668), open seven days a week, or online at goodspeed.org. For more, visit goodspeed.org and follow on Facebook, Twitter @goodspeedmusicl, Instagram and YouTube.
For over 30 years, The Terris Theatre has been Goodspeed's home for developing fresh, innovative and original new musicals. Many new and reimagined musicals have been developed in Chester, Conn., before moving on to Broadway, Off-Broadway, National Tours and other Regional Theatres. Because this is a developmental theatre, the show can change on a day-to-day basis. New scenes are added, songs are moved, costumes are changed, dialogue is tweaked?all based on audience response and feedback.
Under the leadership of Executive Director Michael Gennaro, Goodspeed Musicals is dedicated to the preservation, development and advancement of musical theatre. Goodspeed produces three musicals each season at The Goodspeed in East Haddam, Conn., and additional productions at The Terris Theatre in Chester, Conn., which was opened in 1984 for the development of new musicals. The first regional theatre to receive two Tony Awards (for outstanding achievement), Goodspeed also maintains The Scherer Library of Musical Theatre and The Max Showalter Center for Education in Musical Theatre.
Photo Credit: Walter McBride