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Lesli Margherita, Marc Kudisch And More Announced For THE FLAMINGO KID At Hartford Stage

Lesli Margherita, Marc Kudisch And More Announced For THE FLAMINGO KID At Hartford Stage

Hartford Stage announced today the cast and creative team for the world premiere musical The Flamingo Kid, helmed by Artistic Director Darko Tresnjak.

The musical, which closes the 2018-19 season, boasts an impressive cast of Broadway and regional theatre talent. Performances for The Flamingo Kid begin on Thursday, May 9, and run through Sunday, June 9.

The Flamingo Kid, inspired by the 1984 Garry Marshall coming-of-age film starring Matt Dillon, reunites Tresnjak with A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder's Tony Award-winning book writer and lyricist Robert L. Freedman. They are collaborating for the first time with the Tony Award-nominated composer Scott Frankel (Grey Gardens, War Paint).

"Say goodbye to winter with the world premiere of our sun-kissed musical, The Flamingo Kid. Journey back to the summer of 1963, and join our hero, Jeffrey Winnick, his friends, and his family, for a positively exuberant evening of song, dance, and romance," Tresnjak said.

In the summer of '63, against the wishes of his father, Brooklyn teenager Jeffrey Winnick leaves behind his blue-collar roots for an exciting job working as a cabana boy at the colorful El Flamingo - a posh private club on Long Island. There, Jeffrey meets Carla, a forward-thinking young woman from California. The music, the romance, and the beach are magical - until tensions grow between father and son when a slick club member takes Jeffrey under his wing.

Jimmy Brewer (Motherfreakinghood, Playwrights Horizon; The Black Suits, Center Theatre Group/Kirk Douglas Theatre) was cast in the leading role of Jeffrey Winnick in The Flamingo Kid last year while still a student at the Carnegie Mellon University School of Drama.

Broadway veterans Adam Heller (Elf and Victor/Victoria) and Liz Larsen(Tony Award nominee for The Most Happy Fella and Beautiful: The Carole King Musical) will play Arthur and Ruth, Jeffrey's parents. Three-time Tony Award nominee Marc Kudisch (9-5, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang,and Thoroughly Modern Millie) and Olivier Award winner and Drama Desk Award nominee Lesli Margherita (Matilda the Musical, Zorro the Musical) play Phil and Phyllis Brody, the affluent couple who frequent the El Flamingo Club. Samantha Massell (Fiddler on the Roof-Revival, Broadway; Rags, Goodspeed Opera House-Winner, CT Critics Circle Best Actress) plays their niece, Carla.

The cast also includes young Broadway talents Lindsey Brett Carothers (Gettin' the Band Back Together) as Joyce; Ben Fankhauser (Newsies the Musical) as Steve; and Alex Wyse (Waitress) as Hawk.

The Ensemble of The Flamingo Kid includes Ben Bogen (Frozen, Broadway); Michael Hartung (Hello, Dolly!-Revival, Broadway); Jean Kauffman (Cats-National Tour); Ken Krugman (Anastasia, Hartford Stage and Broadway); Omar Lopez-Cepero (On Your Feet!, Broadway); Anna Noble (Carousel-Revival, Broadway); Erin Leigh Peck (Grease!, Broadway); Steve Routman (The Underpants, Hartford Stage and Long Wharf Theatre); William Squier (Rear Window, Hartford Stage); Kathy Voytko (A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder, Broadway); Price Waldman (A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder, Broadway); Kelli Youngman (Anastasia, Broadway); and Stuart Zagnit (Seussical, Broadway).

Students from The Hartt School at the University of Hartford - Gregory Rodriguez (Ensemble), Taylor Lloyd (Swing), and Jayke Workman (Swing) - round out the cast.

The Flamingo Kid will be Tresnjak's last production as Artistic Director of Hartford Stage and the first new musical to premiere at the Tony Award-winning theatre since Anastasia in May 2016. Tresnjak most recently directed the critically-acclaimed world premiere of The Engagement Party by Samuel Baum at Hartford Stage.

Tresnjak's first musical for Hartford Stage, A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder in 2012, transferred to Broadway the following year and earned four Tony Awards, including Best Musical, Costume Design for Linda Cho, Book for Robert L. Freedman, and Direction by Tresnjak. Following its sell-out run at Hartford Stage, Anastasia debuted on Broadway in 2017 and closed on March 31. The musical is in the midst of a successful national tour and is also being performed internationally for audiences in Spain and Germany. Next season, productions will premiere in Mexico, Japan and the Netherlands.

In addition to Tresnjak, Freedman and Frankel, the creative team includes Tony Award-nominated Choreographer Denis Jones (Holiday Inn, the New Irving Berlin Musical; Tootsie); Tony Award-nominated Set Designer Alexander Dodge (A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder, Hartford Stage and Broadway); Tony Award-winning Costume Designer Linda Cho (A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder, Hartford Stage and Broadway); Lighting Designer Philip Rosenberg (A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder, Hartford Stage and Broadway); Drama Desk Award-nominated Sound Designer Peter Hylenski (Anastasia, Hartford Stage and Broadway); Drama Desk Award-winning Projection Designer Aaron Rhyne (Anastasia, Hartford Stage and Broadway); Music DirectorThomas Murray (Anastasia, Hartford Stage and Broadway); Orchestrations by Tony Award winner Bruce Coughlin (The Light in the Piazza); Drama Desk Award-winning Hair Designer Charles G. LaPointe (SpongeBob SquarePants, Broadway); Make-Up Designer Joya Giambrone (The Cher Show-Associate Designer, Broadway); Fight Choreographer Thomas Schall (89 Broadway credits, including King Lear and Network); Associate Choreographer Robbie Roby (The Little Mermaid-National Tour); and Assistant Music Director Paul Staroba (My Fair Lady-Revival, Broadway). Composer Scott Frankelwill provide the dance and vocal arrangements.

Hartford Stage Artistic Associate Rachel Alderman is the Associate Director for The Flamingo Kid. Hartford Stage Associate Artistic Director Elizabeth Williamson is the Dramaturg.

Linda Marvel (Finding Neverland, Broadway) will serve as Production Stage Manager, assisted by Genevieve Kersh (Finding Neverland, Broadway) and Michael Wilhoite (Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812, Broadway).

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