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PHANTOM's Jennifer Hope Wills Joins Next Month's GHOSTLIGHT Reading

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Broadway leading lady Jennifer Hope Wills (THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA; WONDERFUL TOWN) will play the role of scorned wife 'Billie Burke' (who was famously married to Flo Ziegfeld, but was perhaps most known for he role as Glinda in MGM's classic THE WIZARD OF OZ) in the highly anticipated staged reading of GHOSTLIGHT the musical on Thursday, October 22nd at 9:00 PM. Casting for the coveted roles of Ziegfeld and Jack Pickford, as well as the ensemble, will be announced shortly.

Wills joins a cast that includes the previously announced Leigh Martha Klinger as Olive Thomas, Kimberly Faye Greenberg as Fanny Brice, and Abigail Ludrof as Molly Cook.

GHOSTLIGHT, with book, music and lyrics by Matthew Martin and Tim Realbuto, will present the reading on October 22nd as part of the Emerging Artists Theatre's New Work Series. GHOSTLIGHT previously played at the New York Musical Theatre Festival in 2011 and presented industry readings in 2013 and 2014.

GHOSTLIGHT tells the true story of infamous Ziegfeld Follies girl and silent film star Olive Thomas (Klinger), whose ghost is said to still haunt the New Amsterdam Theatre today. In GHOSTLIGHT, we see Olive's rise to fame in the Ziegfeld Follies alongside Fanny Brice (Greenberg), her affair with Ziegfeld, much to the contempt of his famous wife, actress Billie Burke (Wills), her obsessive friendship with Follies comedienne Molly Cook (Ludrof), her whirlwind Hollywood marriage to movie star Jack Pickford, and ultimately her tragic downfall into drugs, partying and alcohol, which led to her mysterious death at age 25 in Paris.

GHOSTLIGHT will play on Thursday, October 22nd at 9:00 PM at the TADA! Theatre, 15 West 28th Street in NYC. All tickets are $10. It will be directed by Michael Kidney, with musical direction by Julianne B. Merrill.

Wills previously performed in two industry readings of GHOSTLIGHT as Doris, Ziegfeld's secretary, as well as several other featured roles. She has now moved up to the principal role of Billie Burke. Ms Wills has the distinction of being one of the longest running Christine Daae's in THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA on Broadway. She made history playing the role for nearly four years.

Her other Broadway credits include starring as Eileen Sherwood opposite Brooke Shields in WONDERFUL TOWN (New Cast Recording), as well as performances as Belle in Disney's BEAUTY AND THE BEST, and Laura Fairlie in Andrew Lloyd Webber's THE WOMAN IN WHITE.

Her long list of regional credits include leading roles in shows such as MY FAIR LADY; CAMELOT; THE SOUND OF MUSIC; THE MUSIC MAN; CAROUSEL; JEKYLL AND HYDE; and FINIAN'S RAINBOW, to name just a few. Visit www.jenniferhopewills.com for more information.

For more information about what other shows are in the New Works series, or to purchase tickets, visit www.emergingartiststheatre.org (tickets will go on sale to the general public next week).


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