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Paper Mill's Baker's Wife to star Ripley, Von Essen and Wolpe

Paper Mill Playhouse will present the musical The Baker's Wife with Book by Joseph Stein and Music & Lyrics by Stephen Schwartz (Wicked, Pippin, Godspell) based on the film "La Femme du Boulanger."  

Directed by Gordon Greenberg and Choreographed by Christopher Gattelli, The Baker's Wife stars Alice Ripley as Genevieve the baker's wife, Max von Essen as Dominic and Lenny Wolpe as Amiable the baker with Gay Marshall as Denise and Richard Pruitt as Claude.

The remaining cast includes Jacque Carnahan, Jacqueline Colmer, Cynthia Darlow, Kevin Del Aquila, Barry Finkle, Joy Franz, Mitchell Greenberg, Jamie La Verdiere, Michael Mederios, Mary Mossberg, John O'Creagh, Julia Osborne Saunders and Clinton Zugle.

The Baker's Wife is a wry musical comedy about jealousy, lust, revenge and forgiveness.  A new baker arrives in a rural French village just in time to ease the pains of the contentious villagers, who have been without bread for weeks.  All is well and everyone's spirits are rising until the baker is driven to distraction and the villagers suffer the fate of breadlessness once again.  To avoid yet more chaos, the villagers quickly join forces in order to bring harmony to their quaint town.

The Baker's Wife begins performances on Wednesday, April 13 and runs through Sunday, May 15, 2005.  OPENING NIGHT IS SUNDAY EVENING, APRIL 17 AT 7:30PM.  The performance schedule is Wednesdays at 8:00PM, Thursdays at 2:00PM and 8:00PM, Fridays at 8:00PM, Saturdays at 2:30PM and 8:00PM and Sundays at 2:00PM and 7:30PM. .  Tickets $31 - $68 are on sale now.  Student rush tickets are $16 and available day of performance with current ID. For tickets call 973-376-4343 or buy online at www.papermill.org.

Alice Ripley (Genevieve).  Original Broadway cast: Side Show (Violet Hilton - Tony and Drama Desk Award nominations for Best Actress in a Musical), James Joyce's The Dead (Molly Ivors), The Rocky Horror Show (Janet Weiss), Sunset Boulevard (Betty Schaefer), The Who's Tommy, King David (Bathsheba). Also in NYC: Li'l Abner (Daisy Mae - Encores!), Five Flights (Olivia - Rattlestick Playwrights Theater).  Kennedy Center: Tell Me on a Sunday (Emma - Helen Hayes Award nomination), Company (Amy - Helen Hayes Award nomination). Ms. Ripley is an accomplished songwriter. RIPLEY (the band) is currently completing its first full-length album to be released later this year.

Max von Essen (Dominic).  Original Broadway cast of Dance of the Vampires, Jesus Christ Superstar (Revival) and Les Miserables (Final Cast).  Off-Broadway he appeared as Woody in Finian's Rainbow and Matt in The Fantasticks.  Regional theatre credits include the Paper Mill Playhouse production of My Fair Lady (Freddy), Hair, Blood Brothers, Auntie Mame with Charles Busch and in the title role of the Los Angeles premiere of the new musical Dorian.

Lenny Wolpe (Amiable) is currently in the national tour of Little Shop of Horrors (Mushnik), which he'll rejoin following The Baker's Wife. Paper Mill: The Tale of the Allergist's Wife, Baby, Gypsy (Herbie opposite Betty Buckley). Broadway: The Sound of Music, Onward Victoria, Into The Light, Copperfield. Off-Broadway: Mayor, Company, Brownstone. National tours: Guys & Dolls, . . . Forum, South Pacific. Regional: A Class Act, Radio Gals (Pasadena Playhouse), The Rothschilds, No
Way to Treat a Lady (Coconut Grove), Fiddler on the Roof (Tevye in six productions), Fiorello, She Loves Me (Reprise, L.A.). TV: series regular on "Baby Talk" and "You're The One"; guest star on over 80 shows from "L.A. Law," "E.R.," "Six Feet Under," to "Golden Girls," "Ally McBeal," and "The Chappelle Show."

Gay Marshall (Denise) was Denise in The Baker's Wife at Goodspeed Opera House.  She's written and performed two one-woman shows : Piaf: La Vie l'Amour at The Great Lakes Festival, Dayton Victory Theater and Missouri Rep;  and If I Were Me, a comedy that the Daily Express voted #2 on the Fringe at the Edinburgh Festival 2000. Other credits include Diana Morales in A Chorus Line on Broadway, Grizabella in the original Paris production of Cats, Camille Claudel, and Gordon Greenberg's Jacques Brel last year at Capital Rep.

Richard Pruitt (Claude) just finished a 3-year run on Broadway in 42nd Street and previously appeared in On The Waterfront. Off-Broadway credits include Bat Boy - The Musical and Wicked Philanthropy. Regionally, he has worked at The Huntington Theatre (Boston), Tennessee Repertory (Nashville), The Barter Theatre (Virginia), The Birmingham Theatre (Michigan), and the Cincinnati Playhouse.

Joseph Stein (Book) started his career in television as a writer for "Your Show of Shows" and "The Sid Caesar Show."  He has written the librettos for Plain and Fancy, Mr. Wonderful starring Sammy Davis, Jr, The Body Beautiful, Take Me Along, Juno, Zorba, King of Hearts, Irene and Rags.  Mr. Stein is best known for Fiddler on the Roof, for which he won the Tony as well as the Drama Critics' Circle Award.   In addition, he wrote the hit stage comedy Enter Laughing.   He also received a Laurence Olivier Award nomination for the London production of The Baker's Wife.  His film credits include the screenplays for Enter Laughing and Fiddler on the Roof.

Stephen Schwartz (Music & Lyrics) has contributed music and/or lyrics to Godspell, Leonard Bernstein's Mass, Pippin , The Magic Show, Working (which he also adapted and directed), Rags, Children Of Eden and the current Broadway hit, Wicked.  Film credits include, collaborating with Alan Menken on the scores for Pocahontas and The Hunchback Of Notre Dame and writing the songs for The Prince Of Egypt.  For television, he wrote the score for the original musical "Geppetto."  He has released two CDs of new songs entitled Reluctant Pilgrim and Uncharted Territory.  Awards include three Academy Awards, four Drama Desk Awards, and five Grammy Awards.  

Gordon Greenberg (Director).  Directing credits include Floyd Collins (Signature Theatre), The Baker's Wife and O. Henry's Lovers (Goodspeed Opera House), The Theory of Three (NYStage and Film), Cam Jansen (Lambs Theatre), Peter Pan (national tour), Jacques Brel . . . (Capital Rep.), The Velvet Vise (with Janeane Garafalo, NY Performance Works), An Immaculate Misconception (New End Theatre, London), Of Blessed Memory (Kings Head Theatre, London), Danny &Faye (with Tovah Feldshuh), Jesus Christ Superstar (with Billy Porter and Emily Skinner), Joseph . . . (with Andrea McArdle), and Evita (Helen Hayes Theatre in Nyack, NY; Ogunquit Playhouse). Upcoming projects include Slut (Off-Broadway, fall 2005) and The Neil Sedaka Project (Harbor Entertainment, summer 2005). Education: RADA, Stanford, NYU Film School, and Lincoln Center Theatre Director's Lab.     

Christopher Gattelli (Choreographer).  Choreography credits include Godspell (national tour) and Moon of the Carribees (Flea Theater), Leprechauns (Off-Broadway), BC/EFA Easter Bonnet Competition, winner Gypsy of the Year Award for Cats, First You Dream (The Actors' Fund/ Christopher Reeve Foundation). TV: "2000 Tony Awards," "The Rosie O'Donnell Show" and "Out of The Box"  (Disney Channel). As a performer, Broadway/tour credits include Fosse, Cats, How To Succeed..., Guys and Dolls, Evita, Betty Buckley at Carnegie Hall and Star Search, Dance Grand Champion. Industrials:  McDonald's, Microsoft, Pontiac/Buick/GMC.

PAPER MILL PLAYHOUSE a not-for-profit arts organization that is supported in part by grants from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Dept. of State, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts, in addition to contributions from many corporations, foundations, businesses and individuals. PAPER MILL PLAYHOUSE, one of the country's leading regional theatres for over 65 years, is located on Brookside Drive in Millburn, NJ.  The Playhouse is easily accessible by car from both New York (40 min. from midtown) and New Jersey via the Garden State Parkway, NJ Turnpike and I-78.

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