Pasqua, Cartell and Dowdy Set for TESS At NYMF 9/29-10/9

Jenna Pasqua, Nick Cartell, and Broadway's Michelle Dowdy (Tracy Turnblad in Hairspray) will star in the 2010 New York Musical Theatre Festival production of TESS - A New Rock Opera, which will run at the Theatre at St. Clements from September 29th thru October 9th. Based on the classic novel Tess of the d'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy TESS features music, lyrics, and libretto by award-winning sisters Annie and Jenna Pasqua (who is starring in the title role) and will be directed by frequent Williamstown Theatre Festival director Kate Pines at NYMF.

With a cast of sixteen and entirely sung thru, in TESS - A New Rock Opera, the title character's spirited and innocent life unravels when her impoverished family's desperate need to connect to a once mighty bloodline results in an act of violence and shame. Desired by two men, forsaken by Victorian society, and burdened by secrets and duty, Hardy's dark heroine struggles to remain pure in a stained world and through a maze of intense love and tragic loss, she fights for her moment of happiness which in turn, pulls her towards her ultimate fate. The show blends folk, pop, and classical music within a contemporary rock score, and some of the songs in the production include "Falling," "Resurrection, and "My Angel."

Joining Pasqua, Cartell, and Dowdy in the cast will be Felicia Blum, Brian Gallagher, Jillian Giacchi, Alan Gillespie, Chris Gleim, Joanna Krupnick, Mary Jo Mecca, Keith Panzarella, Joe Popson, Bruce Rebold, Bradford Rosenbloom, Hilaire C. Smith, and Megan Stern. The creative team for TESS will also include Elisabetta Spuria (choreography), Sam Froeschle (scenic design), Andrea Hood (costume design), Zach Blane (lighting design), Tony Melfa (sound design), Jason Hart (musical direction), John Clancy (musical supervision), John Murdock (production stage manager) and Aaron Diehl Productions (general management).

TESS - A New Rock Opera will run at the Theatre at St. Clements at 423 West 46th Street (between 9th and 10th Ave), with performances on Wednesday, September 29th at 8pm, Friday, October 1st at 9pm, Saturday, October 2nd at 1pm, Sunday, October 3rd at 3pm, Monday, October 4th at 5pm, and Saturday, October 9th at 9pm. Tickets, priced at $20, are available for purchase by phone at (212) 352-3101 or online at

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