Photo Preview: 'A Tale of Two Cities' in Pre-Broadway Debut

Jill Santoriello's sweeping new musical epic world premiere pre-Broadway try-out of A Tale of Two Cities opens October 26 and October 27 at the Asolo Repertory Theatre's mainstage, The Harold E. and Esther M. Mertz Theatre in Sarasota, Florida (5555 North Tamiami Trail), with performances through November 18.

A Tale of Two Cities features a book, music and lyrics by Santoriello; directed by Michael Donald Edwards, choreographed by Warren Carlyle and designed by Tony Walton (scenery), David Zinn (costumes), Richard Pilbrow (lights), Carl Casella and Domonic Sack (sound).  Musical direction is by Jerry Steichen and orchestrations by Edward B. Kessel and Bob Krogstad.

"Set against the epic backdrop of the French Revolution and based on the classic Dickens novel, A Tale of Two Cities is a musical about injustice, vengeance and the redemptive power of love," describe press notes, "When Dr. Manette is released from the French Bastille after 17 years, he must be resurrected from the brink of madness by his daughter, Lucie. In England they meet two very different men: the exiled French aristocrat, Charles Darnay, whom Lucie marries, and the drunken cynic, Sydney Carton. Soon family secrets and political intrigue combine to draw Lucie and her family back to Paris. At the height of the Reign of Terror, the musical finds an unlikely hero in Carton, inspired by love to make an extraordinary sacrifice."

The cast stars James Barbour (Sydney Carton), Craig Bennett (Jerry Cruncher), Joe Cassidy (Ernest Defarge), Janine Divita (Young French Woman), Kevin Greene (Gabelle), Tim Hartman (The Turnkey), Michael Hayward-Jones (Jarvis Lorry), Derek Keeling (Charles Darnay), Jodie Langel (Mrs. Cruncher), Jay Lusteck (Attorney General), Katherine McGrath (Miss Pross), Les Minski (Marquis St. Evremonde), Walter Winston Oneil (Cronie), Rob Richardson (Gaspard), Rebecca Robbins (Vengeance), Jessica Rush (Lucie Manette), Alex Santoriello (Dr. Manette), Wayne Schroder (C.J. Stryver), Natalie Toro (Madame Defarge) and Nick Wyman (John Barsad), and Alex Howley, Kim Fanok, Karis Danish, Amy E. Gray, Marcus Denard Johnson, Heather Kopp, , Julie Lachance, Jennifer Logue, Bruce Merkle, Catherine Missal, Stephen Missal and Owen Teague.

Tickets are $18-$56, or Gala Premiere tickets are $130.  For tickets call 941-351-8000 or 800-361-8388 or visit

Performances are Tuesdays through Saturdays at 8PM; and Sundays at 2PM.  Other 2PM matinees are October 25 & 31; November 3, 7, 10, 14 & 17.  For more information visit

Photos by Carol Rosegg

James Barbour

James Barbour

James Barbour

James Barbour

l-r: Derek Keeling, James Barbour and Wayne Schroder

The cast singing "Round and Round"

l-r: Derek Keeling, Les Minski and Kevin Greene

l-r: James Barbour, Michael Hayward-Jones, Wayne Schroder, Jessica Rush, Catherine Missal, Katherine McGrath, Alex Santoriello and Derek Keeling

l-r: Natalie Toro, Juan Javier Cardenas, Joe Cassidy, Owen Teague, Nick Wyman and Rob Richardson 

James Barbour and Derek Keeling

Jessica Rush and Katherine McGrath

Alex Santoriello and Derek Keeling

Derek Keeling and Les Minski

Alex Santoriello and Jessica Rush

l-r: James Barbour, Nick Wyman and Craig Bennett

l-r: Joe Cassidy, Alex Santoriello and Natalie Toro

The cast in the famous court-room scene

The cast performs song "Everything Stays The Same"

The cast performs song "Everything Stays The Same"

Derek Keeling and Jessica Rush

Natalie Toro

Natalie Toro

Jessica Rush

Derek Keeling

Natalie Toro and Joe Cassidy (center) with the cast of A Tale of Two Cities

Natalie Toro and Joe Cassidy

The cast of A Tale of Two Cities

The cast of A Tale of Two Cities

The cast of A Tale of Two Cities

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