Photo Preview: The People vs. Mona

Ground UP Productions will present the New York premiere of The People vs. Mona, a new Southern murder mystery musical from Jim Wann (co-conceiver of the Tony Award nominated musical Pump Boys and Dinettes) and Patricia Miller. Directed by Laura Standley, previews of the musical begins July 12 prior to an official press opening of July 18, 2007 at the Abingdon Theater (312 West 36th Street, between 8th and 9th Avenues) in Manhattan.  It will run through August 4.

Set in Tippo, Georgia (population 8,000), The People vs. Mona is "a love story, courtroom drama, musical comedy and fate-of-a-small-town-hanging-in-the-balance all rolled into one. Mona Mae Katt, owner of the wildly popular musical hangout, The Frog Pad, stands accused of killing her husband on their wedding day. If convicted, Mona will go to jail, and her beloved Frog Pad will be turned over to developers. Mona's fate (and the Frog Pad's) rests in the hands of everyman local defense attorney Jim Summerford, who has never won a case against charismatic prosecutor and majoral candidate Mavis Frye…who also happens to be his fiancée. As the trial unfolds amid a rollicking Southern roots score, the town's many secrets are revealed, and Jim and Mona recognize a budding attraction between them," as the show is described in production notes.

Directed by Ground UP Productions' Resident Director, Laura Standley, the musical features a cast which includes: Richard Binder (as Jim Summerford); Mariand Torres (as Ramona Maria "Mona Mae" Katt); Karen Culp (as Mavis Frye); Natalie Douglas (as Judge Ella Jordan); Marcie Henderson (as Tish/Blind Willie); Omri Schein (as Euple/Patel); David Jon Wilson (as Officer Bell); and Dan Bailey, Jason Chimonides, and Ritt Henn (as the McGnats). The musical director is Robert K. Mikulski, with a design team including Travis McHale (Set &Lighting Design); Mat Bussler (Sound Design); Elisa Richards (Costume Design); and Jill Gorrie (Choreographer).

Tickets are $20 and can be purchased by calling Smarttix at 212-868.4444 or on-line at For additional information, please visit

Photos by Kate Middleton

Richard Binder (as Jim Summerford); Mariand Torres (as Romona Maria "Mona Mae" Katt); and Karen Culp (as Mavis Frye)

Mariand Torres (as Romona Maria "Mona Mae" Katt); Natalie Douglas (as Judge Ella Jordan); Karen Culp (as Mavis Frye); and Richard Binder (as Jim Summerford)

Mariand Torres (as Romona Maria "Mona Mae" Katt); Natalie Douglas (as Judge Ella Jordan); Richard Binder (as Jim Summerford); and Karen Culp (as Mavis Frye)

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