Samantha Barks, Adam Chanler-Berat & More Will Star in World Premiere of AMELIE at Berkeley Rep

Berkeley Repertory Theatre has announced that award-winning British actress Samantha Barks will star in the world premiere of AMÉLIE, A NEW MUSICAL directed by Tony Award winner Pam MacKinnon (Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?). Barks, who is best known for her stand-out performance as Éponine in the film adaptation of LES MISERABLES, will portray the inquisitive and charmingly shy Amélie. Her most recent theatre credits include City of Angels, Cabaret, and Oliver! in London's West End, and Chicago at The Hollywood Bowl. She will be joined by Randy Blair (Hipolito), Adam Chanler-Berat (Nino), Alison Cimmet (Amandine/Philomene), Carla Duren (Gina), John Hickok (Raphael/Bretodeaux), Alyse Alan Louis (Georgette/Fluffy/Sylvie), and Paul Whitty (Joseph), with additional casting to be announced at a later time.

Written by Craig Lucas (An American in Paris, Prelude to a Kiss), AMÉLIE, A NEW MUSICAL, features music by Daniel Messe of the acclaimed band Hem with lyrics by Nathan Tysen (The Burnt Part Boys) and Messe. The musical begins previews on Friday, August 28, opens on Friday, September 11, and runs through Sunday, October 4, 2015. Press night will be held on Friday, September 11, 2015 at 8:00 PM.

"We're thrilled to have Sam join the cast of Amélie," says Tony Taccone, Berkeley Rep's Michael Leibert Artistic Director. "She is a wonderful actress with a remarkable singing voice. I'm excited for her to take the stage as Amélie-I know the audience will fall in love with her."

"As a lover of musical theatre I'm elated to join the cast of Amélie," adds Barks. "The creative team has found stunning ways to reimagine the wonderful, romantic, and magical world of Amélie, and the score is gorgeous. It is a thrill to not only bring a beloved screen character to life for Berkeley Rep's audience, but also to create a new role for the musical theatre."

Samantha Barks is a British actress best known for the role of Éponine in LES MISERABLES. In 2008, Barks competed in I'd Do Anything in which she was one of the finalists in a search for a new, unknown lead to play Nancy in a West End revival of the British musical Oliver!. After the program, Barks became a theatre actress in the West End, where she received many accolades for her performances. Barks recently appeared in Universal's Dracula alongside Luke Evans and Dominic Cooper. She has garnered rave reviews and acclaim for her performance as the iconic Éponine in Universal's LES MISERABLES, directed by Tom Hooper starring alongside Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Eddie Redmayne, Amanda Seyfried, and Anne Hathaway. She received the Breakout Award at Glamour magazine's Women of the Year Awards, Best Female Newcomer by the Empire Awards, the Spotlight Award from the Hollywood Film Festival, and was nominated for Young British Performer of the Year by the London Critics Circle. Recently Barks played Velma in the Los Angeles Philharmonic's production of Chicago at The Hollywood Bowl and starred as Mallory/Avril in London's Donmar Warehouse's production of City of Angels.

Of Barks' critically lauded performance as Velma in Chicago at The Hollywood Bowl, Variety raves, "You'll value the big screens, though, when best-in-show Samantha Barks struts her stuff. In a socko transformation from delicate Éponine in 2012's LES MISERABLES pic to hard-boiled felon Velma Kelly, the petite Brit is revealed as a true Broadway-style pepper pot with plangent voice and irresistible grin."

Barks will perform alongside a cast of stellar actors, many of whom will be making their Berkeley Rep debut.

Randy Blair (Hipolito) is making his Berkeley Rep debut. His New York credits include Adding Machine (Minetta Lane Theatre), Chaplin (Theatre Row), The Yellow Wood (York Theatre Company), and The Tragic and Horrible Life of the Singing Nun (Theatre at St. Clements). Recent regional credits include House of Gold (Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company), Spelling Bee (Alabama Shakespeare Festival), and Avenue Q (Weston Playhouse). Film and television credits include Law & Order, Strangers with Candy, Naked Brothers Band, and Across the Universe.

Adam Chanler-Berat (Nino) makes his Berkeley Rep debut. Chanler-Berat recently finished The Fortress of Solitude (The Public Theater) where he played the lead role of Dylan. He appeared in off-Broadway and Broadway productions of Peter and the Starcatcher and in the off-Broadway and Broadway production of Next to Normal. Additional off-Broadway credits include the revival of Rent, Zorba! (Encores!), My Favorite Year, and Fly by Night. Recent TV credits include Elementary, Veep, The Good Wife, and CBS' pilot Doubt.

Alison Cimmet (Amandine/Philomene) will be making her Berkeley Rep debut. Her Broadway credits include The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Bonnie and Clyde, Baby It's You, and A Tale of Two Cities. Additional stage credits include 3 Kinds of Exile (Atlantic Theater Company), Into the Woods (The Old Globe), among others. Television credits include Deadbeat and Are We There Yet? and the films March! and Chasing Taste.

Carla Duren (Gina) is returning to Berkeley Rep where she played Sophie in Ruined. Her Broadway credits include Hairspray and 110 in the Shade. Her off-Broadway credits include The Fortress of Solitude (The Public Theater) and Brooklynite (The Vineyard Theatre). Film credits include Knucklehead, Maid in Manhattan, and Dave Chappelle's Block Party, and the television series The Mysteries of Laura.

John Hickok (Raphael/Bretodeaux) is making his Berkeley Rep debut. He created the roles of Zoser in Elton John's Aida, Governor Slaton in Parade, and Professor Bhaer in Little Women on Broadway. Recently, he played opposite Frank Langella in the Broadway revival of Man and Boy, and was also in Our Country's Good and Accomplice. His New York and regional credits include 1776, Unsinkable Molly Brown, Mame, Foxfire, Eye of the Beholder, and God of Carnage.

Alyse Alan Louis (Georgette/Fluffy/Sylvie) is making her Berkeley Rep debut. Recent credits include Rhoda in A New Brain and Pretty Filthy. On Broadway, she appeared in Mamma Mia! Her other New York credits include productions at New York Musical Theatre Festival, La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club, and the Lucille Lortel. Regional credits include The Rocky Horror Show (Bucks County Playhouse), Nerds (Philadelphia Theatre Company), and Pop! (Who Shot Andy Warhol?) (City Theatre, Pennsylvania).

Paul Whitty (Joseph) makes his Berkeley Rep debut. His regional credits include Be More Chill (Two River Theater), reasons to be pretty, Art (Crescent Stage), Circle Mirror Transformation (Pure Theatre), Doubt, and War of the Worlds (Village Repertory Company). On Broadway he originated the role of Billy in the Tony Award-winning musical Once, and appeared in The Full Monty. His other New York credits include Bayonets of Angst (New York Musical Theatre Festival), Violet (City Center Encores! Off-Center), A Thick Description of Harry Smith (New Dramatists), and Twelfth Night (Sonnet Repertory Theatre). His film and television credits include Song One, National Lampoon's Beach Party at the Threshold of Hell, Law & Order SVU, and Guiding Light.

AMÉLIE, A NEW MUSICAL, features scenic and costume design by David Zinn, lighting design by Jane Cox, sound design by Kai Harada, projection design by Peter Nigrini with music direction by Kimberly Grigsby and choreography by Sam Pinkleton.

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