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Santino Fontana & Judy Kuhn to Star in I CAN GET IT FOR YOU WHOLESALE at Classic Stage Company

The 2023-2024 CSC season will also feature Alice Childress’s Wine in the Wilderness, directed by Tony Award-winner LaChanze in her New York directorial debut.

By: Mar. 22, 2023
Santino Fontana & Judy Kuhn to Star in I CAN GET IT FOR YOU WHOLESALE at Classic Stage Company  Image
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Classic Stage Company has announced complete programming for their 2023-2024 Season.

This season is the first programmed by new Producing Artistic Director Jill Rafson, offering her artistic take on the classics.

"I'm thrilled to be sharing the exact blend of shows I had hoped to bring to CSC's beautiful and unique space," said Producing Artistic Director Jill Rafson. "My vision for CSC is to share fresh looks at the theatrical canon we know and love, while also introducing plays and musicals that reflect what the canon could be. Giving these works a chance to be in conversation with one another should add up to a season that is vital, engaging, and full of new discoveries."

The season will begin in Fall 2023 with I Can Get It For You Wholesale, the first New York revival of this musical in 30 years. Featuring a book by Jerome Weidman, based on his novel, and music and lyrics by Harold Rome, this production will feature a revised book by Weidman's son, John Weidman (Pacific Overtures, Assassins). Trip Cullman (Choir Boy) will direct a cast that features Tony Award winner Santino Fontana (Tootsie) and Tony Award nominee Judy Kuhn (CSC's Passion and Assassins).

The season continues in Winter 2024, as CSC presents Fiasco Theater's production of Pericles, written by William Shakespeare and directed by Ben Steinfeld. Fiasco Theater returns to CSC after their 2017 production of Twelfth Night with a wildly reimagined version of one of Shakespeare's lesser-known works.

In Spring 2024, the season will conclude with Alice Childress's Wine in the Wilderness. The 1964-set play will be directed by Tony Award-winner LaChanze/">LaChanze in her New York directorial debut, which follows her Tony nominated performance in Childress's Trouble in Mind. Wine in the Wilderness is a celebratory look at the complexities of Black womanhood.

I CAN GET IT FOR YOU WHOLESALE

Book by Jerome Weidman

Music and Lyrics by Harold Rome

Book Revisions by John Weidman

Directed by Trip Cullman

Starring Tony Award Winner Santino Fontana and Tony Award nominee Judy Kuhn

It's 1937 in New York City's Garment District, and shipping clerk Harry Bogen (Tony-winner Santino Fontana) would love to sell you a bill of goods. In this dark musical comedy, Bronx-born Harry must choose between the comfort of community and his own ambitious dreams. He'll have to do whatever it takes to get ahead, and even more to stay there. Better watch your back - sewing needles can be sharp.

Last seen on Broadway in 1962, I Can Get It For You Wholesale showcases memorable Harold Rome tunes, including the iconic "Miss Marmelstein," and a book based on his own novel by Jerome Weidman. CSC's production features a reimagined book by his son, John Weidman (Assassins), helmed by director Trip Cullman (Choir Boy).

The Fiasco Theater production of

PERICLES

Written by William Shakespeare

Directed by Ben Steinfeld

Pericles takes the Prince of Tyre on a Mediterranean adventure full of riddles, betrayals...and pirates! From confident leader to yearning lover to seeker of meaning, our hero in this Shakespearean tragicomedy will be brought to life on the CSC stage by the inventive Fiasco Theater, who have previously delighted New York audiences with inspired interpretations of Cymbeline and Into the Woods. The Fiasco Theater ensemble brings music, poetry, and a completely new way of seeing one of the Bard's most complex characters.

WINE IN THE WILDERNESS

Written by Alice Childress

Directed by LaChanze/">LaChanze

Fortune has smiled on artist Bill Jameson - his friends just introduced him to a model for the final piece of his triptych on Black womanhood. But this woman, Tomorrow Marie, is no mere muse, and she's about to give Bill much more than he bargained for. Set against the backdrop of the 1964 Harlem riot on a hot summer night, Wine in the Wilderness is a rarely-seen play from the brilliant mind of Alice Childress, whose Trouble in Mind recently took Broadway by storm. That production's star, Tony-winner LaChanze/">LaChanze, brings her deep connection to Childress's work to her New York directing debut.

Performance schedules, casting and full creative teams will be announced at a later date. Memberships for CSC's new 2023-24 season are on sale now. To learn more about joining CSC's patron program, please visit https://www.classicstage.org/patron.

ABOUT Classic Stage Company


Classic Stage Company (CSC) challenges the traditional perception of classic work by exploring and reimagining great stories across the world's repertoire that illuminate our common humanity. As a home for the classics, CSC collaborates with artists to produce work that is inclusive, relevant, and accessible. CSC believes that theater can both reflect and improve society by reaching across cultural divides in order to foster shared empathy and understanding.

In 1967, director Christopher Martin founded CSC Repertory in a 100-seat theater at Rutgers Presbyterian Church on West 73rd Street. Following short stints in small spaces, CSC grew to the point where it needed a permanent home. In 1973, the theater moved to its present premises on 13th Street, an intimate space that was formerly an East Village carriage house.

In the 55 years since, CSC has become a leading Off-Broadway theater that is a home for new and established artists, as well as audiences seeking epic stories intimately told. Productions have been cited by all major Off-Broadway theater awards including the Obie, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, Drama League, and the Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Body of Work.

Alice Childress

Born in 1916 and raised during the Harlem Renaissance under the watchful eye of her beloved maternal grandmother, Alice Childress grew up to become first an actress and then a playwright and novelist. A founding member of the American Negro Theatre, she wrote her first play, Florence, in 1949. The script was written in one night on a dare from close friend and actor Sidney Poitier, who had told Alice that he didn't think a great play could be written overnight. She proved him wrong, and the play was produced Off-Broadway in 1950.

In 1952 Childress became the first African-American woman to see her play (Gold Through the Trees) professionally produced in New York. In 1955, Childress' play Trouble in Mind was a critical and popular success from the beginning of its run Off-Broadway at the Greenwich Mews Theatre. The play immediately drew interest from producers for a Broadway transfer. In an ironic twist echoing the tribulations of the characters in the play itself, the producers wanted changes to the script to make it more palatable to a commercial audience. Childress refused to compromise her artistic vision, and the play didn't open on Broadway. If it had, at that time Childress would have been the first African-American woman playwright to have a play on Broadway. Trouble in Mind received a well-reviewed Off-Broadway revival in 1998 by the Negro Ensemble Company and has since been produced by Yale Repertory Theatre, Centerstage, Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, Arena Stage. Trouble in Mind, directed by Charles Randolph-Wright, produced by the Roundabout Theatre Company, opened on Broadway in November 2021.

Childress is perhaps best known today for "A Hero Ain't Nothin' But A Sandwich," her 1973 novel about a 13-year-old black boy addicted to heroin, which was subsequently made into a movie in 1978. Other plays written by Childress include Just A Little Simple (1950), Wedding Band: A Love/Hate Story in Black and White (1966) and Gullah (1984).

Alice Childress died in New York in 1994. Throughout her career, she examined the true meaning of being black, and especially of being black and female. As Childress herself once said, "I concentrate on portraying have-nots in a have society."

Trip Cullman

is currently developing a musical of Thelma & Louise with Halley Feiffer and Neko Case, and an original musical with Perfume Genius. Past productions: Broadway: Rose Tattoo (Roundabout), Choir Boy (MTC), Lobby Hero (Second Stage), Six Degrees of Separation (Barrymore), Significant Other (Booth). Select Off Broadway: Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow, YEN, Punk Rock (Obie award), A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Gynecologic Oncology Unit At Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center Of New York City (MCC); Days Of Rage, The Layover, The Substance of Fire, Lonely I'm Not, Bachelorette, Some Men, Swimming In The Shallows (Second Stage); Unknown Soldier, The Pain Of My Belligerence, Assistance, A Small Fire (Drama Desk nomination), The Drunken City (Playwrights Horizons); Choir Boy (MTC); Murder Ballad (MTC and Union Square Theatre); The Mother, I'm Gonna Pray For You So Hard (Atlantic); Roulette (EST); The Hallway Trilogy: Nursing (Rattlestick); The Last Sunday In June (Rattlestick and Century Center ); Dog Sees God (Century Center); US Drag (stageFARM); and several productions with The Play Company. London: The Colby Sisters of Pittsburgh, PA (Tricycle). Select regional: Geffen, Alliance, Old Globe, La Jolla Playhouse, South Coast Rep, Bay Street, Williamstown Theater Festival.

Santino Fontana

has cemented himself as one of Broadway's foremost leading men as well as a formidable screen talent. In 2019, Santino won the Tony Award, Drama Desk, and Outer Critics Circle Awards for his virtuosic performance as "Michael Dorsey"/"Dorothy Michaels" in Tootsie. He is widely known for lending his voice to the villainous Prince Hans in Disney's Academy Award winning animated feature, "Frozen." He was also seen in Universal Studio's "Sisters," opposite Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. His independent film work includes the romantic comedy "Off The Menu," psychological thriller "Impossible Monsters," and comedy "Papercop," for which he won a Best Actor Award at the Williamsburg International Independent Film Festival. He will soon appear in the feature "Lost And Found In Cleveland" opposite Martin Sheen and Dennis Haysbert, as well as the comedy "Brenda and Billy and the Pothos Plant" and "Stalking The Bogeyman."

On television, Santino was seen on the most recent season of the critically acclaimed "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel." He also starred on CW's comedy "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend" and NBC's drama series "Shades of Blue," opposite Jennifer Lopez and Ray Liotta, simultaneously. Other television credits include "Fosse/Verdon," "Mozart in the Jungle," "The Good Wife," "Nurse Jackie," and "Royal Pains," as well as the popular web series, "Submissions Only."

One of Broadway's brightest stars, Santino is highly regarded for his work onstage. He's received the Tony, two Drama Desks, an Outer Critics Circle, a Lortel, an Obie, and the Clarence Derwent Award for his work in both plays and musicals. The New York Times wrote, "Santino Fontana [is] one of the most promising actors to emerge in the New York theater." Santino received a Tony Nomination for Best Leading Actor in a Musical for his portrayal of Prince Topher in Cinderella. Other Broadway credits include Hello, Dolly! opposite Bernadette Peters, Act One opposite Tony Shalhoub, The Importance of Being Earnest (Clarence Derwent Award), A View from the Bridge, Brighton Beach Memoirs (Drama Desk Award), Billy Elliot, and Sunday in the Park with George. Off-Broadway, Santino was acclaimed for his performance in Stephen Karam's Sons of the Prophet. He also starred as John Adams in 1776 and Elliot Rosewater in God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater, both for New York City Center Encores!.

As a vocalist, Santino has performed in jazz venues such as Lincoln Center's Appel Room and Birdland. As an orchestra soloist, Santino has sung at Carnegie Hall, The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and other top tier venues with symphonies, big bands, and smaller ensembles, including the New York Philharmonic, the New York Pops and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. His debut album will be released soon. @santinofontana.

Judy Kuhn

Multiple Tony, Grammy and Olivier Award nominee, Judy Kuhn, most recently appeared in John Doyle's production of Stephen Sondheim & John Weidman's Assassins at Classic Stage Company. In 2018/19 she starred in the Olivier Award winning production of Fiddler on the Roof directed by Trevor Nunn in London's West End for which she received her 2nd Olivier Award nomination. On Broadway she starred as Helen Bechdel in Fun Home (Tony & Drama League Award Nominations) a role she created in the original Public Theater production for which she won the 2014 Lucille Lortel Award. Other Broadway includes the 2016 revival of Fiddler on the Roof; the Roundabout's hit revival of She Loves Me (Tony Nomination); and the original Bway productions of Chess (Tony & Drama Desk Nomination); Les Miserables (Tony & Drama Desk Nomination); Rags (Drama Desk Nomination); Two Shakespearean Actors (Lincoln Center Theater), Alan Menken & Tim Rice's King David, and The Mystery of Edwin Drood. Other theater includes: The Visit by John Kander, Fred Ebb & Terrance McNally at The Williamstown Theater Festival; Fosca in Passion directed by John Doyle at CSC (Drama League Award nomination); the inaugural season of Encores! Off-Center in The Cradle Will Rock directed by Sam Gold; Three Sisters adapted by Craig Lucas and directed by Bartlett Sher (Intiman); U.S. premiere of Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles, Eli's Comin' (Vineyard Theatre/Obie Award), The Ballad of Little Jo (Steppenwolf Theatre Co./Jeff Award Nomination).

Judy sang the title role in Disney's "Pocahontas" as well as the in the sequel "Pocahontas II: Journey To A New World." Other film and television appearances include: "Dear Edward" (Apple TV), "tick, tick, boom" (directed by Lin-Manuel Miranda), "Enchanted," "Elementary" (CBS), "Hope & Faith" (ABC), "Law & Order" (NBC), "All My Children"(ABC), "The Secret Life of Mary Margaret..." (HBO), "My Favorite Broadway: The Leading Ladies" (PBS), "The Kennedy Center Honors" (CBS), "The Les Miserables 10th Anniversary Concert" (PBS), "In Performance At The White House" (PBS).

Judy has performed on concert stages around the world including appearances at Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, Feinstein's at The Regency, The Hollywood Bowl, The Philly Pops Orchestra as well as The Royal Albert Hall in London. She can be heard on numerous original cast recordings as well as four solo CD's.

LaChanze/">LaChanze

is excited to be making her New York City directorial debut here at Classic Stage Company with Wine in the Wilderness, written by the incomparable Alice Childress. LaChanze/">LaChanze is an Emmy and Tony Award winning actor and producer with a career spanning over 37 years on Broadway. LaChanze/">LaChanze started her producing career in 2009 when she obtained the rights to a hilarious Whodunit entitled Reunion In Bartersville, written by Celeste Walker. Since then, she has partnered with the Broadway producer of Wicked, David Stone, to bring new shows to the stage. This season, LaChanze/">LaChanze serves as producer both on the 20th anniversary Broadway revival of Suzan-Lori Parks' acclaimed Pulitzer Prize Winning play Topdog/Underdog, as well as Kimberly Akimbo, a new musical on Broadway by Tony Award Winning Composer Jeanine Tesori and Pulitzer Prize Winning Playwright David Lindsay-Abaire. Both shows were included in The New York Times "Best Theater of 2022." LaChanze/">LaChanze is the current President of Black Theatre United and serves on the board of Harlem Stage and Roundabout Theatre Company.

Harold Rome

was born in Hartford, Connecticut and graduated from Hartford Public High School. Originally, he chose to go to Trinity College, but transferred because he felt like a "townie." Rome played piano in local dance bands such as Eddie Wittstein's and was already writing music while studying architecture and law at Yale University. While at Yale, he also pledged to Tau Epsilon Phi. He graduated in 1929 with a Bachelor of Arts and continued into Yale Law School.

After graduation, he worked as an architect in New York City but continued to pursue his musical interests, arranging music for local bands and writing material for revues at Green Mansions, a Jewish summer resort in the Adirondacks. Much of the music Rome was writing at this time was socially conscious and of little interest to Tin Pan Alley.

In 1937, he made his Broadway debut as co-writer, composer, and lyricist of the topical revue Pins and Needles. Pins and Needles was originally written for a small theatrical production directed by Samuel Roland. After a two-week professional run, it was adapted for performances by members of the then-striking International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union (ILGWU) as entertainment for its members. As Roland was associated with left-wing causes, he was asked by IGWU president David Dubinsky to withdraw. The show was a huge success, running for 1108 performances, and prompted George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart to invite Rome to collaborate on another topical revue, Sing Out the News, in 1938.

In 1949, he wrote the English lyrics of the French song "Mais qu'est-ce que j'ai?" The title song became "What Can I Do?" and the song was recorded by Madelyn Russell with Mitch Miller and his Orchestra.

In the early 1940s, Rome wrote songs for several revues and shows, but it was not until after the end of World War II that he had his next real success with Call Me Mister. His first full-fledged musical was Wish You Were Here in 1952.

Additional Broadway credits include Fanny (1954), Destry Rides Again (1959), I Can Get It for You Wholesale (1962), in which Barbra Streisand made her Broadway debut, and The Zulu and the Zayda (1965), which dealt with racial and religious intolerance. He also wrote the lyrics for La Grosse Valise (composer Gérard Calvi), which enjoyed a short run at the 54th Street Theater in 1965.

In 1970, he wrote a musical adaptation of "Gone with the Wind" entitled Scarlett for a Tokyo production with a Japanese cast. It later was staged in English with little success in London and Los Angeles.

Rome's music and/or lyrics can be heard in such films as "Babes on Broadway" (1941), "Thousands Cheer" (1943), "Anchors Aweigh" (1945), and "Rear Window" (1954).

In 1991, Rome was presented with a special Drama Desk Award for his "distinctive contribution to musical theater." Later that same year, he was inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame.

Rome died of a stroke in New York City at the age of 85.

Ben Steinfeld

is an award-winning actor, director, writer, teacher, and co-artistic director of the acclaimed Fiasco Theater. As an actor, Ben has been seen on Broadway in the Roundabout Theatre Company's revival of Cyrano de Bergerac, and as James Monroe in Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson. His Off-Broadway acting and directing work for Fiasco includes: his Lucille Lortel nominated performance as the Baker in the acclaimed production of Into the Woods at the Roundabout (Lortel Award for Best Revival); Cymbeline at Theatre for a New Audience and the Barrow Street Theatre (Off-Broadway Alliance Award for Best Revival); Measure for Measure at the New Victory Theatre (NY Times Top Ten of 2014), The Two Gentlemen of Verona at TFANA and the Folger Theatre (Helen Hayes nomination for Best Direction), Merrily We Roll Along at the Roundabout, and Twelfth Night at CSC. In the summer of 2016 he made his London acting and directing debut with Fiasco's Into the Woods at the Menier Chocolate Factory, and (with co-director Noah Brody) he received the L.A. Drama Critic's Circle award for directing the national tour of Into the Woods in the 2016-17 season.

Regional theater work includes acting and directing at McCarter Theatre, The Old Globe, Folger Theatre, Long Wharf Theatre, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Westport Country Playhouse, and Trinity Rep, among others.

His television and film acting work includes HBO's Muhammad Ali's Greatest Fight, the upcoming film Callahan, "The Good Wife", "Law & Order: Criminal Intent", "The Deuce", and "Power Book III: Raising Kanan."

Ben wrote the book for the new musical Diamond Alice (music & lyrics by Alexander Gemignani), and book, music, and lyrics for his adaptation of Ellen Bryan Obed's children's book "Twelve Kinds of Ice," commissioned by Two River Theater. Ben composed original music for Fiasco's production of Moliere's The Imaginary Invalid, and co-authored an essay for "Living With Shakespeare" (Random House).

Since 2007, Ben has been an adjunct professor and artistic associate at the Gallatin School of Individualized Study at New York University, where he continues to teach and oversee Fiasco Theater's residency. He has twice received Gallatin's Excellence in Teaching Award, recognizing his "life-changing" work with students. Ben was a guest lecturer at Princeton University as part of the Princeton Atelier. He recently gave the inaugural Michael Armstrong Memorial Lecture on the Imagination at the Bread Loaf School of English at Middlebury College, where he has spent four summers as both a professor and member of the acting ensemble. Ben has led masterclasses at NYU, Brown, Rutgers, Duke, and many other leading universities, and has narrated/hosted several young people's concerts with the Philadelphia Orchestra and the NJ Symphony Orchestra.

Ben is a graduate of Brown University and the Brown/Trinity Rep MFA Program.

FIASCO THEATER

is an ensemble theater company based in NYC that offers dynamic, joyful, actor-driven productions, and the highest quality, accessible, affordable training for emerging artists. Fiasco produces annual programming by developing shows through the internal development series, GroundWork, as well as year-round readings and workshops that are open to the public; including the workshop production initiative Without a Net. Additionally they partner with other theaters who present and/or co-produce Fiasco productions. Presenting partner theaters in NYC have included Classic Stage Co, TFANA, New Victory and Roundabout Theatre, where Fiasco serves as the first-ever Company in Residence. The Fiasco Conservatory training program offers emerging artists the chance to train full-time in Fiasco's joy-based, actor-centered approach to theater-making. Fiasco's Free Training Initiative offers students a primer in Fiasco's rehearsal approach completely free of charge to all. To date the company's award-winning work has been seen by over 200,000 audience members in NYC, including over 12,000 school children, and The New York Times has called Fiasco "a force to reckon with in the American theater."

Jerome Weidman

(1913-1998) was an American novelist and playwright. Born in New York's Lower East Side, he began selling short fiction at the age of seventeen to magazines such as Story, the American Mercury, and the New Yorker; the latter published twenty-three of his short works between 1936 and 1946. Weidman's first novel, "I Can Get It for You Wholesale" (1937), made him a national sensation. A story of greed in Manhattan's infamous garment district, it was as controversial as it was popular. Weidman went on to write more than twenty novels, including "Fourth Street East" (1970), "Last Respects" (1971), "What's in It for Me?" (1938), a sequel to his hit debut novel, and a celebrated memoir, "Praying for Rain" (1987). In 1959, he co-wrote the musical Fiorello!, about New York's most famous mayor, which won a Pulitzer Prize and a New York Drama Critics Circle award. Weidman continued publishing fiction until late in his life and died in New York City in 1998.

John Weidman

has written the books for a wide variety of musicals, among them Pacific Overtures (Tony nominations, Best Book, Best Musical), Assassins (Tony Award, Best Musical Revival), and Road Show, all with scores by Stephen Sondheim; Contact (Tony nomination, Best Book; Tony Award, Best Musical), co-created with director/choreographer Susan Stroman; Take Flight and Big (Tony nomination, Best Book), scores by Richard Maltby Jr. and David Shire; the new book, co-authored with Timothy Crouse, for the Lincoln Center Theater/Roundabout Theatre/National Theatre revivals of Cole Porter's Anything Goes (Tony Awards, Best Musical Revival; Olivier Award, Best Musical Production), Happiness, score by Scott Frankel and Michael Korie, directed by Susan Stroman; and Arrabal, score by Gustavo Santaolalla, directed and co-choreographed by Sergio Trujillo. He is currently working on a musical adaptation of the movie Norma Rae with composer/lyricists Rosanne Cash and John Leventhal. When his children were pre-schoolers, Weidman began writing for "Sesame Street," receiving more than a dozen Emmy Awards for Outstanding Writing for a Children's Program. He is a graduate of Harvard College and Yale Law School and from 1999 to 2009 he served as President of the Dramatists Guild of America.




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