Sheryl Kaller To Direct Reading Of THE LAST SMOKER IN AMERICA 5/21

Andy Sandberg (Hair), in association with CATCO (Columbus, OH), will present a New York staged reading of the new musical The Last Smoker in America, with book and lyrics by Tony Nominee Bill Russell (Side Show) and music by Drama Desk Nominee Peter Melnick (Adrift in Macao), in anticipation of the world premiere in Ohio this fall. The musical received a developmental workshop production at the New York Musical Theatre Festival in the fall of 2009 where it extended and played to sold-out audiences.

The invitation-only reading set for Friday, May 21st will be directed by Tony Award Nominee Sheryl Kaller (Next Fall; Dangerous Beauty), with music supervision by Fred Lassen (South Pacific) and music direction by Rick Hip-Flores. The four-member cast will feature Adinah Alexander (The Wedding Singer; Parade) as Pam, Natalie Venetia Belcon (Avenue Q; The Glorious Ones) as Phyllis, John Bolton (Curtains; Spamalot) as Ernie, and Paul Iacono ("The Hard Times of R.J. Berger;" "Fame") as Jimmy, also featuring Drama Desk nominee Christina Bianco (Forbidden Broadway) as the voice of ASPHYXIA.

The Last Smoker in America is an original, four-character musical comedy about a dysfunctional family struggling to survive in a world where smoking has recently been outlawed. Pam, an English lit professor at a small college, is having an impossible time trying to quit smoking. Her husband Ernie dreams of being a rock star and relentlessly practices his electric guitar in the basement. Their teenage son Jimmy listens to so much rap music he's convinced he's black. Their nosy, anti-smoking zealot neighbor Phyllis lurks around trying to catch transgressors mid-puff. Will Pam kick the habit or fight for the right to light up as The Last Smoker in America?

The Last Smoker in America will have its world premiere at CATCO in Columbus, OH, this fall.

"We are very excited to be presenting the world premiere of The Last Smoker in America in Ohio this fall," says Hair producer Andy Sandberg. "We look forward to being a part of CATCO's 2010-2011 season and sharing this new musical comedy with Columbus before returning to New York."

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