Sheryl Lee Ralph Takes Over For Adriane Lenox In 'FIRST WIVES CLUB' Musical
THE FIRST WIVES CLUB is getting a new wife. For personal reasons, Adriane Lenox will not be a part of the musical production. Tony Award nominee Sheryl Lee Ralph has stepped in to the role of "Elyse".Sheryl Lee Ralph is an acclaimed veteran of film, television and the Broadway stage. Her award winning body of work includes creating and originating the role of Deena Jones on Broadway in the landmark musical Dreamgirls, which earned her both a Tony and Drama Desk Award Nomination for Best Actress. After Dreamgirls, Ms. Ralph turned her attention to music, television and film. She scored a top-ten selling dance hit in the mid-eighties with the infectious anthem In the Evening andagain in the nineties with her remake of Here comes the Rain Again.
On television, Sheryl Lee has starred in It's a Living, her own series New Attitude, the George Foreman series George and in the hit comedy Designing Women. She was also voted one of TV's Favorite Moms for her portrayal of step mom Dee on the number-one rated television series Moesha. She broke new ground In the SHOWTIME series, Barbershop, as the popular, post-operative transsexual, Claire. Recently, Sheryl brought a new face to the sufferings of war in the NBC hit series ER.
Her extensive film credits include Sister Act II with Whoopi Goldberg, The Flintstones with Rosie O'Donnell, The Mighty Quinn with Denzel Washington, Mistress with Robert De Niro, and Eddie Murphy's Distinguished Gentleman. Sheryl Lee's performance with Danny Glover in To Sleep with Anger won her the Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Actress.For more information on Sheryl Lee Ralph, visit her official website.Previews for the world premiere of The First Wives Club - A New Musical are now set to begin July 17, 2009. The schedule was changed to accommodate a revised rehearsal/technical schedule.
Based on the best-selling novel and film of the same name, this Broadway-bound musical features a book by Tony Award-winner Rupert Holmes (Curtains!, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Say Goodnight Gracie) and a score by Motown hit-makers and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier and Eddie Holland, the threesome who created hits for Martha and The Vandellas, The Miracles, Marvin Gaye, The Four Tops and The Supremes. The production will be directed by award-winning opera and theatre director Francesca Zambello (The Little Mermaid, Little House on the Prairie - The Musical, Rebecca, Porgy and Bess and the Wagner Ring Cycle at the San Francisco Opera where she is the Artistic Advisor). The production will run in the Old Globe Theatre July 17 - August 23, 2009, with a press opening on Friday, July 31 at 8:00pm. Following its run at The Old Globe, The First Wives Club will be produced on Broadway by Paul Lambert and Jonas Neilson, with a theatre and dates to be announced.
Tickets are available immediately through subscription purchase. Individual tickets for The First Wives Club - A New Musical go on sale Sunday, June 7 at 10am and are available by calling (619) 23-GLOBE, on the Globe website at www.TheOldGlobe.org, or by visiting The Globe box office at 1363 Old Globe Way in Balboa Park. Ticket prices range from $55 to $92.
The cast features Broadway veterans Adriane Lenox (Doubt; Kiss Me, Kate) as "Elyse," Barbara Walsh (Company, Hairspray) as "Brenda," Karen Ziemba (Contact, Curtains!) as "Annie," John Dossett (Gypsy) as "Aaron," Kevyn Morrow (Dreamgirls) as "Bill," Brad Oscar (The Producers) as "Morty," Sara Chase as "Trophy Wife," Sam Harris (The Life) as "Duane," Ari Lerner and Austyn Myers alternating as "Jason," with Michelle Aravena, Mark Campbell, Thursday Farrar, Jenifer Foote, Bob Gaynor, Matthew Labanca, Victoria Matlock, Hayley Podschun, Martin Samuel and Richard Waits as The Ensemble.The design team includes Scenic Designer Peter J. Davison (revival of Blithe Spirit in 2009, Is He Dead?, Deuce and Medea, for which he was nominated for a 1994 Tony Award), Costume Designer Paul Tazewell (2009 revival of Guys and Dolls, Tony Award-nominee in 2008 for In The Heights, in 2006 for The Color Purple and in 1996 for Bring in ‘Da Noise, Bring in Da Funk), Lighting Designer Mark McCullough (The American Plan, 2000 revival of Jesus Christ Superstar), Sound Designer Jon Weston (13; 2006 revival of Les Miserables; The Color Purple; Caroline, or Change; Thoroughly Modern Millie), Choreographer Lisa Stevens, Music Supervisor Ron Melrose, Conductor John Gentry Tennyson and Orchestrator Harold Wheeler.
Barbara Walsh ("Brenda") has appeared in several prominent Broadway productions. Walsh is best known for her Drama Desk Award-winning and Tony-nominated role as "Trina" in the Broadway production of Falsettos. She appeared on Broadway in the musical Big, based on the Penny Marshall film starring Tom Hanks. Recently, Ms. Walsh was in the 2007 Broadway revival of Stephen Sondheim and George Furth's Company, playing the role of "Joanne." She has also appeared on Broadway in Rock 'n Roll! The First 5,000 Years, Nine, Blood Brothers and Hairspray. She played the dual roles of "Edith Beale" and her daughter "Little Edie" in Grey Gardens at the Studio Theatre (Washington, DC) from November 12, 2008 through December 21, 2008. Walsh's television credits include guest roles on "Law & Order," "Law & Order: Criminal Intent," and the recurring role of Judy Schulman-Brown on "One Life to Live."
Tony-winning actor-singer-dancer Karen Ziemba ("Annie") is one of Broadway's most versatile and beloved performers. Karen received the Tony Award - along with the Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards - starring in Susan Stroman and John Weidman's hit musical, Contact, at Lincoln Center Theater. On and Off-Broadway, Karen has played murderers and marathoners, a daughter of the West, and the daughter of an American president. She starred as "Roxie Hart" in Kander and Ebb's Chicago, and "Rita Racine" in their Steel Pier (for which she received her first Tony Award nomination as well as Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle nominations), and starred in the new Gershwin musical, Crazy For You. Karen Ziemba made her debut at the Globe earlier this year in John Guare's Six Degrees of Separation as "Ouisa."
John Dossett ("Aaron") made his Broadway debut in 1979 in the musical King of Schnorrers. In 1982 he joined the cast of Fifth of July, after which the bulk of his work was in off-Broadway productions and on television. He was a member of the off-Broadway Circle Repertory Company, performing in many plays between 1980-1994. He later achieved success in two popular musicals, Ragtime (1998) and the 2003 revival of Gypsy, opposite Bernadette Peters. His performance in the latter garnered him both Tony Award and Drama Desk Award nominations as Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical. His most significant screen credit is the 1990 AIDS drama, Longtime Companion. He most recently was reunited with his Gypsy co-star Peters in a one-night only benefit reading of Love Letters.
Kevyn Morrow ("Bill") made his Broadway debut as a member of the original cast of Leader of the Pack; he soon after joined the cast of the legendary A Chorus Line. His next Broadway show would be as an original cast member of Dreamgirls. Kevyn has also appeared in Smokey Joe's Cafe, Dream, The Scarlet Pimpernel, and the 2002 revival of Anything Goes. He recently appeared in the premiere presentation of Ripper, the musical, at New World Stages.
Brad Oscar ("Morty") was nominated for the 2001 Tony Award for his role as Nazi playwright "Franz Liebkind" in The Producers. He has appeared in several productions at the Arena Stage in Washington, DC. In 2005, he played "The Devil" (Mr. Applegate) in Damn Yankees, and in October 2006 he played "Master of Ceremonies" in Cabaret. He has completed playing multiple roles, including "Lady Enid" in The Mystery of Irma Vep in 2008. Other regional work includes the title role in the musical Barnum, at the Asolo Repertory Theatre (Florida).
Sam Harris' ("Duane") recent role on the CBS comedy, "The Class," is the latest incarnation of a career that has spanned more than two decades, from singer/songwriter to stage, film, television actor to writer and producer. Sam has starred in productions of Cabaret, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and the self-penned shows Different Hats and, most notably, Hard Copy, in which he portrayed six different characters frequenting an all-night news stand. The show was a huge success, garnering a myriad of awards, and Sam's writing and acting skills were now coming to the forefront. He received a Drama Desk-nomination for his role in the Tommy Tune produced Grease. Immediately following, he toured for 15 months in the Broadway national tour of Andrew Lloyd Webber's Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. Soon after, Sam starred in Cy Coleman's The Life, for which he received the Drama League Award as well as Tony, Outer Critic' Circle and Drama Desk nominations.
One of America's most popular and prolific "pop" songwriting teams ever, Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier, and Eddie Holland (music & lyrics) have received over 100 million airplays on radio and television, more than the Rolling Stones, Elvis and the Beatles combined. Their songs have had an indelible influence on the international music scene and have been a part of the fabric of our lives for over four decades. Their body of work has been recorded by Rod Stewart, Michael Jackson, James Taylor, Marvin Gaye, The Dixie Chicks, The Supremes, Martha and the Vandellas, The Four Tops, The Isley Brothers, Freda Payne, The Carpenters, Barbra Streisand, Reba McEntire, The Temptations, Dionne Warwick, The Jackson Five and The Beatles to name just a few. Among the numerous hits penned by the team of Holland-Dozier-Holland are "How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved by You)," "Baby I Need Your Loving," "Stop! In the Name of Love," "You Can't Hurry Love" and "I Can't Help Myself." They were inducted in the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1988; into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990; they received the National Association of Recording Artists and Science Trustee Award and were recently honored with the BMI (Broadcast Music, Inc) "ICON" Award.
Rupert Holmes (Book) is the author of numerous songs, musicals, plays and novels, which have earned him three Tony Awards (Best Book, Best Score and Best Musical), several Drama Desk Awards, and the prestigious Edgar Award, which was given to him by the Mystery Writers of America. He has developed and arranged songs for many renowned artists, including Barbra Streisand, Dolly Parton, Barry Manilow, Paul Williams, the Manhattan Transfer and Barbara Cook. His Solitary, which starred Stacy Keach, set a new box office record at the Kennedy Center. Other notable theatrical projects include the Tony Award-winning The Mystery of Edwin Drood, the Tony-nominated Say Goodnight Gracie, The Accomplice, Goosebumps and Marty. His latest show, Curtains!, a Kander and Ebb musical, recently played to major acclaim on Broadway. He also received an Emmy for his made-for-television dramedy, "Remember WENN," and more recently his novel, Where The Truth Lies, has been translated into a major motion picture starring Kevin Bacon.
Francesca Zambello (Director) is an internationally recognized and award-winning opera and theater director. Her recent theatrical credits include The Little Mermaid for Disney on Broadway, Little House on the Prairie for the Guthrie Theater, Rebecca for the Vienna Raimund Theater, West Side Story for the floating stage in Bergenz, Austria, and Showboat at The Royal Albert Hall. She is the Artistic Advisor of the San Francisco Opera where she is helming a new Ring Cycle and Porgy and Bess this season. She has many notable directing credits at the Metropolitan Opera, including An American Tragedy, Cyrano and Les Troyens, as well as at Teatro alla Scala, Royal Albert Hall, Bolshoi Opera, Royal Opera House, Paris Opera, Washington Opera, and Chicago Lyric Opera, among others. Her honors include three Olivier Awards, two Evening Standard Awards, two French Grand Prix des Critiques, Helpmann Award, Palme d'Or in Germany and the Golden Mask in Russia.
The popular 1996 Paramount film "The First Wives Club" - was based on Olivia Goldsmith's novel and featured a screenplay by Robert Harling. The motion picture grossed over $130 million and boasted a star-studded cast including Bette Midler, Goldie Hawn and Diane Keaton.
Tickets to First Wives Club-A New Musical are currently available by subscription by contacting the Globe Box Office at (619) 23-GLOBE or online at www.TheOldGlobe.org.
The internationally-acclaimed, Tony Award® -winning Old Globe is one of the most renowned regional theatres in the country and has stood as San Diego's flagship arts institution for 74 years. The Old Globe produces a year-round season of 15 plays and musicals on its three stages, including its highly-regarded Shakespeare Festival. The Globe has become a gathering place for leading theatre artists from around the world, such as Tom Stoppard, Daniel Sullivan and Chita Rivera, among many others. Numerous Broadway-bound premieres and revivals, such as Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, The Full Monty and Damn Yankees, have been developed at The Old Globe and have gone on to enjoy highly successful runs in New York and at regional theatres across the country.
The Globe's 2009 Summer Season includes the renowned Summer Shakespeare Festival, featuring Coriolanus, Twelfth Night and Edmund Rostand's Cyrano de Bergerac playing in repertory; world premiere musical The First Wives Club, by R&B legends Holland-Dozier-Holland; and Charles Ludlam's The Mystery of Irma Vep. Under the leadership of Executive Producer Louis G. Spisto and Resident Artistic Director Darko Tresnjak, the Globe is at the forefront of the nation's leading performing arts organizations, setting a standard for excellence in American theatre.
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