Tony Sheldon and More Join World Premiere of AMELIE at Berkeley Rep; Full Cast Announced!
Amélie captured our hearts in the five-time Academy Award-nominated 2001 French film. Now she comes to the stage in an inventive and captivating new musical directed by Tony Award winner Pam MacKinnon, who is known for her work on Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and Clybourne Park. With a book by Craig Lucas (An American in Paris, Prelude to Kiss), the musical features a stirring score by Daniel Messé of the band Hem and lyrics by Messé and Nathan Tysen (The Burnt Part Boys). Amélie, A New Musical is produced by special arrangement with Aaron Harnick, Triptyck Studios, and SBR Productions.
The theatrical world premiere presentation of Amélie, A New Musical begins previews Friday, August 28, opens on Friday, September 11, and runs through Sunday, October 4, 2015. Press night for Amélie will be held on Friday, September 11, 2015.
"We're thrilled to kick off the season with Amélie," says Tony Taccone, Berkeley Rep's Michael Leibert Artistic Director. "We have tapped an incredibly talented team of collaborators to create a charming, theatrical production. It is a fanciful sensory experience with its own voice, yet respectful of the original film. I can't think of a better way to start the season."
"And I'm pleased to be a part of the team staging Amélie," adds MacKinnon. "Craig Lucas brought the project to my attention a couple years ago. I was able to listen to a few of the songs written by Dan, and I just fell in love with the music. Amélie is very much an ensemble piece and, ultimately, a hyper-romantic coming-of-age story. I'm excited for Berkeley Rep audiences to be the first to see this love story about a girl with a huge imagination."
Individual tickets start at $29 and can be purchased by phone at 510 647-2949 or online at berkeleyrep.org.
The full cast for AMÉLIE, A NEW MUSICAL in alphabetical order includes:
David Andino (Blind Beggar/Garden Gnome) is overjoyed to take part in Amélie here at Berkeley Rep. His regional/tour credits include Broadway's first national tour of Cinderella (Jean Michel) and The Buddy Holly Story at Little Theatre on the Square (The Big Bopper). His New York credits include Cloned! The Musical at New York Musical Theatre Festival 2014 (Tramell the Pigeon) and 50 Shades! off Broadway (Christian Grey).
Samantha Barks (Amélie) has played Mallory Kingsley in City of Angels (Donmar Warehouse), Velma Kelly in Chicago (Hollywood Bowl), Nancy in Oliver! (UK Tour), Éponine in LES MISERABLES (Queen's Theatre, West End), and Sally Bowles in Cabaret (Birmingham Rep). 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. Barks' other film credits include Natalka in Harvest (Pinewood Pictures), Lottie in A Hundred Streets (CrossDay Productions), and Emily Barstow in The Christmas Candle (Pinewood Pictures). 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.
Randy Blair (Hipoloto) 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), The 25th Annual Putnam County 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 created the role of Peter in off-Broadway and Broadway productions of Peter and the Starcatcher and the role of Henry 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) is 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 the world premiere of John Guare's 3 Kinds of Exile (Atlantic Theater Company) and Into the Woods (The Old Globe), among others. Television credits include Deadbeat and Are We There Yet?, and film credits include March! and Chasing Taste.
Savvy Crawford (Young Amélie) is excited to join Berkeley Rep. Having just turned 9, Crawford already has multi-faceted acting experience in film, TV, theatre, voice-overs, and commercials. She is currently recording the starring role of Dehlia in Nickelodeon's new animated series, The Thing about Babies. Earlier this year she appeared as Young Madonna in the star-studded music video, "Bitch I'm Madonna." She also appeared in the film Kill for Me, with Dylan Baker and Bailey Chase, in the role of Charlotte. Crawford's first television appearance was at age 5 in the sitcom Mike and Molly as Young Victoria. She studies dance, singing, and acting in New York City, but she also enjoys other pursuits. For two years she has been on her school's running team, earning two blue ribbons at their latest track and field championships. Crawford is also an avid gamer whose love of Minecraft is matched only by her creativity, and she enjoys tweeting and posting on Instagram @SavvyCrawford.
Carla Duren (Gina) is returning to Berkeley Rep where she played Sophie in Ruined. Her Broadway credits include L'il Inez in Hairspray and Snookie in 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 TV credits include 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) is making her Berkeley Rep debut. Recent credits include Rhoda in A New Brain and Becky in the world premiere of The Civilians' Pretty Filthy. On Broadway, she appeared in Mamma Mia! Her other New York credits include productions at New York Musical Theatre Festival, La MaMa, 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).
Shannon O'Boyle (Swing) was recently seen on Broadway in Once the Musical. Her regional favorites include the title role of the new rock musical Lizzie (Playhouse Square) and Vivienne in Legally Blonde. O'Boyle is a proud graduate of the Baldwin Wallace University Conservatory of Music.
Maria-Christina Oliveras (Suzanne) is thrilled to be making her Berkeley Rep debut. She has appeared on Broadway in Machinal and Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson. Her other New York credits include Zorba (dir. Walter Bobbie) and the world premieres of Here Lies Love (dir. Alex Timbers), Pretty Filthy (dir. Steve Cosson), And Miles To Go (dir. Hal Brooks), Reading Under the Influence (dir. Wendy Goldberg), The Really Big Once (dir. David Herskovits), Slavey (dir. Robert O'Hara), and After (dir. Stephen Brackett), among others. Oliveras' film and television appearances include The Humbling, St. Vincent, Time Out of Mind, Manhattan Nocturne, and Law & Order: SVU, among others. She is the recipient of the Charles Bowden Actor Award from New Dramatists.
Tony Sheldon (Dufayel/Collignon) is making his Berkeley Rep debut. A native of Australia where his many starring roles include Man of La Mancha, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, The Producers, Private Lives, I Hate Hamlet, Noises Off, Into the Woods, and Torch Song Trilogy, Sheldon won a Theatre World Award and was nominated for the Tony, Drama Desk, Drama League, and Outer Critics Circle Awards for his Broadway debut as Bernadette in Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, a role he also played in Australia, New Zealand, London (Olivier Award nomination), and Toronto (Dora Award) for 1,750 performances. In New York he appeared in The Band Wagon at City Centre Encores! and Saint Joan, The Millionairess, and Heartbreak House at Project Shaw. His films include Freedom with Cuba Gooding, Jr. and Butterflies of Bill Baker with Will Chase.
Perry Sherman (Lucien) is thrilled to be making his Berkeley Rep debut. He most recently appeared in Toronto with LES MISERABLES (Marius). His New York credits include Avenue Q (Princeton/Rod) directed by Rick Lyon, and Wikimusical (New York Musical Theatre Festival). He was in the first national tours of Next to Normal and Spring Awakening. He is the writer/director of Extended Run, the web series.
Jacob Keith Watson (Swing) is incredibly excited to make his Berkeley Rep debut with Amélie! His New York credits include the Tony-nominated revival of Violet (Preacher/Leroy/Billy Dean cover) with the Roundabout Theatre Company and the national/international tour of Chicago the Musical (Amos Hart). Other favorite credits include Bye Bye Birdie (Albert), As You Like It (Corin), Twelfth Night (Feste), Othello (Iago understudy), I Pagliacci (Beppe), and La Bohème (Rodolfo). Watson is also a past winner of the prestigious Lotte Lenya Competition and the NATS National Music Theater Competition.
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.
Pam MacKinnon (Director) won Tony and Drama Desk Awards and received an Outer Critics Circle nomination for her direction of Edward Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? She also won an Obie Award and Tony and Lortel nominations for her direction of Bruce Norris' Clybourne Park. She directed Edward Albee's A Delicate Balance and Wendy Wasserstein's The Heidi Chronicles on Broadway this season. Her many off-Broadway and regional credits include Bruce Norris' The Qualms (Steppenwolf Theatre Company and Playwrights Horizons), Sarah Treem's When We Were Young and Unafraid (Manhattan Theatre Club), Craig Lucas' The Lying Lesson (Atlantic Theater Company), Horton Foote's Harrison, TX (Primary Stages), and Itamar Moses' Completeness (South Coast Repertory and Playwrights Horizons). MacKinnon is an alumna of the Drama League, and the Women's Project and Lincoln Center Theater Directors Labs, and is an associate artist at the Roundabout Theatre, as well as an executive board member of Stage Directors and Choreographers Society, and board chair of the NYC downtown company Clubbed Thumb.
Craig Lucas' (Author) plays include Missing Persons, Reckless, Blue Window, Prelude to a Kiss, God's Heart, The Dying Gaul, Stranger, Prayer for My Enemy, The Singing Forest, The Lying Lesson, and Ode To Joy. His movies include Longtime Companion, The Secret Lives of Dentists, and The Dying Gaul, which he also directed. He wrote the libretti for The Light in the Piazza, An American in Paris, Three Postcards, and the opera Two Boys (Metropolitan Opera). He directed the world premiere of The Light in the Piazza, Harry Kondoleon's Saved or Destroyed and Play Yourself, and the film Birds of America. Lucas has received three Tony nominations, the New York Film Critics Best Screenplay Award, the Sundance Audience Award, the Excellence in Literature Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Steinberg Award, three Obies (one for direction), and the Laura Pels Mid-career Achievement Award from PEN; he has been a Pulitzer finalist.
Daniel Messé (Composer/Co-Lyricist/Co-Vocal Arranger) is the founder and principal songwriter of the band Hem, which has garnered worldwide acclaim over the course of eight studio albums. Starting as a DIY project out of Dan's bedroom, Hem was signed to Dream-Works Records by legendary music producer Lenny Waronker and has been featured in every major media outlet including the New York Times, the New Yorker, NPR's All Things Considered, Fresh Air with Terry Gross, and The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. In 2009 the Public Theater tapped Hem to score Twelfth Night for Shakespeare in the Park (starring Anne Hathaway and Audra McDonald, directed by Daniel Sullivan) for which they earned a Drama Desk Award nomination. With collaborator Mindi Dickstein, Daniel has written four shows for Theatreworks USA (including Black Beauty and Nate the Great). He was the recipient of a Jonathan Larson Grant from the American Theatre Wing and was commissioned by Playwrights Horizons to write the full-length musical Trip through the Harold and Mimi Steinberg Commissioning Program.
Nathan Tysen (Co-Lyricist) was awarded both the Edward Kleban prize in 2014 for most promising lyricist and the Fred Ebb award for excellence in musical theatre songwriting (co-won with collaborator Chris Miller). Selected works with Miller include Tuck Everlasting (opening on Broadway spring 2016), The Burnt Part Boys, Fugitive Songs, and two circuses for Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey. Tysen also contributed songs to the revue Stars of David, collaborating with both Miller and Daniel Messé. He is currently writing the book and lyrics for the rock musical Stillwater with music by his band Joe's Pet Project. Television work includes songs for Sesame Street and The Electric Company. Tysen has worked for over a decade writing and directing for the Lovewell Institute for the Creative Arts, helping to create over a dozen new musicals with young adults.
Kimberly Grigsby's (Music Director/Co-Vocal Arranger) recent credits include Here Lies Love (by David Byrne), The Fortress of Solitude (music and lyrics by Michael Friedman), and Brooklynite! (music and lyrics by Peter Lerman). Her Broadway music directing/conducting credits include Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark; Spring Awakening; The Light in the Piazza (music and lyrics by Adam Guettel); Caroline, or Change; The Full Monty; You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown; and Twelfth Night (music by Jeanine Tesori); and off Broadway, Coraline (music and lyrics by Stephin Merritt), Mother Courage and Her Children (music by Jeanine Tesori), and Songs from an Unmade Bed (lyrics by Mark Campbell). Other collaborations include My Life Is a Fairy Tale and Orphan of Zhao, both with music and lyrics by Stephin Merritt for Lincoln Center Festival, and Jeanine Tesori's The Lion, The Unicorn and Me for Washington National Opera. She holds degrees from Southern Methodist University and Manhattan School of Music.
Sam Pinkleton (Musical Staging/Choreographer) is a New York City-based director and choreographer. As a choreographer his recent work includes Machinal (Broadway); Pretty Filthy (The Civilians); Kansas City Choir Boy (Prototype Festival, with Courtney Love); Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812 (Kazino); Heisenberg (Manhattan Theatre Club); Significant Other (Roundabout Theatre Company); Mr. Burns, A Post-Electric Play; Fly By Night; and Stage Kiss (Playwrights Horizons); Marie Antoinette (Soho Rep); I Promised Myself to Live Faster (Pig Iron/Humana Festival); HAIR: Retrospection (Kansas City Repertory Theatre); The Understudy (McCarter Theatre Center); The Lightning Thief (Theatreworks USA); Spring Awakening (Olney Theater Center); and Buyer and Cellar (Barrow Street Theatre/tour). He is an associate artist with The Civilians and Witness Relocation and is co-director of the Dance Cartel's ONTHEFLOOR. Sam teaches Bustin' Moves at NYU. More at sampinkleton.com.
David Zinn (Scenic & Costume Designer) has designed costumes for Mother Courage and In the Next Room (or the vibrator play), and the sets and costumes for Girlfriend, all at Berkeley Rep. On Broadway, he has recently designed the sets and costumes for Fun Home (Tony nomination), The Last Ship, and Seminar; costumes for Airline Highway (Tony nomination), Rocky, Good People, Other Desert Cities, and In the Next Room (or the vibrator play) (Tony nomination); and scenery for The Real Thing, Violet, and The Realistic Joneses. Off Broadway he has designed the sets and costumes for The Flick, Placebo, Circle Mirror Transformation, Choir Boy, Dogfight, Completeness, and The Four of Us, and scenery for 10/12, The Select, and The Sound and the Fury. Zinn has also worked at the Mark Taper Forum, American Repertory Theater, the Guthrie Theater, Yale Repertory Theatre, New York City Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, and many others.
Jane Cox (Lighting Designer) recently collaborated with Pam MacKinnon on Dinner with Friends at the Roundabout Theatre in New York. Other recent New York theatre includes Machinal, for which she was nominated for a Tony and a Drama Desk Award in 2014, All the Way on Broadway, The Flick at Playwrights Horizons and Barrow Street (Henry Hewes Design Award), Allegro and Passion at Classic Stage Company, and The Mystery of Love and Sex at Lincoln Center. Cox has a longstanding collaboration with the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, is a member of the Monica Bill Barnes dance company, and teaches design at Princeton University. Projects this season include the new Go-Gos musical Head Over Heels, Hamlet in London, and Color Purple and Noises Off on Broadway.
Kai Harada's (Sound Designer) Broadway designs include Gigi, Fun Home, On the Town, First Date, Follies (Drama Desk and Tony Award nominations), and Million Dollar Quartet. Other work includes Beaches (Drury Lane Theatre), Brooklynite (Vineyard Theatre), Little Dancer and First You Dream (the Kennedy Center), Zorro (Moscow and Atlanta), Hinterm Horizont (Berlin), Pirates of Penzance (Portland Opera), Head Over Heels and She Loves Me (Oregon Shakespeare Festival), Rent (5th Avenue Theatre), and Barbie Live! Associate design credits to Tony Meola include A Christmas Carol; Disney's Der Glöckner von Notre Dame; Kiss Me, Kate; and Wicked. He was the audio consultant for Hedwig and the Angry Inch on Broadway. He received his education from Yale University.
Peter Nigrini's (Projection Designer) Broadway credits include The Heidi Chronicles, The Best Man, Fela!, 9 to 5, and Say Goodnight Gracie. His other credits include Grounded and Here Lies Love (the Public Theater), Far From Heaven (Playwrights Horizons), The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity (Second Stage Theatre), Notes from Underground (Yale Repertory Theatre), The Grace Jones Hurricane Tour, Rent (New World Stages), Haroun and the Sea of Stories (New York City Opera), and Blind Date (Bill T. Jones). For Nature Theater of Oklahoma, No Dice and Life & Times (Burgtheater, Vienna). His current credits are Dear Evan Hansen (Arena Stage) and Real Enemies (BAM Next Wave Festival).
Bruce Coughlin's (Orchestrator) Broadway credits include 9 to 5, The Light in the Piazza (Tony and Drama Desk Awards), The Wild Party, Urinetown, Grey Gardens, Annie Get Your Gun, Sound of Music, Once Upon a Mattress, and King and I (1996) - plus additional (contributing) orchestrations for Big Fish, On the Twentieth Century, Something Rotten, and On the Town. His regional and New York City credits include Assassins and Urinetown revivals (London), Floyd Collins (Playwrights Horizons), Giant (the Public Theater), Children of Eden (Paper Mill Playhouse), Finding Neverland (UK version), A Room with a View (the 5th Avenue Theatre), Tales of the City (American Conservatory Theater), Far From Heaven (Playwrights Horizons), and Nathan Tysen and Chris Miller's The Burnt Part Boys (Playwrights Horizons). Opera credits include Grapes of Wrath, 27, and Morning Star (all Ricky Ian Gordon). Film credits include Hairspray ("Miss Baltimore Crabs") and Fantasia 2000 (principal arranger). Bruce received a Tony Award (and two nominations), a Drama Desk Award (and seven nominations), and an Obie Award. He was an Obie Award judge for the 2014-15 season. Please visit brucecoughlin.com.
Berkeley Repertory Theatre has grown from a storefront stage to an international leader in innovative theatre. Known for its core values of imagination and excellence, as well as its educated and adventurous audience, the nonprofit has provided a welcoming home for emerging and established artists since 1968. In four decades, four million people have enjoyed nearly 400 shows at Berkeley Rep. These shows have gone on to win five Tony Awards, seven Obie Awards, nine Drama Desk Awards, one Grammy Award, and many other honors. In recognition of its place on the national stage, Berkeley Rep received the Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre in 1997. Its bustling facilities - which include the 400-seat Thrust Stage, the 600-seat Roda Theatre, the Berkeley Rep School of Theatre, the Osher Studio, and a spacious new campus in West Berkeley - are helping revitalize a renowned city. Learn more at berkeleyrep.org.
Photo Credit: Walter McBride