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'Vanities' Heads To Broadway In Fall '08 Starring Kennedy

Casting has been announced for VANITIES, A New Musical by Jack Heifner, with music and lyrics by David Kirshenbaum, directed by two-time Tony Award®-winner Judith Ivey.  Starring Lauren Kennedy (Spamalot, Side Show) as Mary, Sarah Stiles (Avenue Q, …Spelling Bee) as Joanne and Anneliese van Der Pol (Beauty and the Beast, TV's "That's So Raven") as Kathy, VANITIES will open on Broadway in the Fall of 2008 at a theatre to be announced.

VANITIES, A New Musical will be presented by Pasadena Playhouse August 22 through September 28, 2008 (opening August 29) prior to Broadway.

Based on the smash hit 1976 comedy that ran for 1,785 performances Off-Broadway, VANITIES is a funny, sexy and poignant look at the journey of three All-American girls as they mature from cheerleaders to sorority sisters to independent women.  Spanning the turbulent '60s through the late '80s, VANITIES celebrates the lives and loves of three best friends caught up in rapidly changing times.

VANITIES, A New Musical, was originally produced at TheatreWorks in Palo Alto in the summer of 2006.  The critically acclaimed production was awarded two Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Awards for Outstanding Musical Production and Best Original Score, and was also showcased at the 2006 National Alliance for Musical Theatre (NAMT) Festival of New Musicals.

Other members of the creative team include Choreographer Dan Knechtges (Xanadu, …Spelling Bee), Set Designer Anna Louizos (In The Heights, Curtains), Costume Designer Joe Aulisi (Charlie's Angels), Lighting Designer Paul Miller (Legally Blonde), Sound Designer Tony Meola (Wicked), Music Director Carmel Dean (…Spelling Bee) and Orchestrator Lynne Shankel (Cry-Baby).

VANITIES will be produced on Broadway by Junkyard Dog Productions and Bartner/Jenkins Entertainment.

Jack Heifner (Book) is best known for the comedy Vanities, which ran for five years in New York and became one of the longest-running comedies in Off-Broadway history.  He is also the author of over 30 other plays, including Patio/Porch, Natural Disasters, Running On Empty, Earth to Bucky,  Bargains, Jumping for Joy, Boy's Play, Home Fires, Heartbreak, Comfort and Joy, The Lemon Cookie, Dwarf Tossing, Key West, Seduction, and China Dolls and other plays produced in New York, Los Angeles and theatres around the country.  Mr. Heifner has written the book to six musicals, including Leader of the Pack on Broadway.  He has also written for television and film.  Vanities remains one of the best-selling scripts and most-produced plays from the latter half of the 20th century.

David Kirshenbaum (Music and Lyrics) is the composer-lyricist for Summer of '42 (book by Hunter Foster), which ran Off-Broadway at the Variety Arts Theatre, and Party Come Here which was performed at the Williamstown Theatre Festival in 2007.  He also wrote the score to the holiday musical Yes, Virginia, There Is a Santa Claus (book by Myles McDonnell), and is a contributing songwriter for the Disney Channel TV series "Johnny and the Sprites."  Regional theatres that have produced his work include Goodspeed Musicals (CT, TheatreWorks (CA), Casa Manana (TX), Mill Mountain Theatre (VA), and the Victoria Theatre (OH).  Other upcoming projects include Sing Me a Happy Song (a new revue in collaboration with songwriter Georgia Stitt), and an original musical he is writing with Joe DiPietro.  David has received grants from the Jonathan Larson Foundation and from the National Alliance for Musical Theatre.  His songs have been recorded by such singers as Lauren Kennedy, Alice Ripley and Kate Shindle, and the score of Summer of '42 was recently released as a double-CD by JAY Records, starring Rachel York.  David is a graduate of the University of Michigan, where he received a Bachelor of Musical Arts.

Judith Ivey (Director) is the recipient of the Tony Award® and the Drama Desk Award for her portrayals in Steaming and Hurlyburly, the Obie Award for her performance in The Moonshot Tape, among countless other awards for her stage and film work. Most recently she was honored with the Texas Medal of Arts for Theatre.  She also recently toured the U.S. in the one-woman show, Irene O'Garden's Women on Fire.  Some film credits include Devil's Advocate, Washington Square, Mystery, Alaska, Brighton Beach Memoirs, Love Hurts, Compromising Positions, What Alice Found, and Flags of Our Fathers. Judith starred in four television series, the most memorable being "Designing Women."  Some television film credits include "The Long Hot Summer," "What the Deaf Man Heard" (Emmy nom.), "Rose Red" and "Half a Dozen Babies."  Ms. Ivey's most recent directing credit is the Off-Broadway production of Secrets of a Soccer Mom.  Prior to that, she directed The Butcher of Baraboo (Second Stage Uptown Series), Fugue (Cherry Lane Theatre), and More with Yeardley Smith (Union Square Theatre, and the Falcon Theatre in Los Angeles).  Other directing credits include Two For The Seesaw (Westport Playhouse), The Go-For-It Guy (Aspen Comedy Festival), and Soccer Moms (Fleetwood Stage).

Dan Knechtges (Choreographer) has worked on Broadway in Spelling Bee, 110 in the Shade, Xanadu.  He has regionally worked on Godspell (Paper Mill); The Boys From Syracuse (CenterStage), Vanities (Theatre Works, CA); The Girl in the Frame (Goodspeed); The Wiz, Cats (Hangar Theatre); Mame, A Funny Thing… (Surflight Theatre); Don Giovanni (Indianapolis Opera); Carousel, West Side Story (Opera Illinois); The Mikado, HMS Pinafore (Blue Hill Troupe).  In TV/Film he has worked on  "It's a Wonderful Night" (Fatboy Slim), Palindromes (Todd Solondz).

Lauren Kennedy (Mary) has most recently appeared on Broadway as Lady of the Lake in Monty Python's Spamalot. Past credits include Sunset Boulevard with Glenn Close, Side Show as Daisy Hilton, and Les Miserables as Fantine. Also, Cinderella at New York City Opera. London: Trevor Nunn's revival of South Pacific as Nellie Forbush at The Royal National Theatre.  Lauren starred opposite Val Kilmer in The Ten Commandments at the Kodak Theatre in Los Angeles.  Most recently she starred in pre-Broadway tryout of Lone Star Love with The Red Clay Ramblers. Other new works and premieres:  Zelda Fitzgerald in Frank Wildhorn's Waiting For The Moon (LENAPE, Barrymore Award Nom. for Best Actress), The Rhythm Club (Signature Theatre, Helen Hayes Nom. for Best Actress), White Christmas, Breakfast At Tiffany's (St. Louis MUNY), Hot Shoe Shuffle (TUTS) and The Last Five Years (Northlight).  National Tour:  Sunset Boulevard as Betty Schaeffer. Both her new album Here And Now and her debut album Lauren Kennedy Songs Of Jason Robert Brown have both received rave reviews and are available on PS Classics.

Sarah Stiles (Joanne) is currently starring in the Broadway company of Avenue Q as Kate Monster and Lucy.  She also appeared in the Broadway and first national touring companies of The 25th Annual Putnam Co. Spelling Bee, and in the national tour of Titanic.  She toured with Tommy Tune in the Polynesian production of Dr. Dolittle.  Her Off-Broadway credits include Captain Louie (York Theater).  Her regional credits include Joanne in Vanities (Theatreworks Palo Alto); Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, Estelle in The Full Monty and the Teen Girl in the world premiere of Memphis (Northshore Music Theatre); Crissy in Hair (Theatre Under the Stars); Emengarde in Hello, Dolly! (Kansas City Starlight); Ester in Meet Me in St. Louis (Virginia Music Theatre) and Frenchy in Grease (Papermill Playhouse).

Anneliese van Der Pol (Kathy) made her Broadway debut in 2007 as the final Belle in Beauty and the Beast. She starred for six years and in 100 episodes of the popular Disney Channel show "That's So Raven" as Chelsea Daniels, Raven's best friend. Theatre credits include Eva Peron in Evita (Buena Park Civic Theatre), Laurey in Oklahoma! (Austin Musical Theatre). Dance roles include Clara in The Nutcracker and the title role of Coppelia (Southern California Dance Theater). Recording credits include "Over It" (Disney Channel original movie "Stuck in the Suburbs"), "Circle of Life" (The Lion King Special Edition DVD), "A Dream Is a Wish Your Heart Makes" (Cinderella Special Edition DVD), "A Day in the Sun" ("That's So Raven Too!" soundtrack). Anneliese is also featured performing "Candle on the Water" for Walt Disney Records' Disneymania 4.

Photo Credit Mark Rupp

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