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Wildhorn's WONDERLAND Announces New Members Of Creative Team For Tampa Premiere

The Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center today announces several additions to the creative team for Wonderland: Alice's New Musical Adventure. According to producer Judith Lisi, president and CEO of TBPAC, Marguerite Derricks will choreograph the production and Ron Melrose will serve as music supervisor and provide vocal and dance arrangements as well as incidental music. Susan Hilferty, Neil Patel and Paul Gallo will design the costumes, sets and lights respectively, while Jon Weston will design the sound and Sven Ortel will design video and projections.

Slated to have its world premiere in Tampa on Saturday, Dec. 5, 2009 in TBPAC's Ferguson Hall, the music for Wonderland is by Frank Wildhorn, the composer of The Civil War and Jekyll & Hyde, with book and lyrics by Jack Murphy. Gregory Boyd, artistic director of Houston's Alley Theatre, will direct.

Marguerite Derricks' (Choreographer) remarkable choreography has enhanced hundreds of films, television programs, commercials, music videos, and stage productions. She has choreographed the new feature film, Fame - set for a Sept. 25 opening. Derricks received the prestigious Emmy® Award for three consecutive years. Her first was for the long running television series, 3rd Rock From the Sun. She won her second Emmy Award for Fame LA and a third for The 1998 Goodwill Games Opening and Closing Ceremonies. Her films include Little Miss Sunshine, Spiderman 3, Donnie Darko, Charlie's Angels, the Austin Powers trilogy and Mr. and Mrs. Smith, earning her MTV Movie Awards and American Choreography Awards nominations. Her television credits include the 58th Emmy Awards, numerous MTV Awards and Fashion Rocks telecasts, That 70's Show (American Choreography Award nominee) and CSI Miami. Also in demand for commercials, Derricks has created memorable ad campaigns include Old Navy, GAP, Pepsi and Jack in the Box. Derricks' choreography can be seen in Cirque du Soleil's Zumanity, now in its 8th sold-out year at the New York, New York Hotel in Las Vegas.

Ron Melrose (Music Direction, Vocal/Dance Arrangements and Incidental Music). Music direction: Jersey Boys (Broadway and six additional companies), Imaginary Friends, Scarlet Pimpernel (Broadway), Radio City Sinatra, First Wives Club, The Wiz, Caraboo and Zelda (Broadway-bound). Broadway dance/vocal arranging: Sweet Smell of Success, Jekyll & Hyde, Perfectly Frank, The Act, Marilyn: An American Fable, Woman of the Year and Cabaret. Associate producer, Jersey Boys original cast album (certified gold). Composing: Superdimensional Microbabes (upcoming anime-based musical); Fourtune (Off-Broadway); The Silver Swan (National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship); theatrical CDs (The Missing Peace, Early One Morning, Songs I Won't Be Singing); Harvard Hasty Pudding shows (Tots in Tinseltown, Bewitched Bayou); a gospel-based Requiem; songs for church, choir, cabaret and Saturday Night Live. Degrees from Harvard (philosophy) and Westminster (choral conducting). After thirty-two happy years as a New Yorker, he is now a resident of California.

Susan Hilferty (Costume Designer) has designed over 300 productions from Broadway to across America and internationally including Japan, London, Australia, Germany and South Africa. Recent designs include Wicked (2004 Tony®, Outer Critics Circle, and Drama Desk awards and Olivier nomination), Spring Awakening (Tony nomination) August Wilson's Radio Golf and Jitney, Lestat (Tony nomination) Assassins, Into the Woods (Tony and Drama Desk nominations; Hewes Award), Manon at LA opera and Berlin Staatsoper, Richard Nelson's Conversations in Tusculum, Caryl Churchill's Drunk Enough to Say I Love You and Christopher Durang's The Marriage of Bette and Boo. She works with such well-known directors as Joe Mantello, James Lapine, Michael Mayer, Walter Bobbie, Robert Falls, Tony Kushner, RoBert Woodruff, JoAnne Akalaitis, the late Garland Wright, James Macdonald, Bart Sher, Mark Lamos, Frank Galati, Des McAnuff, Christopher Ashley, Emily Mann, David Jones, Marion McClinton, Rebecca Taichman, Laurie Anderson, Carole Rothman, Garry Hynes, Richard Nelson and Athol Fugard (the South African writer with whom she works as set and costume designer and often as co-director since 1980). Hilferty also designs for opera, film and dance, and chairs the Department of Design for Stage and Film at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts. She was awarded a 2000 OBIE for Sustained Excellence in Design.

Neil Patel (Scenic Designer) is a New York based scenic designer who works in theater, opera, dance and film. He has designed Sideman, [title of show], 'Night Mother and Ring of Fire for Broadway. Off-Broadway credits include productions at prominent theaters such as Second Stage, Manhattan Theater Club, Roundabout Theatre Company, BAM, New York Theater Workshop, Vineyard Theater and Playwrights Horizon, having designed productions of [title of show], Living Out, Here Lies Jenny, Dinner With Friends, The Long Christmas Ride Home, Quills and The Grey Zone. His regional work has been seen at the Guthrie Theater, Mark Taper Forum, McCarter Theater, Arena Stage, Center Stage, Steppenwolf and Chicago Shakespeare Theater among many others. His work with Anne Bogart and the SITI Company has been seen throughout the world, including the Holland Festival, Edinburgh International Festival, Exit Festival in Paris and BAM. Opera credits New York City Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Boston Lyric Opera, Florida Grand Opera, Opera Theater of St. Louis, Tokyo Nikikai Opera Theater and the Minnesota Opera. In Tokyo, his credits include Candide, Bent, Torch Song Trilogy and Take Flight at Parco Theater. London credits include Sideman (West End), A Question of Mercy (Bush Theater) and Henry IV (RSC). Awards include the Helen Hayes Award, the 2000 EDDY Award, numerous Drama Desk nominations and the 1996 and 2001 Obie Awards for sustained excellence in set design.

Paul Gallo (Lighting Designer). Last fall Gallo designed his 50th Broadway show with the revival of Pal Joey at Sudio 54. In his 29 years on Broadway his designs for musicals include Pal Joey, Never Gonna Dance, Man of LaMancha, Dreamgirls, 42nd Street, The Rocky Horror Show, The Civil War, On The Town, The Sound Of Music, Triumph Of Love, Titanic, Big, A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum, Smokey Joe's Café, Guys And Dolls, Crazy For You, City of Angels, Anything Goes, Smile, The Mystery Of Edwin Drood and Tintypes. He has also designed many award winning plays on Broadway which include November, A Bronx Tale, Mauritius, Losing Louie, Caine Mutiny Court-Martial, Three Days of Rain, The Crucible, 45 Seconds From Broadway, The Man Who Came To Dinner, Epic Proportions, Skylight, The Tempest, I Hate Hamlet, Six Degrees of Separation, Lend Me A Tenor, Spoils of War, The Comedy Of Errors, The Front Page, The House of Blue Leaves, Heartbreak House, Beyond Therapy, Come Back To The Five And Dime Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean, Grown Ups, Kingdoms, Candida, The Little Foxes, John Gabriel Borkman and Passione. Gallo is the recipient of eight Tony nominations, ten Drama Desk nominations (winning one), six Outer Critics Awards, two Obie Awards and the 1986 Obie for Sustained Excellence of Lighting Design. He is a graduate of Ithaca College and the Yale School of Drama. And after all that his proudest achievement is being married to his beautiful wife, Jody, for 22 years and of his two wonderful children, Francesca and Nicholas.

Jon Weston's (Sound Designer) Broadway credits include 13, Les Miserables, The Color Purple, The Glass Menagerie, Caroline, or Change (AUDELCO Award), Nine, Imaginary Friends, Thoroughly Modern Millie, The Green Bird, It Ain't Nothin' But the Blues, On the Town, Company in concert at Lincoln Center and Man of La Mancha. His off-Broadway and regional credits include Rooms, Family Guy Sings! at Carnegie Hall, Jesus Christ Superstar, A Little Night Music (L.A. Drama Critics Award), Himself & Nora, The Thing About Men, tick, tick...BOOM! and Bright Lights, Big City. He began his audio career at T.T.G. studios in Los Angeles, recording the music for such television shows as The Love Boat and Dynasty.

Sven Ortel's (video and projection designer) work has been seen all over the world. His collaborators are some of the most established and celebrated artists in the industry including directors Matthias Hartman, Jonathan Kent, Robert Lepage, Trevor Nunn, Deborah Warner, and David Leveaux, choreographer Helgi Tomasson, conductor Valery Gergiev and set designer George Tsypin. His recent projects include Deuce directed by Michael Blakemore on Broadway, Complicite's A Disappearing Number directed by Simon McBurney, Disney's The Little Mermaid on Broadway, directed by Francesca Zambello, Swan Lake for the San Francisco Ballet and the Theatre for a New Audience's off-Broadway production of Hamlet. His current and future projects include the re-staging of the Kirov Opera's Ring Cycle under maestro Gergiev in St. Petersburg, Russia, and at the Royal Opera House in London. He is also working on a project in cooperation with the Guggenheim about "The Blue Rider" art movement. Since 2001, Ortel has been an associate of Mesmer, a collective of like minded people that explore and further the use of imagery and projection in the live arts. With Mesmer he conceived the video system and process that realized the technologically groundbreaking musical The Woman in White. Ortel is based in New York and London.

Wonderland: Alice's New Musical Adventure will play TBPAC's Ferguson Hall Dec. 5, 2009 through Jan. 3, 2010, with preview performances scheduled Nov. 24 through Dec. 4. Single tickets will go on sale to the general public on Sunday, Aug. 16, at noon. Additionally, many ticket packages that include Wonderland are now available. 

Following the Tampa run, Wonderland will play a limited engagement at the Alley Theatre in Houston, Texas, beginning Jan. 15, 2009. For more information, visit

Events, days, dates, times, performers and prices are subject to change without notice.

Plans for the show are extensive and the web site has already launched at featuring song clips, video interviews and other exciting content. 

Wonderland is set in present-day Manhattan and a timeless Wonderland. The new musical tells the story of author Alice Cornwinkle (a descendent of Lewis Carroll's muse Alice Liddell), who is struggling with her career and her daughter, Chloe.

With a chaotic Wonderland in danger of disappearing into nothingness, only Alice can restore balance and joy. Audiences will journey with her through the Looking-Glass from New York City to a strange-yet-familiar place where she must reclaim her daughter, defeat the Queen of Hearts and learn to follow her heart.

Tony and Grammy nominated composer Frank Wildhorn, who, in 1999, had three shows running on Broadway simultaneously, has duplicated that feat in Europe, with three new original musicals, RUDOLF: THE MAYERLING AFFAIR, CARMEN, THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO and he'll also soon be debuting CYRANO. Now, he's back in the United States as well, which is good news for the composer's many fans. 

TBPAC, one of the largest and most prolific performing arts facilities in the country, will serve as lead producer for Broadway Genesis - using its facility, administrative structure and other resources. "I am so excited about the Broadway Genesis Project," said Judith Lisi, president of the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center. "This is the next logical step in TBPAC's artistic development. Our wonderful facility and dedicated staff will provide the ideal creative workplace for extraordinary works of theater for years to come."

"We've assembled a top-notch team that is going to take this new musical in magnificent directions as we move into pre-production, casting, rehearsal and beyond," Lisi said.

Wonderland will be part of TBPAC's 2009-2010 Bank of America Best of Broadway Tampa Bay series, which will be announced in full later this year. Numerous community partnerships, master classes and workshops will be connected to the production.

Wildhorn and Wildhorn Productions will join forces with MG Sound/HitSquad Records in Vienna to both produce and internationally distribute the concept recording of Wonderland. The partnership, known as MWB (Music Without Borders), has produced several chart-topping European successes including recordings of Carmen, Rudolf - The Last Kiss, Dracula and the concept recording of The Count of Monte Cristo. The concept recording of Wonderland is scheduled for a summer 2009 release in the United States and a fall/winter 2009 release internationally.


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