BWW Feature: ZANNA, DON'T! at Out Front Theatre Company
In 2002, a magical thing happened: ZANNA, DON'T! opened Off-Broadway and made a lasting impression. The show was supposed to transfer to Broadway with a name change and slight modifications but was later postponed and canceled. It did not stop the show from several productions in London and regional theatres across the United States (including at Atlanta's own Actor's Express).
Now, the show is having a second world premiere that might even make you say Zanna, do! (Or, Xanadu?) It so happens that the original writer, Tim Acito, has revamped the show. Even better, the world premiere of the revamp will be hosted by Out Front Theatre in Midtown Atlanta.
Starting with a new title: ZANNA, DON'T!: A QUANTUM FOOTBALL FABLE, versus Zanna, Don't!: A Musical Fairy Tale. This might not make the biggest difference but Director Jacob Demlow did allude to the fact that the audience can expect a little more science involved in the show since Acito loves quantum physics.
You can also expect several numbers from the original score to be cut with a whole slew of new songs to be premiered with lots of new dialogue. The one thing that you should not expect a change in is the plot. Overall, the show has been said to have the same overall story that tells the tale of a matchmaker named Zanna, and how he unexpectedly falls in love himself. The show now allows for more character development, allowing the audience to hear more from the supporting characters on stage and learn more about Zanna himself.
A previously released Broadway World article states "Acito says that the main characters now have clearer goals, backgrounds and relationships. One of the biggest changes is that the lead character, Zanna, is now pangender." (This will obviously allow for more malleable casting decision from directors in the future.)
In conjunction to the initial excitement for newness in the Atlanta area, the show is also the first step in Out Front Theatre's education program. This show was open to youth, ages 14-21, giving high school students and young adults the chance to perform in a professional atmosphere outside of the classroom. Out Front wanted to give students the chance to participate in a show that would not typically be performed in a setting that they are used to, and since this show flips the heterosexual/homosexual mindset, it is just that.
On top of that, debuting an updated show with the original creators being in the audience? That is an experience unlike any others, and this is just year one.
ZANNA, DON'T!: A QUANTUM FOOTBALL FABLE will run July 27-29 with performances each night at 7 p.m. Tickets for all shows are $20 each, and available online.
Jeremy Hathcoat will lead the cast as Zanna. Other cast members include Sarah Geary (Kate), Joseph Swift (Steve), Joshua Baldwin (Tank), Madelayne Shammas (Roberta), Kev Desprez (Mike), Amanda Bonilla (Candi), Andy Stanesic (Arvin), Kaisha Marlow (Ensemble/Doctor), Nathan Timmons (Ensemble/Officer), Liz Sanford (Ensemble/Nurse), Xavier Moscova (Ensemble) and Austin Windolph (Ensemble).