MERMAN'S APPRENTICE Sold Out at Birdland; Bill Nolte to Replace Richard Kind
Due to an unexpected change in schedule, Mr. Kind is not able to appear. Mr. Nolte, who has appeared in the world premiere of Stephen Cole's The Road to Qatar, has agreed to jump in and play the role of David Merrick. We are grateful to Bill for bring his talents to the production.
In 2003, Bill starred in The Producers, putting his unique spin on the pigeon-keeping playwright Franz Liebkind, a role he performed on Broadway, across the country, and in Japan. Bill's other Broadway credits are La Cage Aux Folles, Jane Eyre, A Christmas Carol, The Secret Garden, Me and My Girl, Amour and his debut in Cats. Bill's Off Broadway/Regional career includes, The Most Happy Fella, Damn Yankees, Sweeney Todd, Fanfare and Annie 2 at the Kennedy Center. As a cabaret/concert artist, Bill has appeared at Iridium Jazz Club, Anyone Can Whistle and Sail Away at Carnegie Hall, Lyrics and Lyricists, Cole Porter Songbook at the Kennedy Center and All of Me and On Broadway on the Seaburn SPIRIT Cruise Lines.
Merman's Apprentice is a new musical fable with Book & Lyrics by Stephen (After the Fair, The Road To Qatar, Night of the Hunter) Cole and Music by David (Birds of Paradise, Children's Letters To God) Evans. Bistro Award Winner Klea Blackhurst will appear as Ethel Merman, with a cast lead by Tony nominee Anita Gillette as Ethel's Mom, with Bill Nolte as David Merrick, P.J. Benjamin (Broadway's current Wizard in Wicked) as Ethel's Pop and 13 year-old Elizabeth Teeter, who is currently playing Young Queen Elizabeth in The Audience on Broadway, will play Muriel Plakenstein: Merman's Apprentice. Additional cast members include Adam Grupper, Eddie Korbich and Brian Charles Rooney.
Synopsis: Time: the 1970's. The Golden Age of Musical Theatre is drawing to an end, although twelve-year-old Muriel Plakenstein doesn't know that. So she runs away from home to become a Broadway star, meets the Queen of Broadway Ethel Merman, who takes her to a Hello, Dolly! rehearsal, where they sing together. When legendary producer David Merrick hears the kid, he decides to star Muriel in the first all-child cast of Dolly! Naturally, Merman takes her under wing to teach her the ropes of being a star...making little Muriel Plakenstein Merman's Apprentice. It's a tuneful, original smart, funny, warm, new musical comedy about childhood, parents, Broadway and Ethel Merman. Who could ask for anything more?