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Photo Flash: First Look at CALLING ALL KATES at Prima Theatre

Chicago. Seattle. Cambridge. These are the cities in which new musicals are traditionally born. But Calling All Kates has had a different trajectory. From the hills of Indiana to the Adirondack Mountains, Calling All Kates has taken an exciting and unconventional journey, and its latest stop is Prima Theatre in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

Lancaster's unique cultural presence makes it a perfect home for new theatre. Home to one of the nation's largest Amish communities, Lancaster County's picturesque farmland attracts hundreds of thousands of tourists each year. Juxtaposed beautifully with this agricultural serenity is Lancaster City, which has been recognized by the New York Times and Forbes as an unexpectedly diverse and dynamic cultural hotspot, with a culinary and artistic scene reminiscent of much larger cities. The city's classic red-brick beauty and historic background make it feel like an approachable Brooklyn, complete with craft breweries, vintage shops, galleries, cafes, and Michelin-level fine dining.

On the edge of the city sits Prima Theatre, where Calling All Kates is being produced. Prima neighbors an affluent residential community and offers an intimate blackbox environment with free parking. The theatre focuses on curating exciting, immersive performances with high- quality talent, while maintaining comfortable seating and state-of-the-art technology. "We're a boutique offering, focused on invigorating lives through fresh theatrical experiences," says Prima's Executive Artistic Producer, Mitch Nugent. "Calling All Kates hit all the right chords with us, and I believe that Lancaster patrons will embrace the contemporary musical theatre hilarity and sweetness that is at the heart of this piece."

Loosely based on a true story, Calling All Kates tells the story of Mark, who's been dumped by his fiancée Kate. Not wanting to waste his pre-paid, globetrotting honeymoon, Mark seeks out a stranger with the exact same name as his ex-fiancée to join him on the trip. As naive and exuberant as Mark is world-weary and downtrodden, the non-fiancée Kate quickly turns Mark's world upside down. With riotously funny dialogue, heartwarming scenes of personal discovery, and songs reminiscent of contemporary pop charts, the musical is as witty as Gilmore Girls and as quirky as Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.

"I wanted to bring something sweet and lovely to the stage," says accomplished playwright and librettist Emily Goodson (Spun, Sticks & Stones, Besties!), who wrote the book for Calling All Kates and worked with producer Chad Rabinovitz to bring it to life. According to Goodson, the show was born in a perfect storm of unexpected circumstances.

"I left Detroit and moved way out to Boise, Idaho. And I was alone. No family. I had a newborn and an 18-month old. I had PPD and anxiety like I'd never experienced. Then in one month, Trump was elected, my mom was hospitalized, my grandmother died, and I lost a close family member to suicide. And all I could think about was my mom in high school telling me, 'Why can't you just write something nice for once? Something your grandmother would love?' And thus Calling All Kates came into existence."

This isn't Lancaster's first time developing new works: flagship theatres like the Fulton have developed large-scale new musicals such as Marc Robin's Treasure Island. However, Calling All Kates will be Prima's first full-staged production of a new musical. The show's composer Jeremy Schonfeld, an accomplished singer/songwriter and composer/lyricist who has worked with Broadway's best, thinks it's the right time and place. "I've had the opportunity to collaborate with Mitch and his team at Prima over the past years, and it's been great," says Schonfeld. "They're committed to doing hip and up-and-coming shows, and their audiences seem to dig it."

Prima's team is equally excited to bring the show to Lancaster, and hopeful that it will be the first of many full-staged new musicals to be produced at Prima. "Producing exciting new musicals is no longer exclusive to larger cities," says Nugent, and it seems certain that a new show as fresh, hopeful, and hilarious as Calling All Kates will win the hearts of Lancaster residents and make a mark.

First staged at Bloomington Playwrights Project (Bloomington, Indiana), Calling All Kates was further developed at Adirondack Theatre Festival (Glens Falls, New York), where the show developed into a five-person cast. The lead characters, Mark and Kate, are supported by a narrator, the pilot, and two flight stewards. In the Prima production, Mark is played by Caleb Novell (Title of Show, Three Rivers Music Theatre), Lindsay Webster as Kate (West Side Story, Hope Summer Repertory Theatre), Nicole Stacie as the Narrator (Motown Legends, Prima), and the two stewards, Mikey LoBalsamo as Mateo (Jekyll & Hyde, Prima), and Rachel Wolin as Alice (Blue Gate Musicals, Bird-In-Hand Stage).

Calling All Kates is directed at Prima by Chicago-based Nathan Mittleman (Assistant Director, Choreographer of the Adirondack Theatre Festival production). Music Supervisor: Mark Christine (Equity National Tour of Broadway's Waitress), Costume Designer: Diana Nugent (Godspell, Prima), Lighting Designer: Tim Moser (Jekyll & Hyde, Prima), Scenic Designer: Shane Cinal (Redhouse), Audio Designer: Dan Meyer (Hershey Entertainment), Music Director: Paulino Contreras (Disenchanted, Prima), Stage Manager: Christen Cain (Celebrity Cruises).

Calling All Kates at Prima Theatre is made possible by Headline Sponsor, Loeffler Financial Group. Prima's 2020 Season is supported by the generosity of Prima Partners, with leading sponsors including the Gunterberg Charitable Foundation, Sequinox, WGAL, and Faulkner BMW.

Tickets start at $32.00 and are available by phone or website: (717) 327-5124, primalancaster.org.

Photo Flash: First Look at CALLING ALL KATES at Prima Theatre

Photo Flash: First Look at CALLING ALL KATES at Prima Theatre

Photo Flash: First Look at CALLING ALL KATES at Prima Theatre

Photo Flash: First Look at CALLING ALL KATES at Prima Theatre

Photo Flash: First Look at CALLING ALL KATES at Prima Theatre

Photo Flash: First Look at CALLING ALL KATES at Prima Theatre

Photo Flash: First Look at CALLING ALL KATES at Prima Theatre


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