Griffin Theatre's TITANIC to Play Theater Wit, 10/18-12/7
Griffin Theatre Company will launch its 2014-15 season with a new, intimate version of the Tony Award-winning Best Musical TITANIC, with music and lyrics by Maury Yeston (Nine, Phantom), book by Peter Stone (Woman of the Year, 1776), new orchestrations by Ian Weinberger, directed by Scott Weinstein (Griffin Theatre's Spelling Bee, Chicago Shakespeare Theater's Seussical) and music direction by Elizabeth Doran (Timeline's Juno). TITANIC will play October 18 - December 7, 2014 at Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont Ave. in Chicago. Tickets are available at www.theaterwit.org, in person at the Theater Wit Box Office or by calling (773) 975-8150. The press opening is Sunday, October 26 at 7 pm.
The 20-member cast of TITANIC includes: Kelley Abell as Kate Murphey, Justin Adair as Fred Barret, Neala Barron as Alice Beane, Joshua Bartlett as Charles Lightoller, Patrick Byrnes as Murdoch, Matt Edmonds as Charles Clarke, Nick Graffagna as Bellboy, Emily Grayson as Ida Strauss, Courtney Jones as Kate McGowan, John Keating as Henry Etches, Royen Kent as Harold Bride, Josh Kohane as Frederick Fleet, Eric Lindahl as Thomas Andrews, Scott Allen Luke as J. Bruce Ismay, Jake Mahler as Edgar Beane, Laura McClain as Caroline Neville, Christine Perkins as Kate Mullins, Kevin Stangler as Jim Farrell, Sean Thomas as Isador Strauss and Peter Vamvakas as Captain Smith.
Chicago will be the first major U.S. city to experience this newly reworked, intimate musical telling of the passengers - first, second and third class - aboard the ill-fated luxury liner Titanic in the nights leading up to the ship's fatal encounter with an iceberg in the North Atlantic in 1912.
The original Broadway Titanic earned five 1997 Tony Awards including Best Musical. In 2012, original Broadway cast member Don Stephenson developed a new chamber version of the musical - a scaled down production using 20 actors to play all of the roles (instead of 45) and new orchestrations designed to make the score sound as if it was being played by the ship's band. Material previously cut from the original Broadway production was put back into the show and existing material was reordered and reassigned. The new intimate version of Titanic opened in July 2012 at The Hangar Theatre in Ithaca, NY followed by an off West End production at London's Southwark Playhouse in July 2013, which earned multiple awards. The production was scheduled for a six-week, pre-Broadway engagement at Toronto's Royal Alexandra Theatre during the summer of 2014 followed by a Broadway opening in the fall of 2014 - however, it was announced that both engagements were postponed due to a lack of available Broadway theatre space for the 2014-15 season.
The production team for TITANIC includes: Joe Schermoly (scenic design), Rachel Sypniewski (costume design), Brandon Wardell (lighting design), Christopher Kriz (sound design), Jamie Karas (properties design), Paul Deziel (projection design), Tyler Sawyer Smith (choreography), Adam Goldstein (dialect coach), Morgan Maher (dramaturg), Majel Cuza (production manager), Nate Lewellyn & Spencer Neiman (assistant directors) and Katie Messmore (stage manager).