Creative Teams Confirmed For Goodspeed Musicals Five Show Season

By: Feb. 15, 2019
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Two-time Tony Award-winning Goodspeed Musicals has brought together an extraordinary group of artists to helm the five exciting productions planned this season: an All-American classic, a heart-warming musical tale, an electric dance-filled tuner, an extraordinary true story, and an inspirational journey that's sure to inspire. Single tickets for all five shows set for Goodspeed's 2019 season go on public sale this Sunday, February 17 at 10:00 a.m..

The first of three productions planned for The Goodspeed in East Haddam, CT will be the beloved classic Meredith Willson's The Music Man, which will run from April 12 - June 16, 2019 [Official Press Opening May 1]. The production will be directed by Jenn Thompson, who directed the five-time Connecticut Critics Circle Award-nominated Goodspeed production of Bye Bye Birdie. Thompson also directed Goodspeed's 2017 hit production of Oklahoma!. Other credits include the current production of A Doll's House Part 2 at Theaterworks Hartford, Mary Stuart at the Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley at the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, The Secret Garden at the Denver Center Theater, The Gravedigger's Lullaby at The Actors Company Theater, and Mint Theatre Company's Women Without Men, which garnered 2016 Lortel and Off-Broadway Alliance Award nominations for Outstanding Revival as well as 5 Drama Desk Award nominations, including Outstanding Director and Revival. The Music Man will be choreographed by Patricia Wilcox. Wilcox choreographed the Broadway production of Motown the Musical, earning her an Astaire Award for Best Choreography on Broadway and the Broadway sensation A Night with Janis Joplin. Wilcox returns to Goodspeed, where she previously choreographed Bye Bye Birdie. Her work Off-Broadway and on National Tours include Encores! Off-Center summer series Little Shop of Horrors starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Seussical, Bowfire and Blues In the Night (NAACP Image Award nomination). The Music Man will be sponsored by Masonicare at Chester Village and The Shops at Mohegan Sun.

Next up at The Goodspeed will be Because of Winn Dixie. This uplifting musical will run from June 28 - September 1, 2019 [Official Press Opening July 17]. Because of Winn Dixie will be directed by John Rando. Mr. Rando received a Tony Award for Best Direction of a Musical for the Broadway production of Urinetown The Musical. His other Broadway credits include Gettin' the Band Back Together, On the Town for which he earned a Tony award nomination, A Christmas Story: The Musical, and The Wedding Singer. Because of Winn Dixie will be choreographed by Chris Bailey, who returns to Goodspeed Musicals where he choreographed last season's The Drowsy Chaperone and Chasing Rainbows in 2016. Mr. Bailey's Broadway credits include the recent production of Gettin' the Band Back Together and Cyrano de Bergerac (Assistant Director and Movement Director). Other recent choreography credits include Jerome Robbins' Broadway and Newsies, both at The MUNY; Jerry Springer The Opera for The New Group Off-Broadway; The Entertainer for London's West End; The New Yorkers for City Center Encores!; and "Bigger" for the 2013 Tony Awards with Neil Patrick Harris. Because of Winn Dixie will be sponsored by Updike, Kelly & Spellacy, P.C. and Robinson+Cole.

This fall at The Goodspeed, the ten-time Tony-winner Billy Elliot will run from September 13 - November 24, 2019 [Official Press Opening October 2]. The production will be directed by Gabriel Barre. Barre has directed over a dozen productions at Goodspeed, including Amazing Grace, which transferred to Broadway in 2015, and Pippin, which was followed by a National Tour in 2006. His other theater credits include directing such Off-Broadway productions as Almost, Maine at Daryl Roth Theatre, The Wild Party at Manhattan Theater Club, Son of a Gun at Samuel Beckett Theatre and Summer of '42 at Variety Arts having previously directed the developmental production at Goodspeed's Terris Theatre. In addition, he has directed numerous productions at regional theaters across the country. The Choreographer for Billy Elliot will be Marc Kimelman whose Broadway credits include Associate Choreographer for A Bronx Tale and Assistant Choreographer for the 2012 revival of Jesus Christ Superstar. Marc choreographed the National Tour of Saturday Night Fever, the Off-Broadway production of Play It Cool, and The Apple Boys at HERE, NYC among others. Marc has worked with the New York City Ballet, Katy Perry, Phish, Neil Young, Chaka Kahn and is movement consultant for Vogue magazine. Billy Elliot will be sponsored by Eversource Energy.

Nearby at The Terris Theatre in Chester, CT, the inspirational new musical Hi, My Name Is Ben will run May 17 - June 9, 2019. Hi, My Name Is Ben will be directed by Andrew Panton, who is an artistic director for Dundee Rep, where he has directed such shows as The Snow Queen, The Yellow on the Broom, Passing Places, and Spring Awakening. In addition, Panton has directed productions for the National Theater of Scotland, Edinburgh Royal Lyceum, and Glasgow Citizen's Theatre. Hi, My Name Is Ben will be choreographed by Emily Jane Boyle, who is an artistic associate at Dundee Rep. Boyle choreographed Exit the King at National Theatre and Sunshine on Leith at Leeds Playhouse. Other theatre credits include The Cheviot, the Stag and the Black Black Oil; Great Expectations; James and the Giant Peach; and Much Ado About Nothing at Dundee Rep. For TV and film, Boyle served as choreographer on the Sundance Film Festival Special Jury Prize winner God Help the Girl and Netflix's The Crown, among others. Hi, My Name Is Ben will be sponsored by the Richard P. Garmany Fund at the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving.

This summer the empowering new musical Passing Through will run July 26 - Aug 18, 2019. Passing Through will be directed by Igor Goldin. Goldin's recent credits include the Goodspeed Festival of New Musicals staged readings of The Proxy Marriage and Passing Through. Goldin directed the Off-Broadway production of Yank! at York Theatre Company, Memphis and West Side Story at Engeman Theater, as well as Sweeney Todd at Merry-Go-Round Playhouse. Choreography for Passing Through will be by Marcos Santana. Santana has served as associate choreographer on the Broadway productions On Your Feet! and Rocky!. Last fall he choreographed the Westport Country Playhouse production of Man of La Mancha. As a performer, Santana has been in Broadway shows: On Your Feet!,In the Heights and Guys and Dolls. He also performed in the first National Tour of Contact. Passing Through will be sponsored by DDM Productions, the Richard P. Garmany Fund at the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, and Masonicare at Chester Village.

Beginning at 10:00 a.m. on Sunday, February 17, 2019, single tickets for the five productions at both theaters may be purchased by visiting The Goodspeed Box Office at 6 Main Street, East Haddam, CT.; by calling 860.873.8668; or on-line at

Special ticket packages are still available: see three shows at The Goodspeed for as low as $84, order a two-show package for The Terris Theatre for only $88 or see ALL FIVE SHOWS for as little as $172. Contact the Box Office, open seven days a week, for details. Ticket cost may vary by performance; please call for current pricing. All prices are subject to change.


Chris Bailey (Choreographer: Because of Winn Dixie) Dredits include Getting the Band Back Together (Broadway); The Drowsy Chaperone, Chasing Rainbows (Goodspeed Musicals); National Tour of Evita; Jerry Springer: The Opera (The New Group); The Entertainer with Kenneth Branagh (West End, London); 1776 and The New Yorkers (City Center Encores!); Because of Winn Dixie (Alabama Shakespeare Festival); Cyrano de Bergerac (Roundabout); Assassins (Menier Chocolate Factory); Jerome Robbins' Broadway, Newsies, Into the Woods, My Fair Lady, Tarzan, West Side Story, and Thoroughly Modern Millie (MUNY), Dancing Shadows (Seoul Arts Center), Candide (Hyogo Performing Arts Centre, Japan), Dancing Shadows (Seoul Arts Center, South Korea). Film: Ted 2, Peter Pan Live for NBC, Kenneth Branagh's Cinderella, and A Million Ways to Die in the West. On Broadway Bailey served as Associate Choreographer on Promises, Promises; How to Succeed In Business Without Really Trying; Evita; and Cry Baby and for the West End productions of Guys and Dolls, Evita, and Once in a Lifetime. He has choreographed The Kennedy Center Honors and the 2013 Tony Awards.

Gabriel Barre (Director: Billy Elliot) Gabriel Barre is an internationally acclaimed director who recently co-created the new musical Magic To Do with Stephen Schwartz and Mark Hartman for Princess Cruises. Gabriel directed numerous productions of Amazing Grace, beginning with the developmental production at The Terris Theatre, then Bank of America Theatre in Chicago, and finally on Broadway in 2015.He directed the U.S. National Tour of Rodger's and Hammerstein's Cinderella starring Eartha Kitt, which toured the country for three years, including a run at Madison Square Garden, as well as subsequent productions regionally throughout the U.S. He also directed the National Tour of Pippin, which originated at Goodspeed Musicals and played throughout the U.S. and Canada. Other original Off-Broadway credits include: Almost, Maine at the Daryl Roth Theatre, Summer of '42 at the Variety Arts Theatre, Honky Tonk Highway at Don't Tell Mama (winner of a MAC Award and Bistro Award for Best Review) Stars in Your Eyes at the Cherry Lane Theatre, john & jen at the Lamb's Theatre, Son Of A Gun at the Samuel Beckett Theater and the 25th Anniversary production of Jacques Brel is Alive and Well at the Village Gate, which he also acted in and choreographed. Regionally, he directed the world premiere production of Memphis at the North Shore Music Theatre in Boston. Other Goodspeed Musicals productions Gabriel has directed include the revivals of Sweeney Todd (winner of four Connecticut Critics Circle Awards including Best Musical and Best Direction of a Musical), Finian's Rainbow (nominated for five Connecticut Critics Circle Awards), King of Hearts, the new musical Houdini, which he remounted at the Marriott-Lincolnshire Theatre in Chicago; as well as many other new musicals including Fanny Hill, Dorian and Frank Wildhorn's Camille Claudel, starring Linda Eder.

EMILY JANE BOYLE (Choreographer: Hi, My Name is Ben) Theatre credits include the Dundee Rep productions of The Cheviot, the Stag and the Black Black Oil; Great Expectations; James and the Giant Peach; Much Ado About Nothing; A Christmas Carol and Victoria; Oresteia: This Restless House (Citizens Theatre/National Theatre of Scotland/Edinburgh International Festival); Trainspotting and Cuttin' A Rug (Citizens Theatre); Sunshine on Leith and Richard III (West Yorkshire Playhouse); Lanark: A Life in Three Acts (Citizens Theatre/Edinburgh International Festival); Still Game: Live (Glasgow Hydro); Forest Boy (Noisemaker/Arcola/New York Musical Festival); Atlantic: A Scottish Story (Noisemaker/Assembly); The Return and Not About Heroes (Eden Court); The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, Jumpy and Hedda Gabler (Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh). Film and television credits include: The Crown (Netflix), In Plain Sight (ITV), Two Doors Down (BBC.), God Help the Girl (Sundance Film Festival Special Jury Prize). Additional credits: Assistant Artistic Director and Choreographer, Baku 2015 European Games; Mass Movement Director, The Queens Patrons Parade; Director, Under the Ground (Assembly); Associate Director, Out of This World (Sadlers Wells/UK Tour); Creative Associate and Choreographer, Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games Ceremonies. Emily-Jane is an Artistic Associate at Dundee Rep.

Igor Goldin (Director: Passing Through) At Goodspeed: The Proxy Marriage (2019 Festival of New Musicals), Passing Through (2018 Festival of New Musicals). Most recent: Newsies (Engeman), Matilda (Regional Premiere, Tuacahn), Austen's Pride (Seattle 5th Ave lab). NYC: Yank! (Drama Desk nomination, Outstanding Director of a Musical); With Glee, A Ritual of Faith (both New York Times Critic's Picks). 11 new musicals for the New York Musical Festival (3 NYMF Awards, Excellence in Direction). Regional: World Premiere of 26 Pebbles, A Christmas Story (both at Human Race); Gypsy, Oklahoma!, 1776, Memphis, West Side Story ("Encore" Theatre Award, Best Director), The Producers, Evita, The Music Man ("Encore" Theater Award), Twelve Angry Men, South Pacific (Engeman); Sweeney Todd (SALT Award nomination, Director of the Year), Austen's Pride (both at Finger Lakes Musical Theatre Festival). Top 5 Finalist for the SDC Joe A. Callaway Award for Distinguished Direction.

Marc Kimelman (Choreographer: Billy Elliot) Broadway credits include A Bronx Tale (Associate Choreographer), Jesus Christ Superstar (Assistant Choreographer). Marc choreographed Saturday Night Fever (National Tour), Play It Cool (Off-Broadway), The Apple Boys (HERE, NYC), Man of La Mancha (Stratford Shakespeare Festival), Once on This Island (Dora Award for Outstanding Choreography), Songbird and The Ballad of Little Jo (Two River Theater), Tonya & Nancy (NYMF). TV and Film credits include Degrassi, Don't Talk to Irene (feature film starring Geena Davis). As Associate/Assistant Choreographer: National tours of A Bronx Tale and Queen's We Will Rock You, Once on This Island (Paper Mill), Freaky Friday (Disney workshop), Hands on a Hardbody (Broadway workshop), and the CBS television series Elementary. Marc has worked with the New York City Ballet, Katy Perry, Phish, Neil Young, Chaka Kahn and is movement consultant for Vogue magazine.

ANDREW PANTON (Director: Hi, My Name is Ben) Born in Scotland, Andrew has worked internationally across theatre, television, film and music. He is Artistic Director and Joint Chief-Executive at Dundee Rep Theatre, where he has directed The Snow Queen, The Yellow on the Broom, Passing Places, Spring Awakening, A Christmas Carol, the Scottish Premiere of August: Osage County, Love Song, and The Mill Lavvies. He was Movement Director for the TMA and CATS award-winning production of Sweeney Todd. Andrew has directed productions for the National Theatre of Scotland, Edinburgh Royal Lyceum, Glasgow Citizen's Theatre, Royal & Derngate, Perth Theatre, and The Stephen Joseph Theatre. Work for TV includes Children in Need, Gareth Malone's The Naked Choir, and The Voice, all for the BBC. Andrew was vocal director for Susan Boyle on her last five albums and devised and directed her UK and international concert tours. In 2014, he was one of the creative directors for the opening ceremony of the Glasgow Commonwealth Games. Andrew is a Visiting Professor at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and a previous winner of the Bruce Millar Award for directing.

John Rando (Director: Because of Winn Dixie) received the Tony Award for Best Direction of a Musical for Urinetown The Musical in 2002, and was nominated again in 2015 for his direction of the critically-acclaimed Broadway revival of On The Town. His additional Broadway credits include Getting' the Band Back Together, A Christmas Story, The Wedding Singer, A Thousand Clowns starring Tom Selleck, and The Dinner Party with John Ritter and Henry Winkler. In addition to his Broadway credits, Mr. Rando has directed numerous musicals for New York's famous City Center Encores! series, including: Little Me, Superman, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes starring Megan Hilty, Damn Yankees starring Sean Hayes and Jane Krakowski, On The Town, Face The Music, Of Thee I Sing, The Pajama Game, Strike Up The Band starring Kristin Chenoweth, and Do Re Mi featuring Nathan Lane, Randy Graff, Brian Stokes Mitchell and Heather Headley. His Off-Broadway credits include All In The Timing at Primary Stages (2012 Obie Award, Directing); The Heir Apparent at Classic Stage Company; The Toxic Avenger at Roundabout Theatre Company, Manhattan Class Company, Manhattan Theatre Club, The Acting Company, among others. Regional credits include American Conservatory Theater, Alley Theater, Geffen Playhouse, Old Globe Theater, and Barrington Stage Company. Additionally, Mr. Rando is a Drama League Directing Fellow and Outer Critics Circle Award Winner. He is a graduate of UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television, where he received Distinguished Alumni Award in 2010.

Marcos Santana (Choreographer: Passing Through) Marcos is a New York based choreographer, director, performer and educator born and raised in Puerto Rico. As a choreographer, Marcos has worked on the Tony-nominated Broadway productions of On Your Feet! (Associate Choreographer) and Rocky (Associate Choreographer). Other credits include Man of La Mancha, Randy Newman's Faust (Encores), Mr. Magoo's A Christmas Carol and Fortress Of Solitude (Public Theater Associate Choreographer), Pirates Of Penzanze (Stratford Shakespeare Festival), Brazil Brazil (New Victory Theater), Much Ado About Nothing, My Fair Lady, Guys and Dolls, Paul Simon's Capeman (Delacorte Theater, Associate Choreographer), In The Heights (2009 Gypsy of the Year), Rock Of Ages National Tour/West End/Vegas (Associate Choreographer). His favorite performing credits include: Broadway's On Your Feet!, In The Heights, and Guys and Dolls; the first National Tour of Contact; West Side Story, Evita, The Wiz, Carmen and The Mambo Kings. Movie/TV credits: Annie, Across The Universe, Chasing Papi, The Great Observer, The Producers, Victoria's Secret Fashion Show, Pop Stars, Divas Las Vegas, The Nikki Cox Show, and more!

Jenn Thompson (Director: The Music Man) is thrilled to return to Goodspeed after directing Oklahoma! and Bye Bye Birdie (nominated for 5 Connecticut Critics Circle Awards, including Outstanding Director & Musical). Recent credits include A Doll's House Part 2 at Hartford Theaterworks, Mary Stuart at Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley at Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, the Off-Broadway world-premiere play The Gravedigger's Lullaby, The Secret Garden at Denver Center, and the Mint Theatre Company's Women Without Men, which garnered 2016 Lortel and Off-Broadway Alliance Award nominations for Outstanding Revival, as well as 5 Drama Desk Award nominations, including Outstanding Director and Revival. Jenn served as Co-Artistic Director of Off-Broadway's TACT from 2011 to 2015, directing the critically-acclaimed productions of Abundance (2015 Off-Broadway Alliance Award for Best Revival), Natural Affection, Lost in Yonkers (2012 Drama Desk Nomination), The Memorandum, The Late Christopher Bean, Bedroom Farce, and The Eccentricities of a Nightingale. Other NY theatre: NYC premiere of Pratfalls (The Abingdon), the world-premiere musical Seeing Stars (NYMF), Badge (Rattlestick), The Brilliance of Bernstein (AMP), and Big Doolie (FringeNYC). Regional credits include Angel Street (St. Louis Rep); Tribes and Lost in Yonkers (Barrington Stage Company); Peter and the Starcatcher and The Philadelphia Story (Pioneer Theatre Company); Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike (Denver Center Theatre); Grounded (City Theatre Pittsburgh); Abundance (Hartford Stage, Connecticut Critics Circle nomination: Outstanding Director); The Syringa Tree (Portland Stage Company); All in the Timing, Noises Off, Barefoot in the Park, and Boeing-Boeing (Dorset Theatre Festival, where she is a Resident Director); as well as 19 seasons with Connecticut's award-winning River Rep at the Ivoryton Playhouse (just down the river from East Haddam), where she directed Damn Yankees, The Heiress, and Dinner with Friends, among others. A 2012 finalist for the SDC's Joe A. Callaway Award for Excellence in Directing.

Patricia Wilcox (Choreographer: The Music Man) Broadway credits include Motown The Musical (Astaire Award for Best Choreography on Broadway) and A Night with Janis Joplin. Wilcox choreographed the hit production of Bye Bye Birdie for Goodspeed Musicals in 2016. Off Broadway and National Tours include Little Shop of Horrors (Encores!/City Center starring Jake Gyllenhaal), Children's Letters to God, Bowfire (and PBS Television Special), Blues in the Night (NAACP Image Award nomination), Seussical and the West End production of Motown The Musical. Patricia has choreographed numerous production regionally including for The Kennedy Center, Seattle Rep, The Old Globe, Arizona Theatre Company, Missouri Rep, Pasadena Playhouse. She has worked with Symphonies in Houston, Minnesota and Phoenix. Ms. Wilcox served as Artist in Residence at Jacob's Pillow and created choreography for ice skating gold medalists Petrenko, Kulik, Gordeeva and Ando, and ice dancing teams for the 2006, 2010, and 2014 Winter Olympics.


Meredith Wilson's The Music Man April 12 - June 16 at THE GOODSPEED

You got trouble in River City! Professor Harold Hill and Marian the Librarian march into their first appearance at Goodspeed a rousing new production of this great American musical. When huckster Harold promises to save an Iowa town by selling the dream of a boy's band, Marian is the only skeptic. Until she starts to buy his pitch. Fall in love all over again with "76 Trombones". "The Wells Fargo Wagon", "Trouble" and "Till There Was You". A glorious classic that will have you parading in the streets!

Book, Music & Lyrics by Meredith Wilson
Story by Meredith Wilson and Franklin Lacey

Directed by Jenn Thompson / Choreographed by Patricia Wilcox

Hi, My Name is Ben May 17- June 9 at THE TERRIS THEATRE

The true story of an ordinary man and his extraordinary life. From his tiny room in New York City, Berhardt Wichmann III changed the lives of those around him without saying a word. Using just his notepad and pen and open heart, Ben turned a neighborhood of strangers into a community of friends. Featuring a joyful, folk-inflected score by an award-winning Scottish writing team in collaboration with Dundee Rep, one of Scotland's leading theatres, this is the story of how one man with nothing somehow changed everything.

Book & Lyrics by Scott Gilmour
Music by Claire McKenzie

Directed by Andrew Panton / Choreographed by Emily Jane Boyle

Because of Winn Dixie June 28- September 1 at THE GOODSPEED

Not since Annie has a stray dog inspired such joyful noise! In a Southern town filled with lost souls, a new leash on life is just around the corner when a preacher and his daughter take in a mutt named Winn Dixie. The beloved, award-winning novel about a quirky community learning to get along now sings for the first time in this uplifting new musical. Let Grammy and Tony winner Duncan Sheik (Spring Awakening) and Tony nominee Nell Benjamin (Legally Blonde, Mean Girls) take you on a heartwarming adventure for all ages.

Based on the novel by Kate DiCamillo

Book & Lyrics by Nell Benjamin

Music by Duncan Sheik

Animal Direction by William Berloni

Directed by John Rando / Choreographed by Chris Bailey

Passing Through July 26 - August 18 at THE TERRIS THEATRE

Set amidst the rich sounds and diverse tapestry of the American landscape, Passing Through tells the incredible true story of a young man who journeys on foot from Pennsylvania to California, collecting stories as he goes. But when his trek brings to light an unresolved family crisis, he must use the lessons he's gathered to finally confront his past. Don't miss the musical that celebrates America and the power of what can happen when we open ourselves up to a stranger.

Music & Lyrics by Brett Ryback

Book by Eric Ulloa

Based on the Work "Walking to Listen" by Andrew Forsthoefel

Directed by Igor Goldin / Choreographed by Marcos Santana

Billy Elliot September 13 -November 24 at THE GOODSPEED

Young Billy Elliot is pulled between his family's coal-mining roots and his newly discovered passion to dance. Is his future boxing gloves or ballet shoes? In the hardscrabble world of a changing England, reaching high becomes a leap of faith. Following your dream-and overcoming obstacles-has never been more electric than in the 10-time Tony winning Broadway phenomenon with songs by the legendary Elton John. Celebrate the idea of being yourself in the Goodspeed premiere of this powerful dance-filled story!

Book & Lyrics by Lee Hall
Music by Elton John

Originally Directed by Stephen Daldry

Directed by Gabriel Barre