Edward Watts and Ellie Fishman Lead Goodspeed's THE MUSIC MAN
River City's about to get the last thing they expected ? and the very thing they need ? in The Music Man. Goodspeed Musicals kicks off its 2019 season with the rip-roarin' dance-filled classic running April 12 - June 20 at The Goodspeed in East Haddam, Conn. [Official Press Opening will be May 1, 2019].
You got trouble in River City! Professor Harold Hill and Marian the Librarian march into their first appearance at Goodspeed in a rousing new production of this great American musical. When huckster Harold promises to save an Iowa town by selling the dream of a boys' 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." This glorious American classic will have you parading in the streets!
The Music Man features book, music and lyrics by Meredith Willson with story by Meredith Willson and Franklin Lacey. This spirited musical will be sponsored by Wells Fargo, Masonicare at Chester Village and The Shops at Mohegan Sun.
Edward Watts returns to Goodspeed Musicals as Harold Hill. Previously, Watts performed the role of Trevor Graydon in Thoroughly Modern Millie and Thomas Jefferson in 1776 at The Goodspeed and thrilled audiences at The Terris Theatre in The Girl in the Frame. On Broadway, Edward appeared inScandalous, and Finnian's Rainbow. In addition to his performances Off-Broadway, at Lincoln Center, and at dozens of regional theaters around the country, he performed in the First National Tour of The Book of Mormon. Most recently, Watts reprised the role of The Grinch in The Old Globe's Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas!.
Ellie Fishman will play Marian Paroo. Ms. Fishman returns to Goodspeed where she previously performed as a member of the Quintet in Rags. Her other credits include A Christmas Story at Paper Mill Playhouse and both Beauty and the Beast and My Fair Lady at The MUNY.
Juson Williams makes his Goodspeed debut in the role of Marcellus Washburn. A four-time Audelco Award-winner, his New York credits include The Fortress of Solitude at The Public, Scottsboro Boys at Vineyard Theatre, City Center Encores! The Wiz, and the Signature Theater productions Stormy Weather with Leslie Uggams and Central Avenue Breakdown. His tour and regional credits include The Color Purple, Memphis, Smokey Joe's Café withGladys Knight, Ain't Misbehavin', It Ain't Nothing But the Blues and Chasing Dem Blues.
Amelia White will play Mrs. Paroo. Her Broadway credits include Crazy For You, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and The Heiress. She has also worked Off-Broadway at the Mint Theatre, Atlantic Theater Co. and Ground UP Productions. White received a Theatre World Award for her work in The Accrington Pals at the Hudson Guild. Ms. White's regional credits include A Doll's House Part 2 at TheaterWorks Hartford, Silent Sky and Shakespeare in Love at South Coast Rep. She has also appeared at Cleveland Playhouse, The Old Globe, Studio Arena Theatre and Hartford Stage.
Connecticut native Alexander O'Brien will be making his Goodspeed debut as Withrop Paroo. Alex has played the role of Tiny Tim in A Christmas Carolat Hartford Stage.
D.C. Anderson will play the role of Mayor Shinn. Anderson's credits include playing André in the Broadway National Tour of The Phantom of the Operaand the National Tours of Martin Guerre, Pippin, and The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby. His Off-Broadway credits include the world premiere ofMichael John LaChiusa's Queen of the Mist with Transport Group and Storyville at York Theatre Company. At Goodspeed Musicals, Anderson performed inThe Fabulous Lipitones at The Terris Theatre.
Eulalie Shinn will be played by musical theater veteran Stephanie Pope whose career spans over 35 years. Her numerous Broadway and touring credits include the revival of Pippin (for which she received an Astaire Award nomination, an ACCA Award, and the beloved Gypsy Robe), Chicago, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Fosse, Smokey Joe's Café, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Kiss of the Spider Woman, Jelly's Last Jam, and The Will Rogers Follies just to name a few. Stephanie has the honor of having been hand-picked to work with the legendary director/choreographer Bob Fosse along with his wife and muse Gwen Verdon on her first two Broadway shows?the revival of Sweet Charity starring Debbie Allen and Bebe Neuwirth and Bob Fosse's Big Deal. She holds the distinctive and treasured title of being a "Fosse Dancer."
The ensemble includes Iman Barnes, who recently appeared in Oklahoma! as Gertie Cummings at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts. Kelly Berman whose credits include Oklahoma! at The Goodspeed, The Music Man at The MUNY, Holiday Inn at Merry-Go-Round Playhouse, and Seven Brides for Seven Brothers at Ogunquit Playhouse. Cicily Denise Daniels whose Broadway credits include Once On This Island, Disney's The Little Mermaid, All Shook Up and Rent. Shawn Alynda Fisher who performed in The Finger Lakes Musical Theatre Festival's World-Premiere production of Anne of Green Gables, A New Folk Rock Musical! and the National and International Tours of Fela! A New Musical. Damien Galvez who performed as Turkey Boy in A Christmas Carolat Hartford Stage and in Mary Poppins at Colchester Community Theater.
Joining them will be Jeff Gurner whose credits include Broadway's The Lion King; the Off-Broadway/NY productions Five Course Love, Silver Dollar,The London Cuckolds, The Man of Destiny, The Truth About Santa; and Goodspeed Musicals' Silver Dollar. MaddieKay Harris whose credits include AChristmas Carol at Hartford Stage, Evita at ACT of Connecticut, You're A Good Man Charlie Brown for Children's Family Theater and two productions of Annie.Victoria Huston-Elem whose credits include the First National Tours of Finding Neverland and The Addams Family and Goodspeed's The Circus in Winterand Meet John Doe at The Terris Theatre.
Also in the ensemble will be Elise Kowalick whose credits include the National Tour of 42nd Street, Signature Theatre's Crazy For You, Grease at The Fireside Theatre, Holiday Inn, and Oklahoma!. Danny Lindgren whose previous Goodspeed credits include Rags, Chasing Rainbows, Damn Yankees and The Most Happy Fella; as well as Benny in Guy and Dolls and Will Parker in Oklahoma! both at Finger Lakes Music Theatre Festival; and Nephew Fred in AChristmas Carol at The McCarter Theatre. C. Mingo Long whose credits include Broadway's South Pacific, Purile and House of Flowers at City Center Encores!, and Goodspeed Musicals' Oklahoma!. Matthew B. Moore whose regional credits include West Side Story, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Annie and Rootabage Express. Kent Overshown who has performed at Walnut Street Theatre, Two River Theatre, Casa Mañana, The MUNY, STAGES St. Louis, Westchester Broadway Theatre and Diamond Head Theatre. And Raynor Rubel whose credits include The Music Man at Asolo Rep, West Side Story at Barrington Stage Company and Asolo Rep, and Saturday Night Fever at Walnut Street Theatre.
Rounding out the ensemble will be William Russell whose credits include A Christmas Carol at The Hanover Theatre, Peter Pan at The Norwood Theatre and Willy Wonka Jr.. Benjamin Sears whose regional credits include Forestburgh Playhouse's Newsies!, Kiss Me Kate and Crazy for You and West Side Story at Mill Mountain Theatre. CorBen Williams who recently appeared in Sister Act at the Westchester Broadway Theatre. Branch Woodman whose Broadway credits include Crazy for You; Bye Bye Birdie; Priscilla, Queen of the Desert; Cinderella; and most recently, Hello, Dolly! starring Bette Midler. His Off-Broadway credits include The Disappearing Act, Out of This World, Dear World, Babes in Toyland, and Babar, the Elephant. He has toured with Billy Elliot; Cinderella; and Big, the Musical; and appeared in Goodspeed Musicals' Bye Bye Birdie, Call Me Madam, and George M!. Katie Wylie who performed in the National Tours of The Sound of Music and Annie and regionally in White Christmas at Ogunquit Playhouse and A Christmas Carol at Hanover Theatre.
The swings will be Elizabeth Brady (National Tour of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella as Lady of Ridicule and productions at Connecticut Rep and TUTS) and Ryan Lambert (42nd Street at The Fulton Theatre, Jekyll & Hyde and Mame at North Shore Music Theatre).
The Music Man 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 recent 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 includes Encores! Off-Center summer series Little Shop of Horrors starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Seussical, Bowfire and Blues In the Night (NAACP Image Award nomination).
Scenic Design will be by 2017 Helen Hayes Award nominee Paul Tate DePoo III. Called Live Design Magazine's "Designer To Watch," Paul designedThoroughly Modern Millie and Guys and Dolls at The Goodspeed and A Sign of the Times at The Terris Theatre. Most recently, dePoo designed the sets for the Broadway-bound productions of TITANIC, Josephine, and War of the Roses, as well the world's largest TED Talk event at the Boston Opera House. Last summer he designed the opening ceremonies for The MUNY's centennial celebration in St. Louis, the nation's oldest and largest outdoor musical theatre, where he previously designed Jesus Christ Superstar, Unsinkable Molly Brown, Young Frankenstein, and this year's Singin' In the Rain and Jersey Boys.
Costumes will be designed by David Toser who returns to Goodspeed Musicals where, over the years, he has designed more than fifty productions?most recently the lively hit Bye Bye Birdie. His numerous Broadway credits include Oh Coward!, Take Me Along, Little Johnny Jones, Whoopee!, Very Good Eddie,and Going Up.
Lighting design will be by Paul Miller who previously designed Goodspeed Musicals' My One And Only and How to Succeed... at The Goodspeed andOne Touch of Venus and Lizzie Borden at The Terris Theatre. Miller's numerous Broadway credits include Ruben & Clay's First Annual Christmas Carol Family Fun Pageant Spectacular Reunion Show, Amazing Grace, The Illusionists - Witness the Impossible, and Legally Blonde as well as Assistant Lighting Designer for Macbeth and Associate Lighting Designer for Company, Three Days of Rain, and Sweeney Todd.
Sound Design will be by Jay Hilton who has a long association with Goodspeed Musicals and has designed countless productions at both The Terris Theatre and The Goodspeed. His work has also been heard on Broadway, National Tours and Regional theatres from coast to coast. He also serves as Goodspeed's audio supervisor.
Wig and Hair design will be by Mark Adam Rampmeyer whose work has been seen at The Goodspeed in the productions of The Drowsy Chaperone,Oliver, The Will Rogers Follies, Rags, Oklahoma!, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Anything Goes, Bye Bye Birdie and Chasing Rainbows, as well as La Cage aux Folles, Good News!, 42nd Street and Big River to name a few. On Broadway, he designed West Side Story, Lysistrata Jones and The Farnsworth Invention.
The Music Director for The Music Man will be Michael O'Flaherty, who is in his 28thseason as Goodspeed's Resident Music Director. F. Wade Russo will be Assistant Music Director. Orchestrations will be by Dan DeLange. This marks his 21st year and 54th show for The Goodspeed. Casting for The Music Man is by Paul Hardt of Stewart/Whitley Casting.
The Music Man will run April 12 through June 20, 2019. Curtain times are Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., Thursday at 7:30 p.m. (with select performances at 2:00 p.m.), Friday at 8:00 p.m., Saturday at 3:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m., and Sunday at 2:00 p.m. (with select performances at 6:30 p.m.).
Tickets are available through the Box Office (860.873.8668), open seven days a week, or online at goodspeed.org.
Photo Credit: Walter McBride / WM Photos