Waterwall Co to Present THE WIZARD OF WALL STREET With Nicole Parker, Aug 26-29

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Today's economic problems pale in comparison to those of 1800s railroad tycoon Jay Gould, the title character in an all-new musical theater piece making its debut at Indiana University's Wells-Metz Theatre on Aug. 26.

The IU Department of Theatre and Drama and acclaimed New York theater company Waterwell will present several "workshop performances" -- minimal props and costumes with a focus on sound and lighting design and final script development -- of the premiere of Waterwell's new The Wizard of Wall Street: The Life and Achievements of Financier/Railroad King Jay Gould.

Award-winning Broadway actors, including alumna Nicole Parker, join IU Theatre and Drama students in a musical that focuses on the life and times of financier and railroad executive Jay Gould, who Joseph Pulitzer once called "one of the most sinister figures that have ever flitted bat-like across the vision of the American people."

Known in his own time as the "Mephistopheles of Wall Street" and throughout history as the prototype for the "Robber Baron," Gould's was one of the most spectacular, controversial careers in American business. Gould was vilified by the press and accused of purposely running businesses into the ground, then building them up to his own advantage while resorting to bribery and insider stock trades. (Gould even reportedly referred to himself as "the most hated man in America.")

Playwright Jonathan Goldberg and composer Lauren Cregor Devine have identified Jay Gould as an important industrialist who has "fallen through the cracks of history." They believe that telling this story through dialogue and song helps illuminate "a period in the life of our country that ushered in the corporation" and helps depict the new power of New York company chiefs to determine the course of their companies and the lives of the people who worked for them.

Waterwell presented last summer's #9 and The|King|Operetta, which was named a Best Musical of 2007 by New York Magazine.

The company teams with award-winning playwright Jonathan A. Goldberg (How to Shoot a Bull Moose, Thomas Jefferson Plays It Safe) and a cast that features New York actors Jordan Gelber (Avenue Q, All My Sons), Philip Hernández (Les Miserables, Kiss of the Spider Woman), Sean McNall (Pearl Theatre Company, OBIE Award Winner) and IU alumna Nicole Parker ("MadTV," Wicked, Martin Short: Fame Becomes Me).

IU student actors in the production, all musical theatre majors, are: junior Matt Birdsong (A Little Night Music, Blood Brothers), sophomore Taylor Crousoure, (Take Me Out, Blood Brothers), senior Trent Hulen (Oklahoma!, A Funny Thing . . . Forum), senior Kerry Ipema (Oklahoma!, Dead Man Walking, A Funny Thing . . . Forum) and recent alumni Mandy Striph (Blood Brothers, Oklahoma! and West Side Story) and Mark Banik (Oklahoma!).

The Wizard of Wall Street will be directed by IU alumnus Tom Ridgely, a Drama Desk Nominee for Marco Millions (based on lies). IU Professor and Tony Nominee (for Blast!) George Pinney choreographs and IU alumna Lauren Cregor Devine (IT Award Nominee, The Persians . . . a comedy about war with five songs) is composing the score, with IU's Terry LaBolt as music director.

The design team includes properties master Nick Graves, a second-year MFA scenic design student; costume designer Jennifer Sheshko, a third-year MFA costume design student; lighting designer Christopher Wood, a third-year year MFA lighting design student; sound designer IU Assistant Professor Andrew Hopson; assistant lighting designer Abby Wells, a second-year MFA lighting design student; and technical director Steven Workman, a third-year theater technology student.

Waterwell is a New York based company of artists dedicated to the collaborative creation of new works for the theater. Founded in 2002, Waterwell has since created nine original plays, four cabarets and two staged readings. Its continually evolving body of work encompasses original plays, adaptations of classic texts, solo shows and performance pieces. For each venture the actors, writers, directors, composers, musicians and designers work collectively to build the piece from the ground up. The Village Voice has called the troupe "Dynamic, resourceful and relentlessly entertaining," while the New York Times hails the work as "Brilliant, original and inspired. Alive enough to surprise even the performers themselves."

The Wizard of Wall Street will run August 26 through August 29 at the Wells-Metz Theatre which is located in the Lee Norvelle Theatre and Drama Center at 275 N. Jordan Ave. No photography or recording of any kind is permitted during performances.. Tickets are $15 ($10 for students) and available through Ticketmaster at 800-745-3000 or by visiting the http://www.iuauditorium.com or www.theatre.indiana.edu.

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.theatre.indiana.edu/productions/2010/wizard.shtml.




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