Matt Bogart, Lauren Zakrin & More to Star in THE LAST DAYS OF CLEOPATRA Industry Presentation

The presentation will take place at Theatre Row on December 14, 2023. 

By: Dec. 05, 2023

Matt Bogart, Lauren Zakrin & More to Star in THE LAST DAYS OF CLEOPATRA Industry Presentation The new musical comedy The Last Days of Cleopatra , penned by acclaimed composer and playwright Charlie Barnett, is set to have an exclusive invite-only industry presentation at Theatre Row on December 14, 2023. 

Directed by Tom Caruso, with Matthew Smedal serving as music director, this comedic musical extravaganza unfolds a tale set in 1961: after a calamitous start in London, the cast and crew of the film  Cleopatra  move to Cinecittà Studios in Rome to re-start the film. The dazzling Elizabeth Taylor has stayed on in the role of Cleopatra, but she has a new co-star: Richard Burton, a famed Shakespearean actor, who has joined the cast as Mark Antony. With the largest budget in Hollywood's history and an acclaimed new director, Joseph Mankiewicz, the production seems to be back on track. But the reality is that this esteemed cast and crew is in the process of making one of the biggest turkeys of all time—while Taylor and Burton strike up a world-famous adulterous affair that ends Taylor's marriage and drenches the production in scandal. As Taylor learns hard lessons, though, other troupers meet sunnier fates, finding friendship or true love on the set of this colossal disaster.

The cast is led by Matt Bogart (Broadway: Paradise Square, Jersey Boys) as Richard Burton, Shereen Ahmed (Broadway: My Fair Lady) as Elizabeth Taylor, Nikita Burshteyn (Off-Broadway:  Romeo and Bernadette) as Eddie Fisher, Lauren Zakrin (Broadway: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Rock of Ages) as Bianca D'Ambrosio, Jed Resnick (Broadway: Avenue Q, Rent) as Joseph Mankiewicz, De'Lon Grant (Broadway: Come From Away) as Rex Harrison, George Abud (Broadway: The Band's Visit) as Fred E. Smith, Milo Alosi (Broadway: Aladdin) as Giuseppe, Fred Berman (Broadway: Gettin' The Band Back Together) as Paulo, Dee Roscioli (Broadway: The Cher Show, Wicked) as Sybil Burton with Kaleigh Cronin (Broadway: Bad Cinderella), Ben Lurye (Regional: Sweeney Todd, Sheridan Mirador (National Tour: Emojiland), Jenna Lea Rosen (Regional: The Addams Family), Teddy Trice (Broadway: The Book of Mormon), and Zuri Washington (National Tour:  Bring It On).

The Last Days of Cleopatra is Executive Produced by Dan Markley, general managed by Foresight Theatrical /Mark Shacket


Charlie Barnett (Writer/composer) is an accomplished and popular American composer and playwright and the winner of numerous awards for his film scores, including the Rome International Film Festival's Jerry Goldsmith Award. Barnett also writes music for television; his credits include Saturday Night Live, Weeds, Royal Pains, and Archer. Barnett's lively orchestral and chamber works are performed both nationally and internationally. Notable collaborations include a spoken-word piece written and performed with Dr. Maya Angelou. His theatrical scores include 19: The Musical and When We Get There. A playwright of dramas, comedies, and musicals, Barnett has had works produced in New York City and along the East Coast. His plays include 12ness and The Spectre of Death, while his musicals include True North and The Last Days of Cleopatra. As a producer, Barnett has recorded scores of pop and jazz albums for labels including Def Jam and Elektra. And as a performer, for 20 years he played guitar and piano for Chaise Lounge, an eclectic jazz band that frequently appeared on the national college-radio charts with his original compositions. Barnett continues to perform as a jazz pianist. Barnett has been heard as an occasional commentator on NPR. His essay “Hitching a Ride with Junior McGee” was included in the network's Classic Driveway Moments compilation.

TOM CARUSO (Director) is a New York Outer Critics Circle Award and Lucille Lortel Award nominee, who recently directed Madwomen Of The West by Sandra Tsing Loh (Off-Broadway),); A Christmas Carol at the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles starring Bradley Whitford, Kate Burton, and Alex Newell,; the Off-Broadway musical, Emojiland (NY Times Critics Pick, 4 Drama Desk Award Nominations, and an Off-Broadway Alliance Award Nomination: Best Musical);). He directed and co-conceived the musical Southern Comfort (The Public Theatre, NY Times Critics Pick, 3 Lucille Lortel Award and 2 OCC Award nominations including: Best New Musical). In London, he directed the West End and World Tour of Dynamo: Seeing Is Believing for the Illusionist, Dynamo. and the Asia Tour of David Blaine: Real or Magic for the world-renowned Illusionist, David Blaine. Broadway Associate Director credits include Matilda, Groundhog Day, A Christmas Carol, Ghost, Mamma Mia!, Bombay Dreams, Follies, and Master Class. He directed the Broadway National Tours of Matilda, Ghost, Master Class , and Emojiland as well as many new works at Barrington Stage, Bay Street, NY Stage & Film, Rattlestick, EST, Play Co, Williamstown Theatre Festival, TheatreWorks Palo Alto, Penguin Rep, Studio Arena Theatre &and Gloucester Stage.

Matthew Smedal (Music Director) is the music director and conductor of the new adaptation of Anne of Green Gables (Eric Cornell, producer),) and recently appeared on Broadway as the music director of Jerry Zaks' 25th Broadway musical Mrs. Doubtfire, which played at the Stephen Sondheim Theatre. Matthew also conducted Mrs. Doubtfire's Original Broadway Cast Recording, which was released in the summer of 2022 by Ghostlight Records. In 2018, Matthew music-directed the off-Broadway adaptation of Clueless: The Musical at the Alice Griffin Jewel Box Theatre, starring; it starred Dove Cameron. Matthew has conducted orchestras across America as the music director of the touring productions of The Bodyguard (starring Grammy-nominated Deborah Cox), Matilda, Ghost: The Musical, and Catch Me If You Can. Matthew served as music director and conductor of the 2016 installation of Matilda at the Ed Mirvish Theatre in Toronto, Ontario. Regionally, he has music-directed An American iIn Paris (dir.directed by Al Blackstone) at The Cape Playhouse, Oliver! (dir.directed by Denis Jones) at Maltz Jupiter Theatre, Damn Yankees, Big Fish, Man Of La Mancha, and 1776 for Musical Theatre West, Singing In The Rain (two times!) for Ogunquit Playhouse, and Jesus Christ Superstar at North Shore Music Theatre. He was the music director of the 21st Annual Say Gala with Kelli O'Hara, and the 20th Annual Los Angeles Alzheimer's Benefit featuring David Hyde Pierce, Kristen Bell, Marilu Henner, and Joey McIntyre. Matthew served six seasons as the Associate Music Director for LA's Reprise Theatre Company, where he conducted for Julia Migenes, Brent Spiner, John O'Hurley, Vickie Lewis, and Jason Alexander.

Dan Markley (Executive Producer) has been a theater producer, manager, owner, and investor for 30+ years in New York City. He served as Executive Director of the New York Musical Festival from 2013-–2018. He was a principle in the development of 37 Arts, which housed three theatres and the Baryshnikov Arts Center, and managed the center for several years. On and Off-Broadway, Dan co-produced Oleanna (original), Stomp (Obie & Drama Desk Awards), Damn Yankees (Tony and Drama Desk nominations), On The Waterfront, The Vagina Monologues, Lifegame, Shockheaded Peter, Irving Berlin's White Christmas, High Fidelity, Family Secrets (revival), and Something Rotten! (Tony and Drama Desk nominations). He also co-produced the Paul Rudnick feature film Jeffrey, and a feature-length documentary about D-Day entitled Bedford: The Town They Left Behind, which was scored by Charlie Barnett. As an investor and investment manager, he has participated in over forty40 commercial productions in New York, and London, and tours including the Tony Award-winning musicals Rent, Avenue Q, and In Thethe Heights, as well as Six, Wicked, Art, De La Guarda, Swan Lake, and The Beauty Queen Of Leenane.

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