Vanessa Williams, Paulo Szot, and Jason Gotay To Star In Development Reading of New Musical CHERI
The development of the musical version of CHERI, with book/lyrics by Teri Hansen and music by Chabrier, Chopin, Debussy, de Falla, Duparc, Ravel, and Satie, directed by Dontee Kiehn (Associate Director: An American In Paris), musical direction by Andy Einhorn (Carousel), and choreography by Parker Esse (Helen Hayes Award 2018,2019), continues with a weeklong private industry reading in Manhattan August 5-12.
The cast, playing the characters inspired by Colette's novel, includes Tony nominee Vanessa Williams (Into the Woods, Sondheim on Sondheim, Trip to Bountiful) as Charlotte, Tony Winner Paulo Szot (South Pacific) as Monsieur, Natalie Dessay (Passion, The Châtelet) as Léa de Lonval, and Jason Gotay (Spider-Man, Turn Off the Dark) as Chéri. Others include Eryn LeCroy (The Phantom of the Opera), Nathaniel Stampley (The Gershwin's Porgy and Bess), Sean MacLaughlin (The Phantom of the Opera), MaryAnn Hu (Sunday In The Park With George), Natascia Diaz (Man of La Mancha), Cáitlín Burke (The Sound of Music), Darren Matthias (The Sound of Music), Mary Stout (On the Twentieth Century), Michael Spaziani (The Sound of Music), Rebecca Eichenberger (My Fair Lady), Shereen Ahmed (My Fair Lady), Drew Seigla (Fiddler on the Roof), and Woody Buck (The Sound of Music). Some of the same company have appeared in previous readings in Washington D.C. and Toronto.
Williams will essay the role of the Chéri's mother, Charlotte Peloux, a savvy business woman and former Courtesan, who engages in a sexual power struggle with Monsieur, who is the purveyor of all things and guardian angel to the recently retired Courtesan, Léa de Lonval. Natalie Dessay makes her entrée into the American Musical Theatre scene, opposite Jason Gotay, as the troubled playboy Chéri. 2020 will mark the centennial anniversary of the publication of Colette's famed novel Chéri.