Rubicon Theatre Company Presents Developmental Production of DARK OF THE MOON: A NEW MUSICAL

The production opens April 1 and continues through April 16.

By: Mar. 22, 2023
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Rubicon Theatre Company Presents Developmental Production of DARK OF THE MOON: A NEW MUSICAL

Rubicon Theatre of Ventura continues the company's commitment to the creation of new works with the organization's 46th mainstage world premiere - a developmental musical production based on Dark of the Moon, the 1945 Broadway play by Howard Richardson and William Berney.

The new production is adapted and written by noted television and film writer/producer Jonathan Prince; with music and lyrics by multi-platinum songwriters Lindy Robbins, Dave Bassett and Steve Robson. Rubicon Co-Founder James O'Neil (Drama Desk and Ovation Award-winner) directs, with choreography by Tony Award-winner Christopher Gattelli (Newsies and multiple Broadway and West End shows).

Musical supervision is by Brad Haak (Conductor for An American in Parisand Mary Poppins on Broadway), musical direction by Brent Crayon (premieres of John Bucchino's It's Only Life and Stephen Schwartz's Snapshots) and arrangements by renowned guitarist and composer Dillon Kondor (numerous TV/film credits include "Jesus Christ Superstar" Live, Kennedy Center Honors with the cast of Hamilton and many others). Dark of the Moon: A New Musical performances take place at Rubicon Theatre Company, 1006 E. Main Street in Ventura's Downtown Cultural District.

The production opens April 1 and continues through April 16, with low-priced previews March 29-31. Performances are Wednesdays at 2 and 7 p.m., Thursdays and Fridays at 7 p.m., Saturdays at 2 and 7 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. Prices are $30 to $69.50 with special discounts for students, seniors, military and Equity members. For a complete schedule, or to purchase tickets, visit www.rubicontheatre.org or call 805.667.2900.

The story of Dark of the Moon: A New Musical follows John, a witch boy from the Smoky Mountains, who falls in love with Barbara Allen, a beautiful and rebellious mortal girl who longs for more life than she finds in the fictitious Appalachian town of Buck Creek. John is willing to give up anything to be with Barbara Allen, and makes a deal with the conjur people to give up his immortality and become mortal if Barbara and he can stay true to each other for a year.

Based on the classic stage play of the same name, this new musical adaptation is the sexy, soulful tale of young lovers torn apart by prejudice and fear - a modern melding of "Twilight" and Romeo and Juliet loosely based on a centuries-old ballad. Heart wrenchingly beautiful, and profoundly poetic, Dark of the Moon: A New Musical features a dual score by an award-winning songwriting team with a bluegrass/folk sound voiced by the humans juxtaposed with a rock/soul sound from the witches.
'The original play version of Dark of the Moon was originally written by Howard Richardson in 1939 as a dramatization of the centuries-old European folk song "The Ballad of Barbara Allen" and was first performed under a different title at the University of Iowa in 1942. After a rewrite by William Berney who was Richardson's cousin, the pay opened in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where it was seen by The Shuberts.

They transferred the show to Broadway in March 14 of 1945 with the new title. The show premiered in London in 1948 as an early success of then-rising star Peter Brook. The show opened Circle in the Square Theatre in 1951. A national tour was followed by numerous high school and college productions and revivals. Notably Paul Newman and Richard Hart each played the role of John.

The premiere of Dark of the Moon: A New Musical features a 29-member cast including an onstage bluegrass band ("Whole Hog" of Ventura County), and a rock-and-roll pit band.

Barbara Allen is played by newcomer Ava Delaney, a recent graduate of The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in London; Jake David Smith (Frozen on Broadway), plays the character of John. Jennifer Leigh Warren portrays Conjur Woman, who casts the spell that allows John and Barbara to be together against the wishes of Conjur Man, played by Timothy Warmen, whose many Broadway credits include Spider-Man: Turn off The Dark, Jekyll and Hyde and Steel Pier). Olivier Award-winner Lesli Margherita (Zorro The Musical in the West End; Matilda The Musical and Dames at Sea on Broadway) plays Raven, one of three witches who are desperate to keep John as a part of the coven. She is joined by Juliette Redden (Anne of Green Gables at Goodspeed) as Arwen, the curious light witch, and Dylan Goike (Anne Frank off-Broadway) as Devin.

Barbara's loving-but-confounded parents Gemma and Thomas Allen are played by Teri Bibb (7 years as Christine inPhantom of the Opera on Broadway and tour) and Joseph Fuqua (110 in the Shade and Brighton Beach Memoirs at Lincoln Center/Hamlet at Rubicon). Barbara's quirky younger brother Floyd is played by CJ Cruz (streaming production of "1660 Vine").

Anna Demaria (a recent graduate of Marymount Manhattan who has been a part of Rubicon's summer education programs) plays Floyd's girlfriend Ella, who is fascinated by witches. Ella's mother, the dour town midwife Patricia Bergen, is played by Jane Macfie (Long Days Journey Into Night and Ah Wilderness! on Broadway).

Uncle Deuce, a beloved storyteller and entertainer in Buck Creek, is played by three-time Astaire Award-winner Phillip Attmore, whose many Broadway shows including Hello, Dolly!, Shuffle Along..., On the 20th Century and After Midnight. Deuce is a part of the town's general store band, as is Heather Youmans as Katie and Trevor Wheetman as Trevor. Youmans has appeared in L.A. at the Lily Tomlin/Jane Wagner Cultural Center, at Moolight Amphitheatre, The Whitefire and The Welk and is a part of L.A.'s Troubies. Wheetman, a multi-instrumentalist, singer and actor marks his 7th performance with Rubicon in this show, including Lonesome Traveler, which then transferred off-Broadway. Sylvie Davidson, another Lonesome Traveler alum, assays the role of Saoirse, the balladeer who opens and close the show. Davidson's other credits include the world premiere of Troubador at The Alliance and work with Book-It and ACT.

Marc Cardiff (Bronco Billy at Skylight), takes on the role of Preacher Haggler, who mysteriously seems to have some knowledge of John's past. Michael Allen Deni (leading roles in Ragtime at Pasadena Playhouse and Beauty and the Beast at Moonlight) plays Marvin, who has known Barbara since childhood and has always assumed they would end up together. Michael Stone Forrest (title role in the Helen Hayes award-winning Sweeney Todd at Signature Theatre) plays the pivotal role of Ralph Wharton, who leads the town's charge against John.

Ensemble members include Oxnard resident Ximena Valentina Alvear (In the Heights at Rubicon), Madeline Marquis(Adriana in the Opera Santa Barbara premiere of A Séance on a Wet Afternoon), Broadway veterans Lauralyn Mcclelland (7 Broadway shows including SpongBob SquarePants and My Fair Lady) and Mark C. Reis (Fosse), Spencer Ty (Into the Woods and Spring Awakening at CSU Fullerton), and the youngest member of the cast 12-year-old Anastacia Noelle Jones, daughter of renowned singer Stacy Francis.




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