Analisa Leaming and Nathaniel Hackmann Star in SEVEN BRIDES FOR SEVEN BROTHERS, Starting Tonight at Ogunquit Playhouse
Pull up your boots and hold onto your hats when this all-dancing, all-singing, all-new production of the rip-roarin' musical comedy classic bursts onto the Ogunquit Playhouse stage tonight, September 7, to October 1.
Seven Brides for Seven Brothers is a big, brawling, rollicking show filled with rambunctious energy and set in 1850s Oregon Territory with a book by Lawrence Kasha and David Landay, lyrics by Johnny Mercer, music by Gene de Paul, and new songs by Al Kasha and Joel Hirschhorn. This beloved musical based on the glorious MGM hit film and Stephen Vincent Benet's short story "The Sobbin' Women" tells the story of Adam Pontipee and his backwoods brothers' unusual pursuit of brides. When Adam goes to town to get a wife, he miraculously convinces the beautiful and feisty Milly to marry him that same day, and then she immediately starts reforming her six rowdy brothers-in-law. When her plan to marry off the boys backfires, this exuberant rousing musical kicks into high gear with a combination of daredevil dancing and wonderful songs like "Goin' Courtin," "Sobbin' Women," and "Wonderful, Wonderful Day."
Broadway performers will headline the Ogunquit production. Starring as Adam Pontipee is Nathaniel Hackmann who is making his Ogunquit Playhouse debut. Mr. Hackmann has appeared on Broadway in Les Miserables, Beauty and the Beast, and Paint Your Wagon. He has also performed in many regional theatres throughout the U.S. in shows that include Oliver!, Sweeney Todd, Oklahoma!, Camelot and many more. Also making her Ogunquit Playhouse debut is Analisa Leaming who is cast as Milly. Ms. Leaming recently appeared on Broadway in the Lincoln Center production of The King and I and in Roundabout Theatre's production of On the Twentieth Century starring Kristin Chenoweth. She has performed in regional theatres in shows including Mary Poppins as Mary, The Sound of Music as Maria, The Music Man as Marian Paroo, and many others.
Adam's brothers are played by Kevin Munhall (Broadway: Anything Goes; Ogunquit Playhouse: West Side Story) as Benjamin, Colin Bradbury (Broadway: Come Fly Away) as Caleb, BrIan Martin (Nat'l Tour: Bullets Over Broadway) as Daniel, Abe Hegewald (Sir Tim Rice's North American Premiere of From Here to Eternity) as Ephraim, Jeff Smith (Ogunquit Playhouse: West Side Story; Damn Yankees) as Frank, and Justin Schuman (1st Nat'l Tour: Nice Work If You Can Get It) as Gideon. The brides are played by Kelly Berman as Alice, Becky Grace Kalman as Sarah, Shelby Putlak as Liza, Maria Cristina Slye as Dorcas, Chloe Tiso as Martha, and Lizz Picini (Ogunquit Playhouse: West Side Story) as Ruth, who is also the Assistant Choreographer for the Ogunquit production.
Ogunquit Playhouse has put together a top-notch creative to produce an all-new and exhilarating production of the classic musical. Helming the Ogunquit production is Broadway veteran BT McNicholl who returns to Ogunquit after last directing the award-winning Billy Elliot the Musical. Mr. McNicholl directed the critically acclaimed production of West Side Story in 2013 for Ogunquit as well as Cabaret, La Cage aux Folles and Fiddler on the Roof. On Broadway he has directed for Roundabout Theater Company and has worked with Mike Nichols, David Hare, Stephen Daldry (Billy Elliot film director), Sam Mendes, Jerry Zaks, James Lapine and Rob Marshall on a dozen Tony Award winning shows including Cabaret, Passion, Spamalot and Billy Elliot. He has worked in Hollywood as an acting coach for the Oscar-nominated film Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close starring Tom Hanks and Sandra Bullock, and as development consultant for MGM's theatrical division. In addition, he won the Australian "Tony" for Best Direction, staged the European premiere of The Producers for Mel Brooks, as well as staged new works for Disney/FeLD Entertainment. Mr. McNicholl produced Sunday in the Park with George: In Concert on Broadway with Bernadette Peters and Mandy Patinkin. Working with Stephen Sondheim, he adapted and directed A Little Night Music for the concert stage. His Off-Broadway credits include author and lyricist for the musical The IT Girl and director for Billion Dollar Baby with Kristin Chenoweth.
Parker Esse is making his Ogunquit debut choreographing Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. He was the Associate Choreographer for the Broadway productions of Finian's Rainbow and A Tale of Two Cities. Mr. Esse also choreographed Stephen Sondheim's and Wynton Marsalis' world premiere of A Bed and a Chair: A New York Love Affair at New York City Center's ENCORES! He most recently directed and choreographed Crazy for You and West Side Story for The Finger Lakes Music Theatre Festival. He choreographed Fiddler on the Roof, The Most Happy Fella and Carousel for Goodspeed Musicals. He has received Helen Hayes nominations for choreography for The Music Man, Smokey Joe's Café and Fiddler on the Roof and he garnered the Helen Hayes award for his work on Oklahoma!.
Scenic design for the Ogunquit Playhouse production of Seven Brides for Seven Brothers is by Anna Louizos. Her original Broadway scenic designs have received Tony nominations for The Mystery of Edwin Drood, In the Heights and High Fidelity. Other Broadway designs include: The Performers, Irving Berlin's White Christmas (also UK, Toronto, and multiple U.S. cities), Avenue Q (also London, Toronto, Europe, Las Vegas, and National Tour); Curtains (Drama Desk, nomination), Baby It's You, All About Me, To Be Or Not To Be, Steel Magnolias, Golda's Balcony (also National Tour). She has also designed sets for Off-Broadway productions including Sons of the Prophet (Roundabout); It Shoulda Been You (George St. Playhouse); Olive and the Bitter Herbs, In Transit (both Primary Stages); Vanities, the Musical, Birdie Blue (both Second Stage); Crimes of the Heart, The Foreigner, Speech and Debate (all Roundabout); Based on a Totally True Story (MTC); Altar Boyz (NWS); Jonathan Larson's tick, tick...BOOM! (Jane Street). Ms. Louizos set designs for regional productions include: Pirates of Penzance (Stratford Shakespeare Festival); Disney's Aladdin (5th Avenue Theatre); Arsenic and Old Lace (with Betty Buckley and Tovah Feldshuh), and Disney Live Winnie the Pooh (World Tour). She has also worked as Art Director for HBO's "Sex and the City" and the feature film The Secret Lives of Dentists.
Jeffrey Campos returns to the Ogunquit Playhouse as Musical Director. His National Tour credits include Jekyll & Hyde, A Chorus Line, The Wizard of Oz, Oklahoma, Annie, and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. He has worked at the Ogunquit Playhouse as both Musical Director and Assistant Musical Director for the productions of Victor/Victoria, The Witches of Eastwick, Grease, Thoroughly Modern Mille, Joseph...Dreamcoat, 9 to 5 the Musical, Damn Yankees, South Pacific, Legally Blonde, Summer of Love, and Sunset Boulevard, as well as many other regional theatres throughout the U.S. Working with Mr. Campos as Associate Music Director is Michael Uslemann who was last at the Ogunquit Playhouse for the 2015 production of Victor/Victoria. Sam Davis joins the creative team for the dance music arrangements. He has worked on Broadway as arranger or conductor for Big Fish, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Scandalous, Curtains, and The Apple Tree as well as several National Tours and for regional theatres.
Costume Designer José Rivera is coordinating the costumes for the Ogunquit Playhouse production. He is a four-time Carbonell and Emmy Award winner, designing over 250 productions for film, theatre, and television. Sound Designer for the Ogunquit production is John Emmett O'Brien. His credits include: The Golden Bride (Folksbiene), 1776 (NYU New School on Broadway), Happy End (The New School), Skippyjon Jones Snow What (Theatreworks USA); and many others. Lighting Designer is Richard Latta who has created the lighting for dozens of Ogunquit Playhouse productions, including most recently Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Sister Act, Victor/Victoria, Nice Work If You Can Get It, Million Dollar Quartet, Saturday Night Fever and White Christmas in addition to many regional theatres in the U.S.
Mark your calendars now and book your tickets for remainder of the 2016 season. Individual tickets start at $47 each. To learn more about becoming a Playhouse member, or to purchase tickets and gift cards, visit www.ogunquitplayhouse.org or call the Ogunquit Playhouse Box Office at 207-646-5511.
Elvis, Jerry Lee, Perkins and Cash return by popular demand! Million Dollar Quartet, the most popular show in the history of The Playhouse, hits the stage October 5 to November 6 with the 2015 cast to once again to rock out the season with one mega-hit song after the next.
The Ogunquit Playhouse, a 501c3 not-for-profit organization listed on the National Historic Register, is located on Route One in Ogunquit, Maine and produces the finest Broadway musicals each season with performances Tuesday through Sunday, from May 18 to November 6. Follow the Ogunquit Playhouse on Twitter (@OgunquitPH) and on Facebook (facebook.com/OgunquitPlayhouse) for behind-the-scenes info, photos and fun throughout the season. For a complete list of show times, pricing and more information about the season visit www.ogunquitplayhouse.org.