Andy Grotelueschen & Nicholas Edwards to Join New Maltby & Shire Musical THE COUNTRY WIFE at Red Bull Theater

This one-night-only performance will take place Monday December 11th at the Peter Norton Symphony Space.

By: Dec. 01, 2023
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Andy Grotelueschen & Nicholas Edwards to Join New Maltby & Shire Musical THE COUNTRY WIFE at Red Bull Theater Andy Grotelueschen (Broadway credits include The Sign in Sidney Brustein's Window, Tootsie - Tony Award nomination; Off-Broadway: Into the Woods - Lortel Award nomination, The Two Gentlemen of Verona - Actors Equity Award: The St. Clair Bayfield Award) will replace the previously announced Jacob Ming-Trent for the first major New York presentation of Maltby & Shire’s new musical, The Country Wife at Red Bull Theater.


Jennifer Fouché (Broadway: Chicago, POTUS: Or, Behind Every Great Dumbass are Seven Women Trying to Keep him Alive, Chicken and Biscuits; Off-Broadway: Sistas: The Musical, White Girl in Danger - Second Stage Theatre/Vineyard) will replace Angela Grovey


Nicholas Edwards (currently on Broadway in & Juliet; Off-Broadway: Spamilton) also joins the cast that includes Carson Elrod (RBT: The Alchemist; Broadway: Peter and the Starcatcher, Reckless, Noises Off;  Off-Broadway: The Tempest, Measure for Measure, All's Well That Ends Well -NYSF); Eddie Korbich (Broadway: The Music Man, A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder, A Christmas Story The Musical!, The Little Mermaid, The Drowsy Chaperone, Wicked); Kristolyn Lloyd (Broadway: 1776, Dear Evan Hansen);  Ellyn Marie Marsh (Broadway: The Rose Tattoo, Pretty Woman: The Musical, Kinky Boots, Priscilla Queen of the Desert); Brad Oscar (currently: Little Shop of Horrors; Broadway: Mrs. Doubtfire, Something Rotten!, Spamalot, The Producers);  Julian Remulla (Julius Caesar - Theatre for a New Audience);  Jelani Remy (currently: Back to the Future;  other Broadway: Ain't Too Proud, The Lion King); Christina Sajous (The Who's Tommy - Goodman Theatre/pre-Broadway; Broadway: SpongeBob Squarepants, Holler If Ya Hear Me, Spider-Man Turn Off the Dark, American Idiot); and Lauren Worsham (Broadway: A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder - Tony nomination; Drama Desk and Theatre World Awards; Encores!: Where's Charley?, Sunday in the Park with George, Big River, Call Me Madam). 

Directed by Richard Maltby Jr., The Country Wife will have choreography by Lisa Shriver (Broadway: Ruben & Clay's Christmas Show, Jesus Christ Superstar, The Farnsworth Invention, Ring of Fire; Off-Broadway: Into the Woods - Lortel Award nomination); costume design by Emilio Sosa (currently represented on Broadway by Purlie Victorious, Sweeney Todd, and A Beautiful Noise, The Neil Diamond Musical; four Tony Award nominations: Ain't No Mo', Good Night, Oscar,  Trouble in Mind, The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess); lighting design by Paul Hudson(Red Bull Theater’s Return to the Forbidden Planet and Your Own Thing); and projection design by Harry Feiner, replacing the previously announced Brad Peterson.


Produced in partnership with Art Lab Productions, this special benefit event is made possible in part by the additional dedicated support of Marty Granoff and Ted and Mary Jo Shen.

Set in the vibrant diversity of 1840 New Orleans, The Country Wife features a sizzling modern score and irreverently explores the question of who owns the stories we call classics. This raucous musical reimagining of William Wycherley's classic Restoration Comedy by the award winning writing team Richard Maltby Jr. and David Shire is not to be missed. The classic comedy's plot is racy and fun: The upper-class rake Harry Horner begins a campaign for seducing as many respectable ladies as possible and devises a unique and hilarious way to do it. But his scheme gets derailed by the arrival of an inexperienced young "country wife.”

Richard Maltby Jr explains: "The Country Wife is pretty much a love letter to the astonishing city of New Orleans. It’s hard to explain where ideas for musicals come from, but for years I’ve been intrigued by the thought of doing an American version of a Restoration comedy, and the notion of setting it in pre-Civil War New Orleans pulled the whole project together. New Orleans in 1840 was the most cosmopolitan, diverse city in American history. The population was a bouillabaisse of French colonials, Southern aristocrats, Free Men and Women of Color, French Arcadians – the Cajuns -- from Canada, Creoles of all kinds, educated blacks escaping from the Haitian revolution, and American adventurers from everywhere. The Mississippi had just been opened, and all commerce with America’s heartland came through New Orleans, which was suddenly the third richest city in America. Music was everywhere. Chicago and New York each had an opera house; New Orleans had three. Businessmen were making fortunes and acquiring trophy wives who they then neglected. Morals were high, covering a deep base of licentiousness. A second-rate actor/manager from England decides to open a theater, and casts his first play with locals. Correctly assessing the low level of American taste, the play he chooses is the raunchiest of all the restoration comedies, The Country Wife, written by William Wycherley. He is not prepared for the American response to this play. So come join us. It’s opening night, the first performance of any play in this theatre. It may well be the last."

The award-winning team of Maltby & Shire stir up this delectable gumbo of Caribbean, Creole, and Cajun-inspired culture in a musical retelling set in Antebellum New Orleans. In addition to the team's two beloved revues, Closer Than Ever and Starting Here Starting Now, Richard Maltby Jr. and David Shire collaborated on the Broadway musicals Baby and Big. 

Richard Maltby Jr.’s Broadway credits include: conceived and directed two Tony Award-winning musicals: Ain't Misbehavin' (1978: Tony, N.Y. Drama Critics, Outer Critics, Drama Desk Awards -- also Tony Award for Best Director); Fosse (1999: Tony, Outer Critics, Drama Desk Awards); as well as Ring of Fire (2006). With composer David Shire: director/lyricist: Baby (1983, seven Tony nominations); lyricist: Big (1996, Tony nomination: Best Score). With Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schonberg, co-lyricist: Miss Saigon (Evening Standard Award 1990; Tony nomination: Best Score, 1991; London WhatsOnStage Award 2015 Best Musical); co-lyricist: The Pirate Queen (2007). Director: The Story of My Life (2009). Director/co-lyricist: Song & Dance (1986 Tony Award for star, Bernadette Peters.) Off-Broadway credits include: director/lyricist Starting Here, Starting Now (1977, Grammy nomination) and Closer Than Ever (1989, two Outer Critics Circle Awards: Best Musical, Best Score; also Off-Broadway Alliance Award, Best Musical Revival 2013; and London Jermyn Street Theatre 2014), both written with composer David Shire. Director: Just Jim Dale, Roundabout Theatre 2014, also London 2015. Most recently, he supplied lyrics for the new musical Sousatzka. Films include: Screenplay, Miss Potter, (2007: Christopher Award, best screenplay.). Contributes cryptic crossword puzzles to Harpers Magazine. 

   

David Shire, an Academy Award and two-time Grammy winner and multiple Tony and Emmy nominee, has composed prolifically for the theatre, films, television and recordings. On Broadway, he and lyricist Richard Maltby wrote the scores for the musicals Baby (Tony nominations for Best Score and Musical) and Big (Tony nomination for Best Score). His off-Broadway scores, also written with Maltby, include Starting Here, Starting Now (Grammy nomination), Closer Than Ever(Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Musical and Score), Urban Blight at the Manhattan Theater Club, and the off-Broadway musical The Sap of Life. He also wrote the incidental scores for As You Like It (NY Shakespeare Festival), Peter Ustinov’s The Unknown Soldier and His Wife (Lincoln Center), Donald Margulies’ The Loman Family Picnic (MTC), Schmulnick’s Waltz and Visiting Mr. Green.Maltby and Shire’s most recent project, the musical Take Flight, with book by John Weidman, has been workshopped at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre Center, presented in concert versions in Russia and Australia, and produced in London, at the Menier Chocolate Factory, and in Japan in 2007. It had its first American production at Princeton’s McCarter Theatre in the spring of 2010. A Stream of Voices, a one-act opera written with librettist Gene Scheer and commissioned by the Colorado Children’s Chorale, premiered in Denver in 2009. Shire is collaborating with Maltby and playwright Craig Lucas on another large-scale musical, Madame Sousatzka, first try-out in Toronto and London. Shire’s many feature film scores include Norma Rae (Academy Award for Best Song, lyrics by Norman Gimbel), Francis Coppola’s The Conversation, All the President’s Men, The Taking of Pelham 1-2-3, Short Circuit, 2010, Farewell, My Lovely, The Hindenberg, Return to Oz and Saturday Night Fever, for which his work earned him two Grammy Awards. He most recently scored David Fincher’s Zodiac and Peter Hyams’ Beyond A Reasonable Doubt. His numerous television scores have garnered five Emmy nominations and include Glenn Close’s Sarah Plain and Tall, Christopher Reeve’s Rear Window, Raid on Entebbe, Oprah Winfrey’s The Women of Brewster Place, The Kennedys of Massachusetts, Wendy Wasserstein’s The Heidi Chronicles, and Neil Simon’s Jake’s Women and Broadway Bound. He also composed the theme song, with lyrics by Marilyn and Alan Bergman, for the long-running Linda Lavin CBS series “Alice.”

This one-night-only performance will take place Monday December 11th at the Peter Norton Symphony Space (2537 Broadway at 95th Street).  The performance will begin at 7:30 PM. This concert event is a celebratory fundraiser for Red Bull Theater. Proceeds help to make all of its programs possible. Tickets for this benefit event, which are now on sale, from $76.50 (service fees apply).  (Most tickets include a tax-deductible donation).  
 

To purchase tickets for this one-night-only event, visit redbulltheater.com/the-country-wife.

ABOUT RED BULL THEATER


Red Bull Theater, hailed as “the city’s gutsiest classical theater” by Time Out New York, brings rarely seen classic plays to dynamic new life for contemporary audiences, uniting a respect for tradition with a modern sensibility. Named for the rowdy Jacobean playhouse that illegally performed plays in England during the years of Puritan rule, Red Bull Theater is New York City’s home for dynamic performances of great plays that stand the test of time. With the Jacobean plays of Shakespeare and his contemporaries as its cornerstone, the company also produces new works that are in conversation with the classics. A home for artists, scholars, and students, Red Bull Theater delights and engages the intellect and imagination of audiences, and strives to make its work accessible, diverse, and welcoming to all. We value and practice inclusiveness, equity, and diversity in all of our activities, and are committed to antiracist action. Red Bull Theater believes in the power of great classic stories and plays of heightened language to deepen our understanding of the human condition, in the special ability of live theater to create unique, collective experiences, and in the timeless capacity of classical theater to illuminate the events of our times. Varietyagreed, hailing Red Bull’s work as: “Proof that classical theater can still be surprising after hundreds of years.”

Since its debut in 2003 with a production of Shakespeare’s Pericles starring Daniel Breaker, Red Bull Theater has served adventurous theatergoers with Off-Broadway productions, Revelation Readings, and the annual Short New Play Festival. The company also offers outreach programs including Shakespeare in Schools bringing professional actors and teaching artists into public school classrooms; Bull Sessions, free post-play discussions with top scholars; and Classical Acting Intensives led by veteran theater professionals. During the pandemic, Red Bull created several new and ongoing programs to serve audiences and artists with our mission: Podcasts, Online Readings, Seminars, and more.

"The classics-shaking Red Bull Theater,” as Time Out NY has called it, has produced 24 Off-Broadway productions and over 200 Revelation Readings of rarely seen classics, serving a community of more than 5,000 artists and providing quality artistic programming to an audience of over 200,000. The company’s unique programming has received ongoing critical acclaim and has been recognized with Lortel, Drama Desk, Drama League, Callaway, Off-Broadway Alliance, and OBIE nominations and Awards.


ABOUT ART LAB


Art Lab  is a commercial producer of Broadway theater, regional theater and a developer of new works in New York City and Cape Cod, Massachusetts. A powerhouse female duo; Meg Fofonoff, Producing Artistic Director, and Megan Chacalos, Associate Producer, strive to create stories of the past that resonate today. Art Lab has been a producer on shows such as Head Over Heels, Come From Away(West End), and The Cher Show. Art Lab was groundbreaking in producing several seasons (2020-2023) of "virtually produced" musicals, such as Disenchanted, First Date, Amour, and three theater-based online series, “The Show Must Go On Show,” “Art Lab Presents,” and “Broadway Interludes." Most recently Art Lab has produced a concert series in New York City, The Muse Sessions, and A Closer Walk with Patsy Cline, Rachel York's For The Love of It, and Mum's the Word on Cape Cod. Art Lab is currently a producer on Wild About You,  Little Dancer, and is proud to be a co-producer on The Country Wife, in collaboration with Red Bull Theatre.  In upcoming projects, Art Lab is excited to produce its own new work, Silk, with a stellar creative team that includes Chilina Kennedy, Eric Holmes and Daniel Edmonds.
 

For more information about The Country Wife or any of Red Bull Theater's programs, visit www.redbulltheater.com.




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