Atlantic for Kids Announces Casting for THE BIG ONE-OH!
Atlantic for Kids presents The Big One-Oh!, a world premiere musical based on the novel by Academy Award Winner Dean Pitchford (Fame, Footloose), with lyrics by Pitchford, music by Tony Award winner Doug Besterman (Thoroughly Modern Millie) and a book by Timothy Allen McDonald (Roald Dahl's James and the Giant Peach). Directed and choreographed by MK Lawson, The Big One-Oh! opens on Saturday, September 28th at Atlantic Theater Company's Linda Gross Theater (336 West 20th Street between 8th and 9th Avenues) and runs Saturdays and Sundays through October 20th.
The cast of The Big One-Oh! will feature Aaron Banes as Charley, the soon-to-be birthday boy, with Laura Axelrod, Sarah Kowalski, Thomas Prast, Austin Sanders, Heather Sawyer, Samantha Joy Singh, Daniel Soto, and Sarah Sutliff.
Charley Maplewood is about to reach a milestone: he's about to turn ten - the big one-oh! He has never been one for parties-that would require friends, which he doesn't have. Well, unless you count his monster friends, but they're only imaginary. Charley's still adjusting to his parents' divorce and his move to a completely new school. Now that he's turning ten he decides to throw a birthday party for himself, complete with a "House of Horrors" theme. Of course things don't work out as he plans. Will Charley be able to pull it together before the big one-oh... becomes the big OH-NO!?
"I wrote the novel of The Big One-Oh! under very sad circumstances," remembers Dean Pitchford. "My younger sister, Patricia Colodner, was in the first tower of the World Trade Center on 9/11. She left behind a nine-and-a-half-year-old daughter and a two-year-old son. In hopes of strengthening my bond with my niece-a voracious reader-I wrote this book as a gift to her. After she read my first manuscript, my niece asked questions and made comments that inspired a re-write. And three weeks later, the book was bought by Putnam!"
"In the musical adaptation, I wanted to give our protagonist Charley three imaginary 'monster' friends to help him cope with his parents' divorce and not having any friends," says Timothy Allen McDonald. "This is because when I was Charley's age my father was working in another country, and there were no kids in my neighborhood to play with; so I created my own playmate, an imaginary friend. Concerned, my mom consulted with our pediatrician, who reassured her that an imaginary friend was nothing to worry about, and that I would grow out of it. I did grow out of it the moment a family moved into the house across the street. And guess what? They had three kids my age! Adding this storyline to The Big One-Oh! felt like a great way to celebrate all the kids out there who have benefited from an imaginary friend and to also honor mine, who got me through a really tough time."
"I was thrilled when Dean approached me about writing the score for The Big One-Oh!," says Doug Besterman. "Several years earlier, Dean had made a gift of the novel to my son Lucas (who was just approaching his 10th birthday), and Lucas and I had enjoyed reading about Charley Maplewood's adventures together. Dean and I were inspired by our favorite grown-up musical styles, but always mindful that the music would need to land favorably on the ears of our younger audiences."
Alison Beatty, Atlantic for Kids Artistic Director adds, "Atlantic for Kids is thrilled to give The Big One Oh! its first production and a home with a family of artists who appreciate the honest storytelling of this new musical for all ages. We hope our audiences enjoy the incredibly fun music, the charming comic book characters come to life, the wacky monster puppets, and all the playful exuberance this cast and creative team have to offer. But above all else we hope they are touched by this tender-hearted story about a brave boy coping with change and celebrating his own resilience."
The Big One-Oh! features music direction by Britt Bonney, orchestrations by Michael Starobin, scenic design by Edward T. Morris, costume design by Rose Bisogno, sound design by Five Ohm Productions, puppet design by Leanne Brunn, props by Deborah Gaouette, and production stage management by Louis Markowitz.
The Big One-Oh! performances are open to the public Saturdays and Sundays at 10:30am, September 28th through October 20th. There will be a Sunday evening performance on Sunday, October 13th at 5:30PM.
Saturday, October 12th at 10:30am will be a Relaxed Performance. For more information, visit atlantictheater.org/relaxed-performance.