Photo Flash: CHARLIE AND ALGERNON at Feinstein's/54 Below

By: Sep. 17, 2016
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Last evening, the 1980 musical based on the beloved novel Flowers For Algernon came to life again for one night only at Feinstein's/54 Below.

As previously announced, the show's original star, P.J. Benjamin (Wicked, Chicago, Sophisticated Ladies and more), reprised several of the songs he originated on Broadway 46 years ago this September. He was joined by his wife Louisa Flaningam (Guys and Dolls, The Most Happy Fella, The Magic Show). The night was also their anniversary, making for quite a special celebration!

CHARLIE AND ALGERNON features a score by Charles Strouse, the Tony Award-winning composer of Annie, Applause, Rags and Bye, Bye, Birdie with a book and lyrics by David Rogers. The short-lived musical opened on Broadway at The Helen Hayes Theatre on September 14th, 1980 and closed on September 28th, only 17 performances later. It traces the mental and emotional development of Charlie Gordon, a disabled young man who becomes the first human test-subject for an ambitious experiment. Through his friendship with a white mouse named Algernon, we watch Charlie tackle the highs and lows of life.

The evening was produced and directed by Steven Carl McCasland, with Musical Direction by James Horan, the team that brought back Onward Victoria earlier this summer. The two will return to Feinstein's/54 Below in January with a concert of Eating Raoul, starring The Skivvies, Lesli Margherita and Matt Saldivar.

Over the course of the performance, four different actors played the title role, charting his progression and regression. In addition to P.J. Benjamin, Adam Kantor, Lucas Schultz and 2-time MAC Award-nominee Stearns Matthews will take turns as Charlie. Additional cast members include Jeanine Robinson as Lita, Vanessa Spica as Alice Kinnian, Kristen Gehling as Mrs. Donner, Paul Thomas Ryan as Dr. Strauss, Thia Stephan as Charlie's Mom, Bruce Ward as Charlie's Dad, Daniel Walstad as Dr. Nemur and Shawn Verrier as Frank. The show's original Alice, Sandy Faison (also the original Grace Farrell in Broadway's Annie), narrated the one-night-only concert.

Here are some photos from last night's starry concert:


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