Photo Flash: Off-Broadway's The People vs. Mona

Ground UP Productions presents the New York premiere of The People vs. Mona, a new Southern murder mystery musical from Jim Wann (co-conceiver of the Tony Award nominated musical Pump Boys and Dinettes) and Patricia Miller. Previews of the musical began July 12 prior to an official press opening of July 18, 2007 at the Abingdon Theater (312 West 36th Street, between 8th and 9th Avenues) in Manhattan.  It will run through August 4.

Set in Tippo, Georgia (population 8,000), The People vs. Mona is "a love story, courtroom drama, musical comedy and fate-of-a-small-town-hanging-in-the-balance all rolled into one. Mona Mae Katt, owner of the wildly popular musical hangout, The Frog Pad, stands accused of killing her husband on their wedding day. If convicted, Mona will go to jail, and her beloved Frog Pad will be turned over to developers. Mona's fate (and the Frog Pad's) rests in the hands of everyman local defense attorney Jim Summerford, who has never won a case against charismatic prosecutor and majoral candidate Mavis Frye…who also happens to be his fiancée. As the trial unfolds amid a rollicking Southern roots score, the town's many secrets are revealed, and Jim and Mona recognize a budding attraction between them," as the show is described in production notes.

Directed by Kate Middleton, the musical features a cast which includes: Richard Binder (as Jim Summerford); Mariand Torres (as Ramona Maria "Mona Mae" Katt); Karen Culp (as Mavis Frye); Natalie Douglas (as Judge Ella Jordan); Marcie Henderson (as Tish/Blind Willie); Omri Schein (as Euple/Patel); David Jon Wilson (as Officer Bell); and Dan Bailey, Jason Chimonides, and Ritt Henn (as the McGnats). The musical director is Robert K. Mikulski, with a design team including Travis McHale (Set &Lighting Design); Mat Bussler (Sound Design); Elisa Richards (Costume Design); and Jill Gorrie (Choreographer).

Tickets are $20 and can be purchased by calling Smarttix at 212-868.4444 or on-line at For additional information, please visit

Photos #1 and #4 by Randy Morrison; photos #2, #3, and #5 courtesy of Sam Rudy Media Relations

The cast

(Top to bottom) David Jon Wilson as Officer Bell, Marcie Henderson as Tish Thomas, and Omri Schein as Bailiff

Mariand Torres as "Mona" and Ritt Henn and Jason Chimonides as "The McGnats"

Richard Binder as Jim Summerford and Mariand Torres as "Mona"

Omri Schein as Bailiff and Ritt Henn as Clerk

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