Photo Flash: First Look at Walnut Street Theatre's ASPECTS OF LOVE

By: Aug. 22, 2011
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Walnut Street Theatre opens its landmark 203rd season with Andrew Lloyd Webber's ASPECTS OF LOVE. Directed by award-winning Director Bruce Lumpkin, this all-new production filled with passion, love and loss begins previews on September 6th, opens on September 14th and runs through October 23rd on the WST Mainstage.

ASPECTS OF LOVE is a romantic musical spanning twenty years binding six people and three generations as they come to appreciate that "love changes everything." The story is set against the background of 1940's France and Italy. Alex Dillingham, a young student traveling through France, falls in love with the alluring actress Rose Vibert. As the pair embarks on a passionate affair, the unexpected arrival of Alex's uncle changes their lives forever.

Andrew Lloyd Webber's impressive list of award-winning musicals includes The Phantom of the Opera, Evita, Cats and Jesus Christ Superstar. Webber's soaring melodies composed for ASPECTS OF LOVE were inspired by David Garnett's popular novella of the same name. Don Black and Charles Hart were brought together to write the lyrics. Black had previously written the lyrics for Webber's Tell Me on a Sunday and Song and Dance, and Hart had worked with Webber to create The Phantom of the Opera. ASPECTS OF LOVE premiered in London's Prince of Wales Theatre in 1989 and opened in Broadway's Broadhurst Theatre in 1990 where the production received six Tony Award nominations and five Drama Desk Award nominations. The Walnut's reinterpretation follows a recent revival at London's Menier Chocolate Factory.

Directing ASPECTS OF LOVE is Walnut veteran Bruce Lumpkin. Lumpkin has directed numerous Mainstage and Studio 3 productions, including last season's production of Miss Saigon. Additional Walnut Mainstage productions include the highly acclaimed Fiddler on the Roof, Man of La Mancha, Cabaret, Evita, Grand Hotel, La Vie En Bleu, and Rodgers and Hammerstein's Carousel. Choreographer Michelle Gaudette and Musical Director Douglass G. Lutz will join Lumpkin for this production. Gaudette has previously choreographed at the Walnut for productions including Miss Saigon, Fiddler on the Roof, State Fair, Man of La Mancha, Carousel and Evita. Musical Director Douglass G. Lutz has guided numerous Mainstage musicals for the past thirteen seasons, most recently Miss Saigon, Fiddler on the Roof, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels and Oliver!

The alluring French vistas and charming Italian villas of ASPECTS OF LOVES will be brought to life by a spectacular team of designers. All very familiar to the Walnut, this is the same team that created the streets of Saigon for the 2011 production of Miss Saigon. Scenic Designer John Farrell (Fiddler on the Roof, Carousel) is joined by Lighting Designer Jack Jacobs (Fiddler on the Roof, Man of La Mancha, West Side Story), Sound Designer David Temby (Curtains) and award-winning Costume Designer Colleen Grady (Amadeus, Fiddler on the Roof).

The cast includes Jennifer Hope Wills returning to the Walnut direct from playing Christine in Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Phantom of the Opera on Broadway. Last seen on the Walnut's stage in Finian's Rainbow, Wills joins the cast as the beautiful Rose Vibert. The love struck student traveler, Alex Dillingham, will be played by Charles Hagerty, returning to the Walnut after Miss Saigon. Broadway audiences will remember Paul Schoeffler (George Dillingham) as Hertz in the original Broadway cast of Rock of Ages. Walnut audiences will remember Schoeffler as Javert in Les Misérables, Don Quixote in Man of La Mancha and Lawrence Jameson in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. The sultry voice of Danielle G. Herbert, last heard in My Way: A Musical Tribute to Frank Sinatra at the Walnut, will bring the Italian lover Giulietta Trapani to life. ASPECTS OF LOVE also features Laurent Giroux (Marcel Richard), Jenna Brooke Scannelli (Jenny Dillingham), Denise Whelan (Elizabeth), Denis Lambert (Hugo LeMeunier) and Peter Schmitz (Jerome). Local child actors and Walnut veterans Arin Edelstein and Claire Norden will share the role of Young Jenny.
The ensemble includes Michael Brian Dunn, Daniel Lynn Evans, Liz Filios, Marissa K. Hines, Denis Lambert, Shaun Parry, Chad Parsons, Rebecca Robbins, Kerri Rose, Peter Schmitz, Denise Whelan and Dana Winkle.

ASPECTS OF LOVE runs at the Walnut September 6 through October 23. This production is sponsored by Stradley Ronon. Media Sponsors are B101 and NBC 10. For tickets and information, call 215-574-3550 or 800-982-2787. Tickets are also available online 24/7 by visiting www.WalnutStreetTheatre.org or Ticketmaster.

 

Photo Credit: Mark Garvin



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