Photo Flash: TELL ME ON A SUNDAY Set to Open at Walnut Theatre
Walnut Street Theatre's 2017-18 Independence Studio on 3 Season concludes with Andrew Lloyd Webber's romantic musical TELL ME ON A SUNDAY. Directed by Debi Marcucci and starring The Phantom of the Opera's Julia Udine, the production begins with previews on April 10th, opens on April 12th, and continues through June 10th in the Walnut's Independence Studio on 3.
The dream of true love can take us anywhere! It's the 1980s and a young English girl, full of energy and optimism, arrives in New York ready to find success and love. On her journey, she wakes up to frustration, anxiety and heartache, and begins to wonder whether she's looking for love in all the wrong places. This iconic musical, with a wonderfully original score, features some of Andrew Lloyd Webber (School of Rock, The Phantom of the Opera, Evita, Cats) and Don Black's most romantic songs including "Come Back with the Same Look in Your Eyes" and "Nothing Like You've Ever Known."
Andrew Lloyd Webber began working on TELL ME ON A SUNDAY shortly after the success of the smash musical Evita. He began collaborating with Don Black, who had just started writing for musicals after a successful Hollywood career (including an Academy Award for the song "Born Free"). Webber and Black finished the show in 1979 and presented it at the Sydmonton Festival with Marti Webb, who was playing Eva Perón in Evita. After a successful stint at the festival, the show was recorded as an album, reaching critical success, including a top single, "Take That Look Off Your Face."
In 1982, TELL ME ON A SUNDAY became the first act of a new production called Song & Dance. The song cycle was combined with a one-act ballet to Andrew Lloyd Webber's Variations. The show opened in the West End, once again starring Marti Webb. In 1985 the production opened on Broadway, starring Bernadette Peters as "Girl." The show received rave reviews with the New York Post claiming it was "the best thing that Lloyd Webber has written for the theater." That year, Peters went on to win the Tony Award® for Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical for the role.
The show then reverted back to its one-act form and enjoyed several subsequent West End productions and tours. In 2013, Marti Webb returned to the role for a one-night tribute to Don Black. However, due to the overwhelming demand, it was restaged and mounted at the St. James Theatre in London.
Award-winning English composer Andrew Lloyd Webber has written several hit musicals including School of Rock, The Phantom of the Opera, Cats, Evita, Jesus Christ Superstar, and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. He was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1992, named the "most commercially successful composer in history" by the New York Times in 2001, and "the fifth most powerful person in British culture" by The Telegraph in 2008. He has been awarded seven Tony Awards, three Grammy® Awards, an Academy Award®, seven Olivier Awards®, and a Golden Globe®. His musical The Phantom of the Opera celebrated its 30th anniversary this year and on March 5, his memoir Unmasked was released.
Taking on the pinnacle role as the "Girl" in this one-woman musical is Julia Udine in her Walnut Street Theatre debut. Udine is best known for her two-and-a-half-year stint in The Phantom of the Opera both on Broadway and in the 25th Anniversary National Tour. She is a Voorhees, NJ native and attended Pennsylvania State University before leaving to join the tour of Phantom at 19 years old. She has performed in New Jersey at Haddonfield Plays and Players and the Broadway Theatre of Pitman. In New York, she played Mabel in The Pirates of Penzance at City Center Encores and Jenny Treadwell in the World Premiere of Jack's Back at the T Schreiber Theatre.
Debi Marcucci returns to the Walnut to direct TELL ME ON A SUNDAY. Previously, Marcucci directed this season's Souvenir, the hit musical Always... Patsy Cline, as well as Lobby Hero, Mr. Baily's Minder and The Ugly One, all in Walnut's Studio on 3. Her credits also include No Way To Treat A Lady at the Alpine Theatre Project and Assistant Director for Buddy - The Buddy Holly Story and Good People at the Walnut. Formerly a resident of South Philadelphia, Marcucci held the position of Stage Manager for the Walnut's Mainstage for 18 years during her career. Ryan Touhey makes his Walnut debut as the musical director for the show. Regionally, he has worked with the Arden, Bristol Riverside Theatre, Florida Studio Theatre, and People's Light.
Setting the scene for the Girl's journey across the world to find true love is set designer Roman Tatarowicz (The Humans, Souvenir, Jerry's Girls). Costume Designer Sarah Mitchell (A Christmas Carol, Miss Nelson Has a Field Day) will dress the Girl in distinctive 80s fashion befitting her multiple destinations, from London to America. Troy O'Shia (Souvenir, Always, Patsy Cline) and Ryan Peavey (South Pacific, A Christmas Carol) return to the Walnut as lighting designer and sound designer, respectively.
Season sponsor for the 2017-18 Independence Studio on 3 Season is The Independence Foundation. Media season sponsors are Philly Weekly and WRTI Radio. Tickets are $35-$40 and are now available at 215-574-3550 or 800-982-2787. Tickets are also available at walnutstreettheatre.org or Ticketmaster.com
Photo Credit: Mark Garvin