TheatreWorks Opens Season with World Premiere of FLY BY NIGHT 7/13-8/13

By: Jun. 03, 2011

TheatreWorks, the nationally acclaimed theatre of Silicon Valley, presents FLY BY NIGHT, developed at TheatreWorks and making its world premiere as the centerpiece of this year's New Works Festival. In this charming indie musical, set during the months leading up to New York's 1965 blackout, Harold the hapless sandwich maker is propelled by fate and time to make a life-changing choice, proving that it sometimes takes a blackout to see the light. Written by up-and-coming playwright Kim Rosenstock, award-winning playwright Michael Mitnick, and musician Will Connolly, with a vibrant cast of TheatreWorks favorites and newcomers alike, and Broadway veteran Bill Fennelly at the helm, FLY BY NIGHT plays July 13- August 13, 2011 (press opening July 16) at TheatreWorks at the Lucie Stern Theatre in Palo Alto. For tickets ($19-$69) and information the public may call (650) 463-1960 or visit

The runaway hit of last year's New Works Festival, FLY BY NIGHT is a puckish musical comedy that flirts with the conventions of a typical romance, leaving audiences questioning whether fate's work is ever truly done. Left numb by the death of his mother, Harold McClam wanders through his lackluster existence as a sandwich maker until one day a woman named Daphne sells him a black wool coat and they fall in love. After a whirlwind romance and engagement, Harold takes a backseat to Daphne's Broadway ambitions fueled by the unlikely producer hounding her steps. As the countdown to wedding bells begins, the answer to Harold's dilemma may lie within a chance meeting at a late-night diner. Complemented by Harold's opera-loving father, a crabby New York shop owner, and a versatile, smart-alecky narrator pulling the strings, FLY BY NIGHT explores the journey of love from all its delectable angles.

Kim Rosenstock (Author) has also authored 99 Ways To F*** A Swan, which was featured in Portland Center Stage's 2009 JAW Playwrights Festival, and Tigers Be Still, praised by the New York Times for its "subtly funny dialogue" and "vivid, truthful characters." Rosenstock has previously developed shows with The Kennedy Center, Ars Nova, Portland Center Stage's JAW Festival, The Old Vic's US/UK Exchange at The Public Theater, New York Stage & Film and The Playwrights Realm.

Playwright and songwriter Michael Mitnick (Author) has developed plays and musicals around the country at theaters including Manhattan Theatre Club, Second Stage, Ars Nova, The McCarter, The Denver Center Theatre Company, TheatreWorks, The Lark, Studio 42, Washington Ensemble Theatre, Page 73, and The Kennedy Center.

Actor and songwriter Will Connolly (Author) is also a musician, who played guitar and bass for Fly By Night at TheatreWorks' New Works Festival (2010). He has performed at NYC's The Bitter End and Sidewalk Cafe, and his songs have appeared in the web series iChannel. He has acted in productions and workshops at American Repertory Theatre, Manhattan Theatre Club, Playwrights Horizons, Yale Repertory Theatre, Southern Repertory Theatre, Amsterdam Fringe Festival, Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts (London), Bogazici University (Istanbul), The Tank, and Studio 42 and received the Carbonell Award for Best Supporting Actor for Candida (Palm Beach Dramaworks). He is a co-founder of the The NOLA Project-a non-profit theatre based in New Orleans, created in 2005. His BFA is from NYU Tisch School for the Arts and MFA from Yale School of Drama.

Bill Fennelly (Director) directed Frankenstein the Musical off-Broadway, was Assistant Director on the creation of Jersey Boys (LaJolla Playhouse), resident Director for The Lion King tour, Associate Director of Broadway's The Gershwins' Fascinating Rhythm, and spent four seasons as a staff director with New York City Opera at the Lincoln Center. His work has appeared at Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Hartford Stage Company, Goodspeed Opera House, Portland Center Stage Company, Glimmerglass Opera and NYU Graduate Music Theatre Writing Program. He was Producing Artistic Director at Actor's Express, Associate Producing Artistic Director of The Acting Company and Assistant Artistic Director at Cirque du Soleil. Awards include KPBS Patte, San Diego Playbill Award and the Moss Hart Award from the New England Theatre Conference. He is an Assistant Professor of Theatre at Drexel University in Philadelphia. He graduated from Hartt School and earned his MFA in directing from UC San Diego.

The TheatreWorks production of FLY BY NIGHT includes musical direction by Michael Pettry, set design by Dane Laffrey, costume design by Tanya Finkelstein, and lighting design by Paul Toben.

TheatreWorks has assembled a vivacious cast, three of whom, Ian Leonard as "Harold," Wade McCollum as "Narrator," and Kristin Stokes as "Miriam," are recreating the roles they performed at the developmental production of FLY BY NIGHT in last year's New Works Festival. Leonard has delighted TheatreWorks audiences recently in [title of show], A Christmas Memory, A Civil War Christmas, My Ántonia, Dessa Rose, and Jane Eyre. He has also appeared with American Musical Theater San Jose and played "Rolf" in the Asian tour of The Sound of Music. McCollum has contributed his talents to the Utah Shakespeare Festival, Willamette Repertory Theatre, Oregon Cabaret Theatre, Portland Center Stage, among others. He has also appeared as "Hedwig" in Hedwig and the Angry Inch at the Celebration Theatre in Los Angles, for which he received Los Angeles's three top theatre awards: Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award, BackStage West Garland Award, and the Ovation Award for his performance. Stokes has been seen at TheatreWorks in Doubt, Into the Woods, Brooklyn Boy, and Jane Eyre, among others, and also in roles with Marin Theatre Company, American Musical Theater San Jose, Bus Barn Stage Company, Willows Theatre, and Aurora Theatre Company

Other cast members include Broadway veterans James Judy as "Mr. McClam" (The Scarlet Pimpernel, Into the Woods, A Christmas Carol the Musical) and Michael McCormick as "Mr. Crabble" (Elf, Curtains, The Pajama Game, Gypsy); Keith Pinto as "Joey Storms," seen recently in Scapin at ACT, as well as roles with the Shotgun Players, Campo Santo, and Jewish Theater SF and with the national and European tours of Fame, and TheatreWorks newcomer Rachel Spencer Hewitt as "Daphne," who has been seen at the Virginia Arts Festival and the English Theater of Vienna.

With nearly 8,500 subscribers and 100,000 patrons per year, TheatreWorks has captured a national reputation for artistic innovation and integrity, often presenting Bay Area theatregoers with their first look at acclaimed musicals, comedies, and dramas, directed by award-winning local and guest directors, and performed by professional actors cast from across the country. A home for artists developing new works, it was at TheatreWorks that Memphis, the 2010 Tony Award-winning musical (now playing its second year on Broadway, recently released as a feature film, and starting a National Tour in Fall 2011) was first workshopped and received its world premiere.

WHERE: TheatreWorks at Lucie Stern Theatre
1305 Middlefield Road, Palo Alto

TICKETS: $29 (student)-$49; savings available for students, educators, and seniors.
A $2 convenience fee will be assessed for online and telephone orders.

INFO: For information or to order tickets call (650) 463-1960 or visit