Asolo Rep Announces Complete Casting For Jeff Calhoun-Helmed Production Of THE MUSIC MAN
Asolo Rep proudly kicks off its 60th season with a highly imaginative production of Meredith Willson's Tony Award-winning exuberant masterpiece THE MUSIC MAN. Directed by Tony nominee Jeff Calhoun (Newsies), this tap dancing-infused production stars legendary Broadway song and dance man Noah Racey as Harold Hill. Calhoun and Racey previously collaborated on the smash hit world premiere of Noah Racey's Pulse at Asolo Rep in 2013. The perfect family holiday outing, THE MUSIC MAN begins previews on November 13, opens November 17 and runs through December 29 in the Mertz Theatre, located in the FSU Center for the Performing Arts.
Smooth-talking swindler Harold Hill brings trouble to idyllic River City, Iowa when he comes to town with the ultimate sham. But his plan to trick the townspeople into buying musical instruments for a band that doesn't exist is unexpectedly stifled when he falls head over heels for Marian the librarian. The original Broadway production garnered six Tony Awards, including Best Musical - beating out West Side Story - and remains a beloved musical masterpiece. THE MUSIC MAN features Willson's iconic snap-crackle-pop vocal arrangements, considered to be the Broadway precursors to rap, and the most celebrated songs in the musical theatre canon, including Ya Got Trouble, Seventy-Six Trombones, Goodnight My Someone and Till There Was You.
Director Jeff Calhoun received a Tony nomination for Best Director for Disney's Newsies. He previously helmed Bonnie & Clyde and Noah Racey's Pulse at Asolo Rep. His Broadway credits also include Bonnie & Clyde, Jekyll & Hyde, Grey Gardens, Deaf West's Big River (Tony Award Nomination for Best Revival of a Musical), Brooklyn, Annie Get Your Gun, Grease (Tony Award Nomination for Best Choreography), Tommy Tune Tonite and The Will Rogers Follies. He will helm the upcoming Dolly Parton's 9 to 5: The Musical on London's West End.
"Since I began my career as a young tap dancer, I idolized the likes of Fred Astaire, Gene Kelly, Donald O'Connor and Dick Van Dyke," said Director Jeff Calhoun. "I couldn't imagine doing this tap-inspired production without Noah, who is one of America's greatest song and dance men."
"Brimming with joy, wit and love, and featuring one of the best scores of all time, we are thrilled to kick off our 60th season with this fresh production of THE MUSIC MAN, a great American masterwork," said Asolo Rep Producing Artistic Director Michael Donald Edwards. "With the world-renowned Jeff Calhoun's inspired and impassioned vision combined with the magnetic and dynamic Noah Racey at the helm of an all-star cast, this will be a production of THE MUSIC MAN unlike anyone's ever seen."
Noah Racey stars as Harold Hill. Racey's Broadway credits include Curtains, Never Gonna Dance and the original Broadway cast of Thoroughly Modern Millie, where he was also the associate choreographer. He also choreographed Michael Moore's The Terms of My Surrender on Broadway. Regionally he has appeared in the world premiere of Holmes & Watson (Arizona Theatre Company), Road Show (Signature Theatre), The Odd Couple (Geva Theatre). His latest work The Noah Racey Project premiered in New York at Symphony Space.
Britney Coleman plays headstrong librarian Marian Paroo. Coleman recently appeared in the pre-Broadway tryout of Tootsie. Her Broadway credits include the revival of Sunset Boulevard starring Glenn Close and the role of Lucille in Beautiful: The Carole King Musical. She also appeared in the first national tour of Beautiful.
Danny Gardner (Marcellus Washburn) appeared in Asolo Rep's production of Pulse and recently on Broadway as Lucky in Dames At Sea. The cast features Asolo Rep favorite Matthew McGee (Eulalie Shinn), and Lenny Wolpe (Mayor George Shinn), whose Broadway credits include Bullets Over Broadway, Wicked, The Drowsy Chaperone, The Sound of Music, Mayor, Into the Light, Copperfield, and Onward Victoria.
The cast also features John Wilson Bennett (Constable Locke), Lamar K. Cheston (Charlie Cowell), Marie DiNorcia (Zaneeta Shinn), Jack Doyle (Ewart Dunlop), Alison England (Mrs. Paroo), Lizzie Hagstedt (Ethel Toffelmeier), Lawrence James (Conductor), Mel Johnson Jr. (Oliver Hix), Jenny Kim-Godfrey (Mrs. Squires), Kailani Maeda (Gracie Shinn), Betsy Padamonsky (Alma Hix), Raynor Rubel (Tommy Djilas), Charlie Shoemaker (Winthrop Paroo), Milaan Smith (Amaryllis), Joseph Torello (Olin Britt), Jade Turner (Maud Dunlop), and Branch Woodman (Jacey Squires).
The creative team includes Paul McGill (Choreographer), Tobin Ost (Scenic & Costume Designer), Michael Gilliam (Lighting Designer), Will Pickens (Sound Designer), Michelle Hart (Hair/Wig & Make-up Designer), and Tony nominee Steve Orich (Music Director).
In addition to THE MUSIC MAN, Meredith Willson also penned the music and lyrics for The Unsinkable Molly Brown and the book, music and lyrics for Here's Love. His songs have been performed by Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, The Beatles and more. He was also nominated for two Academy Awards for his work scoring films, including for Lillian Hellman's The Little Foxes, starring Bette Davis.
Asolo Rep will proudly host a special Family Day at THE MUSIC MAN on Saturday, December 1, when families can take part in activities that explore the world of the musical prior to the performance, experience the performance with discounted tickets, and join a post-performance discussion with the cast. Throughout Asolo Rep's run of THE MUSIC MAN, the theatre will provide more than 700 students access to the world-class production through student matinee performances and public performances.