BWW Review: BEATSVILLE: THE BEATNIK MUSICAL at Asolo Repertory Theatre
The preview from Asolo Repertory Theatre regarding their upcoming world premiere of Beatsville: The Beatnik Musical knocked us right back to the cool 60's, man. Their press statement says it best, "Hang onto your berets - we're headed to Beatsville - the world of subterranean coffee shops, goateed artists, turtle-necked poets, and bongo-playing jazzbos.
Tragically square busboy Walter Paisley wants nothing more than to be one of the beatniks, but he has no artistic talent whatsoever. When he accidentally kills a cat and hides it in a lump of clay, "Dead Cat" is declared a masterpiece, and Walter a genius. More "sculptures" bring more acclaim - but will the world discover Walter's secret?"
Check out the accomplished talent involved with this production! Beatsville is a co-production with Seattle's 5th Avenue Theatre, with the book by Glenn Slater, Grammy winner (Disney's Tangled), and Academy Award (Tangled), Emmy (ABC's Galavant), Golden Globe (Tangled) and three time Tony Award nominee (School of Rock, Sister Act, The Little Mermaid), and the co-creator of Disney's worldwide smash hit Tangled. Beatsville features music and lyrics by Wendy Wilf and helmed by Bill Berry, Producing Artistic Director of Seattle's 5th Avenue Theatre, who has directed several developmental labs of Beatsville at The 5th Avenue Theatre and recently directed First Date on Broadway. Max Crumm leads the cast as Walter. Mr. Crumm playEd Scott in Disaster! on Broadway and also starred as Danny in the most recent Broadway revival of Grease. He won America's heart on the reality TV show Grease: You're the One That I Want!, where he beat out thousands to earn the role of Danny on the Great White Way. Ann Morrison will play Mrs. Zwicker, Walter's landlord, and Mrs. Greenberg, the mother of Walter's love interest. Ms. Morrison originated the role of Mary Flynn in Stephen Sondheim's Merrily We Roll Along. She is the co-founder of Asolo Rep's Kaleidoscope program, which empowers individuals with special needs to explore creative expression through theatre. Lauren Marcus plays Walter's equally square love interest, Carla. Regionally, Ms. Marcus has appeared in the world premiere of Be More Chill at Two River Theater, in Merrily We Roll Along and Little Shop of Horrors at Sharon Playhouse and in Hello, Dolly! at Paper Mill Playhouse. The creative team also includes orchestrator and vocal and dance music arranger Steve Orich (Tony nomination: Jersey Boys), who orchestrated Asolo Rep's 2016 hit production of Josephine, choreographer JoAnn M. Hunter (Broadway's School of Rock, Disaster!) and two-time Tony Award nominee and Drama Desk Award winner David C. Woolard (Dames at Sea, First Date, West Side Story, All Shook Up and The Rocky Horror Picture Show). Tony Award-winner David Gallo, who has designed more than 30 Broadway productions, is Beatsville scenic designer.
"Tony nominee Glenn Slater and Wendy Wilf's Beatsville is unlike any other musical we've ever produced at Asolo Rep," said Michael Donald Edwards, Producing Artistic Director of Asolo Rep. "It's fresh, hip and hilarious and, to me, a captivating fusion of Little Shop of Horrors and La La Land".
Previews begin April 28, opening night is May 6, and the production will run through May 28 in the Mertz Theatre, located in the FSU Center for the Performing Arts.
Catch Beatsville while you can, because from what we've seen, this one's going to Broadway.