Jessica Grové, Piper Goodeve and Alex Wyse Will Lead Off-Broadway Musical The Underclassman

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03 Sep 2014

Jessica Grové
Jessica Grové

Prospect Theater Company will present The Underclassman, an original musical that explores F. Scott Fitzgerald's coming of age as a writer on the eve of World War I — and his first romance with elusive debutante Ginevra King — beginning Nov. 9 at The Duke on 42nd Street.

With music and lyrics by Peter Mills and a book by Mills and Cara Reichel, The Underclassman is inspired by Fitzgerald's first novel "This Side of Paradise."

Reichel will direct, with choreography by Christine O'Grady and music direction and orchestrations by Daniel Feyer. Performances will continue through Nov. 23.

The cast will feature Jessica Grové (A Little Night Music, Sunday in the Park with George, Les Miserables) as Ginevra King, Piper Goodeve (Anne of Green Gables) as Marie Hersey and Alex Wyse (Lysistrata Jones) as John Peale Bishop with Jordan Bondurant, Elizabeth Burton, Jason Edward Cook, Holland Grossman, C.J. Pawlikowski, Davey Rosenberg and Michael Ruocco.

Additional casting will be announced at a later date.



A previous version of The Underclassman was mounted in a workshop production by Prospect in April 2005 under the title The Pursuit of Persephone and received Drama Desk nominations for Outstanding Score and Orchestrations. There was also a developmental student production at the University of Michigan (2006) and a workshop at Princeton University (2011). The work was recently selected for Goodspeed Musicals Johnny Mercer Writers Colony (2014).

Mills' musicals include Illyria, Golden Boy of the Blue Ridge, Honor, The Rockae, The Flood and The Taxi Cabaret. He received the 2011 Cole Porter Award, the 2010 Kleban Prize for lyrics, the 2007 Fred Ebb Award for emerging songwriters, 2006 Drama Desk Award nominations for his show The Pursuit of Persephone (Best Music and Best Orchestrations), the 2003 Richard Rodgers New Horizons Award from the ASCAP Foundation and a 2002 grant from the Jonathan Larson Performing Arts Foundation. He recently won the 2014 Donna Perret Rosen Award, administered by Second Stage Theatre, for excellence in musical theatre and is currently writing lyrics for the Broadway-aimed The Honeymooners.

Reichel has co-created 11 shows with fellow founding Prospect member Mills. Her recent Prospect productions as director/author include Death for Five Voices, Evergreen and Golden Boy of the Blue Ridge. She also directed Iron Curtain, I Married Wyatt Earp and Once Upon a Time in New Jersey. She is a previous recipient of the Lucille Lortel Award from the League of Professional Theatre Women, of which she is an active member.

The Duke on 42nd Street is located at 229 W. 42nd Street. For more information and tickets, call (212) 352-3101 or visit ProspectTheater.org.