Great American Mousical, Directed by Julie Andrews, Begins World Premiere in CT; Emily Skinner Stars
By Kenneth Jones
The Great American Mousical, the new musical directed by Julie Andrews, on whose children's book the show is based, begins performances Nov. 8 at Goodspeed Musicals' Norma Terris Theatre in Connecticut. Tony Award nominee Emily Skinner plays a diva mouse named Adelaide in the world premiere.
Oscar winner and Tony nominee Andrews (star of Broadway's My Fair Lady and Camelot and the films "Mary Poppins" and "The Sound of Music") co-wrote the best-selling illustrated book with her daughter Emma Walton Hamilton, with illustrations by Emma's dad, the theatre and film designer and director Tony Walton (Guys and Dolls).
The Great American Mousical features a new score by composer Zina Goldrich and lyrics by Marcy Heisler, a book by Tony nominee Hunter Bell ([title of show]), choreography by Tony winner Christopher Gattelli (Newsies), and sets and costumes designed by Oscar, Emmy and Tony Award winner Tony Walton.
The developmental production (with no critics allowed) runs to Dec. 9 (representing a six-performance extension) at the Terris — Goodspeed's venue for testing new works — in Chester, CT. Goodspeed is a two-time Tony Award-winning resident theatre.
Here's how Goodspeed bills the show: "Below the bright lights of Broadway, in the depths of the historic Sovereign Theatre, an acting troupe of mice rehearse their new musical. When the theatre is threatened by demolition and their diva Adelaide disappears, it will take all paws on deck to fulfill the time-honored tradition: the show must go on! Filled with singing, dancing, and show biz lore, The Great American Mousical is a sharp and witty tribute to life in the theatre and celebrates the two most glorious words in the English language: musical comedy!"
Skinner was nominated for a Best Actress Tony in 1998 for Side Show. Her Broadway credits include Billy Elliott: The Musical, Dinner at Eight, The Full Monty, James Joyce's The Dead, Side Show and Jekyll & Hyde.
The cast also includes Paul Carlin (Goodspeed's Mame) as Harold; Broadway veteran Larry Cahn (Guys and Dolls, Anything Goes) as Emil; Laura Jordan (Broadway's Cry-Baby and In My Life) as Toby; Noah E. Galvin as Pippin; Christian Delcroix (Broadway's Follies and South Pacific) as Curly; Alessa Neeck (Broadway's White Christmas) as Wendy; Allie Schauer (Goodspeed's Hello! My Baby and Radio Girl) as Rose; Jeremiah James (Off-Broadway's The Fantasticks) as Sky; Caesar Samayoa (Broadway's Sister Act, The Pee-Wee Herman Show) as Hysterium; and David Beach (Broadway's Mamma Mia!, Urinetown and Moon Over Buffalo) as Henry.
The ensemble includes Matthew Bauman, Holly Ann Butler, Juliane Godfrey, Sean McGibbon, Katerina Papacostas and Richard Riaz Yoder.
The production team includes lighting designer Richard Pilbrow and sound designer Jay Hilton. Wigs and hair design is by Suseon Bak. The Great American Mousical will be produced for Goodspeed Musicals by Michael P. Price.
The Norma Terris Theatre is located at 33 North Main Street in Chester. For ticket and information, call (860) 873-8668 open seven days a week, or at goodspeed.org.
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