The new musical A.D. 16, written by Cinco Paul (Schmigadoon) and Bekah Brunstetter (This is Us) streams on demand via Maryland's Olney Theatre March 16-20. Directed by Stephen Brackett (A Strange Loop, Be More Chill), the musical stars Phoenix Best (Dear Evan Hansen on stage and screen) and Ben Fankhauser (Newsies, Beautiful).
The biblically inspired musical centers on a teenage Mary Magdalene, who has got her eye on the carpenter's son next door—named Jesus, of course. The original score is inspired by '90s R&B, hip-hop, and pop. Watch a trailer for the show above.
Joining Best and Fankhauser in the cast are Kelli Blackwell as Diana, Alan H. Green as Jacob, Jade Jones as Jessica, Jared Loftin as Nicholas, Calvin McCullough as Matthias, Adelina Mitchell as Ruth, Christian Montgomery as Bartimaeus, Da’Von Moody as Simeon, and Chani Wereley as Esther, with an ensemble comprising Alex De Bard, Sylvern Groomes, RJ Pavel, John Sygar, and Kanysha Williams. Tiffany Lyn Royster and Chris Urquiaga round out the company as swings.
Brackett leads a creative team that includes three-time Tony-winning orchestrator and music supervisor Doug Besterman, music director Christopher Youstra, choreographer Katie Spelman, scenic designer Walt Spangler, Tony-nominated costume designer Emilio Sosa, sound designer Matt Rowe, lighting designer Colin K. Bills, and wig designer Anne Nesmith. Karen Currie is production stage manager.
The world-premiere production follows a workshop at Olney in 2019. The musical was also developed, in part, at SPACE on Ryder Farm and at Rhinebeck Writers Retreat and is a winner of an Edgerton Foundation New Play Award. Sloane Productions, LLC joins as an enhancement producer for the Olney run, with hopes of bringing the work to New York.
A.D. 16 continues for in-person audiences at Olney through March 20.
For more information and tickets, visit OlneyTheatre.org.