The world premiere musical Water for Elephants, adapted from Sara Gruen's best-selling novel, officially opened at Atlanta's Alliance Theatre June 16 after beginning performances June 7, and the reviews are in. The limited engagement will continue through July 9 on the Georgia company's Coca-Cola Stage.
The musical, about a man who runs away from his life only to find himself with a traveling circus, has been adapted for the stage from Gruen's novel by Tony-nominated playwright Rick Elice (Peter and the Starcatcher, Jersey Boys) and features songs by PigPen Theatre Co. Jessica Stone, a 2023 Tony nominee for helming Broadway's Kimberly Akimbo, directs the world premiere.
The cast includes Stan Brown as Camel, Joe De Paul as Walter, Bryan Fenkart (Waitress) as August, Sara Gettelfinger (A Free Man of Color) as Barbara, Tony nominee Harry Groener (Crazy for You, Spamalot) as Mr. Jankowski, Isabelle McCalla (The Prom, Aladdin) as Marlena, Wade McCollum (Wicked, My Fair Lady) as Wade, and Ryan Vasquez (Hamilton, The Wrong Man) as Jacob.
Read the reviews below.
Playbill will continue to update this list as reviews come in.
Also in the company are Brandon Block, Antoine Boissereau, Paul Castree, Taylor Colleton, Gabriel Olivera de Paula Costa, Dan Daily, Isabella Luisa Diaz, Gabrielle Elisabeth, Keaton Hentoff-Killian, Nicolas Jelmoni, Caroline Kane, Joel Malkoff, Michael Mendez, Jo'nathan Michael, Samuel Renaud, Marissa Rosen, Alexandra Gaelle Royer, Sean Stack, Matthew Varvar, and Michelle West.
The production features choreography by Jesse Robb and Shana Carroll, music supervision and arrangements by Mary-Mitchell Campbell and Benedict Braxton-Smith, music direction by Matt Hinkley, orchestrations by Daryl Waters, circus design by Shana Carroll, scenic design by Takeshi Kata, costume design by David Israel Reynoso, lighting design by Bradley King, sound design by Jessica Paz, projection design by David Bengali, hair and makeup design by Luc Verschueren, and puppet design by Camille LaBarre. Timothy R. Semon is production stage manager, and casting is by Tara Rubin Casting's Claire Burke and Jody Feldman.