Step up to the counter at the five and dime where Becomes a Woman finds its lead character Francie Nolan. Mint Theater Company presents the Betty Smith play, previously unpublished and unproduced, in its world premiere at New York City Center nearly 100 years after it was written. Get a first look at the Off-Broadway production below.
Francie is a 19-year-old woman living with her family in Brooklyn, and spends her days working at a five and dime store as a singer at the sheet music counter. Her co-workers only see a shy woman afraid of the world—so when Francie discovers her courage, she surprises everyone, but most of all herself. The play began previews Off-Broadway February 7, and will open February 27 for a run through March 18.
Broadway alums Duane Boutté (Carousel), Jeb Brown (Beautiful:The Carole King Musical), Gina Daniels (Network), Antoinette LaVecchia (Torch Song), Jack Mastrianni (A Christmas Story The Musical!), Pearl Rhein (Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812), and Phillip Taratula (The Skin of Our Teeth) star alongside Off-Broadway's Jason O'Connell (Judgment Day), and Peterson Townsend (Chains). Rounding out the cast are Scott Redmond (Oklahoma! national tour), Tim Webb (A Charlie Brown Christmas Live On Stage national tour), along with three actors making their Off-Broadway debuts: Christopher Reed Brown, Emma Pfitzer Price, and Madeline Seidman.
Mint Theater's Producing Artistic Director Jonathan Bank said in an earlier statement, "I wasn't surprised to learn that Betty Smith wrote a play. I was surprised to learn that Betty Smith was a playwright first and foremost. She spent decades working in the theatre, with the Federal Theater Project and elsewhere. Becomes a Woman is not a novelty. It's a beautifully crafted, utterly surprising story filled with vibrant characters, lively dialogue, and deep feeling."
Director Britt Berke helms the production which features set design by Vicki R. Davis, costume design by Emilee McVey-Lee, lighting design by Mary Louise Geiger, sound design by M. Florian Staab, dialect coaching and dramaturgy by Amy Stoller, and casting by Stephanie Klapper.