Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Laura Michelle Kelly and Jeremy Jordan to star in FINDING NEVERLAND

The previously announced Finding Neverland revamp will fly into Cambridge, Massachusetts with a starry cast. Tony nominee Jeremy Jordan will play J.M. Barrie in the American Repertory Theater production, a role played by Glee's Matthew Morrison in aworkshop in March. Jordan will star opposite Broadway and West End vet Laura Michelle Kelly, who will play Sylvia Llewelyn Davis. Joining them are Tony winner Roger Bart as Charles Frohman and Tony nominee Carolee Carmello as Madame du Maurier. Tony winning A.R.T. artistic director Diane Paulus helms the tuner that features music and lyrics by Gary Barlow and Eliot Kennedy and a book by James Graham. The production will run from July 23 through September 28 at the Loeb Drama Center.
When a faltering playwright meets a widow and her four boys in Kensington Gardens, he embarks on a friendship that inspires one of the most beloved stories of all time. Based on the Miramax film written by David Magee, Finding Neverland follows the real-life relationship between the Llewelyn Davies family and James Matthew Barrie as he writes the revolutionary 1904 play Peter Pan, or The Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up. Staged by A.R.T. Artistic Director Diane Paulus and with music by U.K. pop sensation Gary Barlow (Take That), this new musical explores the power of imagination to open up new worlds, and the pressures put upon those worlds by the prospect of growing up.
The cast will be led by Jeremy Jordan as J.M. Barrie and Laura Michelle Kelly as Sylvia Llewelyn Davies; with Roger Bart as Charles Frohman, Carolee Carmello as Madame du Maurier, Jeanna de Waal as Mary Barrie, Aidan Gemmeas Peter, Alex Dreier as Michael, Sawyer Nunes as George, and Hayden Signoretti as Jack. Members of the ensemble are Courtney Balan, Dana Costello, Rory Donovan, Gaelen Gilliland, Thayne Jasperson, Josh Lamon, Cara Massey, Melanie Moore, Mary Peg Nance, Stuart Neal, Emma Pfaeffle, Jonathan Ritter, Tyley Ross, Julius Rubio, JC Schuster, Paul Slade Smith, and Ron Todorowski.

The creative team also includes scenic designer Scott Pask, costume designer Suttirat Anne Larlarb, lighting designerPhilip Rosenberg, sound designer Jonathan Deans, projection designer Gilles Papain, fan designer Daniel Wurtzel, music supervisor David Chase, music director Mary-Mitchell Campbell, and orchestration by Simon Hale.
Roger Bart received both a Tony Award and a Drama Desk Award for Best Featured Actor in a Musical for his role of Snoopy in You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown and a Tony Award nomination for his role of Carmen Ghia in The Producers. He also appeared on Broadway as Dr. Frankenstein in Mel Brooks’s Young Frankenstein, and in The Frogs, Triumph of Love, andBig River. Mr. Bart was recently seen on television in the CBS films Las Vegas, directed by Jon Turteltaub. He has had recurring roles on several television series including “Desperate Housewives,” “Episodes,” “Revenge,” and “How I Met your Mother, among many others.

Carolee Carmello’s Broadway credits include the Mother Superior in Sister Act, Lucille inParade (Drama Desk Award, Tony nomination) Gabrielle in Lestat (Tony and Drama Desk nomination), Donna in Mamma Mia!, Abigail Adams in 1776, Cordelia in Falsettos, and Lilli Vanessi in Kiss Me Kate, among others. Regional credits include Pal Joey at the Huntington Theatre, The King and I at Paper Mill Playhouse, She Loves Me at Berkshire Theater Festival, and Show Boat at Carnegie Hall; as well as the national tours of Chess, Big River, Les Miserables, and Falsettos (L.A. Ovation Award).

Jeanna de Waal comes to Neverland directly from playing the role of Lauren in Kinky Boots on Broadway. She also played Heather in American Idiot on Broadway and Chris Hargensen in Carrie Off-Broadway.  Her other credits include Glinda in the national tour of Wicked, We Will Rock You on the West End and Janet in The Rocky Horror Picture Show at the Old Globe in San Diego. She can be heard on the cast album of Carrie.

Jeremy Jordan created the role of Jack Kelly in Newsies: The Musical (Tony and Drama Desk Award nominations), Clyde Barrow in Bonnie and Clyde (TheatreWorld Award for Best Actor in a Musical), and played Tony in West Side Story on Broadway. He played the lead role of Jimmy Collins in the television series “Smash,” and appeared in “Elementary,” “Law and Order: Special Victims Unit” among others; as well as in the film "Joyful Noise."

Laura Michelle Kelly originated the title role of Mary Poppins and received an Olivier Award. Her other West End credits include Karen in Speed The Plow, Belle in Beauty and the Beast, Eponine in Les Miserables, Wendy in Peter Pan, Sophie in Mamma Mia, Eliza in My Fair Lady,and Swallow in Whistle Down the Wind. Her Broadway credits include Hodel in the revival ofFiddler on the Roof and Mary Poppins. Regionally she was seen in The King and I and South Pacific. Film credits include Goddess (2012 Cannes Film Festival premiere), Tim Burton’s “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street,” “Miss Marple: Nemesis”. She made many radio, TV, concert appearances including Albert Hall, Hampton Court Palace, Royal Opera House, Millennium Stadium, Buckingham Palace, The White House and the Ford Theater for President Obama.

James Graham is a British playwright and television writer.  His work has been staged throughout the UK and he is a Playwright in Residence at the Finborough Theatre. His plays include Privacy, premiered at Donmar Warehouse this year; This House, premiered at the National Theatre in 2012; Sixty Six Books and The Whisky Taster, premiered at the Bush Theatre; Tory Boys, premiered at Soho Theatre; and The Man, Sons of York, Little Madam, Eden's Empire, and Albert's Boy, all premiered at the Finborough Theatre.  

Gary Barlow is an English singer-songwriter, pianist and record producer. He is front man and lead vocalist of British pop-group Take That and served as head judge on the UK television series “The X Factor.“ Barlow is one of Britain's most successful songwriters, having written thirteen Number 1 singles and twenty-three top 10 hits. He is also a six-time recipient of the Ivor Novello Award and has sold over 50 million records worldwide. He was appointed an OBE in 2012 for services to music and charity.

Eliot Kennedy is a British songwriter and record producer, who has worked with most major British recording artists including the Spice Girls, Lulu, and Take That. He won a Grammy Award and was nominated for a Golden Globe for “Never Gonna Break My Faith” by Aretha Franklin and Mary J. Blige for the film Bobby, and an Ivor Novello award for “Picture Of You” by Boyzone. Kennedy was given an honorary doctorate (DUniv) by Sheffield Hallam University for his contribution to the region's music industry, and for his outstanding work for charities, including his own One Song Foundation.

Diane Paulus is the Artistic Director of the A.R.T. at Harvard University and is the 2013 recipient of the Tony Award for Best Director of a Musical (Pippin). At the A.R.T.: Witness UgandaPippin (also on -2013 Tony Award-winner for Best Revival of a Musical, launching a national tour in September 2014); The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess (also on Broadway - 2012 Tony Award-winner for Best Revival of a Musical, currently on national tour);Prometheus Bound; Tod Machover’s Death and the Powers: The Robots’ OperaThe Donkey Show, Best of Both World, Johnny Baseball. Her other recent work includes Amaluna, Cirque du Soleil’s newest creation, currently on tour in the US; The Public Theater’s Tony Award-winning revival of HAIR on Broadway and London’s West End. As an opera director, her credits include The Magic Flute, Il mondo della luna, DonGiovanni, Le nozze di Figaro, and the Monteverdi trilogy L'incoronazione di PoppeaIl ritorno d’Ulisse in patria, and Orfeo. Diane is a Professor of the Practice in Theater in Harvard University’s English Department, and in 2012 was one of Boston Magazine’s 50 Most Powerful Bostonians and awarded the 2012 Founders award for Excellence in Directing from the Drama League. Recently, Diane was selected as one of Variety’s “Trailblazing Women in Entertainment for 2014” and Boston Magazine’s “50 Thought Leaders of 2014.” She was also named to the 2014 TIME 100, TIME magazine’s annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world.

Mia Michaels is an American choreographer best known for her dance judging and contemporary choreography on the TV show “So You Think You Can Dance.” She has worked with artists such as Celine Dion, Madonna, Tom Cruise, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Ricky Martin, Gloria Estefan, and Prince. In 2005 she choreographed Cirque du Soleil’s world tourDelirium, as well as Celine Dion’s Las Vegas show A New Day, for which she was later nominated for an Emmy Award. In 2007 she won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Choreography for her “Calling You” routine on season two of “So You Think You Can Dance;” she won again in 2010 for her work on season five. She choreographed the dance sequence of "Get Happy" during Season 7 of “House” entitled “Bombshells.”

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