Wednesday, August 17, 2011

City of Angels Delves into Film Noir at Goodspeed

Goodspeed Musicals delves into the sultry and shadowy world of 1940s film noir with City of Angels, a musical comedy running Sept. 23 – Nov. 27 at the Opera House in East Haddam.

Swinging, sexy, smart, and funny! An ingenious spoof of 1940s Hollywood and whodunit films with side-by-side stories about the “real” world of a detective fiction writer and the “reel” world of his fictional gumshoe hero. One balances romance and rewrites, while the other slinks through a film noir netherworld of thugs and femmes fatales. Winner of tons of Tony Awards, it’s a witty detective thriller with a jazzy score that really kills.

City of Angels features Music by Cy Coleman, Lyrics by David Zippel, and Book by Larry Gelbart.

The killer cast will be led by D.B. Bonds who will play Stine. Bonds appeared in Broadway’s The Phantom of the Opera and Les Misérables. Stone will be played by Burke Moses of Broadway’s The Frogs; Kiss Me, Kate; Beauty and the Beast and Guys and Dolls and Goodspeed’s Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. The roles of Bobbi and Gabby will be played by Laurie Wells who appeared in Broadway’s Mamma Mia! and Goodspeed’s 42nd Street. Liz Pearce will play Alaura Kingsley and Carla Haywood. Donna and Oolie will be played by Nancy Anderson. Buddy Fidler and Irwin Irving will be played by Jay Russell. Jeffrey David Sears will play Jimmy Powers. Gregor Paslawsky will play Luther Kingsley and Werner Krieger.

Dr. Mandril and Gilbert will be played by Michael Keyloun. Big Six will be played by Jerry Gallagher. Spencer Rowe will play Sonny. Josh Powell will play Officer Pasco, Del Dacosta, and Gene. Robert J. Townsend will play Mahoney.Christina Morrell will play Margaret and Anna.

Lt. Muñoz and Pancho Vargas will be played by Danny Bolero. Allen E. Read will play Peter Kinglsey and Gerald Pierce. Kathleen Rooney will play Mallory Kinglsey and Avril Reins.

The Angel City 4 will be played by Mick Bleyer, Vanessa Parvin, Sierra Rein, and Adam West Hemming. All four actors are members of the 2010 Manhattan Association of Cabarets and Clubs (MAC) award-winning a capella group, Marquee Five which has been described as “top-notch,” with a spunky intelligent flair and tight harmonies. The swings will be Becca Pesce and Adam Bastien.

City of Angels will be directed by Darko Tresnjak who was recently named the new Artistic Director for Hartford Stage. Tresnjak returns to Goodspeed where he previously directed Carnival!, Amour, and A Little Night Music. Choreographer for this production will be Jennifer Paulson Lee. Lee’s Goodspeed Opera House credits include A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Finian’s Rainbow and Houdini in addition to Dear World and Just So at The Norma Terris Theatre. Scenic design will be by David P. Gordon of Goodspeed’s Carnival!, Amour, and A Little Night Music. Costumes will be designed by Tracy Christensen. Lighting design will be by John Lasiter. Projection design will be by Shawn Boyle. Sound design will be by Jay Hilton who is in his 26th season at Goodspeed.

The Music Director for City of Angels will be Michael O’Flaherty who is in his 20th season as Goodspeed’s Resident Music Director. William J. Thomas will be assistant music director. Orchestrations will be provided by Dan DeLange.

On Nov. 21, Goodspeed will hold its Annual Food Drive to benefit the East Haddam Food Bank. Staff volunteers will be collecting donations pre-show in the hopes that they will have another record-breaking year for participation. Goodspeed Musicals is offering a special buy one ticket, get one free to patrons who bring a generous donation of non-perishable foods to the matinee or evening performance. The East Haddam Food Bank is in need of many non-perishable food items, especially “the basics” such as soups, pastas, canned fruits and vegetables, and cereals, as well as paper goods and personal toiletries.

Tickets are available through the Box Office at 860-873-8668 or on-line at www.goodspeed.org.

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Lauren Yarger with playwright Alfred Uhry at the Mark Twain House. Photo: Jacques Lamarre)

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