We knew the world premiere of “Pamela’s First Musical” would open the 25th anniversary season of the Two River Theater Company in September. Now we know who’s in the cast and the creative team.
They have more than 25 Tony Awards nominations — and seven wins — among them.
Christopher Durang, another Tony winner for “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike,” also is involved in the project that has been under development by Two River Theater for several years.
The musical originally was scheduled to premiere in 2005. That production was cancelled due to Coleman’s death in 2004 and Wasserstein’s illness. She died in 2006. “Pamela’s First Musical “ was presented as a one-night benefit concert for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS in 2008, seemed destined to remain unproduced—a last, lost work by some of the American theater’s most outstanding artists.
The Two River Theater production, with a cast of 15 and an eight-piece band, directed and choreographed by 10-time Tony Award nominee Graciela Daniele, with music supervision and arrangements by Kevin Stites, will be its first full production.
The musical tells the story of Pamela (played by 12-year-old Sarah McKinley Austin), an unhappy, imaginative young girl whose mother
has died. Her father (two-time Tony Award nominee Howard McGillin), though well-meaning, doesn’t fully understand his creative, unusual daughter. When Pamela’s eccentric and fabulous Aunt Louise (a modern “Auntie Mame” played by three-time Tony Award nominee Carolee Carmello)
sweeps her away on her birthday to see her very first Broadway musical, Pamela meets many of the colorful personalities of the New York theater world, including musical comedy star Mary Ethel Bernadette (Drama Desk Award winner Andréa Burns),
producer Bernie S. Gerry (Tony Award nominee David Garrison) and director Hal Hitner (Tony Award nominee Michael Mulheren).
In meeting them and watching a clever musical-within-a-musical, Pamela discovers her tribe and the place where, as she sings, “all the pieces fit”—t he world of musical theater.
The cast also includes Wesley J. Barnes (Daniel/Jules Gels/Linzer Torte/Ensemble), Jeanine Bruen (Ensemble), Mary Callanan (Tiny La Tuna/Messenger/Gladys/Ensemble), Nick Cearley (Robert/Harrison Roy/Ensemble), Erica Dorfler (Lyndell/Betty Songheim/Countess), Hillary Fisher (Jessica/Heidi Lee Lee/Ensemble), Jacobi Hall (Nick/Billy Ivey Zippers/Butler/Ensemble), Elizabeth Ritacco (Ensemble), and Blake Zolfo (Thomas/Cy Songheim/Friedrich/Ensemble).
The creative team includes music director Gregory J. Dlugos, orchestrator Charlie Rosen, scenic designers David Gallo and Viveca Gardiner, costume designer Gabriel Berry, lighting designer David Lander, and sound designer Drew Levy. The casting is by Tara Rubin Casting. The production stage manager is Lori M. Doyle and the assistant stage manager is James Steele.
Ticket prices range from $40 to $70, with discounts available for groups, seniors, and U.S. military personnel, their families, and veterans. A limited number of $20 tickets are available for every performance; $20 tickets may be partial view. Tickets for patrons age 29 and younger 30 are $20 and include the best available seats at every performance. Tickets are available from tworivertheater.org or 732.345.1400.
Audience Extras and Accessibility
Discussions with the cast and a member of Two River’s artistic staff are scheduled Sunday, September 23 at 3pm; Wednesday, September 26 at 1pm; and Wednesday, October 3 at 7pm.
An audio-described performance is scheduled for Wednesday, September 26 at 1pm, and an open-captioned performance is scheduled for Saturday, September 29 at 3pm. Tickets are available at a discounted rate of $25 for patrons using these services. To reserve wheelchair-accessible seating or tickets to a performance listed above, patrons should call 732.345.1400 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Two River has created and launched a virtual tour of its facility, which can be found on Google Maps and tworivertheater.org. This virtual tour provides an additional level of support and benefit for patrons who use wheelchairs or require other assistance by allowing them to virtually come through the theater’s front doors and view the space in detail in advance of their visit.
Saturday, September 8 at 8pm
Sunday, September 9 at 3pm
Wednesday, September 12 at 1 pm and 7pm
Thursday, September 13 at 8pm
Friday, September 14 at 7pm (Opening Night)
Saturday, September 15 at 3pm and 8pm
Sunday, September 16 at 3pm
Wednesday, September 19 at 1pm and 7pm
Thursday, September 20 at 8pm
Friday, September 21 at 8pm
Saturday, September 22 at 3pm and 8pm
Sunday, September 23 at 3pm
Wednesday, September 26 at 1pm and 7pm
Thursday, September 27 at 10am (student matinee) and 8pm
Friday, September 28 at 8pm
Saturday, September 29 at 3pm and 8pm
Sunday, September 30 at 3pm
Wednesday, October 3 at 1pm and 7pm
Thursday, October 4 at 10am (student matinee) and 8pm
Friday, October 5 at 8pm
Saturday, October 6 at 3pm and 8pm
Sunday, October 7 at 3pm
For more information, visit tworivertheater.org or call 732.345.1400.