‘Pamela’s First Musical’ announces cast for its world premiere

Pamela's First Musical logoWe 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.

Wendy Wasserstein (“The Heidi Chronicles) adapted her 1996 children’s book for the stage with “City of Angels” composer Cy Coleman and lyricist David Zippel —all Tony Award-winners. 

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.

Sarah McKinley Austin plays the title character in the world premiere of "Pamela's First Musical" in Red Bank, NJ.
Sarah McKinley Austin plays the title character in the world premiere of “Pamela’s First Musical” in Red Bank, NJ.(PHOTO: TRTC)

The musical tells the story of Pamela (played by 12-year-old Sarah McKinley Austin), an unhappy, imaginative young girl whose mother

Howard McGillin is known for his role of John Jasper in "Drood" and for being the longest running Phantom in Andrew Lloyd Webber's "The Phantom of the Opera." (PHOTO: TRTC)
Howard McGillin is known for his role of John Jasper in “Drood” and for being the longest running Phantom in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “The Phantom of the Opera.” (PHOTO: TRTC)

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)

Carolee Carmello is known for her performances in Broadway musicals. She is a three-time Tony Award nominee and a 5-time Drama Desk nominee, winning the 1999 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actress in a Musical for her role in "Parade." (PHOTO: TRTC)
Carolee Carmello is known for her performances in Broadway musicals. She is a three-time Tony Award nominee and a 5-time Drama Desk nominee, winning the 1999 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actress in a Musical for her role in “Parade.” (PHOTO: TRTC)

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),

Andréa Burns played the saucy hairdresser Daniela in Lin-Manuel Miranda's Tony Award-winning musical "In The Heights," Carmen in Douglas Carter Beane's "The Nance "alongside Nathan Lane, and Mrs. Spamboni in "The Electric Company."
Andréa Burns played the saucy hairdresser Daniela in Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Tony Award-winning musical “In The Heights,” Carmen in Douglas Carter Beane’s “The Nance “alongside Nathan Lane, and Mrs. Spamboni in “The Electric Company.” (PHOTO: TRTC)

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 Information

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

Post-Play Conversations

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 boxoffice@trtc.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.

 Performances

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.

 

 

 

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