Tony Award-nominated Next Fall director Sheryl Kaller directs the musical that has book and lyrics by Tony nominee Russell (Side Show) and music by Drama Desk nominee Melnick (Adrift in Macao). Last Smoker is set to make its world premiere at the Columbus, OH, theatre CATCO in late September under Kaller's direction. The musical is aiming for a future New York run.
Belcon (Avenue Q, The Glorious Ones), who has appeared in several incarnations of the work, repeats her work as Phyllis in a cast that also features Alexander (The Wedding Singer, Parade) as Pam, John Bolton (Curtains, Spamalot) as Ernie and Paul Iacono ("Fame") as Jimmy. Christina Bianco provides the voice of Asphyxia.
The reading has music supervision by Fred Lassen and music direction by Rick Hip-Flores.
The Last Smoker in America is described as "an original, four-character musical comedy about a dysfunctional family struggling to survive in a world where smoking has recently been outlawed. Pam, an English lit professor at a small college, is having an impossible time trying to quit smoking. Her husband Ernie dreams of being a rock star and relentlessly practices his electric guitar in the basement. Their teenage son Jimmy listens to so much rap music he's convinced he's black. Their nosy, anti-smoking zealot neighbor Phyllis lurks around trying to catch transgressors mid-puff. Will Pam kick the habit or fight for the right to light up as The Last Smoker in America?"
Kaller previously staged a production of Last Smoker at the New York Musical Theatre Festival in the fall of 2009 where it extended and played to sold-out audiences.