Broadway's Pirate Queen Rolls Up Her Sails June 17

News   Broadway's Pirate Queen Rolls Up Her Sails June 17 Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg's new musical, The Pirate Queen — a large-cast period adventure about a not widely known woman from Irish history — ends its Broadway run June 17.
Hadley Fraser and Stephanie J. Block in The Pirate Queen.
Hadley Fraser and Stephanie J. Block in The Pirate Queen. Photo by Joan Marcus

The windswept romantic epic at the Hilton Theatre was directed by Tony winner Frank Galati (The Grapes of Wrath) and opened on Broadway April 5 following a Chicago tryout and New York previews from March 6. Upon closing, it will have played 85 performances and 32 previews, at a loss of most of its reported $16 million investment.

"We are proud of The Pirate Queen and the talented cast and creative team that has brought this epic musical to Broadway," producers Moya Doherty and John McColgan (Riverdance) said in an earlier announcement. "We are also pleased to report that there is international interest in Pirate Queen productions. Plans for a European English-language production are underway and will be announced in the near future."

Masterworks Broadway will release the original Broadway cast recording of the score July 3. The same day Hal Leonard will also release The Pirate Queen songbook.

The Pirate Queen did not receive a single 2007 Tony Award nomination. In the months leading up to the Broadway bow, following its fall 2006 tryout in Chicago, the show was rewritten and re-staged, with the help of 11th-hour artists Richard Maltby and Graciela Daniele.

Earlier this spring, when Mel Brooks was reported to be circling the Hilton as a home his forthcoming Young Frankenstein, the writing seemed to be on the wall for The Pirate Queen. After the June 5 closing announcement by the PQ producers, it was announced that the next attraction in the cavernous theatre would indeed be Young Frankenstein. *

The songwriter-storytellers Boublil and Schönberg (Les Miz) created The Pirate Queen with their Miss Saigon collaborator Richard Maltby Jr., who co-wrote the Pirate Queen book with Boublil and Schönberg, and co-wrote lyrics with Boublil and John Dempsey (Witches of Eastwick). Music is by Schönberg.

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Commissioned and produced by Doherty and McColgan, The Pirate Queen, according to the creators, "combines classic storytelling with a sweeping score and joyous dancing to celebrate the real-life story of legendary Irish chieftain Grace O'Malley: a compelling, inspiring heroine who led an extraordinary life as a pirate, chieftain, lover and mother in 16th-century Ireland. To protect her people and save her one true love, O'Malley must confront the one woman more powerful than her — her fierce rival, Queen Elizabeth I of England."

Stephanie J. Block (The Boy From Oz, Wicked) plays the title character, and British actor Hadley Fraser is her love interest, Tiernan. Jeff McCarthy (Urinetown) is Grace's father, the revered chieftain Dubhdara.

The cast of 42 also includes Linda Balgord (Queen Elizabeth I), Marcus Chait (Donal), William Youmans (Bingham), Nick Adams, Richard Todd Adams, Caitlin Allen, Sean Beglan, Timothy W. Bish, Jerad Bortz, Troy Edward Bowles, Grady McLeod Bowman, Rachel Bress, Don Brewer, Kimilee Bryant, Alexis Ann Carra, Noelle Curran, Bobbie Ann Dunn, Brooke Elliott, Christopher Garbrecht, Eric Hatch, Cristin J. Hubbard, David Koch, Timothy Kochka, Jamie LaVerdiere, Joseph Mahowald, Tokiko Masuda, Padraic Moyles, Brian O'Brien, Kyle James O'Connor, Michael James Scott, Greg Stone, Katie E. Tomlinson, Daniel Torres, Aine Ui Cheallaigh, Kathy Voytko (the standby for Grace), Jennifer Waiser, Jeff Williams, Briana Yacavone.

The two boys who share the role of "Eoin" are Justin Fernandez and Christopher Grey Misa.

Musical staging is by Graciela Daniele, who was brought onto the project after the fall 2006 Chicago world premiere. Carol Leavy Joyce created the show's Irish choreography. Mark Dendy is credited with additional choreography.

The creative team features Julian Kelly (orchestrator, vocal arranger and musical supervisor and director); three-time Tony Award-winner Eugene Lee (scenic designer), two-time Tony winner Martin Pakledinaz (costume designer), Kenneth Posner (lighting designer), Jonathan Deans (sound designer), J. Steven White (fight director), Paul Rubin (aerial design), Paul Huntley (wig design), Angelina Avallone (make-up design), Howard Werner (projection design), Greg Meeh (special effects), Tara Young (associate director), Tara Rubin Casting (casting), Rachel Bress (associate choreographer), Peter Lamb (production manager).

Frank Scardino, Theatre Production Group LLC, is the general manager. Edgar Dobie is the executive producer.

Tickets are available at www.ticketmaster.com or by phone at (212) 307-4100 or at the Hilton Theatre box office (213 W. 42nd Street).

For more information, visit www.ThePirateQueen.com.

<i>The Pirate Queen</i> ends its Broadway Journey.
The Pirate Queen ends its Broadway Journey. Photo by Joan Marcus
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