Christiane Noll, currently of Broadway's It Ain't Nothin' But the Blues and known for her passionate voice in Jekyll & Hyde, will sing lovingly of royalty in The Student Prince at New Jersey's Paper Mill Playhouse, April 12-May 27, 2000.
Noll will play barmaid Kathie, who falls for Prince Karl Franz in Heidelberg. The famous 1924 operetta, by composer Sigmund Romberg and lyricist-librettist Dorothy Donnelly, will be staged by Paper Mill artistic director Robert Johnason.
The Student Prince in Heidelberg, the formal title of the work, played 608 performances when it premiered in New York, in a decade when operetta was in vogue. Along with Rose Marie, The Desert Song and The New Moon, the show is often pointed to as a bridge between European-influenced operetta and American musical theatre. Romberg (1887-1951) was born in Hungary, but came to the United States in 1909.
This is the ninth time Paper Mill has revived The Student Prince (tying The Desert Song as Paper Mill's most-produced musical play). The script for the upcoming staging has been revised by Jerome Chodorov (Wonderful Town) and Johanson, with lyric revisions by Albert Evans.
Prince Karl Franz will be played by Brandon Jovanovich. The company also includes Jane Connell (of Broadway's Mame) as Grand Duchess Anastasia, Glory Crampton as Princess Margaret, Metropolitan Opera star Jerome Hines as Dr. Engel and the indefatigable Eddie Bracken (Paper Mill's Show Boat) as Old Josef. The classic score includes "The Drinking Song," "Serenade," "Deep in My Heart, Dear" and "Golden Days."
Tom Helm (Paper Mill's Follies) will be musical director.
Noll recently stepped into the blues revue, It Ain't Nothin' But the Blues, and starred in the York Theatre Company's Little By Little. She earned many fans playing good-girl Emma Carew, love of Dr. Jekyll, in Broadway's Jekyll & Hyde.
-- By Kenneth Jones