Cullum Joins Wilder, Playwrights Horizons' "Erotic Chamber Musical," Starting Oct. 16

News   Cullum Joins Wilder, Playwrights Horizons' "Erotic Chamber Musical," Starting Oct. 16 Playwrights Horizons has confirmed that Tony Award winner John Cullum will play the title role in the fall world premiere of the musical, Wilder.
John Cullum
John Cullum

The casting had been reported elsewhere, but not previously confirmed.

In the "erotic chamber musical," with book and lyrics by Erin Cressida Wilson (based on her play, Cross Dressing in the Depression) and music and lyrics by Mike Craver and Jack Herrick, a man (Cullum) looks back on his life, which included hitting puberty while living in a Depression-era bordello.

"Through its haunting music and frank sensuality, Wilder playfully and poetically explores a tangled landscape of Oedipal longing," according to Playwrights Horizons, which will present the Lisa Portes-directed show in its intimate studio space, the Peter Jay Sharp Theater. First preview is Oct. 16. Additional casting will be announced.

Cullum currently stars in Urinetown. His last performance in that show has not been announced. Cullum is a two-time Tony Award winner (for Shenandoah and On the Twentieth Century) and a Tony nominee for On a Clear Day You Can See Forever and Urinetown.

He is well-known to TV audiences as Holling Vincoeur the bartender on "Northern Exposure" and as Mark Greene's father on "E.R." For subscription and ticket information to all PH productions (including the current I Am My Own Wife and Bad Dates), call Ticket Central at (212) 279-4200. For more information about PH, visit www.playwrightshorizons.org.

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Librettist-lyricist Erin Cressida Wilson's Off-Broadway plays include The Trail of Her Inner Thigh at Labyrinth Theatre Company, The Erotica Project at Joe's Pub (published by Cleis Press) and Hurricane at Classic Stage Company. Wilder is based on her own play, Cross Dressing in the Depression, which was produced at Soho Rep and the Magic Theatre.

She wrote the screenplay of the film, "Secretary," which won the Special Jury Award at the 2002 Sundance Film Festival.

Composer-lyricist Mike Craver's New York credits include Diamond Studs (Westside Arts), Sam Shepard's A Lie of the Mind (Promenade), Oil City Symphony (Circle in the Square Downtown, co author and original cast member with Mark Hardwick, Debra Monk and Mary Murfitt) and Radio Gals (John Houseman Theatre, co-authored with Mark Hardwick). Oil City Symphony received a Drama Desk and an Outer Critics Circle Award, Radio Gals received an L.A. Ovation Award. He co-arranged and musical directed the original Off-Broadway production of Smoke on the Mountain at the Lamb's Theatre. He was a member of the Red Clay Ramblers for many years.

Composer-lyricist Jack Herrick wrote music and lyrics for Sam Shepard's A Lie of the Mind, which he performed with the Red Clay Ramblers in 1985. He wrote and produced music and lyrics for Shepard's two feature films, "Far North" and "Silent Tongue." For regional theatre, he co-wrote book, music and lyrics for Tar Heel Voices and Cool Spring, Kudzu, Ear Rings, Munci Meg and Glory Bound. In 2001, he wrote music and lyrics for Lone Star Love, produced by the Great Lakes Theater Festival. With the Red Clay Ramblers, Bill Irwin and Dave Shiner, Herrick created and performed Fool Moon, which earned a Special Tony Award in 1999.