David Garrison, of Titanic and Bells Are Ringing fame on Broadway, will star in a new family musical, Norman's Ark. The Glen Roven-Jerome Kass show will open July 25 at TheatreFest in Upper Montclair, NJ, and run through Aug. 30.
Roven penned The Five Thousand Fingers of Doctor T, the Dr. Seuss-based musical which has long been promised for Broadway. Kass wrote the screenplay to "Queen of the Stardust Ballroom," the film which became the basis of the Michael Bennett Broadway musical, Ballroom. Kass wrote the book for the Bennett musical and was nominated for a Tony Award in 1979. He also adapted Finian's Rainbow, Pajama Game and Fiorello! for Los Angeles' Reprise! musicals-in-concert series.
The composers drew upon the recent floods in the Midwest for their inspiration. Norman Coopersmith and his family are trapped on the roof of their home as water rises all around. To calm his children, Norman begins telling the tale of history's most famous flood and Noah's Ark. But instead of invoking the Biblical characters, he incorporates his family into the story.
Also in Norman's Ark are Rosalind Brown, recently seen on Broadway in One Mo' Time; Tony nominee Mary Gordon Murray, who played Belle in the 1982 Broadway revival of Little Me; and Rodney Hicks, an original cast member of Rent.
According to Roven's website, Ark will sail on from New Jersey to a tour of America, Wales and Israel. TheatreFest is the professional theatre company situated on the campus on Montclair State University.
Tickets for the shows, now on sale, are $45-$55. Call (973) 655-5112.
—By Robert Simonson