DeLaria, Gillette, Robinson, Flores and More Skate into Roller Derby at NYMF

News   DeLaria, Gillette, Robinson, Flores and More Skate into Roller Derby at NYMF The New York Musical Theatre Festival production of Roller Derby, featuring a score by Tony nominee Harold Wheeler and John Braden, will host a cast of roller-skating Broadway talent for its September bow.
Lea DeLaria
Lea DeLaria

Jumping into the arena for Roller Derby are Lea DeLaria (On the Town, Rocky Horror Show), Eric Michael Gillett (Kiss Me, Kate, The Frogs), Renee Bang Allen (Company), Ashlie Atkinson (Fat Pig, The 24 Hour Plays), Sylvia Roldan Dohi (Miss Saigon), Ruben Flores (Two Gentlemen of Verona), Yvette Gonzalez-Nacer, Antwayn Hopper, Sean Jenness, Eric William Morris (Coram Boy), Michelle M. Robinson (Chicago, Jelly's Last Jam) and David Shih (Sake with the Haiku Geisha).

"The Roller Derby race begins when on the road in 1972 a brash young rookie from New York City's mean streets takes on the sport's beloved but aging star in a battle royal for the right to be crowned the reigning Roller Derby Queen," press notes state. "Promoted by the game's wheeler dealer manager, the pair tears up the track, rockin' and rollin' with the ten decidedly colorful gals and guys on their team, famous to TV fans across America as the world champion Bombers. Along the way, the rivals meet their match, discovering more than they ever dared to dream about life, love and how the game is played — all set to a lively pop/rock score."

Roller Derby features book and lyrics by Barry Arnold, with additional lyrics and composing credits by the late John Braden.

Directing and choreographing the NYMF production is five-time Tony nominee Donald McKayle. McKayle previously conceived and choreographed Sophisticated Ladies for Broadway and provided choreography for Golden Boy and Raisin, which he also directed. McKayle received an Emmy nomination for the television special "Free to be You and Me."

The Roller Derby creative team includes set design by Rod Foster, costume design by Susan Tsu, lighting design by Chenault Spence, sound design by Tom Morse and video design by Kara Miller. The associate director/choreographer is Michelle M. Robinson, musical direction is by Jeff Waxman and vocal arrangements are by Michael Dansicker. Also on hand are Walt Harris, "The Original Voice of Roller Derby," and Roller Derby Historian Gary Powers. Roller Derby composer Harold Wheeler provided the electrifying orchestrations for the musicals Dreamgirls, Side Show, The Wiz, The Fully Monty, Hairspray and, most recently, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. Wheeler has also orchestrated his score for Roller Derby.

Roller Derby performs Sept. 20–26 as part of the New York Musical Theatre Festival. The production will be presented at the Theatre at St. Clement's, located at 423 West 46th Street in Manhattan.

For tickets call (212) 352-3101 or visit www.nymf.org. Further information is available at www.rollerderbythemusical.com