(Playbill.com is a media partner of the New York Musical Theatre Festival 2006.) A production spokesperson confirmed that Donna Lynne Champlin will miss only one performance of Sweeney Todd while performing Flight of the Lawnchair Man.
The entire cast of Goodspeed Opera’s 2005 production will reprise their roles including Patrick Boll (Big Jack), Jonathan Brody (Leonardo da Vinci), Donna Lynne Champlin (Gracie), John Michael Coppola (Reporter), William Gilinsky (Mr. Frankel), Danette Holden (Blaire), Susan J. Jacks (Mother Gorman), Erin Maguire (Pairs Boy/Amelia Earhart), Kristie Dale Sanders (FAA Agent), Christopher Sutton (Jerry Gorman), and Christopher Vettel (Charles Lindbergh).
Except for the addition of lighting designer Ken Billington, the creative team from Goodspeed is also intact including Lynn Taylor-Corbett (director-choreographer), Doug Oberhamer (musical director) and Walt Spangler (set-costume designer).
Flight of the Lawnchair Man—about a New Jersey Everyman who dreamed all his life of flying and ended up doing so by strapping 400 helium balloons to patio furniture—first appeared as a one-act in a trio of musicals called 3hree at the Prince Music Theatre under the direction of Hal Prince. The musical has now been expanded and revised by its collaborators, composer-lyricist Robert Lindsey Nassif and book writer Peter Ullian.
Press notes describe the show as follows: “Meet Jerry Gorman. He’s a regular guy from Passaic, New Jersey who just wants to fly. The neighbors think he’s nuts. His mother disapproves. But Gracie (Donna Lynne Champlin) believes in him. Laugh and cheer as Jerry (Christopher Sutton) soars to 16,000 feet with nothing but a lawnchair and 400 helium balloons. Flight of the Lawnchair Man is a new musical that reminds the world that dreams can come true if you believe in yourself.”
2006 New York Musical Theatre Festival website