EXCLUSIVE: Chita Rivera Is Matriarch in Roundabout Reading of New Musical The Distant Bells

News   EXCLUSIVE: Chita Rivera Is Matriarch in Roundabout Reading of New Musical The Distant Bells
 
Roundabout Theatre Company will produce a 29-hour reading of a new original musical called The Distant Bells, featuring Tony Award winner Chita Rivera, famed for West Side Story, Bye Bye Birdie, Chicago and Kiss of the Spider Woman.

Chita Rivera
Chita Rivera Photo by Laura Marie Duncan

With music and lyrics by Michael Patrick Walker (Drama Desk nominee for the music and lyrics of Altar Boyz) and book by Howard Emanuel, the musical tells the story of Margaret Bell (played by Rivera) and her relationship with her daughters, her dead husband and herself.

A private, invitation-only presentation will be held on March 29.

Olivier Award-nominated director Stafford Arima (London's Ragtime, Off-Broadway's Altar Boyz and the upcoming Off-Broadway Carrie) stages the reading. Lynne Shankel (Cry-Baby, Vanities, Summer of '42) is the musical director.

The cast will also include Ana Gasteyer, Christopher Sieber, James Snyder, Andy Mientus and Jason Tam.

Arima and Walker previously worked together on Roundabout's production of The Tin Pan Alley Rag, and Rivera was Tony-nominated for her role in Roundabout's Nine.

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