Tony nominee Russell (Side Show, Elegies for Angels…) authored book and lyrics for the musical that has a score by Melnick (Adrift in Macao). Sheryl Kaller, who staged Next Fall to acclaim Off-Broadway, will direct the NYMF engagement that runs Oct. 12-18 at the 45th Street Theatre.
Natalie Venetia Belcon (Avenue Q), who appeared in the May readings of Last Smoker, will again portray neighbor Phyllis, with Felicia Finley (Catch Me If You Can, Happy Days) as Pam, the "last smoker." The company also includes Marcus Neville (The Full Monty, City of Angels) as Ernie and Alex Wyse (Mrs. Sharp, Speech & Debate) as Jimmy.
The NYMF engagement will feature the voice of Next to Normal Tony winner Alice Ripley as Asphyxia. Ripley gained notoriety for her Tony-nominated performance as Violet Hilton in the 1998 Bill Russell-Henry Krieger musical Side Show and also appeared in a previous reading of Smoker.
The Last Smoker in America is described as "an original, four-character musical comedy about a dysfunctional family struggling to survive in a world where smoking has recently been outlawed. Pam, an English lit professor at a small college, is having an impossible time trying to quit smoking. Her husband Ernie dreams of being a rock star and relentlessly practices his electric guitar in the basement. Their teenage son Jimmy listens to so much rap music he’s convinced he’s black. Their nosy, anti-smoking zealot neighbor Phyllis lurks around trying to catch transgressors mid-puff. Will Pam kick the habit or fight for the right to light up as The Last Smoker in America?"
Fred Lassen music directs the production with choreography by Matt Williams (You're Welcome America), set design by Charlie Corcoran, costume design by Michael McDonald and sound design by Bart Fasbender. For tickets phone (212) 352-3101 or visit NYMF.