Freckleface Strawberry, Inspired by Julianne Moore's Kid-Lit Character, Opens; Cast Album Planned

News   Freckleface Strawberry, Inspired by Julianne Moore's Kid-Lit Character, Opens; Cast Album Planned Move over, Annie Warbucks. There's a new fair-skinned, wide-eyed, red-headed moppet singing her way to a better life — or at least a better sense of herself. Freckleface Strawberry — a new children's musical inspired by books by actress-writer Julianne Moore — opens Oct. 1 following previews from Sept. 9 at Off-Broadway's New World Stages.

Hayley Podschun
Hayley Podschun Photo by Carol Rosegg

Opening night of the world-premiere staging will benefit the Save The Children Organization. For information on opening-night benefit tickets, visit www.savethechildren.org.

Playbill.com has learned that a cast album will be recorded in the coming weeks.

The cast features Hayley Podschun (Pal Joey, Sunday in the Park With George, Hairspray) as Strawberry. Playing her friends are Jessica Bishop, Andrew Cristi, Linda Gabler, Kimiko Glenn, Joey Haro, Mykal Kilgore, Eric Nelsen and Morgan Smith.

The creative team for the musical — about a seven-year-old girl whose freckles mark her as different — includes composer-lyricist Gary Kupper, librettists Kupper and Rose Caiola, director Buddy Crutchfield and choreographer Gail Pennington Crutchfield. The show was conceived for the stage by Rose Caiola. (The book series is by Moore and illustrator LeUyen Pham.)

"Writing a children's book was always a dream," Moore said in a statement. "Seeing the story come to life on stage in a musical is more than I ever imagined." The book is based on her experiences as a freckle-faced kid. Adult actors play kids in the show. Here's how the show is billed: "Freckleface Strawberry the Musical chronicles the life of seven-year-old Strawberry being teased by her schoolmates for having bright red hair and freckles. She feels different from everyone else and does anything to get rid of them — from scrubbing them with soap and even wearing a ski mask to school. Strawberry goes on a journey and discovers that all people are different. She ultimately learns to accept herself for all of who she is, freckles and all."

The creative team also includes set designer Beowulf Boritt; costume designers Fabio Toblini and Holly Cain; lighting designer Jason Kantrowitz; and sound designers Peter Fitzgerald & Chris Cronin.

MMAC Productions produces. Performances play Wednesday at 11 AM & 2 PM, Thursday & Friday at 7 PM, Saturday at 11 AM, 2 PM & 4:30 PM, Sunday at noon & 3 PM.

Freckleface Strawberry plays New World Stages/Stage 4 at 340 W. 50th Street, between Eighth and Ninth Avenues. Ticket prices range $39-$68.50. Tickets are available at Telecharge.com or call (212) 239-6200 or visit the New World Stages box office. For more information, visit www.frecklefacethemusical.com.

The cast of <i>Freckleface Strawberry</i>
The cast of Freckleface Strawberry Photo by Carol Rosegg
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