I Sent a Letter to My Love, the romantic musical by Grammy winner Melissa Manchester and dramatist Jeffrey Sweet, begins performances at the North Shore Music Theatre Sept. 3.
David Garrison, who portrayed J. Bruce Ismay, the owner of the ill-fated ship in the Broadway mounting of Titanic, heads the cast of the production, which runs at the Massachusetts theatre through Sept. 22. Joining Garrison in the company of the Manchester musical are Cass Morgan (Amy), Diana Canova (Miss Morgan), Kevin Early (Jimmy) and Bethe B. Austin (Gwen).
Based on a novel by Bernice Rubens, I Sent a Letter to My Love concerns a brother (Garrison) and sister (Morgan) who unwittingly write lonely-heart love letters to each other. Directed by Patricia Birch, the musical features new orchestrations by three-time Tony winner — including last season's Thoroughly Modern Millie — Doug Besterman. The remainder of the creative team comprises Phil Reno (musical direction), Jim Morgan (scenic designer), Kirk Bookman (lighting designer) and Susan E. Picinich (costume design).
David Garrison was most recently on Broadway in the short-lived revival of Bells Are Ringing. He received a Tony nomination for his role in A Day in Hollywood/A Night in the Ukraine, and his other theatrical credits include The Pirates of Penzance, Torch Song Trilogy, I Do! I Do!, Randy Newman's Faust, Merrily We Roll Along and You Never Know. His television credits are numerous and include "Murphy Brown," "Murder, She Wrote," "Married with Children," "L.A. Law" and "Law & Order." Cass Morgan has appeared on Broadway in Beauty and the Beast, The Human Comedy, Hair and Pump Boys and Dinettes; she was a co-writer for the latter. Her Off-Broadway credits include Violet, Floyd Collins, Inside Out, Merrily We Roll Along, La Bohéme, The Knife, Feast Here Tonight and Hang On to the Good Times. Her screen credits include "Bed of Roses," "Vengeance" and "Lucky Luke." October will see the world premiere of her three-actor musical, True Home, which she wrote and contributed songs for, and for which she enlisted other songwriters to contribute a score. She'll star in the Hudson Stage Company production in Briarcliff Manor, NY. The work concerns a woman at a crossroads trying to make sense of her history.
Best known for her role on the TV series "Soap," Diana Canova starred on Broadway in They're Playing Our Song and the revival of Stephen Sondheim's Company. She recently appeared in the world premiere of the play Thumbs, and her screen credits include "One True Thing" and "Throb" and "I'm a Big Girl Now."
The North Shore Music Theatre is located on Dunham Road in Beverly, MA. Tickets for musicals are priced between $24 and $62 and may purchased by calling (978) 232-7200 or by going to the theatre's website, www.nsmt.org.
North Shore Music Theatre season at a glance:
A Christmas Carol: Dec. 14-23 —By Robert Simonson
and Andrew Gans