George Street's Falsettos, with Hanlon, Winther and Larsen, Begins April 10

News   George Street's Falsettos, with Hanlon, Winther and Larsen, Begins April 10 Marvin's back with Whizzer. The George Street Playhouse's production of the award-winning William Finn-James Lapine musical Falsettos begins performances April 10 at the New Jersey theatre.
Colin Hanlon
Colin Hanlon

Michael Winther, whose Broadway credits include Mamma Mia! and 1776, heads the cast as Marvin with Colin Hanlon as Whizzer, Liz Larsen as Trina, Mark Nelson as Mendel, Malcolm Morano as Jason, Anne L. Nathan as Dr. Charlotte and Sarah Litzsinger as kosher caterer Cordelia.

The George Street mounting of Falsettos, which features March of the Falsettos (Act One) and Falsettoland (Act Two), is directed by artistic director David Saint with musical direction by Joshua Salzman. The musical will officially open April 13; performances run through May 6.

Falsettos, according to press notes, chronicles "the life of Marvin, his wife Trina and son Jason. As Falsettos begins Marvin talks about his desire to have a 'tight knit family,' which encompasses his ex-wife Trina, his son Jason and his male lover Whizzer. He relies on the advice of his psychiatrist, Mendel, to help him accomplish this, and asks Mendel to tend to his son as well. In making the acquaintance of the son, Mendel becomes enamored with Trina, and eventually they marry. As the first act ends, Marvin has succeeded in alienating all of them in his frenzied desire to keep them all close.

"The second act is set two years later, as Jason prepares for his Bar Mitzvah. The 'family' has grown to include 'the lesbians from next door': Dr. Charlotte and Cordelia, a kosher caterer. As the story progresses, Marvin and Whizzer reunite as all the adults prepare for Jason’s big day. The plans are derailed when Whizzer is struck by a horrible life-threatening disease. As Marvin deals with realities of his situation, his 'tight knit family' circles around him, and by being there, offer their love and support."

March of the Falsettos and Falsettoland were originally presented Off-Broadway. In 1992 Falsettos — featuring March as the first act and Falsettoland as the second — debuted on Broadway at the John Golden Theatre with a cast led by Michael Rupert, Chip Zien, Stephen Bogardus and Barbara Walsh. The musical won Tony Awards for Best Book of a Musical and Best Original Score. On Broadway, Michael Winther has appeared in Mamma Mia!, 1776, The Crucible, Artist Descending a Staircase and Damn Yankees, while his Off-Broadway credits include Songs from an Unmade Bed, Hapgood, Berlin to Broadway, Forever Plaid, Predator's Ball and the original cast of Tony 'n' Tina's Wedding. Winther has worked at regional theatres throughout the country, and his film and TV credits include "Independence Day," "Universal Soldier," "Law & Order," "Mary & Rhoda," "NY News," "Rocket Power" and "Wild Thornberrys."

Colin Hanlon has been seen on Broadway in Rent and Off-Broadway in I Love You Because and The Pirates of Penzance. He starred in the George Street productions of The Last Five Years and tick, tick . . . BOOM!, and he has also performed at Syracuse Stage and the Prince Music Theatre. Hanlon was also involved in the workshops of Wicked, Taboo and Fanny Hill.

Liz Larsen received Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critic Circle Award nominations for her work in The Most Happy Fella and has also appeared on Broadway in Hairspray, The Smell of the Kill, The Rocky Horror Show, Damn Yankees, Fiddler on the Roof and Starmites.

Anne L. Nathan has been seen on Broadway in the revivals of Chicago and Assassins, and she originated the role of Miss Flannery in Thoroughly Modern Millie (audiences embraced her for her no-nonsense turn as the typing pool matron, her conical wig and a tap break in the middle of "Forget About the Boy" in Act II). Her other stage credits include Ragtime, Swingtime Canteen, Les Misérables and Aspects of Love.

Sarah Litzsinger has the distinction of being Broadway's longest-running Belle, and her other Broadway credits include Amour, Les Misérables, Oliver! and Marilyn, An American Fable. Her theatrical credits also include Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, The Last Five Years and tick, tick . . . BOOM!; the latter two were both presented at the George Street. Litzsinger has been seen on screen in "Law and Order Criminal Intent," "Ed," "Strangers With Candy" and "Knots."

Mark Nelson has appeared on Broadway in The Invention of Love, After the Fall, Three Sisters, A Few Good Men, Amadeus and in four Neil Simon plays: Rumors, Broadway Bound, Biloxi Blues and Brighton Beach Memoirs. He also played Einstein in Picasso at the Lapin Agile in New York and on the national tour, earning Obie, Drama League, Carbonell and San Francisco Critics' awards for his performance.

Malcolm Morano's Broadway credits include Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas!.

Tickets are available by calling (732) 246-7717. For more information visit www.GSPonline.org.

Back row (l.-r.): Michael Winther, Anne L. Nathan, Sarah Litzsinger; front row: Mark Nelson and Liz Larsen in <i>Falsettos</i>.
Back row (l.-r.): Michael Winther, Anne L. Nathan, Sarah Litzsinger; front row: Mark Nelson and Liz Larsen in Falsettos. Photo by T. Charles Erickson