Gotta Have Faith: Saved, the Musical, Opens in NYC June 3

News   Gotta Have Faith: Saved, the Musical, Opens in NYC June 3
 
Saved, the new musical satire with heart about high school kids struggling to grasp the idea of faith, opens June 3 in its world premiere at Off-Broadway's Playwrights Horizons.
Celia Keenan-Bolger and Mary Faber.
Celia Keenan-Bolger and Mary Faber. Photo by Joan Marcus

Three lyricists (Michael Friedman, John Dempsey and Rinne Groff) are credited with creating songs for the show, directed by Gary Griffin (The Color Purple) and inspired by the film comedy "Saved!," about a high-schooler named Mary, played by Tony Award nominee Celia Keenan-Bolger, who is visited by Jesus.

Obie Award winner Friedman (The Civilians' Gone Missing and Paris Commune) penned the music, and Olivier Award nominee Dempsey (The Witches of Eastwick) and Obie winner Groff (The Ruby Sunrise, TV's "Weeds") share book credit for the project, which has commercial producers (namely, Elephant Eye Theatrical) attached, poised to shepherd the show to a wider future should critics and audiences embrace it.

Previews began at the mainstage of Playwrights Horizons in May 10. Performances continue to June 22.

There is enough pressure in high school without the Lord appearing to you and telling you what to do — even if he does provide a divine setup for a song. That's the way it goes in the new affectionate, coming-of-age musical, Saved.

Keenan-Bolger (The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee), as Mary, gets guidance from Jesus when her boyfriend reveals a secret. "Dean needs you now," Jesus says to Mary. "You must do everything in your power to save him."

Choreography — on Scott Pask's neutral gym-floor set that allows for multiple locations (including a gym) — is by Sergio Trujillo (Jersey Boys).

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According to Playwrights Horizons, "In Saved, good girl Mary (Celia Keenan-Bolger) and her domineering best friend Hilary Faye (Avenue Q alumna Mary Faber) are starting their senior year at the top of the social food chain at American Eagle Christian High School — that is, until Mary's boyfriend (Next to Normal veteran Aaron Tveit) tells her he thinks he's gay. When Jesus appears in a vision, and Mary heeds his message…her good deeds are met with dire consequences, and Mary is forced to question everything she's ever believed. Through it all, she finds faith in unexpected places and learns what it truly means to be saved."

(clockwise) John Dossett, Aaron Tveit, Van Hughes and Curtis Holbrook
photo by Joan Marcus

The cast features Tony Award nominee John Dossett (Gypsy, Mamma Mia!) as Pastor Skip, Drama Desk Award nominee Julia Murney (The Wild Party, Elphaba in Wicked on Broadway and national tour) as Mary's mom, Josh Breckenridge (The Ritz), Juliana Ashley Hansen (national tour of Thoroughly Modern Millie), Curtis Holbrook (Xanadu) as Hilary Faye's wheelchair-using brother, Van Hughes (Hairspray), Jason Michael Snow (Fredric in Pirates of Penzance at Goodspeed), Morgan Weed (Next to Normal), Emily Walton (national tour of A Christmas Carol) and Daniel Zaitchik (Kimberly Akimbo). The Saved design team includes scenic designer Pask (The Coast of Utopia, The Pillowman), costume designer Jess Goldstein (The Rivals) and lighting designer Donald Holder (The Lion King). All three are Tony Award winners. Sound design is by three-time Drama Desk Award nominee Brian Ronan (Grey Gardens, Spring Awakening).

Orchestrations are by Curtis Moore (The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin), musical director is Jesse Vargas and music coordinator is John Miller. Production stage manager is Judith Schoenfeld, and stage manager is Michael McGoff.

The musical is based on the 2004 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer motion picture written by Brian Dannelly and Michael Urban.

The performance schedule for Saved is Tuesdays through Fridays at 8 PM, Saturdays at 2:30 & 8 PM and Sundays at 2:30 & 7:30 PM. Tickets are $70.

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For ticket information, call Ticket Central at (212) 279-4200. Playwrights Horizons is at 416 W. 42nd Street in Manhattan.

For more information, visit www.playwrightshorizons.org.

Celia Keenan-Bolger and Julia Murney in <i>Saved.</i>
Celia Keenan-Bolger and Julia Murney in Saved. Photo by Joan Marcus
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