The world premiere of the Hope-and-Crosby-style new musical, The Road to Hollywood, will feature Jeff Edgerton (Parade) and Tom Plotkin (Footloose) in the leading-men roles at Goodspeed Musicals' Norma Terris Theatre, starting Aug. 8.
Big Band swing and romantic chaos are promised in this new fashioned romp inspired by the 1940s Bob Hope and Bing Crosby films that featured Dorothy Lamour as the comely heroine.
Laura Griffith, seen on Broadway in Sweet Smell of Success, plays the role of Crown Princess Dorothy. Edgerton, who last appeared at The Norma Terris Theatre as the title role in Kudzu, plays Beau Hartman. He was the Young Soldier and Fiddlin' John in the Tony award-winning musical, Parade. Tom Plotkin plays "Tappy" Butler. His Broadway credits include Seussical, Footloose and Triumph of Love.
Preston is composer of numerous movie scores, including "Stir Crazy" with Gene Wilder and Richard Pryor. Pace is an alum of Carnegie-Mellon University, and founded the harmony comedy trio, Gotham, in 1973. Gotham sang back-up on an early Bette Midler album and recorded three discs of their own. The Road to Hollywood is Pace's first musical, though has been an actor for many years. Bobbie's credits as a director include Footloose (for which he co-authored the book), A Grand Night for Singing and Nude, Nude, Totally Nude with Andrea Martin. He won the Tony Award for directing Chicago. He recently staged the concert version of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Carousel at Carnegie Hall starring Hugh Jackman and Audra McDonald.
Other principals in the cast include Cynthia Darlow (Queen Mother Minnie), seen on Broadway in Taller Than a Dwarf, Prelude to a Kiss and Grease; Jamie Day (Babs), who has toured nationally as Sophie in Jolson: The Musical and internationally as Marty in Grease; Kena Tangi Dorsey (Toots), whose credits include Studio Arena's Flyin' West and Blues for an American Sky and Blues in the Night both at the Cleveland Playhouse; Leah Hocking ("The Diva" Rita), a vet of Broadway's The Wild Party, Jekyll and Hyde, Grease and Guys and Dolls; Phillip Huber (Baby/Taffy), a "world recognized artist with marionettes" for performances in Busker Alley starring Tommy Tune, It's Magic starring Harry Anderson and That's Christmas starring Sandy Duncan; Christopher Innvar (as Frankie Francado), seen on Broadway in Les Misérables and Victor/Victoria; Kevin B. McGlynn (Mr. Fritz), seen in the national tour of Kiss Me, Kate; and Peter Van Wagner (Shiny Eisenberg), of Goodspeed's On the Twentieth Century.
The musical director for The Road to Hollywood is Lawrence Yurman, with orchestrations by Dan DeLange, art direction by John Lee Beatty, costume design by David C. Woolard, choreography by Casey Nicholaw, sound design by Tony Meola and lighting design by Ken Billington. The Road to Hollywood is produced for Goodspeed Musicals by Michael P. Price.
Following the evening performances on Aug. 14-15, Aug. 21 22, The Norma Terris Theatre will host "Talkbacks," an informal discussion to give audience members the opportunity to meet the creative team and provide valuable feedback for the musical's development.
Goodspeed Musicals presents new and vintage (and/or revised) musicals at the Goodspeed Opera House in East Haddam, CT, and new and revised works in its developmental space in Chester. Shows at the latter theatre are not reviewed.
Tickets are $35. For information, call (860) 873 8668 or visit goodspeed.org.
Currently at Goodspeed Opera House, a revised revival of Rodgers and Hart's Babes in Arms continues to Sept. 28.
— By Kenneth Jones