Featuring a score by Billy Goldenberg with lyrics by Marilyn and Alan Bergman, and a book by Jerome Kass, Ballroom arrived on Broadway in 1978 under the direction of Michael Bennett. Based on the teleplay "Queen of the Stardust Ballroom," Bennett infused the short-lived Broadway musical with a dazzling series of dances ranging from the hustle to the foxtrot.
Virginia Music Theatre artistic director Jeff Meredith directs the new production that has original dances created by Andrea Andresakis. Ballroom will play a strictly limited run of five performances through Feb. 8.
The cast of Ballroom also features Philip Chaffin (King David) as Nathan, Suzanne Ishee (Phantom of the Opera) as Marlene, Annamarie Smith-Butz as Angie, James Young (Crazy for You on Broadway) as Johnny Lightfeet and Rod Roberts (Beauty and the Beast on Broadway) as Paul.
Ballroom, according to press notes "focuses on a lonely widow Bea Asher, who becomes romantically involved with Alfred Rossi, a mail carrier she meets at a local ballroom. Her dream of a happily-ever-after relationship is shaken when she discovers that Al hasn't been as honest about his personal life as she thought. The moods and emotions of the play are mirrored by the rhythms of ballroom dances including the Foxtrot, Tango, Lindy, Cha Cha, Samba, Hustle and finally a grand Viennese Waltz." Andrew Austin serves as musical director and conducts an on-stage orchestra. Ballroom has lighting design by Herrick Goldman and scenic design by Benjamin Needham.
Book writer Jerome Kass based the 1975 teleplay (starring Maureen Stapleton) and subsequent Broadway musical (starring Dorothy Loudon) on the true-life story of his mother, who visited the Stardust Ballroom in the Bronx following the death of his father in 1966. Ballroom played 128 performances on Broadway at the Majestic Theatre.
For tickets, ranging $35-$65, phone (757) 340-5446, or visit Coxtix.net. For further information visit BroadwayatTheCenter.com.
Ballroom will be staged at the Sandler Center for the Performing Arts, located at 201 Market Street in Virginia Beach, VA.