Jason Danieley Exits Zhivago Musical; Matt Bogart Fills In for CA World Premiere

News   Jason Danieley Exits Zhivago Musical; Matt Bogart Fills In for CA World Premiere Jason Danieley has left the upcoming La Jolla Playhouse world premiere staging of Zhivago due to health reasons, according to a company spokesperson. Matt Bogart will take his place.
(Top-bottom) Jason Danieley and Matt Bogart.
(Top-bottom) Jason Danieley and Matt Bogart. Photo by Aubrey Reuben (Bogart)

Ivan Hernandez, Jessica Burrows, Rena Strober and Tom Hewitt star in the upcoming musical adaptation of the Russian-set love story. La Jolla artistic director Des McAnuff (Jersey Boys, 700 Sundays) stages the work May 9-June 25 at the California company's Mandell Weiss Theatre. Seen last season in a Page To Stage developmental workshop, it now graduates to full production which opens May 25.

Danieley (The Full Monty, Candide) was told he needed at least two weeks vocal rest and rather than hold up the production, he made the decision to leave. Bogart (Aida, The Full Monty, The Civil War, Miss Saigon) — whose brother is in the cast — now assumes the roles of Pasha Antipov/Strelnikov.

Based on the famous 1958 Nobel Prize-winning novel by Russian author Boris Pasternak, Zhivago is set against the backdrop of the snowy country before and after the Russian Revolution. The work follows the story of a surgeon-poet and his muse Lara. It was adapted for the 1965 film starring Omar Shariff as the title character and Julie Christie as his muse.

The new work combines the talents of bookwriter Michael Weller (Moonchildren, Loose Ends), composer Lucy Simon (The Secret Garden) and lyricists Michael Korie (Doll - Ravinia Festival) and Amy Powers (Lizzie Borden). Sergio Trujillo (Jersey Boys) handles choreography while Eric Stern (Once Upon a Mattress) is music director. Kelly Devine serves as associate choreographer.

Hernandez (The Most Happy Fella, The Mambo Kings) stars as the title character of Zhivago opposite Hewitt (Dracula, The Rocky Horror Show) with original cast members Strober (Les Miserables, My Life with Albertine) as his wife Tonya and Burrows (The Ten Commandments, La Boheme) as his love Lara. Also featured in the cast are Dominic Bogart, Sandy Campbell, Edward Conery, Ryan Drummond, Mark Emerson, David C. Foster, Jason Heil, Melissa Hoff, Mackenzie Holmes, Christopher Kale Jones, Rebecca Kaasa, Melina Kalomas, David McDonald, Spencer Moses, Eduardo Placer, Graham Rowat, Maureen Silliman, Tina Stafford, Nick Ullett, Bibi Valderrama, and Melissa Van Der Schyff.

The design team features Heidi Ettinger (scenic), David Woolard (costume), Howell Binkley (lighting) and Steve Canyon Kennedy (sound). Steve Rankin handles fight choreography, Ursula Meyer is the dialect coach and Allison Horsley provides dramaturgy.

Tickets to Zhivago at La Jolla Playhouse, 2910 La Jolla Village Drive in La Jolla, CA are on sale at the box office or by phone at (858) 550-1010. more information, visit www.lajollaplayhouse.com.

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