The cast for the production — directed by Graciela Daniele (Chita Rivera: The Dancer's Life, Once on This Island, Annie Get Your Gun) and choreographed by Michael Tracy and the acclaimed Pilobolus troupe — will also include Ruth Gottschall (the wicked Miss Andrew in Broadway's Mary Poppins) as Spiker; Denny Dillon ("Saturday Night Live," My One and Only) as Sponge; Steve Rosen (Spamalot, Guys and Dolls) as Marvo the Magician; Nick Gaswirth (Centipede); Jessica Hershberg; Wicked's Chelsea Kromback (Mrs. Trotter/ Ladybug); Rent's Destan Owens (Earthworm); Marissa Lindsay Palley; Nicholas Park; Lestat's Jim Stanek (Mr. Trotter/Green Grasshopper); Emmet Otter's Kate Wetherhead; Minami Yusui and Pilobolus dancers Otis Cook, Edwin Olvera, Roberto Olvera, Annika Sheaff, Holly Shunky, Derek Stratton and one additional dancer to be announced.
As previously reported, the musical inspired by the Roald Dahl children's classic, will play Oct. 21-Nov. 21 at Goodspeed's home for new musicals, The Norma Terris Theatre in Chester, CT. As this is a "developmental" space for new work, critics are not invited to weigh in, but tickets are sold for the public run.
James and the Giant Peach features an original score by rising writing team Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, who share music and lyric chores. They are the youngest recipients of the Jonathan Larson Award, and were also selected as Dramatist Guild Fellows and served as series songwriters for Disney Channel's Emmy-nominated series "Johnny and the Sprites." Their first show, Edges, has been produced throughout the United States, Canada, Australia and Europe.
The libretto is by Timothy Allen McDonald, a playwright (Roald Dahl's Willy Wonka, Jim Henson's Emmet Otter, The Musical Adventures of Flat Stanley) and director (The Phantom Tollbooth, Dear Edwina).
Here's how Goodspeed characterizes the new musical: "When James is shipped off to live with his wretched aunts, he longs for a real family and a new home. All seems lost until he discovers a magical giant peach filled with a mix of fantastical creatures. Together with Green Grasshopper, Ladybug, Centipede and more, James embarks on a most extraordinary adventure, sailing across the sea to distant lands." The production team also includes scenic designer Chris Barreca, lighting designer Stephen Strawbridge, music director Chris Fenwick and dance arranger Sam Davis.
The Norma Terris Theatre is located at 33 North Main Street in Chester, CT. Tickets are available now through the Goodspeed Opera House box office at (860) 873-8668 or by visiting www.goodspeed.org.
How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying is currently playing at Goodspeed's mainstage, The Goodspeed Opera House in East Haddam, CT.