There's one thing to be said for Marc Kudisch, the beefy, square-jawed actor doesn't ever lack for work. Coming off his stint in the Broadway revival of Bells Are Ringing (and just before he gets to work on Thoroughly Modern Millie), Kudisch will play Miles Hendon in the world premiere of Marc Elliot and Judd Woldin's The Prince and the Pauper at Seattle's 5th Avenue Theatre.
The Prince and the Pauper is based on the Mark Twain novel of the same name, in which the princely son of Henry VIII trades clothes and lives with a look-alike poor boy from London's streets. Kudisch is a kind hearted nobleman who helps the boys out of the scrapes their subterfuge leaves them in. The Prince and the Pauper was performed in a workshop form at the Kansas City Starlight.
Tony Award winner Woldin (Raisin) also wrote the music and lyrics to King of Schnorrers, Little Ham and Jonah, a Biblical jazzical. Elliott has co-composed on other musicals including Gotta Get Away (with "South Park"'s Mark Shaiman), One Man Band (with Larry Hochman) and Looking Glass (with David Spangler). Ivan Mechell (The Cemetery Club) wrote the book.
Playing the prince and the pauper are Asher Monroe Book and Cameron Bowen (Seussical, Les Miserables). Also in the cast are Perry L. Brown (King Henry), Alan Coates (Hertford), Peter Lohnes (Mr. Canty), Stacia Fernandez (Mrs. Canty), Kaitlyn M. Davidson (Lady Jane) and Caroline Innerbichler (Anne Canty).
Russell Kaplan, who directed the workshop, returns with the world premiere. Other credits include Moon Over Buffalo, The Sound of Music, The Secret Garden and his own chamber musical adaptation of "The Bridges of Madison County." Casey Nicholaw is the choreographer. Designing The Prince and the Pauper are G.W. Mercier (sets), David Neville (lighting) and Lew Mead (sound).
The Prince and the Pauper is a co-production with the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts in St. Paul.
For reservations in Seattle, call (206) 292-ARTS. The Fifth Avenue Theatre is located at 13 08 5th Avenue in downtown Seattle.
— By Christine Ehren