After beginning performances on May 11, and officially opening on May 19, Philadelphia's Walnut Street Theatre will shut down their Grand Hotel on June 27.
Among the hob-nobs and have-nots populating the luxury inn of the title are a dying Jewish bookkeeper, a secretary with bigger plans, a baron who's also a thief, and a fading but still glamorous ballerina.
Philadelphia stage veteran Tony Freeman plays the bookkeeper Kringelein, the role that launched Michael Jeter (a Tony winner). Soap actress Jill Powell plays the dewy but designing Flaemmchen, and Natalie Mosco is the ballerina. (Powell appeared on Broadway in the Flaemmchen role when understudying Lynnette Perry.) Edmund Lyndeck, the original Judge Turpin in Sweeney Todd, plays Dr. Otternschlag -- the role he created on Broadway. Also in featured roles are Connie Nelson, Gary Taggart, David Hess (as the Baron), John-Charles Kelly, Jeff Coon, Bonnie Diaz, Lee Golden and Dan Schiff.
Grand Hotel features a book by Luther Davis and a score by Robert Wright and George Forrest, with additional songs and material by Maury Yeston. After this musical of people coasting in and out of lobbies and moving in and out of revolving doors, composer Yeston would go on to pen Titanic.
Designing Walnut Street's Grand Hotel are John Ferrell (set), Jeffrey S. Koger (lighting), Colleen McMillan (costumes) and Scott Smith (sound). Richard Stafford serves as choreographer. For tickets and information on Grand Hotel, the season's mainstage finale, call (215) 574-3550.
-- By Sean McGrath