Last Starfighter Musical Will Blast Off at NYMF With Cooper, Binstock, Kolinski, Carroll, Alexander

News   Last Starfighter Musical Will Blast Off at NYMF With Cooper, Binstock, Kolinski, Carroll, Alexander Tony Award winner Chuck Cooper, rising actor Danny Binstock and veterans Joe Kolinski, Janet Carroll and Adinah Alexander are among performers who'll reach for the heavens in the New York Musical Theatre Festival's production of The Last Starfighter, the "romantic musical sci-fi fantasy" based on the screenplay of the same name.
Danny Binstock
Danny Binstock

The new staging Sept. 28-Oct. 7 at The Theater at St. Clements in Manhattan will be directed by Elizabeth Lucas and choreographed by David Eggers (dance captain of Broadway's Curtains).

The musical has music and lyrics by Skip Kennon (Herringbone, Time and Again) and book by Fred Landau, drawing on the screenplay by Jonathan Betuel.

The NYMF run will feature young actor Binstock (seen in North Shore's High School Musical, Shakespeare Theatre's Titus Andronicus in DC) as the teen-age California video game wizard, Alex Rogan, who is enlisted by Kolinski (Titanic, Les Miz, A Christmas Carol), as alien Centauri, the role played by Robert Preston in the 1984 film. Alex is such a high scorer on the video game in the trailer park he helps manage that he's recruited by Centauri for space duty.

Also starring will be Cooper (a Tony winner for The Life, currently in Being Alive at Westport Country Playhouse) as Otis Wright, the mountain-town resident who narrates the tale; Janet Carroll (Aunt March in Braodway's recent Little Women) as Granny; Adinah Alexander (Wicked, The Wedding Singer) as Mrs. Rogan; Tom Treadwell (the 20th anniversary Annie revival) as Rylan leader Enduran; Mary Ellen Ashley (whose many credits start with the original Annie Get Your Gun) as Elaine; Michael Cone (Broadway's La Boheme, Rags, A Christmas Carol) as Hugh; Jesse J.P. Johnson (Altar Boyz tour) as Marty; Jonathan Richard Sandler (Dr. Dolittle tour) as Jerry; Ryan Jesse as Blake; Natalie Hall as Jenny; Sean Montgomery and Jessica Blair.

Yet to be cast is Maggie, Alex's girlfriend. Kennon told Playbill.com two new songs have been added to the show since its Off-Broadway run in fall 2004 (and a third is being considered). The romance between Alex and Maggie has been deepened by librettist Landau, who has tweaked and refined the book since its last outing.

Andrea Jess Berkey is production stage manager. The creative team also includes Herrick Goldman (lighting design), Keith Truax (tech director), Mark Richard Caswell (costume design) and Michael Cassara Casting (casting). Karen Marshall is production assistant.

Performances will play Sept. 28 at 8 PM, Sept. 29 at 1 PM, Oct. 3 at 9 PM, Oct. 5 at 1 PM, Oct. 6 at 9 PM and Oct. 7 at 4 PM.

The Last Starfighter played an Off-Broadway showcase production in 2004, produced by The Storm Theatre. The show broke the troupe's weekly attendance and weekly box-office records. An original cast recording is on the Kritzerland label.

Kennon's solo-actor musical, Herringbone, enjoyed a well-regarded revival starring B.D. Wong at Williamstown Theatre Festival earlier this year.

According to NYMF notes, "It's Spring 1983 in a Sierra Nevada trailer park. High school senior Alex Rogan's hardworking, unrewarded life takes an unexpected turn when he breaks a video game record and is spirited away by the game's inventor, the alien huckster Centauri, to fight for the Star League in a faraway galaxy. Centauri leaves behind Beta, a body double droid of Alex, to cover Alex's absence with his mother, brother and beloved girlfriend Maggie while Alex is off fighting the evil Zur and the Ko-dan Armada. Beta's comic mishaps on Earth with Maggie and the neighbors in the trailer park, and shape-shifting alien assassins in pursuit of Alex on his home turf, alternate with Alex's heroic starfighter achievements. Alex must reach inside himself to discover his true potential — the universe and his life depend on it!"

The CD song list includes "Starlite Starbrite," "Somebody, Somewhere, Something," "A Place Like This," "Little Did We Know (The Game)," "Things Change," "Out of This World," "Star League Anthem," "Father to Son," "Love Is Like Water," "To Make a Hero," "Zandozan!," "To Make a Hero" (reprise), "Spring Break," "Reach Out," "Caves of the Heart (The Battle)," "Finale."

Tickets are $20 and may be purchased online at www.nymf.org or at (212) 352-3101. Single tickets go on sale Sept. 1.

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The Last Starfighter is produced by NYMF, The Last Starfighter LLC and Julie Miller.

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