Lauded Baby Case, Musical Inspired by Infamous Crime, Resurfaces in Philly Benefit

News   Lauded Baby Case, Musical Inspired by Infamous Crime, Resurfaces in Philly Benefit
 
The public fascination with the kidnapping of Charles Lindbergh's infant son will be aroused again — with music! — in a March 26 reunion concert of the Barrymore Award-winning musical Baby Case in Philadelphia.

Arden Theatre Company — which produced the dark and (sometimes darkly comic) musical fantasia by lyricist-librettist-composer Michael Ogborn in 2001 — stages this new concert, reuniting some members of the original cast. Terrence J. Nolen again directs, and Vince DiMura returns as musical director.

The Arden production won four 2002 Barrymore Awards, Philly's highest theatre honor, for Outstanding Overall Production of a Musical, Outstanding Ensemble in a Musical, Outstanding Leading Actor in a Musical (Scott Greer) and Outstanding Original Music (Ogborn).

For it, Ogborn created a string of highly theatrical numbers that run the gamut of tones — effervescent, darkly comic, satiric, angry, questioning and rueful.

Original cast members Jeffrey Coon (as Lindbergh), Ben Dibble (as Hauptmann), Kristine Fraelich (as Betty Gow), Scott Greer (as Walter Winchell) and Tracie Higgins (as Violet Sharpe) will be part of the evening, as will Tony Braithwaite and Richard Ruiz.

Mark Cristofaro is on percussion, Andrew Nelson is on bass. The cast also includes Scott Boulware, Gary Giles, Colleen Hazlett, Darren Michael Hengst, Danielle G. Herbert Lynette Knapp, Jay Pierce, Kristen Purcell, Buck Schirner, Sharon Sampieri, Suzanne H. Smart, Denise Whelan and Greg Wood.

The Baby Case concert will benefit Arden's new works program. A 5:30 PM cocktail reception at the Arden will be followed by a 7 PM performance in the Haas Theatre.

Tickets are $100 for the performance only, or $175 for the pre-show party and performance and auction.

For reservations or information, call (215) 922-8900 ext. 25, or visit www.ardentheatre.org.

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Arden, the respected resident Equity company, produced full stagings of Ogborn's Baby Case (a musical fantasia about the media hype and personalities surrounding the kidnapping of Charles Lindbergh's baby) and Café Puttanesca (a musical about prostitutes gather in a boite to swap war stories in the form of delicious pastiche songs).

Ogborn also penned the Philly hit, Box Office of the Damned, and is working on a new musical inspired by the physical ruins of American cities. He is also collaborating with playwright Michael Hollinger on Tulipomania, an Arden-aimed musical about the tulip craze in Europe.

The Arden is at 40 N. 2nd Street in Philadelphia. Visit www.ardentheatre.org.

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