Drawing on the popular 1989 Broadway comedy by Ken Ludwig, the musical has book and lyrics by Peter Sham, music by Brad Carroll and is directed by Roger Bean. Performances at the fest continue in rep to Sept. 1 at the Randall L. Jones Theatre.
According to the Tony Award-honored troupe, "The orchestra is warming up, the cast is abuzz, the curtain will soon rise—but wait! Where is the world-renowned lead tenor? Thus begins the Festival's high-spirited and farcical world premiere based on Ken Ludwig's award-winning play. The show must go on, but how! The answer sets the pace in this giddy screwball comedy of mistaken identity, hysterical plot twists, and rollicking confusion."
The cast includes Jane Noseworthy as Maggie Saunders, Jered Tanner as Max Garber and Steven Stein-Granger as Tito Merelli as well as Joe Vincent, Jill Van Velzer, Lillian Castillo, Lilian Matsuda, Jessica Reiner-Harris, Eric Van Tielen, Scott Reardon, Melinda Parrett, George Walker, Lisa Ferris, Emilie Susan Andersen, Lillian Castillo, Ian Durant, Lisa Ferris, Justin Gordon, Rhett Guter, Jacob Hoffman, Lilian Matsuda, Keeshon A. Morrow, Jessica Reiner-Harris, Tro Shaw, Emily Trask, Eric Van Tielen and George Walker.
"When Peter and Brad came to me wanting adapt the play into a musical, they were full of fresh, wonderful ideas — and they were ready to do it themselves," Ludwig told Playbill.com. "It was a time that I was particularly busy with a new project, so I thought, 'well, why not let them have a go at it, without any interference from me. These are two very smart and very talented young guys and they obviously love the play. And what a treat to get a fresh perspective on the material. Let's see what happens.' And from the parts I've read and heard so far, they've stayed true to their first impulses and crafted a pretty miraculous musical."
The creative team includes music director Jeremy Mann; choreographer Kay Andersen; scenic designer Michael Carnahan; costume designer Bill Black; lighting designer Cynthia Stillings; sound designer Jeff Mockus; dramaturg Michael Flachmann; voice, speech and dialect coach Ursula Meyer; and stage manager Nykol DeDreu. The source play was nominated for a 1989 Tony Award as Best Play, and won Tonys in the categories of Best Actor in a Play (Philip Bosco) and Best Direction of a Play (Jerry Zaks).
For more information about Utah Shakespearean Festival, visit www.bard.org.