Performances begin Jan. 26 and continue to Feb. 19 at the resident Equity theatre's 272-seat mainstage space. Directed by City Theatre artistic director Tracy Brigden, Hearts Are Wild features original music and lyrics by Griggs and book by Cloud.
Developed at City Theatre and workshopped at the troupe's festival "Momentum 05: new plays at different stages," Hearts Are Wild features a cast of four singer-actors and a live three-piece band (electric guitar, bass and drums).
"In Hearts Are Wild, Steve is an average guy with a wife (Sharon), a house, a job, and an obsession with Elvis," according to City Theatre. "As the show begins, his ordinary life is rocked when a dream warns of a dangerous crossroads. Steve wakes to find a band in his bedroom, urging him to follow the music in his heart. How he goes from lukewarm husband to Hunk of Burning Love is the story told in this wild new musical."
With appearances by "a psychic hairdresser, a skater dude from Vassar, and a Starbucks barista (among others)," the show "parodies suburban preoccupations, office politics, and relationship dilemmas." It's also billed as "a valentine to the half-century of popular music that's been pounding strong since Elvis checked into the Heartbreak Hotel."
Steve and Sharon will be played by the New York-based, real-life married couple Ben Evans and Julie Dingman Evans. In a flashy multi-character role is Pittsburgh's own Billy Hartung (whose Broadway credits include Footloose and Side Show). Also featured is Point Park University student Katie Allen. The Hearts Are Wild band is Craig "Izzy" Arlet on guitar, Brian Stahurski on bass, and Tom Earley on drums.
The design team is Michael Olich (scenic), Pei-Chi Su (costumes), Andrew David Ostrowski (lighting), and Keith Bates (sound). Danny Herman is the choreographer, Douglas Levine is the music director, Tommy Russo is the music arranger, Carlyn Aquiline is the dramaturg, and Kellee Van Aken is the associate director.
Opening night is set for Feb. 1. For more information, visit www.citytheatrecompany.org.