The new four-actor show about wedded bliss (and blisters) by lyricist-librettist Sean Grennan and composer Leah Okimoto is already slated for a world premiere staging by American Heartland Theatre in March 2006 in Kansas City.
An invitation-only Marriott presentation will play Aug. 15, following rehearsals, which began Aug. 8. The cast includes Kathy Santen, Don Richard, Todd Crain and Heidi Kettenring. All but Crain are currently appearing in the Chicago production of Wicked.
Michael Goldberg directs, with music direction by Shawn Stengel. Guiding artistic associate for this workshop is Aaron Thielen, Marriott's artistic director is Terry James, and the artistic consultant is Rick Boynton, who shepherded Married Alive! to Marriott.
"We've found this to be so valuable," Grennan told Playbill.com Aug. 12. "Before this we could only hear things and talk them over but this has really given us the medium and the mission to refine, revamp and try things out with the actors. Yesterday we had the actors try a beat three ways to get it right. Rick Boynton in particular had great dramaturgical things to give us. I wish we could have another week but this is the most progress in the shortest time that we've made."
* Married Alive! will premiere in spring 2006 (March 3-April 16, 2006), offering audiences a first full-production look at the show about a younger married couple and an older pair who have been through the mill.
The show is billed as "a wacky new musical revue" exploring marriage "from Niagara to Viagra" — from "new babies to empty nests, from job stress to domestic bliss."
Massachusetts native Leah Okimoto has concentrated on musical theatre since graduating from Harvard University. The Genesius Theatre Guild presented an evening of her work in New York City in May 2003. Her family musical, Just So, was produced by Open Door Repertory Theatre in Oak Park, IL. She recently moved to Boston from New York.
New Yorker Sean Grennan is a veteran actor last seen at AHT as the greedy son in the farce Affluenza! His many writing credits include the musical hit Phantom of the Country Opera (published by Music Theatre International), Ms. Cinderella, The Ho Ho Ho Show and Rodeo. In addition, his non-musical comedy Luck! recently won an honorable mention from the National Writer's Association Playwriting Contest and was produced in New York by the Epic Theatre Company.
For information, visit www.ahtkc.com or call (816) 842-9999.