Musical Dangerous Beauty, With Jenny Powers, James Snyder, Michael Rupert, Opens in CA

News   Musical Dangerous Beauty, With Jenny Powers, James Snyder, Michael Rupert, Opens in CA
 
Renaissance Italy was not an easy place for a girl in love. Ask Shakespeare's Juliet. Better yet, ask Veronica Franco, the poet-lover of the new musical Dangerous Beauty, opening Feb. 13 in a world-premiere run following previews from Feb. 1 at Pasadena Playhouse.

Jenny Powers as Veronica Franco in Dangerous Beauty.
Jenny Powers as Veronica Franco in Dangerous Beauty. Photo by Jason P. Maughan

Jenny Powers, of Broadway's Grease and Little Women, plays the title role in the show directed by Tony Award nominee Sheryl Kaller (Next Fall). Veronica is forced to become a courtesan in 16th-century Venice when her family fortune is lost. She's separated from her true love. Rivals and politicians pressure her. And the Plague and the Inquisition add spice to her times.

Dangerous Beauty by Jeannine Dominy (book), Amanda McBroom (lyrics) and Michele Brourman (music) features James Snyder (Drama League Award nominee for Broadway's Cry-Baby) as Veronica's love Marco; Bryce Ryness (Drama Desk Award nominee for Broadway's Hair) as her rival Maffio; Laila Robins (Broadway's Heartbreak House) as her mother Paola; Michael Rupert (Legally Blonde, The Happy Time, Tony winner for Sweet Charity) as the poet Domenico; Megan McGinnis (Broadway's Little Women, Ovation Award nominee for the Rubicon Theatre's Daddy Long Legs) as Veronica's dear friend Beatrice; John Antony (Broadway's Passion) as powerful senator Pietro; and Morgan Weed (Second Stage Theatre's Next to Normal) as Giulia, who is betrothed to Marco.

According to Pasadena Playhouse, Dangerous Beauty, based on a true story, "tells the tumultuous tale of Veronica Franco, a celebrated courtesan/poet of 16th-century Venice. Forced to become a courtesan...she ultimately embraces the courtesan life because it affords her extraordinary education and access. It is not long before she is the most influential woman in the cultural and political life of her beloved city. As Veronica's star rises, however, Venice is ravaged by war, plague, and the Inquisition. When Veronica finds herself on trial for witchcraft, she realizes that only her personal integrity can save her."

Performances continue to March 6 at the Pasadena Playhouse. Jenny Powers talked to Playbill.com's Diva Talk column about the new musical.

The musical is adapted from the New Regency screenplay "The Honest Courtesan" written by Jeannine Dominy, released as the film "Dangerous Beauty." It's inspired by the scholarly book "The Honest Courtesan" by USC Professor Margaret Rosenthal. The cast also includes Michael Baker (York Theatre's Yank!) as Bishop Della Torre; Joe Mandragona as Tintoretto (national tour of All Shook Up); Nigel Columbus as Raamberti (national tour of Monty Python's Spamalot); Marcus Choi as Tron (Broadway's Wicked); Matthew Tyler as Granad Inquisitor (West End's The Phantom of the Opera); Irasole Cardona as Courtesan/Wife (Broadway's The Lion King); Meg Gillentine as Courtesan/Wife; Jessica Lee Keller as Courtesan/Wife/Dance Captain (ABC's "Dancing With the Stars"); Katherine Malak as Courtesan/Wife (Off-Broadway's White Widow); Angela Wildflower Polk as Courtesan/Wife (Kirk Douglas Theatre's Venice); Angel Reda as Courtesan/Wife (Broadway's Chicago); Jessica Vosk as Courtesan/Wife (West End's Kristina).

The creative team includes Benoit-Swan Pouffer (choreography); Fred Lassen (music director); Bruce Coughlin (orchestrations); AnnMarie Milazzo (vocal design); Ben Butler (additional orchestrations); Tom Buderwitz (scenic design); Soyon An (costume design); Russell Champa (lighting design); Jon Weston (sound design); Brian Danner (fight director); and Joe Witt (production stage management).

Pasadena Playhouse is at 39 S. El Molino Avenue in Pasadena, CA. For additional information visit www.PasadenaPlayhouse.org.

Bryce Ryness and Jenny Powers
Bryce Ryness and Jenny Powers Photo by Jim Cox, Pasadena Playhouse
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