National Tour of Bullets Over Broadway Launches Tonight

News   National Tour of Bullets Over Broadway Launches Tonight
 
A non-Equity tour of the Woody Allen musical Bullets Over Broadway launches in Cleveland, OH, at Playhouse Square beginning Oct. 6.

Following his work on the Broadway production, which was originally directed and choreographed by five-time Tony Award winner Susan Stroman, the tour is helmed by Jeff Whiting. Clare Cooke recreates Stroman's Tony-nominated choreography.

The cast features Michael Williams as David Shayne, Emma Stratton as Helen Sinclair, Jeffrey Brooks as Cheech, Bradley Allan Zarr as Warner Purcell, Michael Corvino as Nick Valenti, Hannah Deflumeri as Ellen, Rick Grossman as Julian Marx, Jemma Jane as Olive Neal and Rachel Bahler as Eden Brent.

The ensemble comprises Blaire Baker, Mary Callahan, Jake Corcoran, Elizabeth Dugas, Carissa Fiorillo, Patrick Graver, Andrew Hendrick, Lainee Hunter, Justin Jutras, Brian Thomas Martin, Conor McGiffin, Andrew Metzgar, Corinne Munsch, Kaylee Olson, Joey Ortolani, Kelly Peterson, Lexie Plath and Ian Saunders.

The creative team also includes Jason Ardizzone-West (scenic design), Carolyn Wong (lighting design, based on the original Broadway lighting design by Donald Holder), Shannon Slaton (sound design) and Bernie Ardia (wig and hair design). The tour features six-time Tony Award winner William Ivey Long’s original Broadway costumes. Bullets Over Broadway will travel to more than 40 cities in its first season, including Los Angeles, CA (Pantages Theatre); Philadelphia, PA (Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts); Seattle, WA (The Paramount Theatre); Nashville, TN (Tennessee Performing Arts Center); St. Paul, MN (The Ordway); Memphis, TN (The Orpheum Theatre); Providence, RI (Providence Performing Arts Center); West Palm Beach, FL (Kravis Center); Dayton, OH (Schuster Center); Dallas, TX (Music Hall at Fair Park); Houston, TX (The Hobby Center) with additional cities to be announced. For a complete list of tour engagements, visit BulletsOverBroadway.com.

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Bullets Over Broadway, written by Woody Allen and based on the screenplay by Allen and Douglas McGrath for the 1994 film of the same name, ended its Broadway run Aug. 24, 2014, at the St. James Theatre following 156 regular performances and 33 previews.

Five-time Tony Award winner Susan Stroman (The Producers, Contact, The Scottsboro Boys) directed and choreographed the musical that was adapted for the stage by Allen. Reviews for the production, which did not feature an original score, were mixed. Bullets did receive six 2014 Tony nominations, although it was not nominated for Best Musical.

Veteran musical supervisor Glen Kelly (The Producers, The Nance, Young Frankenstein) adapted and penned additional lyrics for the pre-existing songs from the 1920s and 30s, which were used for the score. The score includes such tunes as "Tain't Nobody's Bus'ness," "Running Wild," "Let's Misbehave," "I Found A New Baby" and more.

The original Broadway cast featured Tony Award nominee Marin Mazzie (Passion, Ragtime, Next to Normal) as leading lady Helen Sinclair, Golden Globe and Emmy Award nominee Zach Braff ("Scrubs," "Garden State") in his Broadway debut as playwright David Shayne, Tony Award winner Karen Ziemba (Chicago, Contact, Steel Pier) as Eden Brent, Brooks Ashmanskas (Promises, Promises; Present Laughter) as Warner Purcell, Nick Cordero (Rock of Ages) as Cheech, Betsy Wolfe (Last Five Years, Drood) as Ellen, Lenny Wolpe (The Drowsy Chaperone) as Julian Marx, Heléne Yorke (Grease) as Olive Neal and Vincent Pastore ("Sopranos") as gangster Nick Valenti.

The design team included Santo Loquasto (scenic design), William Ivey Long (costume design), Donald Holder (lighting design), Peter Hylenski (sound design), Paul Huntley (wig and hair design), William Berloni (animal training), Doug Besterman (orchestrations) and Andy Einhorn (music direction/conductor/vocal arrangements).

"Bullets Over Broadway" centers on an aspiring playwright who finds out that his play God of Our Fathers is getting the Broadway treatment thanks to a wealthy gangster who has taken a sudden interest in producing. The only snag is that his dimwitted moll has to star in one of the leading roles. Thrown into the mix are a mafia thug with a real knack for playwriting and a theatrical grand dame who gives Norma Desmond a run for her money.

Allen's numerous films include "Blue Jasmine," "Annie Hall," "Manhattan," "Crimes and Misdemeanors," "Husbands and Wives," "Love and Death," "Stardust Memories," "Crimes and Misdemeanors," "The Purple Rose of Cairo" and many more (about one a year since the 1970s). His plays include Don't Drink the Water (1966), Death Knocks (1968), Play It Again, Sam (1969), Death (1975), God (1975), The Query (1976), My Apology (1980), The Floating Light Bulb (1981), Death Defying Acts (1995), Writer's Block (2003) and A Second Hand Memory (2004).

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