Playwrights Horizons has announced complete casting for Bella: An American Tale, Kirsten Childs’ Western musical adventure that will conclude the Off-Broadway company’s 2016–2017 season this spring. With a book, music, and lyrics by Childs, the new show is a co-world premiere with Dallas Theater Center, where it debuted last fall.
Bella will be directed Off-Broadway by two-time Obie Award winner Robert O’Hara (Bootycandy, The Brother/Sister Plays) with choreography by Camille A. Brown (The Fortress of Solitude). Performances will begin May 19 ahead of a June 12 opening night. The limited engagement is currently scheduled to play through July 2 in the Mainstage Theater.
Returning to the New York production from the Dallas staging are Ashley D. Kelley (The Wiz) in the title role, Yurel Echezarreta (Aladdin, La Cage aux Folles), Drama Desk Award winner Kenita R. Miller (The Color Purple, Xanadu), Paolo Montalban (Pacific Overtures, The King and I), and Gabrielle Reyes (Dreamgirls, Ragtime), along with new cast members Marinda Anderson (A Life, Far From Heaven), Brandon Gill (Holler if Ya Hear Me, Neighbors), Olli Haaskivi (Baghdaddy, I Battled Lenny Ross), Kevin Massey (A Gentleman’s Guide…, Tarzan), Jo’Nathan Michael (Ragtime, Dreamgirls), Britton Smith (Shuffle Along, After Midnight), and NaTasha Yvette Williams (Chicago, Porgy and Bess).
Bella: An American Tale follows the epic adventures of Bella, a wanted woman of mythic proportions, as she attempts to escape her scandalous past and find her Buffalo soldier.
The production will feature scenic design by Tony winner Clint Ramos, costume design by Dede M. Ayite, lighting design by four-time Tony nominee Japhy Weideman, sound design by Lindsay Jones, projection design by Jeff Sugg, and hair, wig, and makeup design by Dave Bova and J. Jared Janas. Orchestrations are by Tony winner Daryl Waters, vocal arrangements are by Childs, music direction and additional arrangements are by Rona Siddiqui, and music coordinator is John Miller. Production stage manager is Erin Gioia Albrecht.