New Musicals with Broadway Stars Launch O'Neill Theater Center Summer Fest, July 11

News   New Musicals with Broadway Stars Launch O'Neill Theater Center Summer Fest, July 11
The new musicals River's End, .22 Caliber Mouth and Hell Hole Honeys kick off the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center's Playwrights and Music Theater conferences, starting July 11.
Johanna Day
Johanna Day

The 40th anniversary season under new artistic director J Ranelli [sic] will include ten plays and three musical theater works. For the first time, both programs will play together at the Waterford, Connecticut complex, July 11-31.

River's End featuring music by Chuck Larkin with a book and lyrics by Cheryl Coons casts two sets of actors playing the real-life couple of Glen and Bessie Hyde, who vanished on their honeymoon to the Grand Canyon in 1928, posing two separate answers to the question of what happened to them. Jack Cummings, III directs a cast that includes Matt Farnsworth, Colby Foytik, Morgan James, Herndon Lackey (Parade), Jodie Langel (Les Misérables) and Phyllis Sommerville. Music direction is by Mary-Mitchell Campbell.

.22 Caliber Mouth with book, music and lyrics penned by Lauren Robert follows the newfound relationship sparked between two strangers who both have secret pasts. David Pittu directs a cast that features Proof star Johanna Day opposite Aaron Berk, Brian Sutherland (Steel Pier, 1776), Diane Sutherland (Three Sisters, 1776) and Paul Oakley Stovall (The Notebooks of Leonardo Da Vinci). Music direction is by F. Wade Russo.

Hell Hole Honeys features music by Dave Ogrin, a book by Steve Mackes, with lyrics by Ben Budick, Mackes and Ogrin. The "fast-paced, musical comedy with dark undertones" follows a television producer's journey through the prison system. Doug Moser directs Kristy Cates (Wicked), Veronica Vasquez, Jene Hernandez, Paul Kandel (The Who's Tommy), Greg Treco (Taboo), Farah Alvin (Nine), Tracy Lee, Christine Rea and Allison Briner. Music direction is by Tom Kitt and David Loud.

Details about the cast for the plays will be announced at a later date. The plays lineup is as follows:

  • Dark Yellow by Julia Jordan (July 16 & 20), Directed by Melissa Kievman
  • afterdark by Kara Manning (July 17 & 21), Dir. Bill Partlan
  • Transference by Wayne Peter Liebman (July 18 & 22), Dir. Gene Lasko
  • Erin Go Bra-less by John Shea (July 20& 23), Dir. Daniel Goldstein
  • Slay the Dragon by Victor Lodato (July 21 & 24), Dir. Melissa Kievman
  • The Electric Century by Andrew Case (July 22 & 25), Dir. Joe Grifasi
  • As Reaper in Summer Grain by Keith Byron Kirk (July 23 & 27), Dir. Oz Scott
  • Blind Mouth Singing by Jorge Ignacio Cortinas (July 24 & 28), Dir. Melvin Bernhardt
  • The Frugal Repast by Ron Hirsen (July 27 & 30), Dir. Joe Grifasi
  • Living Room in Africa by Bathsheba Doran (July 28 & 31), Dir. Daniel Goldstein Another work that will be in residence at the O'Neill will be the developing musical Storyville set in New Orleans' red light district at the dawn of the Jazz Age. The show features music by Lisa DeSpain, lyrics by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and book by Shawn Churchman and Anderson-Lopez (wife of Avenue Q co-creator Robert Lopez).

    The Eugene O'Neill Theater Center was founded in 1964 and based in Waterford, CT. Programs at the Center include the Puppetry Conference, Playwrights Conference, Critics Institute, Music Theater Conference and the National Theater Institute. The Monte Cristo Cottage, O'Neill's childhood home, is also owned and operated by the group.

    For more information on the O'Neill Center, visit the website at or call (860) 443-1238.

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