PHOTO CALL: Sting Takes His First Bow in Broadway's The Last Ship

News   PHOTO CALL: Sting Takes His First Bow in Broadway's The Last Ship
 
Grammy Award-winning musician Sting, who is making his Broadway songwriting debut with the new musical The Last Ship, stepped into one of the show's central roles Dec. 9 in an effort to boost box office sales.

On Oct. 24 producers announced that Sting would take over the role of foreman Jackie White, replacing original cast member Jimmy Nail, who has been with the production since it played a pre-Broadway Chicago world premiere last summer.

The musical has struggled at the box office since it opened Oct. 26 at the Neil Simon Theatre. Read the reviews for The Last Ship here.

Sting will play an eight-performance-a-week schedule Dec. 9-Jan. 10, 2015. The Last Ship marks his return to the theatrical stage after making his Broadway acting debut in the 1989 revival of Threepenny Opera.

"We have spent five years working on The Last Ship and I have relished every moment of that process," Sting said in a statement. "Taking to the stage is a continuation of that and I now accept the baton from my good friend and fellow Geordie, Jimmy Nail, who provided so much inspiration for the character of Jackie White. It is my distinct honor to join this remarkable cast and play the part of Jackie until I pass the baton back to Jimmy." The Daily News previously reported that in an effort to keep the production afloat, Sting also waived his royalties for the production.

The New York Times reported that The Last Ship needs to pull in at least $625,000 to cover its overhead costs. The production grossed only $491,910 for the week ending Dec. 7, playing to only a 58.7 percent capacity house.

Directed by Tony winner Joe Mantello (Casa Valentina, Wicked), The Last Ship began previews Sept. 29.

Read the feature: As The Last Ship Sails to Broadway, Sting Sets His Past Free.

The new musical has a book by Tony winner John Logan (Red) and Pulitzer Prize winner Brian Yorkey (If/Then, Next to Normal). Choreography is by Olivier Award winner and Tony nominee Steven Hoggett (Rocky, Once).

A cast album will be released Dec. 16 from Universal Music Classics.

The principal cast features Michael Esper, Rachel Tucker, Fred Applegate, Aaron Lazar, Sally Ann Triplett and Collin Kelly-Sordelet.

The Last Ship ensemble includes Eric Anderson, Ethan Applegate, Craig Bennett, Dawn Cantwell, Jeremy Davis, Bradley Dean, Alyssa DiPalma, Colby Foytik, David Michael Garry, Timothy Gulan, Shawna M. Hamic, Rich Hebert, Leah Hocking, Todd A. Horman, Sarah Hunt, Jamie Jackson, Sean Jenness, Drew McVety, Johnny Newcomb, Matthew Stocke, Cullen R. Titmas and Jeremy Woodard.

The Last Ship, according to producers, "is set in the English seaside town of Wallsend, a close-knit community where life has always revolved around the local shipyard and the hardworking men construct magnificent vessels with tremendous pride. But Gideon Fletcher dreams of a different future. He sets out to travel the world, leaving his life and his love behind. When Gideon returns home many years later, he finds the shipyard's future in grave danger and his childhood sweetheart engaged to someone else. This love triangle ignites just as the men and women of Wallsend take their future into their own hands and build a towering representation of the shared dream that defines their existence. And in the end Gideon comes to understand that he had indeed left behind more than he could have ever imagined."

The production has set and costume design by Tony nominee David Zinn, lighting design by Tony winner Christopher Akerlind and sound design by Tony winner Brian Ronan. Musical direction, orchestrations and arrangements are by Rob Mathes. Casting is by Telsey + Company/Craig Burns, CSA.

Producers are Jeffrey Seller, Kathryn Schenker, Kevin McCollum, Sander Jacobs, James L. Nederlander, Roy Furman, Herb Alpert and Jerry Moss.

Visit Ticketmaster.com. Visit TheLastShipBroadway.com. The Neil Simon Theatre is located at 250 West 52 Street.

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