Jenny Powers, of Broadway's Grease and Little Women, plays the title role, Veronica Franco, 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.
Ryness, who plays her rival Maffio, takes Playbill.com on a detailed tour of the new musical. From his 6:30 PM departure for the theatre to the end of his night nearly five hours later, Ryness provides a look at backstage, dressing room, green room and onstage activities of the hard-working cast and crew.
PHOTO EXCLUSIVE: A Tour of Dangerous Beauty With Bryce Ryness
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."
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).
Performances continue to March 13 at the Pasadena Playhouse. Pasadena Playhouse is at 39 S. El Molino Avenue in Pasadena, CA. For additional information visit www.PasadenaPlayhouse.org.