On July 27, producers Moya Doherty and John McColgan announced the full cast of 39, the Broadway theatre and opening date of the musical by the writers who gave the world Les Misérables and Miss Saigon. Tony Award winner Frank Galati (Ragtime, The Grapes of Wrath) directs.
Broadway performances will begin Feb. 23, 2007, toward an opening March 22 at the Hilton, recently home to Hot Feet, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and 42nd Street.
The Chicago engagement plays Oct. 3-Nov. 26 at the Cadillac Palace Theatre.
In addition to previously announced principals Stephanie J. Block (as Grace O'Malley), Hadley Fraser (Tiernan), Linda Balgord (Queen Elizabeth I), Marcus Chait (Donal), Jeff McCarthy (Dubhdara) and William Youmans (Bingham), the cast of 39 includes Nick Adams, Richard Todd Adams, Caitlin Allen, Sean Beglan, Timothy W. Bish, Jerad Bortz, Troy Edward Bowles, Grady McLeod Bowman, Rachel Bress, Don Brewer, Kimilee Bryant, Alexis Ann Carra, Áine Uí Cheallaigh, Noelle Curran, Bobbie-Ann Dunn, Brooke Elliott, Christopher Garbrecht, Eric Hatch, Cristin J. Hubbard, David Koch, Timothy Kochka, Jamie LaVerdiere, Joseph Mahowald, Tokiko Masuda, Padraic Moyles, Brian O'Brien, Kyle James O'Connor, Michael James Scott, Greg Stone, Katie E. Tomlinson, Daniel Torres, Jennifer Waiser and Briana Yacavone.
According to the producers, who are the wizards behind the international phenomenon Riverdance, "The Pirate Queen is an epic musical adventure celebrating the legendary Irish Chieftain Grace O'Malley. Based on her real-life story, The Pirate Queen tells of a compelling, inspirational woman; a heroine who led an extraordinary life as a pirate, chieftain, lover and mother in 16th century Ireland." Commissioned and produced by Riverdance's Moya Doherty and John McColgan, "this new musical combines classic storytelling and a sweeping score, with the powerful, vibrant traditions of Irish dance and song, to create a modern musical event that is both an historic romance and a timeless epic."
The Pirate Queen is based upon the novel "Grania-She King of the Irish Seas" by Morgan Llywelyn.
The creative team also includes choreographer Mark Dendy (Taboo, MTC's The Wild Party, Metropolitan Opera's The Magic Flute); John Dempsey (Witches of Eastwick) who has co-written the lyrics; Julian Kelly, principal orchestrator and musical director; three-time Tony Award-winner Eugene Lee (Wicked), scenic designer; two-time Tony Award-winner Martin Pakledinaz (Kiss Me, Kate), costume designer; four-time Tony nominee Kenneth Posner (Wicked), lighting design; sound deisgner Jonathan Deans (Ragtime). Also contributing are Carol Leavy Joyce (Irish dance step choreography), J. Steven White (fight director), Paul Rubin (aerial design), Paul Huntley (wig design), Angelina Avallone (make-up design), Howard Werner (projection design), Greg Meeh (special effects), Tara Young (associate director), Rachel Bress (associate choreographer), Peter Lamb (production manager).
Frank Scardino, Theatre Production Group LLC is the general manager. Edgar Dobie is the executive producer.
Tickets for the World Premiere engagement of in Chicago are currently on sale at the Chicago Cadillac Palace Theatre (151 West Randolph Street), the Broadway In Chicago box office at 24 W. Randolph St., the Broadway In Chicago Ticket Line at (312) 902-1400, at all Ticketmaster ticket centers or online at ticketmaster.com. Single tickets range in price from $28-$85.
For more information, visit www.thepiratequeen.com.
Hadley Fraser and Áine Uí Cheallaigh are appearing with the permission of Actors' Equity Association.
Galati won two Tony Awards in 1990 for his highly praised adaptation and direction of Steppenwolf's production of The Grapes of Wrath on Broadway. He was nominated for a Tony Award in 1998 for directing the musical Ragtime.
Block, who played Liza in The Boy From Oz and Elphaba in the national tour of Wicked, plays the title character, Grania, aka Grace O'Malley.
Balgord (who'll play Queen Elizabeth I) toured in Aspects of Love and was recently Madame Dindon in Broadway's La Cage aux Folles; Hadley Fraser (Tiernan), has been seen in U.K. productions of Pacific Overtures, Les Misérables, The Far Pavilions, Assassins, and more; Jeff McCarthy (cast as Dubhdara) may be best known for playing Officer Lockstock in Broadway's Urinetown.