Pitre, Odekirk, Altay, Mastrone, McLeod Will Join Sjöholm and Watson in Kristina Concerts

News   Pitre, Odekirk, Altay, Mastrone, McLeod Will Join Sjöholm and Watson in Kristina Concerts Complete casting has been announced for the upcoming Carnegie Hall concerts of Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus' Kristina, with English lyrics by Herbert Kretzmer, which will play the famed Manhattan venue Sept. 23-24.
Louise Pitre and Kevin Odekirk
Louise Pitre and Kevin Odekirk

As previously reported, Helen Sjöholm, who originated the title role in the Swedish production of Kristina, will repeat her work for New York audiences at Carnegie Hall, where she will be joined by internationally renowned tenor Russell Watson in the role of Karl Oskar.

Newly announced for the two evenings are Mamma Mia!'s Louise Pitre as Ulrika and Les Miserables' Kevin Odekirk as Robert; Odekirk played the role of Robert in the New York workshop presentation of Kristina.

The company will also feature Derin Altay, Chris Bohannon, Jane Brockman, Walter Charles, Rebecca Eichenberger, Osborn Focht, Blythe Gruda, Liz Griffith, Joy Hermlyn, David Hess, Michael James Leslie, T. Doyle Leverett, Rob Lorey, Frank Mastrone, Raymond Jaramillo McLeod, Linda Mugleston, Jan Neuberger, Robert Ousley, Sal Sabella, Greg Stone, Jessica Vosk and Kathy Voytko.

Lars Rudolfsson will direct the concerts; Paul Gemignani will conduct a 50-piece American Theatre Orchestra.

Universal Music's Decca Records will record both evenings and will release a CD at a future date. The show's plot is based on four novels by Swedish author Vilhelm Moberg. Kristina from Duvemala premiered at the Malmo Music Theatre on Oct. 7, 1995, and has played Gothenburg's Opera House and Stolkholm's Cirkus Theatre, among others.

In October 2005 Ulvaeus had this to say about Kristina: "It's about immigrants going from the south of Sweden in the 1850s to America," Ulvaeus told Playbill.com. "It's about their lives. It's an epic saga really. We did that in Sweden successfully — ran for about three years in various cities. . . . And then we wanted to translate it [into English] because we thought it was American history as well. It's really more American history than Swedish. Herbert Kretzmer did [the translation] with me, and we did a workshop here in New York in March to find out what people didn't understand, what the weaknesses were and what it would be like to do it in English. And, we really learned a lot from that."

Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson also collaborated on the rock musical Chess (with lyricist Tim Rice), and their songs are heard in the international hit Mamma Mia!

Tickets for the fall concerts are available by visiting the Carnegie Hall Box Office (57th Street and Seventh Avenue), by calling (212) 247-7800 or by logging on to www.carnegiehall.org.

For more information visit www.kristinathemusical.com.

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