A revamped staging of The Education of Randy Newman, featuring Broadway's Daniel Jenkins (Big River, Big) and Brooke Sunny Moriber (James Joyce's The Dead, Parade), begins performances on the mainstage at Seattle's ACT Theatre Oct. 18.
Gordon Edelstein and Myron Johnson direct the musical, concocted out of Newman's witty pop tunes.
Jenkins' Broadway debut was as Huckleberry Finn in the Tony Award-winning hit Big River. He went on to replace Stephen Spinella in Angels in America and to star as the Tom Hanks character in the Broadway musicalization of "Big." He most recently appeared on Broadway in Wrong Mountain.
Completing the cast are William Katt (Pippin, "The Greatest American Hero"), Lovena Fox (National Broadway Award nominee for Ragtime), Allan Louis (Ragtime), Cathy Richardson (original singing Janis Joplin in Love, Janis) and Jeff Trachta (Thorne Forrester on "The Bold and the Beautiful"). The Education of Randy Newman has been reworked since its world premiere at South Coast Repertory Theatre in 2000. The musical, modeled on the famed American autobiography, "The Education of Henry Adams," tells of the story of an American artist in the later half of the 20th Century. Newman songs in the score include "Short People," "I Love L.A.," "I Think It's Going to Rain Today," "Rednecks" and "When She Loved Me" from "Toy Story 2."
There is New York interest in the show, a press representative told Playbill On-Line, but it's too early to say if The Education of Randy Newman will transfer from its Seattle run.
Designing the show are Douglas Stein (sets), 2002 Tony Award winner Martin Pakledinaz (costumes), David Weiner (lighting), Beth Berkeley (sound) and Wendall K. Harringon (projections).
The Education of Randy Newman plays on the through Dec. 1. Single tickets to ACT productions are $32.50-$50. ACT Theatre is located at 7th and Union Street. For reservations, call (206) 292-ARTS. ACT is on the web at http://www.acttheatre.org.
— By Christine Ehren