A chorus of young performers from the Rosie O'Donnell-created arts education organization will make their professional stage debuts in the works set for a April 26-May 21 run at the midtown Manhattan stage. Opening night is slated for May 7.
Tony Taccone (Bridge & Tunnel) directs the co-production between his company, Berkeley Repertory, and Yale Repertory. The show debuted in California, then travelled to New Haven, CT.
"I am thrilled that this special group of PS Broadway graduates will have the chance to make their professional stage debuts," said O'Donnell in a statement. "I love Broadway and the theatre — its energy is vibrant and alive. It's life altering. It was for me, and now it is for these talented kids. I am very proud."
The youth ensemble will feature Kelly Chan, Kellian Delice, Maurice Hilton Dawkins, Mary Dunkley, Damon Evans, Daniel Estrella, Ajee Haynes, Susan Jaquez, Ashalay Kelly, Christina Lai, Taisha Lavarello, Christopher Marte, Cindy Martinez, Jack Mennell, Mathew Ortiz, Milagros Pena, Doug Rosario, Kirra Silver, Ebony Soler, Maci Star, Anitra Williams, Tasica Williams and Nicole Wong.
Former O'Donnell collaborator Euan Morton (Boy George in the musical Taboo — which she produced on Broadway) stars in Brundibar as the titular sinister organ-grinder opposite youngsters Aaron Simon Gross (A Stoop on Orchard Street) and Devynn Pedell (The People Garden) as Pepicek and Aninku, respectively, the brother and sister who try singing in town to help their ailing mother. Geoff Hoyle (The Lion King, Mr. Fox) also appears as The Baker and The Dog. William Youmans — who played Doctor Dillamond in Broadway's Wicked — stars in Comedy on the Bridge about a group who are trapped between two opposing armies on a bridge. He appears with Anjali Bhimani (Bombay Dreams, Metamorphoses), Henry DiGiovanni (17 Reasons Why, Dreamlandia), Matt Farnsworth (Thoroughly Modern Millie, The Who's Tommy), Angelina Reáux (Wall to Wall Sondheim) and Martin Vidnovic (Brigadoon, Here Lies Jenny) who fill the many roles which include a young couple, a businessman and his wife, and a baffled schoolmaster.
"Both shows are a testament to the creative power of human beings," according to Kushner, "even in dark times, to turn ugliness into music." Actors will appear in both works of the approximately 95-minute production.
Kushner and Sendak — who created the namesake 2003 children's picture book — reteam on the one-act opera take on Brundibar and the duo's other adaptation Comedy on the Bridge which features a libretti by Kushner adapted from Adolf Hoffmeister and Vaclava Klimenta Klicpery, music by Hans Krasa and Bohuslav Martinu with production design by Sendak ("Where the Wild Things Are").
The design team assembled to create the magical, storybook universe also includes Kris Stone (scenic), Robin I. Shane (costume), Don Holder (lighting), Rob Milburn and Michael Bodeen (sound). Greg Anthony serves as musical director and conductor.
Tickets are available for Brundibar and Comedy on the Bridge at the New Victory Theater, 209 West 42nd Street by calling (212) 239-6200 or at the box office. Visit www.newvictory.org for more information.