Shakespeare Goes West: Von Essen, Wyman, Powers Star in Desperate Measures, Sept. 12-24

NY Musical Theatre Fest   Shakespeare Goes West: Von Essen, Wyman, Powers Star in Desperate Measures, Sept. 12-24 Desperate Measures, a Western musical based loosely on Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure, begins its run at the New York Musical Theatre Festival on Sept. 12.

Performances will play through Sept. 24 at the 45th Street Theatre (354 West 45th Street). After its initial run sold out, two additional performances were added for Sept. 20 at 1 PM and Sept. 22 at 4 PM.

According to the plot, Johnny Blood, a hotheaded young cowboy, is sentenced to hang for killing a man in a bar fight. When his sister, Susanna, a novice nun in a nearby Franciscan mission, pleads for his life, the Governor offers to pardon Johnny — if Susanna will sleep with him. What to do? The sheriff suggests Susanna say yes and then, under cover of darkness, switch places with one of the saloon girls. What happens next makes for a desperate mix of comedy, suspense and romance.

The cast includes Merwin Foard (Sheriff), Patrick Garner (Priest), Ginifer King (Susanna), Jenny Powers (Bella), Max von Essen (Johnny Blood) and Nick Wyman (Governor).

The creative team includes David Friedman (composer), Peter Kellogg (lyricist, writer), Eleanor Reissa (director), Sarah Lambert (set designer) and Clint Ramos (costume designer).

Max von Essen, who recently played Patrick in the Kennedy Center's production of Mame, has also appeared Off-Broadway in Finian's Rainbow and in the Paper Mill Playhouse production of The Baker's Wife. On Broadway the actor has been seen in Dance of the Vampires, Jesus Christ Superstar and Les Misérables; his Off-Broadway credits include The Fantasticks and John & Paul. Von Essen's regional credits are numerous and include Dorian the Musical, My Fair Lady, Hair, Blood Brothers and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.

Jenny Powers, recently seen as Meg in Little Women, was also part of the New York City Center Encores! staging of George and Ira Gershwin's Of Thee I Sing. Nick Wyman was a long-running Thenardier in Les Miz on Broadway, and appeared in the recent Sly Fox.

(Playbill.com is a media partner of the New York Musical Theatre Festival 2006.)

For more information and to buy tickets, visit the
2006 New York Musical Theatre Festival website