The musical comedy was previously seen at the New York Musical Theatre Festival in 2009, and recently added additional performances on Oct. 23 and 24 to its Ohio engagement at CATCO (Contemporary American Theatre Company). The musical, which has been eying a full New York run, premiered Sept. 29 and runs through Oct. 24 in Columbus.
Director Andy Sandberg, who also produced the Tony Award-winning revival of Hair, told Playbill.com, "The authors and I are grateful for the enthusiastic response to The Last Smoker in America at CATCO, and we look forward to bringing the show into New York for an Off-Broadway run in the spring."
Last Smoker features book and lyrics by Tony Award nominee Russell (Side Show) and music by Melnick (Adrift in Macao). AC Ciulla is choreographer, musical supervision is by Fred Lassen and music direction is by Andrew Resnick.
The cast features Natalie Venetia Belcon (Avenue Q, The Glorious Ones), who appeared in previous incarnations of Last Smoker, reprising her performance as Phyllis. John Bolton (Curtains, Spamalot), who appeared in recent workshops of the musical, plays Ernie. Newly added to the cast are Katy Blake as Pam and Teddy Toye as Jimmy. Casting has yet to be announced for the Off-Broadway run.
Last Smoker, according to producers, centers on "a dysfunctional family struggling to survive in a world where smoking has recently been outlawed. Pam, an English lit professor at a small college, is having an impossible time trying to quit smoking. Her husband Ernie dreams of being a rock star and relentlessly practices his electric guitar in the basement. Their teenage son Jimmy listens to so much rap music he’s convinced he’s black. Their nosy, anti-smoking zealot neighbor Phyllis lurks around trying to catch transgressors mid-puff. Will Pam kick the habit or fight for the right to light up as The Last Smoker in America?" The creative team includes Charles Corcoran (set design), Jessica Shay (costume design), Jeff Croiter and Grant Yeager (lighting design), and Bart Fasbender and Dave Wallingford (sound design).
For tickets phone (614) 469-0939 or visit CATCO. Performances will take place at the Riffe Center Studio One Theatre (77 High Street, Columbus, OH.)