Time After Time, the New Romantic Sci-Fi Musical, Has a Date With Pittsburgh

News   Time After Time, the New Romantic Sci-Fi Musical, Has a Date With Pittsburgh Time After Time, the new musical about H.G. Wells using his time machine to follow Jack the Ripper to 21st century New York City, will get its world premiere at Point Park University's Pittsburgh Playhouse Feb. 26-March 14.

Point Park University's Conservatory Theatre Company is presenting the musical, inspired by the novel by Karl Alexander, which is known as a film that starred Malcolm McDowell.

Gabriel Barre (Off-Broadway's The Wild Party) directs the show, written by Stephen Cole (book and lyrics) and Jeffrey Saver (music).

The cast includes Point Park University Conservatory of Performing Arts students John Wascavage as H.G. Wells, Michael Campayno as John Leslie Stevenson, Taylor Chalker as Amy, Sawyer Armstrong as Carol and Sara Manganello as Sister, supported by an ensemble of 25.

According to production notes, "Love and murder intersect in Time After Time, an exhilarating musical that explores the origin of good and evil and the dynamic of intensely volatile relationships. John Leslie Stevenson, also known as the serial killer Jack the Ripper, has escaped authorities using a time machine invented by his friend H.G. Wells. In an attempt to return Stevenson to his proper time, Wells follows him to the future only to fall in love with the murderer's next victim. Will Wells be able to save her? Or will he fail to rein in the 19th-century terror he has released upon modern-day New York? Filled with beautiful ballads, magical time-travel sequences and unforgettable moments, Time After Time promises to stir audiences' hearts and minds."

The creative team includes scenic designer Stephanie Mayer-Staley, costume designer Don Difonso, lighting designer Andrew David Ostrowski and sound designer Dave Bjornson. The project's orchestrator is Tony Award nominee Steve Orich (Jersey Boys).

Cole won the 2000 Edward Kleban Award for his libretto of The Night of the Hunter. He has written numerous other musicals, including After the Fair, which received an Outer Circle Critics nomination for Best Musical; Casper; Continental Divide, another collaboration with Jeffrey Saver; and most recently The Road to Qatar.

Cole told Playbill.com, "Doing a full scale world-premiere musical at the Playhouse with Point Park University is a rare opportunity to work on a new musical away from New York City with professional designers, a New York director, a Broadway orchestrator, a ten-piece orchestra manned by the best of Pittsburgh professional musicians is a dream come true. This show can only be realized fully in this way. A workshop and reading only tells you so much. But now we have magic, a time machine, projections, things that really help bring the show to life."

He added, "Here, with a longer rehearsal schedule, we can make changes daily in rehearsal and the very talented student cast can do the work quickly and show us what we have. Here we have the extra time to perfect our vision of this show and even do some things that wouldn't be possible on Broadway — for example we are using a larger cast than we would economically be able to in New York City so that we do not have to double and triple roles. This gives us the chance to see and hear the material and also gives more student actors a chance to work in a very professional environment."

Cole said that producers have been invited to "see what we feel is a very classy and very glorified workshop of the show."

Composer Saver is a teaching artist-in-residence at Point Park University. He has written and arranged special material for Chita Rivera, Christine Baranski, Rosie O'Donnell, Dorothy Loudon, Joel Grey, Bebe Neuwirth and others.

Time After Time had a private reading in New York City in August 2009. It was directed by Barre and musical-directed by Peter Eldridge. The reading featured Andy Karl as H. G. Wells, Matt Bogart as John Leslie Stevenson and Lauren Kennedy as Amy Robbins.

Time After Time will run Feb. 26-28 and March 11-14. A preview performance is open to the public on Feb. 25. For tickets and information, call the Pittsburgh Playhouse box office at (412) 621-4445 or online at www.pittsburghplayhouse.com.

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