Charnin told Playbill.com on April 24 that this will mark the first time the two have worked together on a theatrical show since the 1978 London debut of Annie, in which the big-voiced, Tony Award-nominated McArdle played the title moppet.
McArdle's Broadway credits include State Fair, Beauty and the Beast, Les Miserables and Starlight Express.
Charnin said that he found so much talent in his Florida auditions that he decided to turn the three-actress Love is Love back into a four-actress show, as it was originally conceived. The Jupiter, FL, cast will also include Avery Sommers (Broadway's Platinum, Ain't Misbehavin'), Patti Eyler and Laura Hodos.
As previously reported, Love is Love, a new musical revue conceived, co-written and directed by Annie co-creator Charnin, will make its Florida premiere at the Maltz Jupiter Theatre Oct. 15-25.
With music and lyric chores shared by Charnin and Richard Gray, Love is Love "will take you on this journey that grapples with the mysteries and complications of love," according to Maltz notes. The new musical, produced by Rodger Hess, Maltz board member, "showcases musical numbers and monologues highlighting a multitude of aspects of that indefinable emotion, from love at first sight with its butterfly beginnings, to keeping love alive, to the dying embers of a love gone wrong." Love is Love was seen in an earlier developmental production at Village Theatre in Issaquah, WA, in fall 2007.
Hess said in a statement, "Love is Love is a musical revue featuring three [now four, Charnin said] women exploring a variety of interpersonal relationships in song, dance and dialogue. This is a new show which the Maltz Jupiter Theatre hopes will generate a New York production and touring productions nationwide."
Charnin has received four Tony Award nominations, two Tony Awards, six Grammy Awards, three Emmy Awards, three Gold Records, two Platinum Records, six Drama Desk Awards, the Peabody Award for Broadcasting, and most recently another Grammy Award for Jay-Z's rap album, "Hard Knock Life." A Tony Award winner for Annie, Charnin wrote the lyrics and directed. He also penned lyrics to Broadway's I Remember Mama and Two by Two.
Richard Gray, composer and lyricist, has contributed to Seattle's professional theatre community as a composer, director and performer for almost 20 years. In 2005 and 2006 he was selected as a finalist for the Fred Ebb Award, which honors up-and-coming new musical theatre writers.
Charnin stated, "Love is Love recaptures, after much too long an absence, the form once known on Broadway as the 'intimate, sophisticated musical revue.' It comes at you in a shape molded by elegance and simplicity; where a tune, is a tune, is a tune. Love is Love returns to the hallmark of the original intimate revue form, and our material, both in text and score, has been written expressly for the stage, and three gifted women, skilled in becoming chameleon-like in their roles (which require them to segue from one female characterization to another in the course of the evening) are at the root of the entertainment."
An earlier version of Love is Love — prior to the 2007 Washington state run — had borrowed essays that appeared in the New York Times' Modern Love column, but negotiations with the paper for rights to the pieces broke down, Charnin previously said. Shrewd Charnin decided to reinvent the show and invite the same authors to write fresh material — about relationships — for the heartfelt work.
The 2007 Seattle area cast included Shelly Burch (of the original Nine on Broadway), Ann Evans, Charity Parenzini and Maggie Stenson.
The show was a four-actress affair in Seattle that was later revised to play with three actresses. In Florida, it'll be four again.
Tickets will go on sale May 1. For more information and tickets, call the box office at (561) 575-2223 or visit online at www.jupitertheatre.org.
The Maltz Jupiter Theatre is an award-winning professional not-for-profit regional theatre "dedicated to the performing arts whose mission is to entertain, educate and inspire our community."
The Theatre is a member of the League of Resident Theatres (LORT) and is located east of U.S. Highway 1 at 1001 East Indiantown Road and State Road A1A in Jupiter.