Walnut Street Stages U.S. Premiere of Picasso Musical, La Vie En Bleu, Sept. 2-Oct. 19

News   Walnut Street Stages U.S. Premiere of Picasso Musical, La Vie En Bleu, Sept. 2-Oct. 19 Philadelphia actor Jeffrey Coon is Picasso in the Walnut Street Theatre's American-premiere staging of La Vie En Bleu, a new European-created musical inspired by the life of artist Pablo Picasso.

The musical plays Sept. 2-Oct. 19 at the historic Walnut Street, in Philadelphia. Opening night is Sept. 10.

Coon played Che in Walnut Street's Evita in 2002-03. Jessica Boevers (Ado Annie in Broadway's recent Oklahoma!) plays Eva Humbert, one of the many women in Picasso's life.

The company includes Christina DeCicco as Marie-Therese Walter; Natalie Cortez as Marta O'Dette-Bregmer; Joan Hess as Fernande Olivier; Rebecca Robbins as Picasso's wife, Olga Koklova; Gregory Daniels as Azul; Christopher DeAngelis as Andre Breton; Michael Brian Dunn as Georges Braque and Jean Cocteau; Laurent Giroux as Ambrose Vollard; David Jackson as Frede; Jonathan Stahl as Guillame Apollinaire; Bruce Winant as Daniel Khanveiller and Erik Satie; with David Corenswet and Mark Indelicato (alternating as Pablito), Ben Dibble as Casegamus, Michelle Gaudette as Rosa, Mollie Hall as Mother Picasso, Katie O'Shaughnessey as Alice Derain, Bill Van Horn as Old Man and Denise Whelan as both Germain Pichot and Gertrude Stein.

La Vie En Bleu was originally commissioned by the Monaco Principality and performed with the Monte Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra as part of the program celebrating the 700th Anniversary of the Grimaldi dynasty. That production transferred to the Mogador Theatre in Paris.

The American premiere of La Vie En Bleu features an original staging not seen in the Paris and Monte Carlo engagements, conceived exclusively for Walnut Street by Bill Van Horn and Bruce Lumpkin (Evita, La Cage Aux Folles and Grand Hotel). The show has music by Pascal Stive, original book and lyrics by Jean Michel Beriat and Raymond Jeannot, with English lyrics by Elaine Rowan, and English book by Bruce Lumpkin and Bill Van Horn. Literal translation is by C. H. Popesco.

Walnut Street bills the show this way: "With a lush romantic score, this evocative work transforms the Walnut stage into a stunning canvass in which a remarkable portrait of the legendary Picasso, the most influential figure in 20th century art, is painted. Capturing colorful Parisian and Spanish imagery, this exceptional musical follows Picasso from his early years as an artist in an atmospheric bohemian Paris through his renowned innovative periods to his creation of the monumental 'Guernica.' Along the way, Pablo befriends such noted figures as Gertrude Stein, Erik Satie, Jean Cocteau and Sergei Diaghilev, and romances ravishing women who willingly become his models, muses and mistresses."

Richard Stafford choreographs. Faser Hardin is the show's musical director and dance arranger. Designers are John Farrell (set), Colleen McMillan (costume), Matthew Callahan (sound) and Jack Jacobs (lighting).

For more information, visit www.wstonline.org.