Executive producers Barbra Russell and Ron Sharpe confirmed on April 23 that Carlyle has graduated to the director role and that his deal was in ink. Michael Donald Edwards, artistic director of Asolo Repertory Theatre, staged the 2007 tryout of A Tale of Two Cities, a smash for his resident troupe in Sarasota, FL.
The new Dickens-inspired musical by Broadway newcomer Jill Santoriello (book, music and lyrics) opens at Broadway's Al Hirschfeld Theatre Sept. 18 after previews from Aug. 19.
The out-of-town tryout at the Asolo Repertory Theatre was a hit and played to sold-out crowds in October-November 2007. James Barbour wowed crowds as Sydney Carton. No casting for Broadway has been announced, but much of the Florida cast is expected to resurface for the Broadway engagement. A new music director is expected to be announced.
Carlyle's New York credits include Juno (Encores! at City Center), Stairway to Paradise (Encores! at City Center), You Again (NY Fringe), Working (Zipper), Slut! (ATA), Roundabout 40th Gala 2006 and the first 24 Hour Musicals at the Public Theater. Regionally he has choreographed Mame (Kennedy Center), The Pirates of Penzance (Goodspeed - Connecticut Critics Circle Award for Best Choreography - and Paper Mill), The Baker's Wife (Goodspeed) and Pageant (Second City). In his native England his work has included Me and My Girl (U.K. tour, director as well – Best Production 2007 Theater Goers' Choice Award); The Goodbye Girl (national tour), Pageant (Vaudeville Theatre), Moving On (Bridewell Theatre) and Scrooge (European tour). As associate choreographer, he has contributed to The Producers (Broadway and film), Oklahoma! (Broadway) and "Center Stage" (film).
According to the producers, "Set against the epic backdrop of the French Revolution and based on the classic Dickens novel, A Tale of Two Cities is a musical about injustice, vengeance and the redemptive power of love. When Dr. Manette is released from the French Bastille after 17 years, he must be resurrected from the brink of madness by his daughter, Lucie. In England they meet two very different men: the exiled French aristocrat, Charles Darnay, whom Lucie marries, and the drunken cynic, Sydney Carton. Soon family secrets and political intrigue combine to draw Lucie and her family back to Paris. At the height of the Reign of Terror, the musical finds an unlikely hero in Sydney Carton." The creative team includes Tony Walton (scenery), David Zinn (costumes), Richard Pilbrow (lights), Carl Casella and Domonic Sack (sound). Orchestrations are by Edward B. Kessel and Bob Krogstad; arrangements are by Edward B. Kessel and Wendy Bobbitt Cavett.
A Tale of Two Cities is being produced on Broadway by Barbra Russell and Ron Sharpe (executive producers), Bernard Brogan, Sharon A. Fordham, Theatre Associates/David Sonnenberg/ Rami Evar, The Monagle Group, Fanok Entertainment, Mary E. Laminack, Jim Barry, Gasperino Entertainment, Vincent Russell (producers), and William M. Broderick, Edward B. Kessel, Harry Casey, David Bryant (associate producers).
For more information, visit www.talemusical.com.