Zanna, Don't! to Make London Premiere

News   Zanna, Don't! to Make London Premiere Tim Acito's 2003 Off-Broadway musical Zanna, Don't!, which originally premiered at the John Houseman Theatre, will receive its London premiere in a short run at The Space in East London, as part of the venue's Enterprise 09 Festival.

The production will begin performances May 5, for a run to May 8 only. The show previously received its U.K. premiere in a separate student production presented as part of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2008, at the George Square Theatre.

According to press materials, the show is set in a world where to be homosexual is the norm and to be straight is unthinkable! All is well in Heartsville, the quarterback of the football team is starring in the school musical, everyone is excited about Mike's chess match until a guy and a girl realize they have feelings for each other! Zanna, the school's magical matchmaker, takes it upon himself to help but all does not go exactly to plan.

Book, music and lyrics are by Tim Acito, who received his MFA from Yale and has been nominated for three Drama Desk Awards for his work on Zanna, Don't!. His latest musical, The Women of Brewster Place, based on the novel by Gloria Naylor, premiered at Arena Stage in Washington, D.C. in the company's 2007-2008 season. Additional book and lyrics are by Alexander Dinelaris, who was nominated for two Drama Desk Awards in 2003 for his work on the book and lyrics for Zanna, Don't! He is currently working on writing the screenplay for Alejandro Gonzalez-Inirraitu's ("Babel," "21 Grams") next film. His play The Chaos Theories had a staged reading starring Kathleen Chalfant, Ally Sheedy and Karen Zeimba, and was seen at the 2004 New York Fringe Festival.

This new production is directed by Joseph C. Walsh, with musical direction by Rob Archibald, choreography by Philip Scutt and lighting design by Kevin James. It is produced by Wild Oats productions. Walsh is originally from Boston, but has spent six years living and working in London. He holds a BFA in Theatre Production/Management from Emerson College and a Masters in Directing from Goldsmith's College, University of London. He recently directed the Irish premieres of Jason Robert Brown's The Last Five Years and Songs for a New World and an Irish national tour of The King and I. In the West End he served as resident director on When Harry Met Sally and assistant director on Coyote On a Fence.

The cast comprises Mike Shearer (as Zanna), Michael Cotton, Kate Malyon, Michael Stacey, Bonnie Hurst, Nadeem Crowe, Lyndsey Orr, Justine Marie Mead, Liz Gauder, William J. Cassidy, Besfort Williams and Larissa Webb. To book tickets, contact the box office at 020 7515 7799 or visit www.zannadont.co.uk.