PHOTO EXCLUSIVE: "Welcome to the Isle of Nollop!" Learn the ABC's of Goodspeed's New Musical LMNOP
12 Aug 2013
Goodspeed Musicals' LMNOP, "an edgy new musical about an island whose citizens begin to lose their freedoms one letter at a time," plays the company's Norma Terris Theatre. Cast member Ryan Bauer-Walsh, who plays both the exiled Willy Creevy and the conforming Rory Cummel, takes readers on a journey through the Isle of Nollop.
Directed by Joe Calarco (co-artistic director of Breaking Bread Theatre and the recipient of the Lucille Lortel Award, among others), LMNOP — featuring music by Paul Loesel and a book and lyrics by Scott Burkell — continues through Aug. 18 at The Norma Terris, Goodspeed's home for developing new musicals.
The cast includes Harriett D. Foy (The American Plan, Mamma Mia!, Once on This Island) as Gwenette Minnow Pea, Tony nominee John Herrera (The Times They Are A-Changin', The Threepenny Opera, Man of La Mancha) as Otto Minnow Pea, Lilli Cooper (Spring Awakening) as Ella Minnow Pea, Stacie Morgain Lewis (Sunday in the Park with George, Urinetown, Wicked) as Agnes Prather, Ming-An Fasquelle as Eugenia Prather, Jared Zirilli (Lysistrata Jones) as Nate Warren, Aaron Serotsky (August: Osage County) as Shubert Greenly/Tad/Lyttle, Talia Thiesfield as Poppi McGregor/Lug 2/Mimi, Kevin Melendez as Zach O'Dare/Lug 1, Donna Lynne Champlin (Billy Elliot: The Musical, Sweeney Todd) as Ruth Greenly/Houston LaGreer, Ryan Bauer-Walsh (Goodspeed's Pirates of Penzance) as Willy Creevy/Rory/Creighton, Michael DiLiberto as Peyton Ebert/Lug 3/Percy/Mangrove, Sally Wilfert (Assassins, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer) as Georgeanne Towgate and Noah Marlowe (Mary Poppins) as Tommy Towgate.
Here's how the musical, based on the novel "Ella Minnow Pea" by Mark Dunn, is billed: "When letters begin to fall from a monument in town, government officials ban them one by one. Chaos ensues until a determined teenage girl rallies the community to fight for freedom of speech. This unique musical is part romance, part clever word game and part adult fable that reminds us of how precious our liberties are; how quickly unbridled extremism can take them from us; and how important it is to have the courage to stand up for what we believe. A captivating story you'll n_v_r forg_t!"
Loesel and Burkell are Jonathan Larson and Burton Lane Award winners. Their debut album "(Sorta) Love Songs" is on the Sh-K-Boom Records label, and their musical The Extraordinary Ordinary received a Jonathan Larson Performing Arts Foundation Grant. Their musical revues include Love Songs and Other Crap (MAC Award nomination) and Sorta Love Songs (Birdland).
Other members of the creative team include set designer Anna Louizos, costume designer Jennifer Caprio, lighting designer Joel Shier, music supervisor Lynne Shankel, music director Julie McBride and sound designer Jay Hilton.
Holed up in a seedy motel on the edge of the Mojave Desert, two former lovers unpack the deep secrets and dark desires of their tangled relationship, passionately tearing each other apart. Led by director Daniel Aukin (Back Back Back at MTC, 4,000 Miles), Tony winner Nina Arianda (Venus in Fur at MTC, Born Yesterday) and Sam Rockwell (A Behanding in Spokane, The Way Way Back) bring an explosive intensity to Sam Shepard’s (Buried Child, True West) landmark myth of the new Wild West.