Casting Announced for Kennedy Center's Girl Crazy, Bye Bye Birdie and Side Show

By Andrew Gans
16 Jul 2008

Jenn Colella will play Daisy Hilton in a concert staging of Side Show.
Jenn Colella will play Daisy Hilton in a concert staging of Side Show.

Broadway: Three Generations, a three-act evening featuring condensed versions of Girl Crazy, Bye Bye Birdie and Side Show, will be presented at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in October.

Lonny Price will direct the Oct. 2-5 run in the Eisenhower Theater. The cast for the staged concert performances will include Tony Award winner Randy Graff as well as Brooks Ashmanskas, Lisa Brescia, Jenn Colella, Michael McElroy and Max von Essen.

The production, which reopens the renovated Eisenhower Theater, will "track the development of the Broadway musical over three overlapping generations of composers," according to press notes.

The early generation is represented by George and Ira Gershwin's musical comedy Girl Crazy. The 1930s musical "tells of the son of a wealthy Manhattanite who is shipped to an all-male southwestern university to forestall his playboy ways. There, he falls for a pretty but uninterested local girl and saves the university from financial ruin by making it co-ed."

Von Essen will play Danny Churchill with Graff as Kate Fothergill, Ashmanskas as Slick Fothergill and Colella as Molly Gray.



The second generation will be represented by Bye Bye Birdie. The Charles Strouse-Lee Adams-Michael Stewart musical "follows rock and roll superstar Conrad Birdie and the complications that arise when his agent stages a publicity stunt on 'The Ed Sullivan Show' in which he will kiss one lucky girl from Sweet Apple, Ohio before being drafted into the Army."

Ashmanskas will be Albert Peterson with Brescia as Mrs. MacAfee and Graff as Mae Peterson.

Broadway's current generation of songwriters will be represented by Henry Krieger and Bill Russell's Side Show, which tells "the story of conjoined twins Violet and Daisy Hilton." Colella will play Daisy Hilton with Brescia as Violet Hilton, McElroy as Jake and von Essen as Terry Connor.

The design team for Broadway: Three Generations comprises set designer James Noone, lighting designer Ken Billington and sound designer Peter Hylenski. James Moore is the music director, and Tom Briggs serves as adaptor.

Performances will be Thursday through Saturday at 7:30 PM and Saturday and Sunday at 1:30 PM.

Tickets, priced $25-$90, will go on sale Aug. 11. For more information visit www.kennedy-center.org.

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Bye Bye Birdie replaces the previously announced condensed version of Fiddler on the Roof. Mark Jacoby is no longer attached to the production.