By Andrew Gans
and Robert Simonson
27 Feb 2009
Butler, according to the actress' official website, will play the role of Brenda in the new musical, which will make its premiere in Seattle this coming summer. No official casting has been announced.
"We're doing it at the Fifth Avenue Theatre in Seattle," the show's composer, Marc Shaiman, previously told Playbill.com. "The Fifth Avenue is actually co-producing it. I believe it's their first venture into becoming a regional theatre, not just a landlord to touring productions. We had such a lovely experience there with Hairspray, it sure sounded good to us."
Shaiman said the long-aborning show would play during summer 2009, with dates to be determined.
Nathan Lane and Christian Borle starred in a July 2007 reading of the new musical. Lane also starred in an August 2006 reading of Catch Me If You Can.
A fall 2005 reading featured Matthew Morrison at Frank Abagnale, Jr.; Lane as Hanratty; Tom Wopat as Frank Abagnale, Sr.; Christine Ebersole as Paula Abagnale; Celia Keenan-Bolger as Brenda and Sara Gettelfinger as Cheryl Ann.
The show, which has had numerous readings over the years, has music by Marc Shaiman and lyrics by Scott Wittman and Shaiman. Terrence McNally penned the book.
The DreamWorks film told the true story of Frank Abagnale, Jr. (played by Leonardo DiCaprio), a young compulsive con man and the federal agent (played by Tom Hanks) who pursues him over many years. Christopher Walken played Frank Sr.
"The score is as eclectic as the music of the mid '60s was," composer-lyricist Shaiman previously told Playbill.com. "On any given Sunday, you could hear The Rolling Stones or The Beatles on 'Ed Sullivan,' a Frank Sinatra special or 'The Judy Garland TV Show,' teen idols on 'Hullabaloo,' Henry Mancini themes, Dean Martin & The Goldiggers. It is a fantastic palette to draw from."
Prior to Xanadu, Kerry Butler was most recently on Broadway as Audrey in Little Shop of Horrors. She portrayed Penny Pingleton in the original Broadway cast of Hairspray, and her other Broadway credits include Belle in Beauty and the Beast, Eponine in Les Misérables and Ms. Jones in Blood Brothers. Off-Broadway she was seen in Bat Boy The Musical, The "I" Word, Prodigal and The Folsom Head. She was also part of the cast of the musical The Opposite of Sex, which premiered in San Francisco.