By Kenneth Jones
25 Aug 2011
Kent Nicholson directs a cast that includes Gemignani (Road Show, Les Miz), Krysta Rodriguez (The Addams Family) and Cass Morgan (Memphis, Mary Poppins), among others.
The musical by lyricist-librettist Sean Barry and composer Jenny Giering (The Mistress Cycle, Crossing Brooklyn) has support from the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Alliance for Musical Theatre's Fund for New Musicals, the Vermont Arts Council, the Vermont Community Foundation. Barry and Giering are a husband-and-wife team.
The show was the winner of the Weston Playhouse's national New Musical Award in 2010. According to Weston notes, "Saint-Ex explores Saint-Exupéry's relationship with his younger brother, his tempestuous marriage to a fiery Latin widow, and the conflict between his career as an aviator and his success as an author. In the 1920s, Saint-Exupéry was a pioneering member of the Aéropostale, the air-mail company that opened delivery from France to Dakar in Western Africa. In open-cockpit planes and without radar or weather reports, these pilots flew over the Pyrenees and the Sahara desert, risking their lives for the mail and for one another. Over protests from his admirers, Saint-Exupéry flew reconnaissance for the U.S. during World War II and was ultimately lost in an ill-fated flight."
Gemignani plays Saint-Ex, Rodriguez is Consuelo, Morgan is Maman. The company also includes Charlie Brady (original cast of South Pacific revival) as Guillaumet, plus Stanley Bahorek (Off-Broadway's See Rock City…), Haley Bond, Miguel Jarquin-Moreland, Amy Justman, Carl Kimbrough, Omar Lopez-Cepero (American Idiot) and Price Waldman (The Lion King).
The creative team includes music director Matt Castle, choreographer Jennifer Turey, scenic designer Tim Mackabee, lighting designer Stuart Duke, costume designer Kirche Leigh Zeile, sound designer Ed Chapman, production stage manager Jess Johnston, dialect coach Patricia Norcia and orchestrator Mary-Mitchell Campbell (Drama Desk-winning orchestrator of Company, music supervisor and orchestrator of Williamstown Theatre Festival's Ten Cents a Dance).
Director Nicholson (formerly of TheatreWorks in California) will discuss the play 30 minutes before curtain on Aug. 25, 26 and 27 (matinee only), and members of the cast will participate in talkbacks following the Sunday matinee performances on Aug. 28 and Sept. 4.
For more information, visit westonplayhouse.org.