The cheeky London cult musical Moby Dick - A Whale of a Tale, which retells Herman Mellville's epic tale as an all-girls school musical production, receives a developmental staged reading starring Tony Award nominee Tony Sheldon Feb. 22 in New York City. Producers are aiming for a future New York production.
The reading of the 1992 musical, originally produced by Cameron Mackintosh in the West End, is directed by Michael Chase Gosselin. Adam Podd is musical director. Attached to the project, according to producers, are Chris March ("Project Runway," "Mad Fashion") and set designer Beowulf Boritt (Chaplin, Spelling Bee).
A future New York production is the goal.
Sheldon (Priscilla Queen of the Desert) takes on the role of the headmistress in a cast that also features Nicolas Dromard (Mary Poppins), Jacey Powers (Falling), Erin Crosby (Shout! The Mod Musical), Christina Bianco (Newsical), Kirsten Wyatt (A Christmas Story) and Noah E. Galvin (Our Town).
The reading reflects an updated version of Moby Dick, originally penned by Robert Longden and Hereward Kaye, and newly adapted by Michael Chase Gosselin.
Here's how it's billed: "Moby Dick tells the story of St. Godley's, an all-girls British Catholic boarding school which sets out to stage Mellville’s masterpiece in the school swimming pool. Their Headmistress, played by a man in drag, takes the coveted role of Captain Ahab, and leads the anarchic girls through a campy, yet incredibly accurate, production."
A cast album preserves the original production, which famously flopped in its West End debut. It has since garnered a cult following and has become a popular regional title. A revised version returned to London in 2011 at the Landor Theatre.