By Carey Purcell
04 Dec 2013
|Photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN|
The production will run through Dec. 29.
The cast features Julia Nightingale Landfair as Opal, Jonathan Rayson (Little Shop of Horrors, A Year With Frog and Toad) as the Preacher, Gabe Bowling as Otis, Cayla Christina Christian as US Amanda/US Millie, Riley Costello (13, Bye Bye Birdie) as Dunlap Dewberry, Aisha de Haas (Caroline, or Change; The Trip to Bountiful) as Gloria Dump, Imari Hardon as Amanda, Reagan Hodson as US Sweetie Pie, Dalton Johnson as US Stevie, Crystal Kellogg as Sunny/US Jeanne, Tari Kelly (Anything Goes, The Boy From Oz) as Jeanne, Shannon Lamb as Millie/US Gloria, Danny Phillips as Stevie, Nic Rowe as Carl/US Otis/US Jiggs, Molly Russ as US Opal/US Sunny, Sam Shaughnessy as US Dunlap, Doug Storm (Jekyll & Hyde, Dance of the Vampires) as Jiggs/US Preacher and Sydni Whitfield as Sweetie Pie.
The production, which features music by Tony winner Duncan Sheik (Spring Awakening) and lyrics and book by Tony nominee Nell Benjamin (Legally Blonde, The Explorers Club), is directed by Tony nominee John Tartaglia (Avenue Q, Shrek the Musical).
Because of Winn Dixie features a live dog in the leading role: Irish wolfhound Taran, who was trained by Bill Berloni.
"This story will melt your heart," producing artistic director Bob Hupp said in a statement. "We are honored that the creative team of Winn Dixie approached us for this world premiere, and I think this project has tremendous potential to introduce a significant new work into the American musical theatre canon, and it all begins right here on our stage, for Arkansas audiences."
The production features set design by Mike Nichols, costume design by Marianne Custer, lighting design by Michael J. Eddy and sound design by Allan Branson. Lynda J. Kwallek is properties designer, John Grimsley is assistant animal trainer, Melanie Tojio Lockyer is associate director, Danny Kuenzel is AEA stage manager and Jason Hart is music director/arrangemer/band leader.
More information is available by visiting therep.org.